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Clamp's BP, 1105 West Main Street (Lexington): 2012   13 comments

Posted at 12:57 am in business

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Here's an old-school, single island service station in Lexington. Just looking at it, I suspect it predates the BP era and probably goes back into the (original) Gulf age. This is the kind of place that used to exist to service cars -- which needed almost constant attention. Any thought to customer restrooms or any vending more elaborate than a soft drink machine was pretty much non-existent. Now, one by one they fall by the wayside as that generation of owners retires or they just can't compete against the new convenience store stations that use all the space that could have been bays to sell people stuff.

This one will be selling people Thickburgers soon.

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Written by ted on March 4th, 2014

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13 Responses to 'Clamp's BP, 1105 West Main Street (Lexington): 2012'

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  1. Ted said here's an old school service station. Back in 1982 when I first went into business, I leased an old school service station, not much older than this one shown, at the corner of Harden and Devine Streets in Columbia, Just across from Yesterdays Restaurant in Five Points. I believe Harpers Restaurant is at that corner now. My best guess is it was an old Gulf Service Station built back in the 1950's. When the Real Estate Agent was showing it to me I noticed it had three restrooms. Unknowing as I was, born in 1957 and under educated of the civil rights movement at the time, I asked why does this old station have three restrooms? Well, I was quite surprised at the answer. I am now somewhat embarrassed that I did not know. Are there any younger, or older people out there that do not know what I'm referring to?

    Rick

    4 Mar 14 at 6:31 pm

  2. Rick, I was born in 1977, but I immediately knew what you were talking about. Time changes everything, sometimes for the better. I remember my parents telling me about different water fountains, entrances to restaurants, etc. That all sounded completely foreign to me, because by the time I came along things were drastically different. It took me a long time to realize that the balconies in older churches were not for overflow, it was because not everyone was allowed to sit downstairs. In my opinion, the best seats in the house are in the balcony.

    Cam

    4 Mar 14 at 7:32 pm

  3. I have seen that sign up for almost 6 months. I am starting to wonder if the Hardees is really going to happen or not.

    William

    4 Mar 14 at 8:15 pm

  4. Cam - I agree, the best seats in the house, churches, movie theaters, etc. were the balconies. I would even go to the back seats of a bus, school or city, I thought these were the best seats. All that wanted the front seats missed out on the fun and didn't have a clue.

    Rick

    4 Mar 14 at 8:28 pm

  5. William you got me to thinking that the Hardee's signage has been up since early last summer. More than likely there is an issue with either permitting, construction or removing the pipes to the pumps...

    Like Rick I've enjoyed the view from the balcony on numerous occasions...

    Andrew

    4 Mar 14 at 9:09 pm

  6. @Rick & Cam - I knew what the third bathroom was for from the get go. I was born in '58 so like you guys things had changed by the time I was old enough to be totally familiar with my surroundings.

    When I was a kid my Dad would take his vehicles to O.Y. Bouknight's service station that used to be at the intersection of Bush & Broad River Rds. where the Rite-Aid is now. It was you typical two bay garage with two pumps, regular & hi-test. And, yes, the only amenities you had were a Coke and a cracker machine. You could stand under your car with the mechanic while he was working on it. Man, the insurance companies would have a fit today.

    Another place I remember was Carl Swigart's(sp?) repair. It was located off Lake Murray Blvd. across from where Riverland Hills Baptist Church is. I was in the forks of Lake Murray Blvd. and a little stretch of road that has been closed for years (I think it used to be part of Broad River Rd. in the old days). That man could work on anything that had an engine on it. My Dad took cars, lawn equipment, you name it to him and he'd fix them all. Simpler times!!!

    Homer

    5 Mar 14 at 12:40 am

  7. Oh yeah - air and water were free....lol

    Homer

    5 Mar 14 at 12:40 am

  8. @ Homer, I have always wondered what that cut through was! It is still closed, but you probably know that. Would be nice have it open coming towards town, but would be a nightmare if you had to make a left off of it to go towards Publix. No telling what is back there. I always mean to pull over and wander around, but seems as I've always got someplace to go, and am behind schedule to get there.

    jonathan

    5 Mar 14 at 9:37 am

  9. @Homer- I remember when air and water were free. Now if I need air it cost 75 cents for three minutes at the last station I stopped at. If it were not for the fact that half the time I try to use one of the "Pay for Air" Machines someone has cut the chuck/nozzle off or ripped the front of the machine open to steal the quarters, That might be a good business to go into. At 75 cents after 100 customers, 75 bucks, would not take long to pay for the thing if it wasn't for the scum tearing them up.

    Rick

    5 Mar 14 at 4:55 pm

  10. @jonathan - It was open for years but so many people used it as a hiding place to dump trash, furniture and anything else that it was finally blocked. If you do ever go wandering around back there, I would be careful. Mr. Swiger's oil change pit was just that, a pit in the ground. I would hope that it was filled in when they leveled his old place, but who knows.

    However, there could be some interesting finds back in there. I'd love to scour the place with a metal detector.

    Homer

    5 Mar 14 at 11:09 pm

  11. @Rick - I hear you. About a year ago, I was driving my Mom's car while mine was in the shop. I left work and one of the tires was close to flat. Well, the spare was flat too so I went to every service station between Alpine & Percival all the up and onto Decker and every one of the machines were either vandalized or had some kind of slug crammed in the coin slot. By the time I limped to Firestone on Parklane the tire was ruined.

    Homer

    5 Mar 14 at 11:13 pm

  12. @Homer and Rick - Hess stations offer free air. Just have to press the button to crank up the compressor. :)

    Beth

    6 Mar 14 at 7:59 am

  13. @Beth- Thanks. Even though I have a large air compressor at home, I'm not always at home when I need air. And the little plug into your cigarette lighter air compressors leave a lot to be desired.

    rick

    6 Mar 14 at 12:06 pm

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