Archive for the ‘gas’ tag
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.
This old service station, now a tire & brake center, is on the Charleston Highway, in that little corner in between I-77 and I-26.
I'm pretty sure it was an Exxon at one time (and may even have gone back into the Esso era). The vending machine bay to the left of the station is very typical of the old days -- a station generally would not like you hanging around inside, which was as much or more "the office" than a retail area.
I'm just guessing "1970s" as a closing date. It could have been much later, but that's when the classic "gas station" started to go into decline..
Not sure what happened here, as the location doesn't seem too bad to me, and it has fairly easy access to the Wal-Mart stoplight, but the Raceway at Bush River Road and I-26 has closed. The only site negative I can see is the separate bathroom building, which I personally don't like because there's often a locking hassle and you end up splitting your time at three locations.
(Hat tips to commenters Tom & Frank)
UPDATE 22 June -- As mentioned in the comments, this place is open again:
Here's another case where a phonebook search turns up no information, but I'd guess Latimer Seafood has been gone for at least several years. The place was obviously started life as a service station, but the architecture isn't bringing any particular brand to mind for me.
This former Exxon is on Farrow Road where it intersects with Broadland Avenue and is now an independant auto repair operation. I wish it had been a sunnier day so these pictures were less gray and dreary, but that's the way it was, and I don't go by there very often.
Admittedly my closing date is just a guess here, as is postulating that this station started as an Esso, but the gull-wing lights lead me to think it was built before 1970, and the Esso/Exxon switch didn't happen until 1973.
Furthermore, the rounded style of the kerosene pump together with the fact that the price only has two digits (plus 1/10ths of a cent) leads me to think the station didn't make it past the 1970s.
Someone can probably look at the gas price signs and make a better guess at exactly when Socastee Mini Mart went under, but I'm pretty sure it was open last summer and not last November 13th (when these pictures were taken -- Unfortunately, it was not a sunny day).
The place is on SC-544, probably 5 miles on the Socastee side of Coastal Carolina. SC-544 is the handy little cut-through from US-501 to US-17 and can save you a lot of grief if you end up inbound to Myrtle by the north route. It's less useful than it used to be though, as there are now more lights and a constant 45MPH speed limit. For many years, the road had a real rural character, and this station is a holdover from that era. Now however the area is getting more and more built up, and "regular" chains are starting to move in.
When I would eat at Ruby Tuesday, I would occasionally stop at this S-Mart BP (which I'm pretty sure started as a Hess) on my way home, especially since they tore down the Forest Drive Circle K. It was nothing special, though I always thought it was a bit odd that they had the "under seige"/"cashier in a cage" setup inside as the area doesn't seem especially bad to me.
I'm pretty sure that the number of pumps decreased over the last year or so, something I wondered about. It may be that the writing has been on the wall for a while..
When the ax did fall, they wasted no time getting the remaining pumps out of there, a process that usually takes a little while.
The side road to this place, Crowson Road is an odd little street that connects Devine with Fort Jackson Boulevard and also has a semi "back way" into K-Mart with a bridge over Gills Creek. It has always had sort of an unfinished/1960s vibe to me. I guess this is probably due mostly to the odd cluster of buildings, from the original Egg Roll Station building to the old buildings at the intersection with Fort Jackson Boulevard..
(Hat tip to commenter Badger)
Well, another day, another closed gas station on The Sumter Highway. This one is recent though, closing some time in March I think, though it can probably be figured accurately from the gas prices.. While I was taking these shots, the guy from the adjacent Subway came over and wanted to know if I was looking to buy the building. I'm not sure I ever did convey exactly what I was doing (which really doesn't make much sense to any rational person).
I like the canopy here, and the way it slightly "vees" rather than being completely flat as most new ones are. I think most modern construction has lost something. Notice too that the pumps have analog/mechanical displays. The one for 89 octane looks as though it was not happy to get up into the $3 range. Also note, one of the common features of a recently closed business: The new phonebook parked against the door.
As an added bonus, the drive home from here was very scenic:
(Hat tip to someone whose comment I can no longer find)
I noticed this abandoned gas station a few weeks ago coming back into town on the Sumter Highway. It sits where US-378 (The Sumter Highway) and SC-764 meet at a fork in the road.
I'm sure that the painting on the facade is sufficient to identify what brand of station it was, but I'm drawing a blank on it right now, and as often as I have driven (or ridden..) that road since the 1960s, I'm almost certain I never stopped there.
These pictures were taken about 5 minutes too late -- Just before I got to the area, the sun had broken through the storm clouds for that glorious late-afternoon-post-storm light you get sometimes, but by the time I started snapping, the clouds were already rolling back in. I wish I had the honey-suckle pumps in that light..