You know I love old gas stations. It’s always a pleasure when I find one.

I most commonly find them on old alignments of highways, but I suppose that’s because I frequent those kinds of roads. But many of them remain in cities and towns off the main roads, as well, such as this one on South Street in downtown Lafayette, Indiana.

Standard Oil

This is a “Red Crown” Standard Oil station, built in about 1927. Standard Oil built lots of these through the late 1920s and into the 1930s, mostly in the Midwest. Maybe a couple of dozen of them remain; this page shows several.

Standard Oil

While this one still operated as a Standard station, it was known as Jonesy’s. It closed during the 1980s and was threatened with demolition. The city library, which is next door, used it as a storage building for a time until local businessman Don Stein rescued it and got it restored. It is said that more than 40 layers of paint were removed from the inside walls to finally reveal the glazed brick. Also, the roof had fallen and was replaced with “new original stock” red tiles that Standard Oil remarkably still had in storage.

Standard Oil

The building was a petroliana museum for a while, but was later used as a stationary advertisement of sorts for the city of Lafayette. It’s not clear what the building’s use is now. As I researched this station, I found photos from not long ago that show details that are now missing, such as “Jonesey’s” lettering over the door, a “Standard Oil Products” sign over the plate window, and “WASHING” lettering over the left garage bay. At least the letters pictured above remain intact.

If you’d like to see some of the other vintage gas stations I’ve found, check out all of my posts tagged Gas Stations.

Pentax ME, 35mm f/2.8 SMC Pentax-A, Fujicolor 200 (at EI 100)

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Film Photography, Road Trips

Standard Oil Red Crown station in Lafayette, Indiana

A circa 1927 gas station still stands, unused, in Lafayette, Indiana.

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Country Marathon

Food center
Pentax K10D, 28-80mm f/3.5-4.7 SMC Pentax-FA
2017

When you’re on a road trip, especially on a rural road, you stop to take care of physical needs wherever you can. My car’s tank was well less than a quarter full as we passed this little gas station on the old highway somewhere between Indianapolis and Martinsville, so we paused. It’s not often that we encounter such a clean and cheerful station.

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Photography, Road Trips

single frame: Food center

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Scenes from the American Sign Museum

Shell
Pentax ME, 50mm f/1.4 SMC Pentax-M
Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400
2017

It is comforting to encounter the roadside architecture and signage of my 1970s childhood, even when it’s in a museum. Shell service stations were even more common then than now, it seems. And in the 1970s, they were service stations where a man came out to fill your tank, clean your windshield, and check your oil. Every location I ever saw would also repair your car when it broke down. Their slogan was, “Service Is Our Business.”

About the photograph: I scanned these negatives myself. I’m doing more of that now, as it cuts costs. I haven’t figured out settings in Silverfast yet that do a truly good job of eliminating scratches and dust spots. I do get weary of manually editing them out. I gave up in this shot. But given its hue and softness, the marks seem okay somehow.

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Photography

single frame: Shell

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Sunrise over the Speedway

Sunrise over the Speedway station
iPhone 5
2015

While waiting at a stoplight, I stuck my phone through my car’s sunroof to photograph this.

Photography
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1932 Standard Station

1932 Standard station
iPhone 5
2013

I’m planning our Spring Break vacation, so I’ve been thinking about past trips, like the one we took in 2013 along Route 66.

 

Photography
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Photography

Locally Grown Gardens

I’ve photographed Locally Grown Gardens more times than I’ve been inside. I hereby make a pact with myself: from now on, I will step inside and buy something every time I photograph something here.

Locally Grown Gardens

Nikon F2AS, 35-70mm Zoom Nikkor, Kodak Tri-X (expired)

I love how this year-round farm market is housed in a repurposed gas station. I’ve become fascinated lately with the history of gas-station architecture. There might be another blog post in me just about that. This building is covered in steel tiles painted with porcelain enamel (though I think these tiles may have been painted over with conventional house paint). Oblong-box stations like this were built from the 1930s through about 1970.

Benches

Yashica-D, Kodak E100G

I seem to have black-and-white film in my camera most often when I am here; this is my only color shot of the place. The benches’ turquoise color is just perfect.

Pumpkins for Sale

Agfa Clack, Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100

The decor changes with the seasons. Whenever it’s chilly outside, you’re likely to find a small fire going in a barrel out front.

Menu/Produce

Nikon F2AS, 35-70mm Zoom-Nikkor, Kodak Tri-X (expired)

While I’ve been in to buy produce a time or two, I’ve never stopped here for a meal. They offer a small menu that varies with the seasons.

I am often amused at myself by the places that keep attracting me when a camera hangs from my neck. I often don’t realize how I’m gravitating toward those places until I’m searching through my photos and see how many times I’ve visited a particular subject. That’s how I came to write about Locally Grown Gardens today. Perhaps I should make a few deliberate trips down there with my camera, and perhaps take a meal there, and perhaps (with permission) take a few photographs inside.

Standard