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Tarheel Traveler- abandoned gas stations


rocketraider
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It's neat to know that somebody else appreciates the motoring history afforded by these roadside exhibits. There is a coffee table-style book on gasoline stations of the USA--LOTS of memories of those stations from an era when "Happy Motoring" was something we did as recreation as well as for travel to visit distant relatives.

Thanks for the link!

NTX5467

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Old gas stations, car dealers and garages are great to see and read about. I see the one they mentioned in Yanceyville NC every week on my way to Saturday night auction.

When I was a kid (actually till I was about 30) there were 14 gas station/country store businesses in the 30 miles between Danville and South Boston VA. Now there are five. Most of the buildings are still standing. One of the neatest, an Esso that dated from the mid 30s and had neon tubes all around the eaves, was torn down seven years ago. Reason? The county was on a real estate tax jag and the owner got tired of paying exorbitant taxes on the property because of the decaying store building and two "motor court" cabins out back. So he tore it all down.

A lot of old log tobacco curing barns here met that same fate. At least one local landowner did see fit to salvage the best logs for log cabin builders. I miss seeing those barns and smelling the tobacco curing. As bad as a burning cigarette or cigar can stink, heat-cured tobacco has a heady, almost intoxicating aroma. Or as my daddy called it, the smell of money.

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Guest Jim_Edwards

One of my greatest joys is taking a '50s or '60s era car and traveling the old two lane highways. Along those highways one can still see the old service stations, motels, and eateries though many are just sitting there deteriorating or have been converted to a different use. However, it is amazing how many of the old motels have been maintained and are still open for business and represent a great traveling bargain. In many towns the old restaurants are still serving the community. We have one of those a few miles from here that is still operated by the family that originally opened it in the 1920s, and still serving up meals that taste like real food and pies that are like Grandma made.

The old two lane highways are exactly why our vintage automobiles should be driven and not be relegated to being a garage or trailer queen. Drive and enjoy!

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Here's one of them, albeit it's a Days Inn now and has expanded considerably over the years to include a restaurant. It was a Quality Courts motel for many years

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?VISuperSize&item=150709970094

Cousins ran this one in Danville till 1982. It is NOTHING like what it was when Jim and Pansy ran it, but once they retired and sold it, guess anything could happen.

Virdan Motor Lodge - Danville, Virginia | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Remember when "AAA-Approved Motor Court/Restaurant" and "Quality Courts/Motels" meant something to travelers? Back before homogenized corporate lodging chains took over? Consistency, sure, but no character.

This one Downtowner Motor Inn, Main and Union Streets Danville, VA downtown here was the place to see and be seen thru the early 80s. About that time a developer who owned a lot of land out north of downtown decided he was going to put downtown out of business, and he did- with a mall, restaurants, homogenized motels and his crown jewel- Wal Mart. The building fell into disuse and disrepair which was a shame. It's passed thru half a dozen owners who basically used it as a tax write-off. Some low-level tin-god city official decreed it was an eyesore and unsafe and has initiated condemnation proceedings, so the Downtowner will be leveled next year and turned into a parking lot for a dead downtown. It could have been so much more with the right people behind it.

You can find a lot more of them here Hotels, Motels & Motor Lodges .

Edited by rocketraider (see edit history)
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Guest Jim_Edwards
Here's one of them, albeit it's a Days Inn now and has expanded considerably over the years to include a restaurant. It was a Quality Courts motel for many years

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?VISuperSize&item=150709970094

Cousins ran this one in Danville till 1982. It is NOTHING like what it was when Jim and Pansy ran it, but once they retired and sold it, guess anything could happen.

Virdan Motor Lodge - Danville, Virginia | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Remember when "AAA-Approved Motor Court/Restaurant" and "Quality Courts/Motels" meant something to travelers? Back before homogenized corporate lodging chains took over? Consistency, sure, but no character.

You can find a lot of them here Hotels, Motels & Motor Lodges .

Consistency is certainly correct. I doubt there is a frequent business traveler that at one time or anther hasn't awakened in the morning not sure of what town they are in because the room they slept in last night was just like the room they slept in three days earlier, sometime in the previous week, and the month before. Sometimes even looking out the widow doesn't help because what you see a shopping center along a freeway that looks like every other shopping center in the country.

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