Yesteryear’s Memories: Star Station

February 5, 2020

The golden days of ‘motoring’ are full of memories — the cars, the events, the places connected with them. The service station of the 20’s and 30’s typically looked like this one — small, tidy, and seen on thousands of American street corners. These were the days when the attendant was dressed in a snappy uniform and greeted you with a smile and a cleaning rag in his hand. Gasoline was a fraction of today’s prices, and the attendant always asked if you wanted your oil checked — usually after he already had your hood up! We didn’t seem to be in such a hurry then and we never heard of unleaded fuel. The only choices were regular or ‘super.’ Now filling stations are veritable department stores, with everything from extension cords to hair brushes and junk jewelry. The gas station owner of the 1940’s would probably be shocked to find that you can now get a cold sandwich at the counter, zap it to one hundred eighty degrees in 45 seconds in a little plastic microwave oven, and get beer, a movie, and a lap blanket. Not to mention buying a ticket to gamble on winning a hundred million dollars.

This illustration is of the station at the corner of Broadway and Walnut streets in Centralia and was torn down sometime around the 1970’s. It didn’t have toaster pastries, but at least you left with a clean windshield.