Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What used to be in that building?

Over the years, I've passed this building at 1906 Henderson Drive many, many times while heading west over the High Level Bridge (the Lofton Henderson Bridge). Almost every time, I've looked at the building, wondering what brand of gas was sold there in its heyday – as well as wondering just when was its heyday.

Today seemed like a good day to hit the city directories in the Lorain Public Library to find out.

There was no listing of Henderson Drive in the books that I could find until around 1950, and even then there were no listings for anything on that side of the bridge. It wasn't until the 1958 book that the building showed up, as Gully's Gulf Station.

Within 2 years, the station apparently changed hands and became Larry's Gulf Station.

Two years after that, it showed up in the 1962 book as George & Lucy's Gulf Station.

Surprisingly, the building's career as a service station ended in the 1963 book, when it became the home of Black's Muffler Service. I never would have guessed that it had happened that soon.

By 1975, it was still Black's Muffler Service, but it was vacant by the 1978 directory.

Since then, it has been home to a variety of businesses, including Northside Motors (1981), Lorain Cab Company (1986) and Al's Storage Center (or Al's Service Center) beginning around 1988. I'm not sure what's in there now.

By the way, Gulf is still around, although it didn't seem to be popular enough to sustain a service station in a heavily traveled location in Lorain. Maybe it was the challenge of turning in and out of the place while fighting bridge traffic that discouraged motorists from becoming regular gas customers.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

-Alan here....
When we'd go to the drive-in (both of them, IIRC), Black's Muffler Service had on-screen ads before the feature.

ge13031 said...

Gulftane ....no octane. my English Ford ran like a charm on it for about 8 tanks, then I had to throw in a tank of regular to clean all the carbon out, and back to gulftane. Price was right!

Anonymous said...

Good Gulf, there was one on Colorado and Euclid too. In my youth I think the catch phrase was "put a kick in your tank." They had orange horse shoes painted in the parking lot and sticky orange horse shoes to apply to you car?
rae

-Alan D Hopewell said...

It ran, "There's more to Gulf's Extra Kick than horseshoes."