Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Service Station at Abbe & Colorado

Yesterday's post about the Dollar General currently in the planning stages for the southwest corner of Abbe Road and Colorado Avenue reminded me that it wouldn't be the first time that a commercial enterprise was located at that intersection.

Up until the early 1990s, there was a gas station on the northeast corner: Dull's Union 76. But you would never know that today by looking at the vacant land that is there.

I'm surprised that I 'd largely forgotten about that gas station. Dull's Union 76 was a great old-timey gas station right out of Mayberry. There were always plenty of friendly folks inside the store, and besides gasoline, you could even get something notarized there (I know, because I did).

That whole area – from Abbe & Colorado – has changed a lot since the mid-80s when I used to take Abbe Road north to Oster Road to get to my apartment on Irving Park Boulevard. Abbe Road was two lanes back then (with no overpass) and it was real farm country when you got to Oster. Now the area is quite unrecognizable to me.

You can tell I liked it better the way it used to be. But that's progress.

Courtesy
CollectorsQuest.com
Anyway, how long had a service station been at that corner?

From at least the early 1950s, there had been a grocery store on that spot at 5311 Colorado Avenue, according to the Lorain City Directory. Alex Taryan operated a store there in the early 1950s, and it became Krall's Grocery Store later on the 50s.

Finally, around 1960 a service station – 611 Fleetwing – replaced the store at that address. It became Dull's Fleetwing Service Station around 1970 or so, and switched to the Union 76 brand by 1975.

Does anyone else remember that service station? If so, be sure to post a memory!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great coverage on this corner. I let a friend know about this as she grew up on Irving Park but her family had property at Abbe and Osterish. On the E side of the road she lived at a house there until it was all sold to Ford. I think her Mother still attends St Thersa. Between Ohio Canoe and the railroad tracks once stood the Keller Farm. I boarded my horse there for years and once one of the more wiley horses there opened a gate and about 9 horses strolled up to St Theresa and were found munching flowers in the cemetary. We were all nearly fined!! Thanks for the memory, rae

Jeremy said...

I have noticed the big 'Available' Sign on that NE corner and wondered what used to be there. Looks like there's an old farmhouse immediately east of where that gas station was. Also back in the mid 80s Colorado Ave was all 2-lanes if I remember correctly.

Alan Nagy said...

I remember the gas station used to have the old "L" shaped gas pumps until late 1975. The gas station closed around late 1992. Colorado and Abbe Roads was widened to 4 lines around 1993 or 94. Also, a traffic light was installed at the intersection about 1972, after the state moved Route 301 to Abbe Road in late 1971.

Dan Brady said...

Thanks for filling in those details, Alan! I still remember how weird it looked when all those trees were cut down to widen Colorado Ave!

Mike said...

You can see an overhead view of the area at historicaerials.com
They have a few years that you can choose and even compare 2 different years.

http://www.historicaerials.com/aerials.php?scale=8E-06&lat=41.4659871042488&lon=-82.075650066112&year=1970

Anonymous said...

how about the building on the south east corner? it's been vacant for quite a long time

alan

Dan Brady said...

Yikes - I knew someone would ask about that!

I made some notes about it while researching the service station. I'll do a proper post on it next week!

Anonymous said...

This may be a little off the subject, but what was the name of the small gas station that was near the Lorain Public Library in the 1980s and had the head of an Indian in it's eye-catching sign? Since I don't know Lorain, I can't give street names but it was on a main road. This posting made me think of it.....

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that Dan is on this already... but..is this the logo that you remember?

http://www.redindiangasoline.com/

Dan Brady said...

I was thinking it might be Mohawk Gasoline! I'll take a look in the directories tomorrow and see what brands were available in Lorain back then, esp, on Reid Ave. near the library!

Anonymous said...

"Red Indian" looks like it. It was on the north side of the road there....

Dan Brady said...

I went back and spot-checked city directories from the late 70s to the early 90s and could not come up with a Lorain service station with a brand of gasoline that might have an Indian mascot or logo. At first I though the Red Head on Washington and West Erie might have been the one, but it seems to have only had the unusual lettering with no mascot.

Anonymous said...

For some reason I was thinking it WAS "Red Head" but that it had some kind of a picture in the sign. Maybe I imagined the Indian face. Is "Red Head" still there?

Dan Brady said...

The Red Head is long-gone, in recent years it was a cigarette/tobacco store. The building is still there but I don't think it houses a business any more.

Scott Dull said...

I use to work at the gas station, it was ran by my grandpa Cloyd Dull. I miss that place a lot, it was a sad day when we locked the doors for the last time, I miss the people in the area that would come to the station and talk, It was like we were all one big family. I dive by there all the time it sad to see that they have not done anything with land.

Dan Brady said...

Hi Scott!

I really appreciate your leaving a comment. Every time I drive by there, I think of that station and the role it obviously played in the lives of its customers as it was much more than a gas station. It radiated a small-town warmth that you don't find very often any more. It's great that your family operated it for so long.

Thanks again,
Dan