One thing that makes America great is its variety. Back in the day, one could travel from one state to another, stopping along the way at gas stations that reflected the character of the areas in which they were located. While many of these stations have long been out of business, they eventually found themselves on the National Register of Historic Places. As of now, there are more than 60 classic style gas stations on the National Register. However, the following seven are some of the most fascinating.
Belvidere Café, Motel and Gas Station
If you were in Illinois and wanted to get your kicks on Route 66, stopping at the Belvidere was a must. Built in 1929 in Litchfield, Illinois by Albina and Vincenzo Cerolla, the station's single-frame building consisted of one pump, several motel rooms for those stopping off, a café and a house the owners could live in. Active with business until 1971, the joint was really jumping years ago.
Hale's Filling Station and Grocery
Becoming a member of the Register in 1994, Hale's is located in Bainville, Montana and is widely-known throughout the state as one of the most colorful and quirkiest filling stations anywhere. Customers could not only fill up their gas tanks, but also their tummies with the essentials as well as lots of candy and soft drinks.
Teapot Dome Service Station
Just like its name implies, this station was built to resemble a teapot dome. Located on First Avenue in Zillah, Washington the station is a great example of novelty architecture that was popular in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s. Some of its most striking features include:
- Circular frame
- Conical roof
- Concrete spout
- Sheet metal handle
Considered one of the best roadside attractions of its day, this service station was added to the registry in 1985.
The Coffee Pot
Located in Roanoke, Virginia this roadhouse continues to be active and attracts many customers daily. What makes it unique is the stucco coffee pot located on the roof, which now and then has steam rising from its spout to bring the structure to life. Originally a filling station, it was converted to a roadhouse in 1937 and has played host to a number of musical acts including Willie Nelson and Ritchie Valens.
Located in Delaware, it became a member of the registry in 1991 and is one of the few pre-1940s filling stations still in operation today. Built to resemble a Spanish Mission, it's as popular today as it was back in its prime.
Kan-O-Tex Service Station
Located in Galena, Kansas this station was also part of the famous Route 66. Housing a diner along with its classic style gas station, the Kan-O-Tex was popular with many who were in the area as part of the lead and zinc mining operations of the 1930s.
Wagon Wheel Motel, Café and Station
Found in Cuba (Missouri, that is), the Wagon Wheel was also found on Route 66 and has been in business since 1938. Though the filling station closed years ago, the motel and café are still going strong. On the National Register since 2003, visitors today can purchase jewelry, book, t-shirts and other items signifying the Wagon Wheel's rich history.