Thursday, November 6, 2014
Old Gas Stations
With the paving of roads and tourism increasing around Amana villages since the 1860's, the Society saw a need to build gas stations for motorists. Mr. Barlow, first manager of Amana, and artist Grant Wood in the early times, appreciated old Amana architecture and wanted Amana, South, and Homestead gas stations to look like old Amana houses. They were built just like that-- from brick salvaged from the Calico Mill and its tower. The lines were original, simple and fine. In 1932, with 100 local people having cars, Midway Oil Co. and the Amana Society met for the purpose of erecting the two stations by November. One in South was built later. With mangy travelers came a need for food service too. In May of 1933 a lunch counter was set up next to the Amana gas station by the original Ox Yoke owners, the Leichsenrings. I used to buy pop and candy there in the 60's. The original buildings in South and Homestead still stand-one a shop, one a car repair shop. There was a farm machine shop behind the south station. The brick building behind that may have been a sandwich shop first. The Amana station was replaced with a Casey's convenience store-gas, food and all.