Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
The Station's Scott Lynn cleans a windshield for a gasoline customer. He said Thai Winds, in background,
will remain for the time being.
By KIRBY NEUMANN-REA
July 27, 2005
The pumps are about to go dry at a downtown landmark.
The Station, at Fourth and Oak, received its last load of gasoline Monday, and the business will close on July 31.
The corner business has been a gas station since 1923. Its closure leaves just one downtown gas station, Astro at Front and State streets.
But The Station is the only gasoline/convenience store downtown, and Scott Lynn believes it will be missed.
“We always tried to give our customers a little extra — cleaning their windows, and we had lollipops for the kids and treats for the dogs.”
“It’s been a good three years,” said Lynn, the face of the business since his brother, Chris, took over the lease in 2002. Chris Lynn will be on hand for The Station’s last few days, Scott said. Scott and Lynn’s father, Gene, was also a familiar presence at The Station.
Property owner Jerry Kramer had leased the property from 1962 until 1978, when he purchased it. Over the years, the corner has been home to Mobil, Shell, and then independents including former tenant Dell Charity and the Lynns.
Until March, the north half of the building was occupied by Made in the Gorge artists’ cooperative, which moved to larger quarters on Oak near Second. (A new business, Passport Exchange, has moved into the northern half of the building and is scheduled to open in August, according to Kramer.)
Kramer said he will remove the pumps in August and decide later whether to fill or remove the two underground tanks. The canopy will remain, but the location is in its last week as a filling station.
Lynn said customers are “kind of bummed out” by the closure of a convenient gasoline location and with it “a place to hang out and watch things.”
“We should have called it ‘The Hub’ because it’s right in the middle of things,” Lynn said. He expressed thanks to community members who had made it a point to come downtown just to get their gasoline at The Station.
Lynn said closure comes before a dubious milestone — $3-per-gallon gasoline. One of his pumps is out of service because he could not set it to go higher than 99 cents per gallon, and the others can only be configured to $2.99.
“I guess I could set it at $1.50 and then charge double,” in the event of $3 gas, Lynn mused.