Lake Oil Co, a lesson in identifying old gas stations in Texas!

Old gas stations are not an expertise of mine. I like to look at them well enough! Especially, when they’re still operating as a modern gas station, but I don’t know too much about them. When you look at most of the companies and stores represented on this website, I chronicle their existence in the conscious mindset (so from the 60s forward really). This is mostly because retailing has expanded quite a bit over the years. This particular gas station was likely built in the 1920s, and think about it like this, how many people still shop in grocery stores that were around in the 20s? Not a whole lot, whereas there are a decent number of gas stations that predate 1950, and still operating. With their proximity to major routes that are still traveled over 100 years later, TxDOT has taken notice to their antique roadside companions. In 2003 a field guide was commissioned by the state to assist in identifying these old stations. The document was also distributed publically across the web, and has subsequently had an official update adopted by TxDOT that was prepared by volunteers in 2016. The most likely candidate for the Lake Oil Co, featured in the photos below, is an old Magnolia station. The company which was originally formed in Galveston would eventually be bought out by Mobil, who would install the round pumps seen in the photos. Without further ado, lets checkout Eagle Lake’s oldest gas station, 917 E Main St, Eagle Lake, TX 77434.

2 comments

  1. I first learned about that TxDOT historical gas station field guide a few months back. It’s an awesome reference. It’s a highly recommended read even for those outside of Texas as the information within it is probably relevant to a wider audience.

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