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Rediscovered Lincoln Highway Gas Station In Nevada

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Eastgate, Nevada (39.305920, -117.879450) is a stop on the old Lincoln Highway. The building that is mostly obscured behind the car in this old Lincoln Highway photo in the University of Michigan Lincoln Highway collection is the same building shown in my 2005 photo of the site.

 

AREastgateUMClose.jpg

 

AREastgatePan.jpg

 

Lincoln Highway authorities Gregory Franzwa and Jessee G. Petersen in their book “The Lincoln Highway in Nevada” date this photo as taken in 1926, and also state that the building in question (white stone station) was moved to the site in the 1920’s.

 

AREastgateUM.jpgg

 

I picked up a real photo post card the other day of the same site, and the building had become a Chevron Station! The car is a 1946-48 Ford so the photo is probably late 1940’s to early 1950’s. The building was once a stage station, but was probably located further west at Middlegate, and moved to this site before or during the days of the Lincoln.

 

AREastgateSharp.jpg

 

AREastgateSharp4.jpg

 

AREastgateSharp3.jpg

 

Was the white stone building a gas station in 1924 or 1926? I don’t know, but since it was moved there prior to the 1926 photo, and since the ranch was selling gas and oil in 1924 according to the Official Lincoln Highway Guide, it is a strong candidate to have been a service station during Lincoln Highway days.

 

One of my fascinations with real photo post cards, and why I buy them, is the amazing detail they often show. Many of them were direct contact prints so they carry much of the fine detail of the original negative. This card has some of the little “surprises” I enjoy finding.

 

Note the “Shell” sign upside down on the roof, perhaps signaling a recent change in ownership?

 

Look at the trailer hitch clamped to the bumper of the Ford. Boy, those are long gone, and so are the bumpers!

 

And what is attached to the right front door? It might be a 5 gal. water can. This was (and is) desert country and thirsty drivers and thirsty radiators needed water. But that is a very strange placement. And what is it that appears to sit on top of the “can?”

 

The fellow pumping his gas from the old style (even then) glass pump looks like a local cowboy, or maybe a government range man, not a tourist. .

 

Look at the chairs outside the store / station…..and the political posters on the outside wall. Maybe this was taken in late October before a local election.

 

Why did we put half barrels under water facets? You saw them all the time, usually filled with water. Was it an effort to provide a water source for dogs and other animals….maybe a horse or two?

 

The hitching rail itself has been replaced and appears to be a pipe painted white on top of more ancient posts. In the period of the photo there was a need for a functioning hitching rail!

 

Is the white building directly above the drivers head the outhouse?

 

Did anyone else drink Lucky Lager? Remember the 11 oz stubby? Note the sign on the roof line.

 

Roadhound, I forget…did you also stop here?

 

AREastgate2005.jpg

 

 

AREastgateDate.jpg

 

 

AREastgateDate2.jpg

 

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Those are some great pictures, both yours and the old ones. Amazing how good both buildings still look, especially the larger 'ranch house' building. Looks like it had been occupied until pretty recently.

I agree with your speculation that the station had recently switched from Shell to chevron at the time the postcard picture was taken. The "Chevron Gasoline" sign on the roof looks brand new.

As far as the contraption attached to the passenger door of the car, I'll bet it is a 'car cooler'. Back in the pre-AC days, one could buy these. They were basically little swamp coolers for cars. I never personally experienced them, for although I grew up with swamp coolers (Tucson in the 1960s), we always had dealer-added under-dash air conditioners in our cars, even back then! I think the first car my parents bought that came with factory air was a brand new 1969 Plymouth Satellite.

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Those are some great pictures, both yours and the old ones. Amazing how good both buildings still look, especially the larger 'ranch house' building. Looks like it had been occupied until pretty recently.

I agree with your speculation that the station had recently switched from Shell to chevron at the time the postcard picture was taken. The "Chevron Gasoline" sign on the roof looks brand new.

As far as the contraption attached to the passenger door of the car, I'll bet it is a 'car cooler'. Back in the pre-AC days, one could buy these. They were basically little swamp coolers for cars. I never personally experienced them, for although I grew up with swamp coolers (Tucson in the 1960s), we always had dealer-added under-dash air conditioners in our cars, even back then! I think the first car my parents bought that came with factory air was a brand new 1969 Plymouth Satellite.

 

I would say swamp cooler is a viable contender.

 

The one we had in late 40’s crossing the desert on US 66 was portable and hung on the window. It looked like a turbine facing into the wind. The wind went threw the turbine which had a cloth wrapped around it, and the wind turned the turbine. That caused the cloth to be constantly wetted in water contained in the bottom of the turbine shell.

 

Being a kid, I sat in the back seat, and what I remember most was a constant mist blowing in my face! Not your modern air conditioner!

 

Any other possibilities for that contraption?

 

Oh, BTW, if you were in Tucson in the 1960's you must be practically a native!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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I would say swamp cooler is a viable contender.

 

The one we had in late 40’s crossing the desert on US 66 was portable and hung on the window. It looked like a turbine facing into the wind. The wind went throw the turbine which had a cloth wrapped around it, and the wind turned the turbine. That caused the cloth to be constantly wetted in water contained in the bottom of the turbine shell.

 

Being a kid, I sat in the back seat, and what I remember most was a constant mist blowing in my face! Not your modern air conditioner!

 

Any other possibilities for that contraption?

 

Oh, BTW, if you were in Tucson in the 1960's you must be practically a native!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Practically, yep. Moved here in late 1959, when I was slightly less than two years old. No, I wasn't doing the driving then!

Your car cooler description is perfect, and that's why I put it out there as a possibility. The device in the picture looks as though it could have a wind turbine atop the water can.

The thing about swamp coolers is that they are absolutely great out here in from April through June, when it is hot and the humidity is usually in the single digits (like it was today--6 or 7%!). At that time of the year they actually cool the air better than air conditioning. Where they lose their effectiveness is later in the summer, from mid-July through mid-September, when the monsoon thunderstorms normally stir every afternoon and the humidity is in the 25 to 50% range. What you don't want then is more humidity. After mid-September it usually dries out again and swamp coolers are fine again through October.

 

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A very nice set of pictures. I liked that the post card pointed out that the build had not been just a basic stage station but an elaborate stage station. Hope to see the thing in person some day.

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What I can't get over is how small the building looks in the modern photos compared to the old photos.

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What I can't get over is how small the building looks in the modern photos compared to the old photos.

Yes, and even your own grandparents tend to look shorter as time goes by. No one can explain it.

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Great postcard find Keep.

 

It's interesting to note the elevation difference between the then and now photos. Now there looks to be a few feet rise up to the present day roadbed that I would assume was added while paving the roadway when that route was still part of US 50. On our trip through there in '07 we did stop and look through the interior of the former store building and there was not much in the way of interior amenities. Not even a floor. I wish I had known at the time that it was used as a service station.

 

SC10_82_21.jpg

 

And the ranchhouse did look like it had recently been occupied.

 

SC10_82_20.jpg

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Rick,

 

I figured you must have stopped there, but I didn't recall. I didn't have any idea when I was there that it had been a service station. I thought it was a bunkhouse! Even my "now" photo that matches the angle of the old "then" photo was an accident.

 

When I saw the post card on Ebay, I said "Oh, my gosh"....or something close to that. It all sort of fell into place. They sold gas in 1924 and the stone building was moved there before 1926, so it is at least likely that they moved it from Middlegate to house their auto service business.

 

What pleases me is that it may very well have served as a service station before 1927 when the Lincoln Highway was the Lincoln Highway.

 

Did you come to Eastgate by way of Carroll Summit from Austin? I ask because there was another deserted commercial appearing structure on the left as you headed west, perhaps 2-4 miles west of Petersons Ranch. I photographed it, but I can’t find it on Virtual Earth or Google Earth. I’m wondering if it was torn down after 2005 when I was there. A couple of shots follow.

 

 

ARLH1.jpg

 

ARLH2.jpg

 

ARLH3.jpg

 

I wonder what it was....residence, station, restaurant...or ?

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

 

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Rick,

 

I figured you must have stopped there, but I didn't recall. I didn't have any idea when I was there that it had been a service station. I thought it was a bunkhouse! Even my "now" photo that matches the angle of the old "then" photo was an accident.

 

When I saw the post card on Ebay, I said "Oh, my gosh"....or something close to that. It all sort of fell into place. They sold gas in 1924 and the stone building was moved there before 1926, so it is at least likely that they moved it from Middlegate to house their auto service business.

 

What pleases me is that it may very well have served as a service station before 1927 when the Lincoln Highway was the Lincoln Highway.

 

Did you come to Eastgate by way of Carroll Summit from Austin? I ask because there was another deserted commercial appearing structure on the left as you headed west, perhaps 2-4 miles west of Petersons Ranch. I photographed it, but I can't find it on Virtual Earth or Google Earth. I'm wondering if it was torn down after 2005 when I was there. A couple of shots follow.

 

 

ARLH1.jpg

 

ARLH2.jpg

 

ARLH3.jpg

 

I wonder what it was....residence, station, restaurant...or ?

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Sort of looks to me like the remains of a two room motel?? and the larger building looks like a service station. Clear the bushes away from the front............... Love the rest room.

 

Hudsonly,

Alex Burr

Memphis, TN

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Rick,

 

I figured you must have stopped there, but I didn't recall. I didn't have any idea when I was there that it had been a service station. I thought it was a bunkhouse! Even my "now" photo that matches the angle of the old "then" photo was an accident.

 

When I saw the post card on Ebay, I said "Oh, my gosh"....or something close to that. It all sort of fell into place. They sold gas in 1924 and the stone building was moved there before 1926, so it is at least likely that they moved it from Middlegate to house their auto service business.

 

What pleases me is that it may very well have served as a service station before 1927 when the Lincoln Highway was the Lincoln Highway.

 

Did you come to Eastgate by way of Carroll Summit from Austin? I ask because there was another deserted commercial appearing structure on the left as you headed west, perhaps 2-4 miles west of Petersons Ranch. I photographed it, but I can't find it on Virtual Earth or Google Earth. I'm wondering if it was torn down after 2005 when I was there. A couple of shots follow.

 

 

ARLH1.jpg

 

ARLH2.jpg

 

ARLH3.jpg

 

I wonder what it was....residence, station, restaurant...or ?

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Sort of looks to me like the remains of a two room motel?? and the larger building looks like a service station. Clear the bushes away from the front............... Love the rest room.

 

Hudsonly,

Alex Burr

Memphis, TN

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Rick,

 

I figured you must have stopped there, but I didn't recall. I didn't have any idea when I was there that it had been a service station. I thought it was a bunkhouse! Even my "now" photo that matches the angle of the old "then" photo was an accident.

 

When I saw the post card on Ebay, I said "Oh, my gosh"....or something close to that. It all sort of fell into place. They sold gas in 1924 and the stone building was moved there before 1926, so it is at least likely that they moved it from Middlegate to house their auto service business.

 

What pleases me is that it may very well have served as a service station before 1927 when the Lincoln Highway was the Lincoln Highway.

 

Did you come to Eastgate by way of Carroll Summit from Austin? I ask because there was another deserted commercial appearing structure on the left as you headed west, perhaps 2-4 miles west of Petersons Ranch. I photographed it, but I can’t find it on Virtual Earth or Google Earth. I’m wondering if it was torn down after 2005 when I was there. A couple of shots follow.

 

 

ARLH1.jpg

 

ARLH2.jpg

 

ARLH3.jpg

 

I wonder what it was....residence, station, restaurant...or ?

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Yes, we came west on Nevada 722, which was the re-aligned Lincoln and original US 50, out of Austin. Have I mentioned that Nevada a 722 is my favorite piece of road to drive?

 

If my recollections are correct we passed a clearing on the side of the road 10-15 miles east of Eastgate (guess) that may have been the location that your pictures were taken at. I recall looking for the site of Lincoln Park and the only spot that gave the appearance that there was once anything of significance there was a clearing on the south side of the road. We stopped and looked but there wasn't much to see. It looked like it was cleared out to make room for road construction equipment. If those buildings were anywhere along 722 we missed them.

 

A few of Nevada 722

 

From Carroll Summit

 

SC10_82_16.jpg

 

Near Skull Canyon

 

SC10_82_18.jpg

 

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Alex,

 

Yah, I liked the restroom too! It faced the creek, which was about 50 yards away. Of course you wouldn't want to get your water suppy from downstream!

 

But then I bet you and I could tell some stories about the sparkling streams along road sides where we took drinks in the "old days" without a thought to what was upstream! Wouldn't recommend that now!

 

I can still recall one in the Sierra Nevada where we camped, washed our dishes in the stream, and then drew our drinking water from the same source. never thinking that there were clowns like us upstream! Those were the days, but then were were tougher then the youngins :lol::rolleyes::o

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Yes, we came west on Nevada 722, which was the re-aligned Lincoln and original US 50, out of Austin. Have I mentioned that Nevada a 722 is my favorite piece of road to drive?

 

If my recollections are correct we passed a clearing on the side of the road 10-15 miles east of Eastgate (guess) that may have been the location that your pictures were taken at. I recall looking for the site of Lincoln Park and the only spot that gave the appearance that there was once anything of significance there was a clearing on the south side of the road. We stopped and looked but there wasn't much to see. It looked like it was cleared out to make room for road construction equipment. If those buildings were anywhere along 722 we missed them.

 

A few of Nevada 722

 

From Carroll Summit

 

SC10_82_16.jpg

 

Near Skull Canyon

 

SC10_82_18.jpg

 

I think that answers my question.....they are gone. Kinda sad. I don't recall their exact loction, but my last photo of them and my first of Petersens Ranch are about 6 minutes apart, which pretty well fixes the probable area...and nothing is there in Google Earth.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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You guys are really getting me wound up. I'm toying with the idea of driving the remainder (probably from the IN/IL border) of the Lincoln Highway in August. So far, my only real action has been to plot state wide routes using the DeLorme files obtained from the LHA Trading Post. That seems to be working fairly well. I hope to field test the technique within the next couple of months by using it to cover Indiana. I have that plotted and "Garminized". I also have Illinois, Iowa, & Nebraska plotted but not "Garminized". "Garminized" means tweaking the route to match the maps in the Garmin GPS and entering markers for points of interest. I know I'll be coming to the forum for help with decisions that will need to be made in Utah & Nevada. This isn't the place for them, I'll start a new thread for that, but this gives me a chance to warn you and this thread is definitely pushing the idea deeper. The old buildings are extremely cool and that "Near Skull Canyon" shot makes me want to start driving right now. :D

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Great thread you have here, Dave. Nice to see the pictures.

 

I will be sure to check it out late next summer. I was planning on traveling that old road when I leave

Spencer Hot Springs, east of Austin to visit some more hot springs south of Middlegate.

 

Dale

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Great thread you have here, Dave. Nice to see the pictures.

 

I will be sure to check it out late next summer. I was planning on traveling that old road when I leave

Spencer Hot Springs, east of Austin to visit some more hot springs south of Middlegate.

 

Dale

 

Dale,

 

Thanks, and from what I can tell from looking for Spencer Hot Springs on the web, you have a nice spot to stay, and you probably have it mostly, or all to yourself. It didn't look to busy in any of the images I saw.

 

Enjoy your travels!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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I finally relocated Brian Butko’s excellent “Greetings from the Lincoln Highway.” It had apparently slipped under the bed after my late night reading. I was not surprised that Brian shows a photo of the same building….but from a later date…probably from the 1950’s.

 

Brian, do you think the building was an automobile service station as early as 1926 or 27?

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Hey Dave, It is seven miles of dirt road into Spencer Hot Springs. There are three pots that are apart there to soak in so it isn't

crowded. 130 miles in three directions to the nearest strore. Antelopes and burros around area. Nice place to spend a week.

 

Getting itchy feed and ready to slowly move north and see what adventures are coming up.

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I finally relocated Brian Butko’s excellent “Greetings from the Lincoln Highway.” It had apparently slipped under the bed after my late night reading. I was not surprised that Brian shows a photo of the same building….but from a later date…probably from the 1950’s.

 

Brian, do you think the building was an automobile service station as early as 1926 or 27?

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Thanks for pulling me out from under the bed!

 

It makes sense that it became the informal gas station early on, it was a perfect use for it.

 

All the photos posted here are beautiful but my heart stopped on the discussion of the possibly missing building. That's the Carroll Summit station, and a nice b/w photo card also exists of that. I'm glad to say I found it on Google Street view, which may mean it's still there. Image attached to help you locate it.

post-60-1237327889_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for pulling me out from under the bed!

 

It makes sense that it became the informal gas station early on, it was a perfect use for it.

 

All the photos posted here are beautiful but my heart stopped on the discussion of the possibly missing building. That's the Carroll Summit station, and a nice b/w photo card also exists of that. I'm glad to say I found it on Google Street view, which may mean it's still there. Image attached to help you locate it.

NV_Carroll_Butko.jpg

 

Brian,

 

Yah, a guy can't complain too much when his book is beside the bed....and for your info, it is now beside my easy chair!

 

I am delighted and surprised that the station is there in a street view. I did "scout" that exact location using both Google and Virtual Earth, but I don't have access to street level views in rural areas. How do you get those? (never mind...I upgraded my Google Earth and there they were...like magic!)

 

Thanks for the "come back!"

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Hey Dave,

I just remembered a trip I took across Nevada in 1964. I had a WWII 4x4 army ambulance. Drove north of Hwy 40

on dirt roads to Elko, dropped down to Eureka and headed back on old Hwy 50. Started out with two spare tires, near

Austin I had the third flat. Driving down Hwy 50 with a flat front tire, I drove by this gas station knowing they wouldn't have

a tire to fit the rig. Drove into Fallon on the rim and got a tire to make back to California.

 

So it was open in 1964.

 

I will be going by there the first week of next month.

 

Dale

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Hey Dave,

I just remembered a trip I took across Nevada in 1964. I had a WWII 4x4 army ambulance. Drove north of Hwy 40

on dirt roads to Elko, dropped down to Eureka and headed back on old Hwy 50. Started out with two spare tires, near

Austin I had the third flat. Driving down Hwy 50 with a flat front tire, I drove by this gas station knowing they wouldn't have

a tire to fit the rig. Drove into Fallon on the rim and got a tire to make back to California.

 

So it was open in 1964.

 

I will be going by there the first week of next month.

 

Dale

 

Dale,

 

Now there is a first hand report!!! :rolleyes:

 

Now that you have tipped your hand, do you recall anything at Frenchman's on the south side of the road about halfway between the station and Fallon? I stopped there a couple of years ago when only a pipe or two was left.

 

Looking forward to a report from your upcoming visit. Some guys have all the fun!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road

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Isn't the bar at Frechman's still there? Friends of mine would drink there with AF pilots

when they were M/C riding in the area. I remember Frenchman's in the 80's. I'll

see a friend that know all about the area soon and ask him about it.

 

Near Sand Mountain at Salt Wells there was a cat house.

 

 

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Hey Dave,

I talked to my friend who goes to Middlegate a lot.

 

He told me the the Navy bought Frenchmans a few year ago because it was

close to the bombing range and were afraid of it getting bombed.

 

Dale

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