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Old 09-04-2011, 08:10 AM   #1
Harms Way
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Question 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

(*Please note: By suggestion, I am moving this here as I posted it on the HAMB)


Alright,... Heres the deal,... For 12 years I keep driving past this ancient Gas station, its in northern Mi.... It's tiny, run down, in really questionable shape,... But it's a real, honest to goodness gas station, that is rumored to have been built in the 1920's.

A very old man in town said his father had his new Model A serviced there when he was just a little boy. This thing is older than dirt,.. In fact, it originally had dirt floors, and somewhere along the way, somebody had a cement floor poured inside it,... 2" away from the walls all the way around !

Nobody remembers what kind of station it was,.. somebody said it was one of those obscure brands that nobody remembers now. But one thing is for sure,.. It was named "The Ogemaw Station". And it had a drive on pit on the side of the building to the left. (Now filled in, with a flower bed there).

In all these years, I never seen it open, or anybody around it,.. I was just satisfied to see the old girl still standing,.. And think of all the cars back in the day, when this was the only road to get to Northern Michigan, that would stop there for gas,......

Well today as I drove past, the door was open and two men were sweeping it out and getting junk out of it,... I stopped and introduced myself,.. Asked them about the old station,.. and they pretty much echoed everything I knew about it. But I did notice on each gable it says "The Ogemaw Station",...The one man owned it (It came with the land he bought) , the other was his father.

I asked him if he was going to restore it,... He gave me a funny look and said,... No, in fact, I think were going to tear it down.... I asked when, he said he hoped to do it sometime before the snow falls. I asked him if he would be willing to give it away if somebody took it down and cleaned up the spot where it sat. He said No, I have had problems doing something like that before.

So I asked him if somebody would be willing to buy it and sign a liability waver,.. would he consider that ?,... He thought about it for a while, and said,... Yeah,... but he would still want the spot cleaned up and a liability waver signed,... And I am guessing the price would be CHEAP!

So here we go,.... Now this guy doesn't want any "yahoos, dreamers, or strokes" ( his words) to contact him. but if you are truly and honestly interested, P.M. me,... And I will see about getting you in contact with this guy,.....

Would it be easier to build a "new" 1920's Gas Station ?,.... Oh yeah !,.. without a doubt,... But,... This is the actual real deal !,... There is no telling what was worked on there, what was pulled up in front of it getting gas,..as I stood inside it and thought to myself "If these walls could talk,.. we could listen for years,..." I would hate to see it turned into bonfire wood,...

Before you ask,... I already saved one old Gas Station,... And I have way to much on my plate,..... If your 100% serious, dedicated and positive you would carry through on the task,... Please contact me. Heres your chance to save a true part of Auto Americana.







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Old 09-04-2011, 09:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed Delema

I'm assuming its in Ogemaw Co somewhere? Where at? I'm originally from West Branch...

And while that would be nostalgic, there are no defining features to call it out as a gas or service station, just looks like a shed, and if someone wanted something like that, you'd probably be way ahead by getting measurements and pictures and starting over.
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed Delema

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I'm assuming its in Ogemaw Co somewhere? Where at? I'm originally from West Branch...

And while that would be nostalgic, there are no defining features to call it out as a gas or service station, just looks like a shed, and if someone wanted something like that, you'd probably be way ahead by getting measurements and pictures and starting over.
It's on old 76 just outside of West Branch,.. If memory serves me right, in the 1920's and into the 1930's there were a lot of Gas Stations that followed no specific criteria in Architecture, Everybody in the area remembers it as a Gas Station,.. As well as "The Alger Market" in Alger,.. It says "The Ogemaw Station" on the all the gables under asbestos siding,.. and the pit was clearly viable for a number of years. but now, covered up. Collectively, that information is good enough for me.

If you read my entire post, I made mention it would be easier to built a NEW one,... But you just cant buy history at any price,... I had started a post here before about a 1937 Mobil Station I had bought and am using as a shop,.. It was the same type of clinical attitude that made me ask the administrator to take it down. maybe I should leave this sight to all you "experts".
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed Delema

if i ever had an opportunity like this in my state, i would and could as long as the skeleton is in fair condition. MI is too far. -- the defining features that is lacks as a service station is small detail.
-- it would be cool for a local person to relocate this building on nearby property ..people would be impressed with that person's ambition and resourcefulness.. perhaps even jealous.
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed Delema

Good luck Harms, if that thing were closer it would become a work bay on my shop in a hurry. I have done a fair amount of salvage and understand this is more a labor of love than anything. Cool lillte building!
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed Delema

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Originally Posted by Harms Way View Post
It's on old 76 just outside of West Branch,.. If memory serves me right, in the 1920's and into the 1930's there were a lot of Gas Stations that followed no specific criteria in Architecture, Everybody in the area remembers it as a Gas Station,.. As well as "The Alger Market" in Alger,.. It says "The Ogemaw Station" on the all the gables under asbestos siding,.. and the pit was clearly viable for a number of years. but now, covered up. Collectively, that information is good enough for me.

If you read my entire post, I made mention it would be easier to built a NEW one,... But you just cant buy history at any price,... I had started a post here before about a 1937 Mobil Station I had bought and am using as a shop,.. It was the same type of clinical attitude that made me ask the administrator to take it down. maybe I should leave this sight to all you "experts".
where abouts on old 76? i live in WB.just sittin here think it's not even a mile out of town? east side of the road?
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed Delema

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where abouts on old 76? i live in WB.just sittin here think it's not even a mile out of town? east side of the road?
If I remember right, its at flowage lk. & 76, right across the street from the other old gas station building that now sells garage doors (was a used tire store) . Where in WB are you ?
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed Delema

I found it on google maps:

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Old 09-04-2011, 11:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed Delema

Stuart,.... thats cool,.. and scary,....
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed Delema

Harms Way thanks for posting this. Don't let one negative post ruin this thread. This is the type of stuff I like. I lived in Traverse City for four years and saved an old shed that was being used as a beach toy rental office? It was on the beach for years and was going to be torn down when they re-built the hotel it was at. I stopped by and asked them about it and got it for $100. What a pain to remove and re-install it in our yard but man it was cool. Had years of kids writing stuff on the walls on the inside and just had that beach fill to it. If I was still in Michigan that old garage would be finding its way to my yard. That would be the perfect MIL cabin just how it sits. (MIL would not like it and would not visit)
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:44 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed Delema

ah yes, at the corner of flowage lake rd. been seein that for 20+ years i've been up here.
i saw go for it! youll have fun doin it.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:22 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed Delema

cant believe you are trying to save that, throw a match on it, its worthless
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:19 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

Wonder what a property title search would show up - maybe someone famous owned it at one point.

The actual condition of the wood in the building - could have a significant impact on the value of the building as well. Might - just might - be worth buying to resell the wood.

FWIW,
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

I'm all about saving old stuff...but not feeling this at all.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:49 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

Hey hey westbranch where I was born and raised
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

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I'm all about saving old stuff...but not feeling this at all.

I have to agree. If someone can do it my hat is off to them. It looks too far gone unfortunately.
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:05 AM   #17
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

what a neat and interesting project.pretty cool
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:34 AM   #18
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

Wow, you guys amaze me....No vision. I could make money just selling the wood.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:10 AM   #19
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

if anything, you could salvage some parts of it ( the siding on the one side doesnt look too bad) and use it in a new structure. i worked out in tawas building condos right next to the coast guard station. the builder bought the property with the stipulation that the original coast guard station, built in the mid 1800's, had to me moved and rebuilt to its original look, which required some remodeling. i saved a lot of the wood from it and used it to build different stuff with it, one being log cabin table lamps. with a description of where the wood came from, i sold 17 lamps for $175/each. so theres another idea for ya with the wood.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:02 AM   #20
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

"Service Station" maybe, buggy/ carriage shop possibly,but it could have been a school house first for all we can tell?

I respect your idea, but I really dont see anything that screams historical value here, did you check with any kind of historical registry/society?
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:33 AM   #21
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

take it apart and salvage the lumber..scan the boards and run them thru a plainer, or leave them as is..then, put it back together on your property.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:40 AM   #22
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

I see that around here ALL THE TIME! There's some old, beat up house or building, and all of a sudden there's a bulldozer and backhoe knocking it down to make way for a condo or store or something. I wish I had the resources to save old buildings and houses, but I guess it's what some people would call "progress".
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:12 PM   #23
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

Well guys,..

#1. I own a curved front, 3 Bay, 1937 Mobil Service Station now, And I have way to much on my plate to take this project on.

#2. Regardless of what any of you think or say,...Yes this was an old gas station, and years ago there were 1 room cabins behind it, As well as the owners House. I found this out this morning from one of the people at the historical society. ( so now, I am trying to help them find a way to preserve it, As they gather more information and look for possible photographs)

To those that have encouraged preservation of this lil' piece of Americana,... Thanks, you get it!,... To the naysayers,.. I thought this board was all about authentic automotive traditional structures,.. that stood the test of time,... I guess I was wrong.

Maybe the years I worked at Greenfield Village/ Henry Ford Museum- "The Edison Institute" Is what made me see historical value in this little Gas Station, As I have seen far worse preserved, conserved & as a last effort, restored.

This thread is ending not unlike the last thread I tried to share with you all,... Thanks for the education.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:38 PM   #24
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

Harms way that sucks. Good luck with the preservation. Whether it started out as a gas station or not, I hope you can help save it.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:20 AM   #25
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

I would LOVE to having something like that for a wood shop. For ME, it's a little small to be a hot rod shop, but that's because I've got too many projects and too much junque. (that's high-class junk).

The exterior LOOKS rough, and I'm surprised so many guys on here can't get past aesthetics. Then again, there are a lot of tool polishers and tool box waxers on this board, so it shouldn't be too surprising.

I'd bet that at least 75 percent of that wood is salvageable. I'm talking the wall studs and exterior boards.
That building would look GREAT with a metal roof on it.

The upstairs would make a great guest room or office. Or storage, if you don't have enough.

I say go for it if you've got the resources.

You know, if nothing else, parts of that building could be salvaged by someone who has a BIG metal building shop, and use it for interior walls to make different rooms.

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Old 09-06-2011, 08:48 AM   #26
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

damn guys.........I see that only a few would "step up" to the challenge....some are not sure of it's origins.....hell...Ray Charles could see it was a gas station....look at the clues.....the history.....the aura it gives off......walk inside and step back in time....feel the moment.....

We are losing history every day due to "progress" . I salute the visionary that steps up and saves this one. Harms Way...I love your Mobil station...totally badass !

Ok...for a few of you...continue to buff your Bonney's.. (I like Bonney tools by the way)
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:20 AM   #27
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

Harms Way - the Naysayers have their opinions and they're entitled to express them. Doesn't make them right or wrong, certainly no reason to let them annoy you. Really hope you can get it saved. I'd love to buy and restore this little beauty but the owner won't sell, or restore it:
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:00 PM   #28
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

It turns out it was built in the 30's, Originally called "The Gables",The people had cabins they rented out, And they sold "DX" Gas,... There was a repair pit to the left side of the station outside where they did oil changes and some repairs,.... After WWII They sold gas from Theisen-Clemens.

Well there you go guys,... And to all the naysayers and self proclaimed experts, "put that in your pipe and smoke it."

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Old 02-10-2012, 11:04 PM   #29
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

That's very cool! HW - if no one steps up to save it you should consider cutting out the "Ogemaw Station" siding and preserving that. Either way, thanks for posting this. Oh, and I'd love to see pics of your Mobil station.
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:50 AM   #30
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

wow thats awesome! if only i was closer and wasnt already restoring a station lol if they do end up tearing it down that front siding with the name painted on. id love to have it! im sure id get into a bidding war with someone tho.
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:40 AM   #31
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

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To those that have encouraged preservation of this lil' piece of Americana,... Thanks, you get it!,... To the naysayers,.. I thought this board was all about authentic automotive traditional structures,.. that stood the test of time,... I guess I was wrong.
No you're right, the naysayers are on the wrong board
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:51 AM   #32
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Harms Way - the Naysayers have their opinions and they're entitled to express them. Doesn't make them right or wrong, certainly no reason to let them annoy you. Really hope you can get it saved. I'd love to buy and restore this little beauty but the owner won't sell, or restore it:
Thats a shame, a real bit of history going to waste and not long with how climate in that condition that was my 1st car right there Imp Sport (well according to the engine cover) 19sec quarter mile and did that thing handle, even on three wheels occasionally
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:56 AM   #33
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

Yep, you're right. 1972 Sunbeam Imp Sport - currently off the road awaiting a new steering rack before the 2012 season of events.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:03 AM   #34
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

I don't know how I missed this thread earlier. That's a great story you've been researching. I hope the building was saved. We've been through the same process of watching- wondering - approaching owners - being rejected -people naysaying - encouragement- successful purchase - restoration - gathering history. The town is now extremely grateful and some people still think we're crazy. But, so what? If you had a dream and made it happen, that's all that counts!

Cool vintage pictures, by the way.

Chris (aka markviii of the Restored 1930's Auto Shop thread)
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:07 AM   #35
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

you know you said the concrete floor was inside of the walls by a few inches. i bet what really happened is the walls started moving away from the concrete, and at one time it was flush. same thing happened to my grandparents old 1920s garage that had a slab poured later.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:23 AM   #36
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

Might be a little small for a shop by todays standards, but that would make one cool ass storage shed for the all the "I will get to it someday" parts.

GL in the hunt to find someone willing to take this on.
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:05 AM   #37
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

thats because it was just really a gas station, and maybe a oil change or tire change or belt ect. its not a "service station" its a "gas station".
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:20 AM   #38
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Default Re: 1920's Gas Station "The Ogemaw Station" Might be destroyed dilemma

Sadly, we're seeing more and more of this sort of stuff go away.

I'm amazed that the National Mine General Store is still standing up in Marquette County.

One used to be able to have a camp with little more than four walls and a tar paper roof, now the damned building departments are even requiring running water.
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