Gas Stations of Conover

At one time gas stations (or filling stations as they were called
then) occupied three of the five corners in the center of Conover.

What follows is a pictorial history of the stations and garages that serviced the
"Tin-lizzies" and cars that were suddenly available to the public after World War II.



One of the first cars in Conover.



Henry "Hank" Hollar's Service Station, at the time, located at "5 Points."
Back then, it had a reputation as the local "watering hole."
The space is now occupied by Whitmire Painting (below).
[night photography by Elmer McRee-1950's]



Conover Cities Service, across the street, at "5 Points" from Hank Hollars station was leased by Olin Winters, Conover City Councilman. It later became the Phillips 76 station in the 60's and 70's operated by Hal Hollar. It resumed the distinction of the Conover "watering hole" until it was superceded by the present Pure Oil Station quick stop. [night photography by Elmer McRee-1950's]



The only old gas station, The Conover Pure Oil station is
the only one to continue in the same gas station business.



The Sinclair station of Jonas Hunsucker formed a triad of three gas stations at "5 corners." Jonas can be seen standing in front of Police Chief Harlan Sigmon's (personal and police) car. [photograph by Marshall Cline, late 1930's]


Hard to recognize today, the old Sinclair station is home
to Pappy's Cafe which caters to the breakfast crowd.



"Tommy" Rockett and L.A. Yount were partners with the local Shell station. It was located one block south of Hank Hollar's station and contained one of the first car washes in the county.
[photograph by Elmer McRee-1950's]



After receiving a stone veneer, the old gas station became
a locksmith shop. Today it is Cornerstone Motors.



Within a stone's throw of Tommy Rocket's Shell station was the Pure Oil station operated by Charlie Bolick and Hubert Bolick.
The railroad tracks were just across the street.



The Bolick Pure Oil Station has been occupied by several
businesses until 2004 when it became Conover Auto Sales.



Brown Transit, owned by former Conover mayor, Floyd Brown, Sr., was the major Shell Gasoline & Oil distributor in Western North Carolina. He also held contracts for North Carolina military bases. The pickup point was Wilmington, NC and the Charlotte depot at Steele Creek. This picture shows his fleet of Mack tankers.
[photograph by Elmer McRee-1952]

 



Lynwood Gantt was a mechanical genius, known by nearly everyone in Conover.
He worked for Ted Smyre but continued to own and operate his own garage.
He had never seen a diesel engine in his life but was able to repair
a train that broke down in Conover one afternoon.
He was known as an accomplished piano player and was fond of gospel music.


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Derick S. Hartshorn - 2008
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