I had planned for a post on this station later in the Friday is a Gas series, but due to the tornado damage this building suffered last Friday, I thought it might be good to highlight it in hopes of its restoration. This station with three bays and an attached canopy is residential-like in scale with a long, low form that suggests Ranch Style influences. It was built as an Exxon service station c.1960-c.1970. The Jackson County land records give this station a c.1974 construction date.
The TxDOT Field Guide to Gas Stations in Texas describes this as ‘Ranch House [style] with Canopy’. The Shell Oil Company was the first to introduce a Ranch style gas station in 1960 at Millbrae, California. The design type soon spread across the United States being implemented by several different companies. Ranch-style gas stations presented a more residential character that blended in with residential neighborhoods of the postwar housing boom. You might remember this was the same theory behind the Tudor & Period Revival Style stations similar to the Cities Service Stations c.1930 – c.1950. This residential design theory was rejected by some brands that embraced the Moderne & Modern Style “Icebox” Stations (1937-c.1955).
This specific station design was branded as Humble, Enco, Esso, or Exxon stations. Standard Oil of New Jersey with its subsidiary brands Humble, Enco (Energy Company) and Esso (phonetic version of the initials SO for Standard Oil) all went through a name change to Exxon that took effect January 1, 1973. This would jive with our c.1974 construction date and the information that our Pascagoula station was built as a Exxon. The 2016 TxDOT Field Guide to Gas Stations in Texas further describes these Humble, Enco, Esso, and Exxon stations of the c.1960-c.1970 era as:
-Low-pitched, cross-gabled roof
-Brick (or sometimes stone) and wood exterior finishes
-Attached canopy is common but some lack canopy; still other examples have a second canopy projecting off the side of the office.
-Front-gabled roof over canopy is seamless extension of roof over main building
-Angled wall extends from rear of office and supports canopy (not visible in this example)
-Decorative beams extend from deep eaves
-Large fixed transoms in gable-end above service bays
What do you think? Do you have a similar Humble, Enco, Esso, Exxon station of this style in your neck of the woods?
Did you enjoy this post on a Mississippi Gas Station? Consider checking out these other “Friday is a Gas” posts.
- Friday is a Gas: Curbside Gas Pumps (c.1910-c.1925)
- Friday is a Gas: Gulf Gas Stations c.1920-c.1930
- Friday is a Gas: Pan Am/Amoco Stations c.1930-c.1940
- Friday is a Gas: Cities Service Stations c.1930 – c.1950
- Friday is a Gas: Teague & The Icebox (1937-c.1955)
- The Matawan Texacos of Mississippi (1965-c.1975)