Friday is a Gas: Lion Stations c.1940

I’m not very familiar with Lion brand gasoline.  Established in Arkansas during 1922, Lion Oil is still around in the refinery and asphalt products business, but I don’t believe they have branded stations any longer.  Between 1985 and 2011, Lion was based in Jackson, Mississippi.  Their website has some neat old photographs and a brief history section too.  I’m not sure when they got out of the service station business, but according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, Lion Oil moved into direct gasoline sales in 1929.  Here are some of the stations related to those direct sales.

Lion brand service station. Leland, Washington County, Mississippi. Image from Google Streetview Accessed 7-24-17

This pink colored station in the photo above is identified as a Lion brand service station in the Leland Historic District National Register nomination.  It does not appear on the Leland, Mississippi 1940 Sanborn Insurance Maps.  The hipped roof appears to be the only change on this otherwise nicely intact station.

Lion brand service station. Webb, Tallahatchie County, Mississippi. Image from Google Streetview Accessed 7-24-17

According to Sanborn Insurance Maps, the station in Webb, Mississippi seen in the photo above replaced what may have been an earlier building that was adapted to be a one part commercial block service station.  This station is a little worse for wear having lost its canopy, and its service bays have received some unsympathetic updates.

Since the Lion brand service stations are not part of the TxDOT guide, I’ll describe these stations with some help from the Leland Historic District National Register nomination.

  • One-story
  • brick, or block with stucco exterior finish.
  • rectangularly-massed,
  • central projecting bay with Deco-detailed, multi-light windows and door, “stepped” flanking Deco parapets.
  • Art Deco style
  • has flat-roof
  • shelter over former pump area,
  • two vents directly above centered entryway
  • door and window openings are stepped at their top.

The National Register nomination identifies this station as being Art Deco;  I think its more on the side of Art Moderne.  What do you think?

The website identifies two similar stations in Arkansas.

Did you enjoy this post on a Mississippi Gas Station? Consider checking out these other “Friday is a Gas” posts.

Categories: Asides, Building Types, Historic Preservation, Leland


5 replies

  1. I think deco. Those parapets are almost fan-shaped in that iconic deco way. If it were moderne, I think we would see more horizontal details with curves rather than those vertical “fans.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good point about seeing more curves. I suppose the vertical projections should be the determining factor of this being a deco building, but I have some reservations still due to the lack of decorative motif or patterns. Certainly safe to call it a building that is transitioning between styles.


  2. Here is a recent film photograph of the station in Webb. It looked unused as of Feb. 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Scroll down…READ TOO…to the Dockery Farms Service Station. It is (or was) LION branded.


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