Craig’s early gas stations |

Craig’s early gas stations

The small brick station on the southeast corner of East Victory Way and Yampa Avenue was built in the summer of 1921. It was torn down in 1931 to make way for its modern replacement, which was torn down more than 30 years ago. Today, the site is a parking lot. The event taking place in the intersection in this 1926 photograph was the dedication to mark the completion of the new Texaco refinery located just west of Craig.

With the dramatic decline in gas prices during the past several months after record highs this summer, a fill up doesn’t seem to hurt nearly so bad, at least for awhile.

It seemed a review of Craig’s historic filling stations might be in order.

With the dramatic increase in vehicle ownership around World War I, one of the first things to appear were the old-fashioned gas hand pumps. They usually appeared around garages and sometimes near livery stables, which were fast becoming a thing of the past.

The first buildings to be constructed for filling stations began to appear in the late teens or early 1920s. They, too, were usually short-lived, as they were replaced by the modern stations of the 1930s and ’40s.

Today, the oldest service station structure in Craig is the old Oriental station built in 1937. Today, it is the home to Smoker Friendly at 40 E. Victory Way. A 1946 photo of the station shows the price was 17.9 cents per gallon.