1025 W. Shiawassee (CADL/FPLA)
Many times, when I am out walking my dog I see something interesting, on one of those walks I noticed the base for a light pole or a sign on the lot located at the southeast corner of West Shiawassee and MLK. So, you know I just had to check out what was once located on the lot. Turns out it was a gas station. I was amazed a gas station on a lot that small. It was Morden Station #8. The Moden Oil Company was established in January of 1924 by Leigh E. Morden. Leigh had sold his interested in a general merchandise business in Deckerville, Michigan in late 1923 and moved to Lansing where he installed storage tanks at the site of the Campbell Coal and Oil Company at 1833 S. Washington Avenue in April of 1924, for the storage of Indiana Oil. Just a few months later Leigh open his first service station on West North Street. The company grew and franchised several service stations in the Lansing area. The one at 1025 W. Shiawassee was owned by C. Darl Hook for 28 Years. There is much more to the Morden Oil Company which I hope to track down over the next few years and expand on this post. (See the LSJ 1/17/1924, 4/21/1924, 7/26/1924 and 9/29/1972)
My first impression of the service station is wow! The Spanish style tile roof with the large terracotta roof finials at the center ridge of the structure and at each corner, lend a certain far eastern element to the building. Yes, I know, red terracotta roof tiles and the far east, but hey I know what I see. What is also remarkable is the size of the station. Compare it to the new Speedway station on North Cedar and you see what I mean. Back then you could get oil, gas, tires and a pop, plus they would pump the gas for you. Today you can get gas, oil, pizza, gourmet coffee, hamburgers, you name it. But you must pump your own gas and forget about tires and questions about the knocking you heard. Are we better off? Wait, one more thing, you probably knew the owner. Why? Because he was the one who pumped your gas!
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