Lincoln Highway

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About This Site

Lovejoy Novelty Works, 412-414 S. Second Street, Laramie.

For discussion and photos of Laramie, see Laramie.

Note: under the "Garage" sign is another sign, "Ladies Rest Room." Prior to the end of World War I, the principal places for obtaining gasoline were automobile dealers and hardware stores each with hand operated pumps in front. In Laramie the Lovejoy Novelty Works, owned by Elmer Lovejoy was one such place. Lovejoy as indicated by the sign was an agent for Franklin. He was also an agent for Studebaker. Guide books to the Lincoln Highway could also be obtained from Lovejoy. Another garage that had special facilities for ladies was the Oldsmobile and Reo dealer Bath Motor Co., locatedat the intersection of 3rd and Custer. Bath advertised that it had Ladies' Rest Rooms with Cictrola, Bath, Latest Magazines, Easy Chairs and Lounge.. Indeed, until after World War II several auto dealers continued to sell gasoline. Another auto agency was the Laramie Auto Company.

End wall of Lovejoy Novelty Works, showing Lovejoy's bicycle shop and an adjacent grocery store. .

By the early 1920's Besides Lovejoy and Bath, other prominent dealers were Laramie Auto Co. (Ford) at 419-421 S. 2nd Street, Frazer's Garage (Dodge Brothers) at 206 S. 2nd Street, Oakland Garage (Oakland) at 309 2nd Street, Will Goodale Garage (Hudson and Essex) at 212-14 Grand Ave, and the West Side Garage (Saxon Six, Paige, Jordan and Scripps-Booth cars) at 308 2nd Street.

Lady taking delivery of new 1917 Ford Model T Touring Car. .

The car cost $360.00. It marked the declining era of brass. The only brass on the car was the radiator filler and the hubcaps. New for 1917, the radiator was finished in black enamel and the car came equipped with an electic horn activated by a button on the steering column below the steering wheel. Through the showroom window may be seen a four-door, seven passenger Model T Town Car which cost $595.00.

West Side Garage, approx. 1930. .

By the time of the above photograph the manufacture of mmost of the cars sold by the West Side Garage had been discontinued. Scripps-Booth controlled by Chevrolet was discontinued in 1922 and Saxon in 1923. Paige was acquired by the Graham Brothers in 1927 and the use of the name was discontinued in 1930. Following World War II, Graham-Paige built Frazier cars for a short period of time before its automotive assets were acquired by Kaiser-Frazier which in turn later became part of American Motors and subsequently Chrysler. The non-automotive part of Graham-Paige changed its name to Madison Square Garden Corporation and is now a part of Viacom. Jordan discontinued production in 1931 when its manufacture of a small luxury car flopped.

In the early 1920's on the Lincoln Highway the danger of running out of fuel was real. The 1918 Lincoln Highway Association, "Complete Official Guide" warned, "Don't wait until your gasoline is almost gone before filling up. There might be a delay, or it might not be obtainable at the next point you figured on. Always fill your tank at every point gasoline can be secured, no matter how little you have used from your previous supply." A writer for the Engineering News-Record, Vol 89, No. 6, p 234, 1922, ran out of gas returning from a visit to a new "dipping tank" installed by Senator Warren, learned the hard way. He wrote:

For cross-country cruising one needs more than a sense of direction. A tar-bucket memory as to the formation of prairie-dog villages and sage-brush clumps is a much better guide. There is a limit to the number of miles per gas-tank measure one may drive even a Dodge on so good a road as the disintegrated gravel of Sherman Hill. When the last ounce of gas had been drawn through the carburetor Mr. Warrington comforted me with the remark that statistics indicated that a car passed over this portion of the Lincoln Highway every 22 minutes. Thirty minutes after this observation a young rancher armed to the teeth against road robbers pulled up behind us and cautiously made friends. Ultimately, however, he generously drained a gallon of gasoline from his flivver tank into a milk can top which he poured successfully into our tank through a funnel improvised out of an Engineering News-Record envelope.

After crossing Spring Creek, one proceeded west along Grand Ave several miles into Laramie. Near the University of Wyommng, Grand Avenue was a graded residential street. In Laramie, according to the 1916 Official Road Guide to the Lincoln Highway, one had a choice of routes west. One could continue on the Lincoln Highway west on Grand Avenue and at the Connor Hotel, turn north on 3rd Street, thence proceed north across the Laramie River near Bosler, 18 miles to the northwest. Alternatively, one could take an 18-mile shorter, more direct, route to Elk Mountain. The only difficulty with the more direct route was that one would have to open [and close] 32 gates along the way.

Hotel Connor, Northeast corner of Grand Ave.and Third Street, approx 1922.

To the left of the hotel is the Opera House with a sign on front. See next photo. The brick canopy on the right side of the photo of the Connor Hotel is that of an Aero service station. Later it became a Texaco Station. The steeple is that of St. Matthews Episcopal Cathedral.

Root's Opera House, undated.

The tall building on the right of the Opera House is the Connor Hotel. Prior to 1920 3rd Street was primarily residential. Following the end of World War I and improvements to the Lincoln Highway,increased traffic made Laramie an ideal spot to fill up on gasoline. In 1916, according to the Lincoln Highway Association Guide, there were only three garages in Laramie and not all necessarily sold gasoline. Indeed, between Laramie and Rawlins, according to the Guide, there were only three garages, one each in Bosler, Rock River, and Medicine Bow. By 1920, gas stations began to be built. In 1920, the first modern filling or service station was the "University Filling Station" owned by Hammond and Rebhausen opened at 100 S. 3rd Street.

University Filling Station operated by Oscar Hammond

Initially, the station sold "Powerine" gasoline and "Autokrat" oils and greases marketing by an arm of the Denver Powerine Company. Powerine marketed petroleum products refined by others including Parco. As a brand it ultimately following 1945 became a part of Enco/Exxon. It "Bearcat" logo ultimately transmorphed, according to some, into "Tony the Tiger." Note the "US 30" sign on the corner which can help date the photo.

By 1922,Wood's Coal and Oil Company opened a station across the street from the University Station at the corner of University and 3rd.

Wood's Coal and Oil filling Station.

Note the Opaline sign. Opaline was a brand name for its oil and lubrication grease.Sinclair acquired the brand mame when it bought the Cudahy Refining Co. of Kansas.

Other oil compannies opened stations in Laramie including "Aero" at 5th and Grand, "Chief" at 3rd and Ivenson, and a "Calso" station.

Attendant checking oil at Aero Service Station, SW corner of 5th and Grand, approx 1924. .

As in Cheyenne, Casper and Cody the City offered free camp grounds for tourists. The sign gave directions to the campgrounds. Behind the station there was a grease rack.

Grease Rack behind Aero Station. Approx. 1924.

Aero Oil Company was primarily a distrbutor of gasoline. Leslie A. Miller (1886-1970) was president of Aero. He later served as governor of the state from 1933 to 1939. In 1927, Miller sold his interest in the company. Two years later he founded the Chief Oil Company.

Aero Gasoline Tank Truck at Aero Station. approx 1924.

The Aero gas station building depicted above has not been razed. It has been converted into a tanning parlor. Several automobile dealers continued to sell gasoline up until World War II.

Breazeal Motor Company, 651 N. 3rd Street, approx 1939.

Breazeal sold Studebaker, Willys and International Harvester. Later it became Bovee Motor Company. Today the 3rd Street side is a carpet emporium. On the Flint Street side there were service bays. Several now house a take-out and delivery pizza store.

Socony-Vacuum Station, 201 S. 3rd Street, approx 1936.

The station is now gone. Its site as of 2018 is occupied by Les' Auto Repair.

Next: Bosler and Rock River.