Posts Tagged ‘vintage gas station’

Duarte's Lincoln Highway Garage owner passes

December 15, 2011

Mike Kaelin of Tracy, Calif., sends word that Francis (Frank) H. Duarte, 96, passed away on Nov. 22, 2011. He was the last business owner of the iconic Duarte’s Lincoln Highway Garage in Livermore. Frank was born in 1915, the year of the Pan-Pacific International Expo in San Francisco, a prime destination that year for Lincoln Highway travelers. Coincidently, the California LHA Chapter is planning its Winter meeting at Duarte’s Garage on Jan. 7, 2012.

Frank had bought and managed Duarte’s Garage after his discharge from the Army Air Corps in 1945. he had already worked there for his father, Frank, since 1934, then enlisted as an aircraft mechanic in 1939. He is survived by two nieces. Services on Dec. 14 were private, and Frank was interred at St.Michael Cemetery in Livermore. Donations in his name may be made to the Duarte Garage Museum, now operated by the Livermore Heritage Guild. Learn more about the garage and museum at

20 years ago, George Preston took LH to Tonight

March 23, 2010

Van & Bev Becker of Iowa sent a reminder that it was 20 years ago today that George Preston appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to tell some of his endless stores about the Lincoln Highway.

The March 20 Cedar Rapids Gazette mentioned it in the “Times of Our Lives” column by Jim DeLong, along with the above photo by Drake Hokanson:

20 years ago: 1990
March 23: Belle Plaine resident George Preston said he was treated “just like the President of the United States” when he appeared on the “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson.

Known for his entertaining stories of the Lincoln Highway, the 79-year-old Belle Plaine native at one time operated a gas station on the highway adorned with advertising signs from the 1920s and 1930s.

2009 Iowa Lincoln Highway tour set for August

December 29, 2008

The 2nd Annual Iowa Lincoln Highway Motor Tour has been set for August 28-30, 2009. Featured stops along the west-to-east tour will include Desoto Bend, Carroll, Jefferson, Boone, Nevada, Marshalltown, Tama, Youngville, Cedar Rapids, Mechanicsville, Lowden, and Clinton.


ABOVE: George Preston’s station, Belle Plaine. Photo from the Iowa Lincoln Highway Association site, by Bryan Osberg, Urbandale, Iowa.

The tour is open to any make and model car, though a good many classics show up too. Registration is $20 per vehicle for Iowa LHA members or $30 per vehicle for non-members (includes a 1-year membership to the Iowa LHA) Click HERE for the registation form. For more information, contact Iowa LH Road Run coordinator Jeff LaFollette at

Deco station a twin to Dunkle's Gulf in Bedford

December 10, 2008

Postcard expert Russell Rein picked up a 1930s postcard that shows a station near Asbury Park, New Jersey, that’s very similar to the well-known Dunkle’s Gulf along the Lincoln Highway in Bedford, Pennsylvania. Dunkle’s is a popular stop and an extremely rare survivor from that era — and they still pump gas!



Though it’s known that others were made in this c. 1930 style, no others are known to have survived. By the look of the Google satellite view, the one in New Jersey is gone too.


Iowa Motor Tour cruises cross-state to success

August 13, 2008

Judging by the glowing follow-up newspaper stores, the 2008 River to River Motor Tour sponsored by the Iowa Lincoln Highway Association was a big success. The 3-day tour started Friday morning in Clinton and crossed the state, ending Sunday afternoon at Missouri Valley. Tour director Jeff LaFollette said there were 55 vehicles and about 110 people in the caravan as it moved west.

Two photos from Colo City Clerk Scott Berka show tour-goers at Reed/Niland Corners, home to a restored cafe, gas station, and motel. The café had pie and coffee for the travelers on Saturday. The view of the gas station shows LaFollette (in blue shirt) giving instructions by microphone. The second shows the road behind the complex lined with vintage vehicles. CLICK them to see LARGER:

Both The [Ames] Tribune and the Cedar Valley Daily Times ran stories about the tour; here’s a screen shot from CVDT:

Shady Bend to reopen with food & drinks

July 25, 2008

The Grand Island Independent reports that Shady Bend, a popular Lincoln Highway attraction on the east end of Grand Island, Nebraska, is being partially revived.

The mostly-cleared site has been bought by Craig Woodward, a grandson of founder H.O. Woodward. All that remains from the once-thriving site at US 30 and Shady Bend Road is the former Spanish-Revival gas station, which has been a tavern in recent decades. Still, the Shady Bend Gas Station, Grocery and Diner is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and so Woodward, his wife Karen, and their daughter Jennifer Drapel are working to reopen the bar and restaurant. The business was started in 1929 and grew to include gas, food, and lodging in more than 30 tourist cabins, but the most famous of its attractions was a buffalo herd:

“I grew up thinking that everyone had buffalo in their yard,” Craig said.

He soon realized his grandfather and father’s diner was more than the average family business.

“Everyone I run into is excited to bring this place back,” he said. “They remember the buffalo, they remember eating there and hanging out there.”

For the past few years, the Shady Bend has been rented or vacant. Craig took sole ownership at the beginning of the year.

“We truly would like to have a gathering place again,” he said.

The state LHA newsletter “Linc” Across Nebraska has an in-depth story on it in its July 2008 issue by Lenore Stubblefield, who also provided the top image. She recalls a playground, sandy beach lake, tile tennis courts, and the restaurant’s most expensive meal, a T-bone stteak for 65¢. The cabins (later apartments) closed in 1981, The station was luckily spared in 1994 and 2004 road widenings, and will again be serving travelers.