Photo of The Month – Jun 2011
Big Oil, Back Then
Picture contributor: Joey Cargill
Long before the days when supertanker spills bespoiled the oceans, Standard Oil’s brand in our neck of the woods was known as “Esso” (later Exxon). And little filling stations like this one in Avondale dotted the Southern landscape.
Built in the ’20s or ’30s in the little triangular nook beside the building on the “Corner,” which was variously known as Henrietta Store #1, the Haynes Bank, and a few other things, it was a convenient stop-in for many a motorist on his way to and from Forest City.
It was sent to us by Joey Cargill, son of John and the late Perri Dene Davis Cargill. Joey, who made the photo in 1997, is an architect in Winston-Salem.
John Cargill remembers that these men ran the business, in this order: Skinny Harrill, George McSwain, and Yates DeBrule.
And this from Phillip White:
This picture was taken after the lub/wash bay was torn off. The bay was attached at the right and protruded at an angle, out toward the highway. This unusual angle was necessary because the railroad track to Henrietta Mill ran right behind this station.
Both buildings were purchased by Eddie Holland and torn down because of severe deterioration and roof leakage. On the top right corner above the white door was a small 2-foot oval on which was painted the Esso logo. Eddie had this sign sawed out and has it in his furniture store built on the site.
Do you have any information about this old landmark? Send it in and we’ll share it with the world.
Did you know? “Esso” is the phonetic pronunciation of the letters “S” and “O,” the initials of Standard Oil.