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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Glen Allen in Henrico County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Courtney Road Service Station

The Birth of Modern Automotive Services

 
 
Courtney Road Service Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 15, 2009
1. Courtney Road Service Station Marker
Inscription. Before there were gas stations, motorists would get a drum of fuel from an industrial depot, bring it home, and store it. Soon after, consumers got their gasoline at the blacksmith shops and hardware and grocery stores. Still others received gasoline from horse drawn tanks that made house calls.

In the early 1900s, gas producers standardized their station designs to better package the image of their petroleum products. The “House with Canopy” design of the Henrico County gas station originated in 1916 with the prefabricated prototype by Standard Oil of Ohio. Eventually stations like the Courtney Road Service Station with the brick square shape with metal roof and brick piers became a very popular design in the mid-1920s.

The 1920s were the boom years for the construction of gas stations across the nation. The need for stations was due to an increase of cars, improved roads and a decrease in the cost of gasoline. In 1921, there were 12,000 stations operating and by 1929, there were 143,000. In 1919, 47 percent of the gasoline was sold by grocery stores, general stores and hardware stores; by 1929, gas and filling stations sold 91.7 percent of the gasoline produced.

The first known owner of the gas station property was the Peterson family in 1886. Next, the Leake and Beveridge families kept the
“House with Canopy” design gas station. image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 15, 2009
2. “House with Canopy” design gas station.
The “House with Canopy” design gas station was popularized in the mid-1920s, as shown in this Amoco station in Alleghany County, Virginia. Below, left, a typical station interior of the period.
property from 1900 until 1907. A group of families were next to own the property. By 1938, the Barlow family owned the gas station and all the surrounding acreage.

There are no records of the station operations until the summer of 1940 when it was listed in the Richmond and Vicinity Telephone Directory as a Texaco Station. It was called the Friendly Service Station and was owned by the Barlow family. The station closed in the 1960s.

The Wiltshire family operated the station for most of the years the Barlow family owned it. One local resident remembers his family stopping their Model T Ford for gas on the way to Virginia Randolph School along Mountain Road. The family had a running tab for services and paid it at the end of each month.
 
Erected by County of Henrico.
 
Location. 37° 40.259′ N, 77° 31.151′ W. Marker is in Glen Allen, Virginia, in Henrico County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Mountain Road and Courtney Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Glen Allen VA 23060, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Courtney Road Service Station (a few steps from this marker); Sheppard and Baker's Grant (about 700 feet
A typical station interior of the period. image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 15, 2009
3. A typical station interior of the period.
away, measured in a direct line); Meadow Farm (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Meadow Farm (approx. 0.4 miles away); Glen Allen Baptist Church (approx. 0.6 miles away); Box Car (approx. 0.6 miles away); Caboose (approx. 0.7 miles away); Mountain Road (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Glen Allen.
 
Also see . . .
1. Henrico Plaques. Henrico County Historic Preservation Roadside Marker & Building Plaque Programs (Submitted on November 15, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. Brookland District Historic Sites - Courtney Road Service Station. Henrico County Historical Society (Submitted on November 15, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. 20th CenturyIndustry & CommerceRoads & Vehicles
 
Courtney Road Service Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 15, 2009
4. Courtney Road Service Station Marker
Courtney Road Service Station image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 15, 2009
5. Courtney Road Service Station
Historic Preservation Building Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 15, 2009
6. Historic Preservation Building Plaque
17 Per Gallon image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 15, 2009
7. 17 Per Gallon
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 15, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,237 times since then and 68 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week January 10, 2010. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on November 15, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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