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Picturing the Past 116: Gas station in 1940

Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2011, at 1:26 PM

Tarpley's Service Station in 1940. (Contributed photo)
Thanks to Marzee Warren Horn via Tom McLean for this shot of a gas station/garage on North Main Street, across from Stewart-Potts Motors, around where the east end of the Bedford County Sheriff's Department is today. She thinks this photo was shot sometime around 1940.

Bayard Tarpley, father of a well-known attorney of the same name, operated the station.

What was the name of the street which ran beside the station? This would be in the same location as today's Lane Parkway.

So much of Shelbyville was rebuilt during the 1960s urban renewal years. I've seen aerial photos of Shelbyville in the 1950s and before but didn't get to walk those long-gone streets. It must have looked so different then.

Coming next week: Looking around in the 1960s-1970s files for something interesting.

Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog. Reader contributions are welcome.

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Cal t,I believe you are correct because when you observe the left side of the photo you can see the elevation level off at the railroad track...I believe this was the later site of a Pontiac Dealership and at on time in the early fifties of a Service/Wrecker Station operated by one of my relatives...Also, the Old Rock Jail that leeiii observed is too close for it to be at West Lane Street...

-- Posted by FlaDon on Mon, Jul 4, 2011, at 10:45 AM

FlaDon, I think you are correct about the tractor dealer being in the big building across from Stewart- Potts, so it looks like this gas station was just below where the railroad crossed Main,then the house on the right,then the yard where equipment was displayed, then the big building, then something else between there and the corner of W.Lane. I don't know when the dealership went in, but I was on Main headed South in about 1958- 60 when there was a massive explosion in the building that blew the front of the building out into Main followed by a ball of fire. After that Parker and Hornaday?? opened a new business on Madison just past the tracks on the right.

-- Posted by Cal t on Thu, Jun 30, 2011, at 11:12 AM

My Father went to work for Stewart-Potts in about 1941 or 42...I was born in 1938 so I don't remember much before 1943-44 but I am sure Tune Tractor Company occupied that property during WWII...I believe they sold Ford and John Deere Tractors.. If someone can date Tune Tractor Co. maybe we can better date the photo...

-- Posted by FlaDon on Wed, Jun 29, 2011, at 3:29 PM

Is this the Texaco station shown in the Pictorial History of Bedford County 1994 page 65?

That would put it far enough toward the square to have the old jail in the right background.

-- Posted by Cal t on Tue, Jun 28, 2011, at 8:59 PM

It appears to me that I can see a portion of the old Rock Jailhouse between the right corner of the service station and along the roof line of the house next door.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Jun 28, 2011, at 4:10 PM

David, from the way you have described it I believe that the street would be West Lane Street. In my memory I can not remember this station, but of course I was born in 1939 so this would have been before we moved to town.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Jun 28, 2011, at 4:07 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.