Gas Stations Frozen in Time

Closed-down gas stations are an interesting thing. They fascinate me more than most defunct businesses because, unlike most others, you can generally still see the price of the various types of gasoline they offered just before their closure–for whatever reason, the big signs right outside the stations themselves aren’t usually taken down. To me, it’s really interesting to see precisely how much gas was going for when a given station went belly-up. This is even more true now that the price of gas is down a buck a gallon or so from its all-time high.

For instance, on Wolcott Road in Waterbury can be found the remnants of a gas station that was selling gas at $1.62/gallon when it closed. This seems ludicrously low nowadays, though it was bit less so for awhile after it shut down. My cousin and I noted that if it were open (Even when gas was at $2-something/gallon), the lines for it would surely be around the block. At the other end of the spectrum is a closed-down gas station somewhere between Southington and Naugatuck that was selling regular unleaded gas at $4.39/gallon when it closed. There’s a “CLOSED” sign outside of it and everything, which seems odd now–why would anyone pay that much for gas nowadays?


    • James on October 13, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Hey– I responded to this a bit in my blog– I remember that gas station. I still laugh when I read my notes from my book, written in 2006: GAS $2.42 UNBELIEVABLE!!

    The cheapest I’ve seen gas in my lifetime was 82 cents a gallon in Virginia around 1997. In the northeast, there was a few pockets of 99 cents a gallon, but I always think about it being $1.29. When I was in high school, I regularly put in the amount of change I had in my car, so 85 cents of gas wasn’t that unusual for me :)

    • emptyeye on October 14, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    I think the cheapest I ever remember gas being was something like $1.11/gallon. For some reason, I remember the price of Ultra gasoline (I think I remember it being $1.45/gallon at its cheapest) than I do regular unleaded. Probably had to do with the fact that that was what the Bonneville took.

    Incidentally, it appears as though the numbers on that $1.62/gallon sign have been taken down, though the sign itself is still up.

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