The history of the gas station building is a work in progress. Come back at a later time to learn more!
1927 - Martin Service Station (McBurney Oil Station #3)
1930 - McBurney Oil Company
1946 - O'Connor Service (operated in conjunction with the Garage by C J and G L O'Connor)
1976 - Last pump inspection by the state of Colorado. Gasoline sales ceased shortly afterwards.
2002 to 2009 - Vacant/unused
2009 to PRESENT - Training facility for B3PE
*May also be known as 1340 North Corona in some historic documents.
When purchased by the current owners in 1999, the building was being used by Gerald O'Connor as the office for his O'Connor Service auto repair business.
Mr. O'Connor was allowed to remain as a tenant at both the Garage and the Station until his death in 2002. At that time, the current owners took possession of the building.
The building needed several updates and repairs. A full renovation was completed in 2009. The exterior character was retained.
The building is currently used as a training facility in association with the B3PE operation.
This building is believed to be the site of the oldest remaining gas station building in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The Station building was built around 1926. The original building only included the front 1/2 of the current building. It was built with hollow clay blocks finished with stucco. The back half of the building is constructed of cinder block and was probably added on about the same time as the front addition to the Garage. This addition included the addition of water and sewer service which allowed for two restrooms to be added.
The brick trim work was part of the original building and was continued with the addition and subsequent renovation. The original bricks used for the trim are actually road paving bricks manufactured by the Coffeyville Vitrified Brick & Tile Company, of Coffeyville, Kansas. The company ceased operation in 1930. This type of brick can still be found on many small-town streets in Kansas, Colorado, and Oklahoma.
Founded by William (Bill) Grove Skelly in 1919 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Throughout its history, Skelly Oil was a popular gasoline marketer throughout much of the Midwestern United States. It grew to become a major oil company with several divisions, including refinery, manufacturing, distribution, offshore drilling, and research.
What started as gas filling stations quickly grew into all-in-one maintenance and repair stations. Skelly Oil was one of the first to standardize its service station appearance and was an early leader in establishing truck stops along the nation's growing interstate system.
The Skelly brand was discontinued in the 1970s after a merger with Getty Oil.
Skelly Oil Office Building c.1935
Charlie O'Connor managed and operated the Station for various owners from as early as 1930. About 1940 he began to operate the Station and Garage as O'Connor Service. About 1945 his son Gerald (Jerry) O'Connor joined him in the operation. The Colorado Springs City Directory shows them both associated with the Garage and Station in 1946.
Although the official business name was O'Connor Service, for many years the location was known as Charlie's Garage by locals.
The Station served as an office for the Garage and as a retail outlet for gasoline, auto parts, candy, and soda sales. Students from the nearby North Junior High School would stop by the Station on their way home from school to buy a candy bar and soda pop.
There are many tales of the goings on and characters associated with the station, including having the largest zoning violations file in the City of Colorado Springs. Occasionally a past patron will stop by to share a story.
Gasoline sales at the Station ceased around 1977. However, Jerry continued to visit the Station daily until shortly before his death in 2002. He would hold court from a large recliner next to a kerosene stove in the Station discussing neighborhood politics with his many visitors.
McBurney Oil Company appears to have been associated with the Station from the beginning. The Colorado Springs City Directory lists the Station as McBurney Oil Station #3 in 1927. The company operated various stations and provided petroleum products around Colorado Springs from the late 1920's to perhaps the early 1960's. It may have been purchased or succeeded by Chief Petroleum in the 1960's. Chief still provides similar services.
McBurney is listed as being associated with several Shell gasoline stations in the 1920's and 1930's.
McBurney Station #1 1938
In the 1930's the Station represented Shell branded gasoline and oil products.
In the 1940's the Station represented Phillips branded gasoline and oil products.
In the 1950's and 1960's the Station represented Skelly branded gasoline and oil products.
In the 1970's the Station represented Texaco branded gasoline and oil products.
The station was likely originally equipped with what are known as "visible" style gas pumps. This is evidenced by circular patterns in the concrete pump foundations.
A visible style pump had a tall cylindrical shaped body and was topped with a clear glass cylinder which allowed the customer to actually see the product being provided (thus visible). The gasoline was pumped by hand into the cylinder then drained into the vehicle.
It is not known the make or model of the original pumps.
This image is of the style of pump that may have been originally installed at the Station.
Wayne brand model 70 gas pumps were used in the 1940's and most likely into the 1950's. These pumps had electrically powered pumps and a mechanical "computer" to keep track of the volume pumped and the sales amount.
Pictured is an unrestored pump original to the Station. The pump was originally branded as Phillips 66 and later repainted and rebranded as Skelly.
The price of a gallon of regular gasoline at the time this pump was removed from service was 48.9 cents.
Wayne brand model 440 gas pumps were the last installed at the Station and still remain today. These pumps were manufactured from the late 1950's to mid 1960's.
The pumps at the Station were originally branded Skelly and later rebranded Texaco. These pumps were probably in used condition when they were installed.
The price of a gallon of gasoline when this pump was last used was 99.9 cents, and its companion pump was priced at 97.9 cents.