Red Indian Service Station

The oldest photograph we have of the Rednersville Country Store is a postcard that shows the late 19th century streetscape of Rednersville Road. Though the road itself is a narrow dirt trail, there is evidence of the coming technological revolution.

Near the store in this picture is a telegraph pole (later known as a telephone pole) which carried the communications wires that are typically underground today.

Rednersville Country Store served as the local post office and would have been the first place in the farming community where folks could send or receive a telegraph message or pick up their mail. Mail came by stagecoach, so there would typically be a stable and blacksmith not far from the hotel or general store that served as the post office and communications hub for the community. Behind the telegraph pole in the postcard, we see what was probably a stable at the Rednersville way station.

By the early 20th century, horses gave way to the motor car and these way stations were gradually converted to filling stations serving gasoline and motor oil. In a later photograph can be seen the gas pumps in front of the original stable, which by then had lost its porch to accommodate the new pumps.

Those who collect petroliana might recognize the trademarks of the Red Indian Service Station, and the antique gas pumps with the glass globes that fueled the tanks of the motor cars by a gravity feed. Red Indian motor oil signs, pumps, advertising and other memorabilia are quite collectible now.

Later, the filling station became a "full service" station, offering mechanical repairs to cars and trucks and even tractors which farmers would drive down Rednersville Road to the country store and what had become Ward's Garage. The Red Indian gas pumps had been upgraded, including a Clearvision 700 double visible pump. Beside the garage was the shop owner's new home.

The "corner gas" property that has long been derelict across the street from the Rednersville Country Store is now getting a bit of a makeover, and the small clapboard house is being completely restored. Interestingly, it was during the renovation of the little house beside the abandoned gas station that we found in the attic the original negative of the earliest known photograph of these Red Indian gas pumps.


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