"Astoria Station" of
Restored 1928 Sinclair Station Appreciated by Townspeople
courtesy Shari Aabye
restored 1928 Sinclair Filling Station and the "61 T-Bird we got ourselves
for our 50th wedding anniversary, and a 71 Karmann Gia." - Shari Aabye,
April 2013 |
we decided to include stories from other states, we looked at the map to decide
which states to include. We soon reached the conclusion that as far as stories
go - state lines don't mean much. We'll leave them to the state troopers, departments
of transportation and mapmakers. Just about the time we were working on Ken
of Lake Michigan and Barclay
Works of SE New Mexico - we got a letter from Dawson, Minnesota from Frank
& Shari Aabye. |
station in service c. 1950|
Search and Discovery|
Frank and Shari celebrated their 44th
wedding anniversary (June 10, 2004) by scraping paint. It's probably not how they
figured they'd be spending it back when they got married back in 1961- but that's
the way life works. Native Minnesotans, Frank and Shari had decided to move to
Astoria, Oregon and buy a riverfront
propertry. They even spend two winters in Oregon - their first and last. The rainy
Winter of the Pacific Northwest just wasn't the same as the frigid (but familiar)
Minnesota Winter. But they were still set on a home with a riverview - (and who
can argue about that?) so they started searching closer to home.
of their trips they spotted a restored gas station in nearby Madison Wisconson.
They thought enough of it to take a photo for their album. So one day while driving
through Dawson, and spotted a former station for sale - with river frontage, they
didn't have to think twice.
Station before restoration|
|The History of
The 1928 building had started life as
a Sinclair Filling Station and at some point over the years had become a Skelly.
It was purchached in 1968 by a man called Amer Boras who had the pumps and tanks
removed and operated his business as a repair garage. The Aabyes bought it from
Mr. Boras - and set about restoring it. They were delighted to find a pump with
a winged "A" - which now doubles for Aabye and Astoria - their lost riverside
Utopia. In Shari's words: "It ajoins a park and with the river frontage, it 's
very beautiful, and special to us, so we named the station "Astoria."
Feats and 25 Cent Gas |
finished station and the first vintage vehicle|
|Starting in June of
2004, they worked all through the Summer. Shari goes on to say: "In October we
moved into the open garages and spent the Winter working inside. When Spring arrived,
we started working on the outside. Every inch had to be hand scraped before painting.
Memorial Day we put out the pump and oilers which we had restored inside during
"We've had so many wonderful comments from the people in
Dawson and visitors." There was even an article in the local paper. When asked
if people ever drove up expecting to get gas, Shari explained that they have installed
small poles to prevent people from driving through. "People do ask if we are going
to sell gas," Shari goes on to say. "It cracks me up if you think about it [since]
Frank has 24.9 on the pump, the price it was when he was in high school. "
Shari states that the move into the station was the couple's 14th - and their
last except "maybe someday we'll have to move into the rest home."
view of the station, and "Spooky"|
|Book Hotel Here