Virginia couple creates Route 66-inspired filling station

The first Phillips 66 in Texas. McLean, TX, Route 66. Photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved.

After returning from a recent jaunt along the Mother Road, Virginians James & Bernice Shively decided to create a little bit of Route 66 in their own backyard. An article in The Franklin News Post describes Mrs. Shively as having been “captivated” by a 1930s gas station in Texas. I’m guessing the one that so captured their imaginations was the very one you see in my photograph above—the first Phillips 66 built in Texas.

Back on their property in Ferrum, they had a building that they both considered to be “somewhat of an eyesore”, and Bernice thought it would be a perfect project for conversion into a replica gas station, modeled on the one they had seen in Texas.

A neighbor helped the retired couple turn the building into a darling replica of an early Phillips station, which you can see here (there’s no information about the photographer at all, and as you can imagine, I’m not big on stealing photography—that’s why you’re seeing my shots of the McLean station instead)—complete with three pumps and a large, swinging Phillips 66 sign.

“The original owner of the sign would not sell it but insisted on giving it to me,” Shively said.

I love it!

The couple has filled the interior of their newly-built 1930s filling station replica with era-appropriate gas station memorabilia, which of course puts any Route 66 lover in mind of the beloved Gary Turner and his Gay Parita in Missouri. The Shiveleys acquired many of the goodies during their travels, and apparently, one of the gas pumps was picked up in North Dakota. No doubt it’s enjoying the balmier climate of southwestern Virginia (I know I would).

Restored Phillips 66 station in McLean, Texas, USA. Route 66. Copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved.

Easily visible from Route 40, the Shivleys’ station is already drawing in quite a few visitors. The appeal of the Shivelys’ home-made bit of Route 66 will certainly increase when they park the ’31 Ford Model A pickup they’re restoring out front. Continue reading