Filling Stations of Clear Lake in the 50s and 60s
Lyndon Crist sent in this picture of the Eastman Filling Station on the old Hgwy 18 across from the original Elementary School.  Earl Eastman was the owner and operator.  He was my husband's (Dave Traub) Grandfather.  Earl and Anna Eastman lived next door.  I believe this was also a little store but I'm not sure. 
Depicted are the North Shore Standard
(adrift on the little island between Witkes and Hilltop Motel) and the Eastman Service Station across the street from my home. If only the Standard Station still retained the streamlined facade shown in the photo.
Thank you Lyndon Crist for these wonderful old pictures!
An article in the Clear Lake Mirror and Reporter (dated 23 May, 2007) in the 'Remember When. 60 years ago May 1947' section stated"Kenneth Thomspon (Thompson) announced that he has sold his interest in the Standard Oil Company to Daniel F. Collins." 
The Eastman Service Station went through a couple of revisions while I lived in that area. Initially it was a small diner that folded in short order. Subsequently, Jess Buttleman (former chief of police) acquired the property after retiring from police work and turned the place into a barber shop. We moved in the late 1950s and I could not tell you what happened after that. 
Lyndon Crist (1961)
Dee Mosher sent in this neat article to share with us all.....

"Some are abandoned, some are restored and many are still in use..brings back memories....Gas Stations Of Yesteryear. Back when life was much simpler and gas was 18-25 cents a gallon!!(or there about) and as low as 17 cents during gas wars. Oh, don't forget the 9/10% of a penny.   $ .34 for Hi-test and $ .28 for regular. And with a fill-up you got the gas pumped for you, your windshield cleaned, oil & fluids checked, tires checked, and greeted......in ENGLISH !!!"
Harry Ginken's Phillips 66 Station
This is a picture of my dad's gas station on the corner where there are now apartments by where the bakery was.  My dad and my uncle in front of their station.
Mary Ginkens Ockerman  CLHS 1963
Last Updated
29 April, 2009
Page Created
14 January, 2008

Fill er up??    Check the oil?    Check the tires?    Wash the windows?  Those were the days!



Ron Gerdes   CLHS Class of 1956
Clear Lake High School Students in the 1950's found it necessary to have part time jobs after school hours.  It was a time when a student could not get a Social Security card until he was 16 years old.  Therefore, students had to work for cash and not have their wages reported for Social Security.  I started working when I was 12 years old as a paper boy for the Globe Gazette and stopped delivering papers during the summer except Saturdays when I worked at the kennel.  During the summer I worked on Crabtrees Truck farm and Dog Grooming and Boarding Kennel.  The farm covered 10 acres in what is now part of the athletic field.  My job during the first summer at Crabtree's was hoeing weeds in the raspberry field and gleaning for the pickers.  The pickers were paid 7 cents per pint.  My job was to fill the pint boxes and clean the pails that were tied with rope around the pickers' waist. I don't remember for sure but I think the raspberries were taken to the Milwaukee depot for shipment east.  I went to work at 5:00 AM and worked in the fields until 7:00 AM.  I pulled weeds and hoed in the vegetable fields in between the time when there was nothing to be done with the raspberries.  I worked in the kennel from 7:00 Am until noon. There were usually 30 dogs in the boarding kennel that had to be walked on a leash.  I walked each dog down the road that is now 10th Avenue to the football stadium and back.  The grooming and bathing of dogs started at 9:00 AM and finished about 12:00 noon or 2:00 PM depending on the number of customers.  The kennel also performed euthanasia for old dogs that were brought in by the owners.  There is a very large graveyard of dogs where the mobile homes now stand.  Each grave was dug by me and they are buried below the frost line. I went home at Noon for 4 hours and came back to work at 4:00 PM to feed and walk the dogs.  Floyd and Helen Crabtree raised over 5,000 chickens each year.  In the late summer we started processing the chickens for delivery to customers in Mason City. The kill started at about 7:00 PM on Friday nights and took until about ll:00 P.M.  The dead chickens were dipped in hot boiling water, placed on a table and rubbed by hand to remove all the feathers.  I can still remember some of those hot sweaty nights in summer when the temperature was in the 80's.  The next morning, Saturday, I was back on the job at 5:00 AM.  My first job in the morning was pulling pin feathers from the 125 chickens that were in wash tubs.  Floyd Crabtree did the cutting and wrapping of the chickens and they were delivered to the customers in Mason City by Helen on Saturday afternoon.  Delivery was made with a 1931 Ford Model A pickup. I drove the pickup to the dump on many occasions. The Clear Lake refuse dump was just north of the athletic field.  I enjoyed driving the old ford and it was a big deal for a 12 to 15 year old boy to be driving.  I worked for Crabtrees for 4 summers and quit the day I turned 16 on January 25, 1954.  I was a sophomore in CLHS.

I purchased my first car from Lloyd Lamb in Thornton.  It cost $175 and was the neatest looking car a boy of 16 could own.  I paid cash for that car from my savings from working at Crabtree's. It was a 1940 Ford convertible with the rear end lowered to about 4 inches off the ground.  I had to support that car so I started looking for a part time job. I started with Dan Dye and he sent me to Mr. Bergman who owned the Standard Station on the corner of highway 18 and North 8th St.  I wasn't at the Standard Service Station very long and can't remember why I left. I started working across the street at the Shell Oil Station.  I worked at that station every night from 6:00 PM until 10:00 PM and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 10:00 P.M. That was through the rest of the school year.  When school was out for the summer, I needed a full time job because the car wasn't running very good and needed a complete engine overhaul.  I can still remember going around the corner where the Half Moon Restaurant now stands and hearing Harry Eliasen holler at me from the gas station.  He asked me if I wanted a job and I said yes.  Harry was a stone mason, brick and block layer on construction jobs and had a crew of four or five brick layers working for him. I was making 30 cents per hour working for Crabtree and $1.00 per hour working at the service stations.  Harry hired me for $1.35 per hour.  That was a good wage for a teenager in 1954.  I became a brick layer tender. I put every dime I earned into that '40 Ford.  I pulled the car in the back yard and parked it under a tree.  I somehow got a hold of a chain hoist and pulled the engine out and started working on it and putting new parts in it.  I remember one time I was having trouble putting the transmission back together.  I put the whole thing in the basket of my bicycle and rode to Curly's Ford Garage where my brother, Bob, was a mechanic.  He instructed me and helped me put it back together.  I also got some help from Dwayne Hahn at the Cities Service Station on old highway 18.  I made a huge mistake in putting the engine back together; I missed a valve keeper and the engine was running on only 7 cylinders. It was making so much noise that you could hear me coming all the way across town.  When school started again that fall I went back to work for the Shell Station. I remember the homecoming dance that year where I brought a date from Mason City.  The brakes went out of my '40 Ford and I drove all the way to Mason City, picked up the girl, drove back to Clear Lake, still without brakes and then did it all over again after the homecoming dance.  The next day after school I was driving home, still without brakes and drove into the driveway.  Luckily my father had left the garage door open because the car coasted in the driveway and went into the garage and almost out the other end.  I was really worried that my world had come to an end.  I went to the outside of dad's garage, laid on my back and kicked with both feet until the bulge in the garage was no longer noticeable. I learned how to repair brakes with a self taught crash course.  I honed each brake cylinder, cleaned each piston and replaced all the seals.  I had the drums turned at the machine shop in Mason City and riveted new break linings on all four wheels. I had a perfect set of brakes.  I made a deal with my brother to buy his 1941 Pontiac.  However, not having any money, I told him that I would put 3 cases of oil, some oil filters and 3 tanks of gas on my bill at the service station in payment for the 1941 Pontiac.  I don't remember how long I drove the '41 Pontiac but I traded it for a 1947 Pontiac sometime in my junior year.  One of the memories of that fall was going to football practice past the Shell Station.  Coach Pep Martin had a particularly long practice at night and I would have been late for work.  So, I went to work in my football uniform and changed into my Shell Service Station Attendant uniform.  I got a reputation for being a good brake man after doing a brake job for several customers at the Shell Service Station.  I guess I learned something from the '40 Ford brake job.  I also had a reputation for doing exhaust work and did a couple dual exhaust jobs for customers. I worked at the Shell station until school was out for the year and went back to working for Harry Eliason.   In the fall of 1955 I went back to work at the Shell station.  One night I was doing a grease job and oil change on a 1951 Mercury and told the guy how much I liked the car and we started dealing.  I bought it and drove it until I went in the Navy.  There are many more memories of working as a Service Station Attendant in high school but I will save those for another time.  Ron Gerdes   CLHS Class of 1956   

1940 Ford
1941 Pontiac
1947 Pontiac
1951 Mercury
Thanks go to Ron for these pictures!
That would be Dan Collins' (CLHS1960) father.
Remember When- 50 Years Ago
An article in the Clear Lake Mirror - Reporter dated April 15, 2009 in the Remember When section under the 50 Years Ago heading states,"Purchase of the Standard Oil Co station at 474 N. Shore Drive by Dan Collins, operator of the Standard Station at N. 4th and 1st Ave N, was announced.  The station will be called the North Shore Standard Service and will be managed by Ronald Cross.