Downtown offered plenty of gas stations in 1930s

Gas stations and car dealerships dotted Milan’s downtown in the 1930s Photo donated by Gail Hullstrung.
Gas stations and car dealerships dotted Milan’s downtown in the 1930s Photo donated by Gail Hullstrung.

By Martha Churchill

Step right up to downtown Milan in the 1930s.  Get your Red Crown gasoline. Find your Chevy parts and service, on the left.
Walk into the Ford dealership, on the right, in the building which is now Storl’s Apartments.
A gas station and tire shop is seen on the left, on the edge of the photo, now occupied by Dance Xplosion.
That car in front is probably a 1933 or 34 Ford, according to Gary Shaw. Tom Dupuis says it may be a 1933 or 34 Plymouth. That pegs this photo at the mid-1930s.
The building on the left with the flat, white wall on its side started out as a men’s clothing store, then morphed into a butcher shop. In 1922 Detroit Edison purchased the building so customers could discuss their business in person.
Although the Detroit Edison is not visible in this photo, their office is probably inside that building. Later it was used as the Milan Police station. That building is no longer standing.
 The Stimpson Hotel is peeking out just past Detroit Edison. The “Hotel” sign projects out, and there are one or two trees in front of it.
On the right, past the “Gasoline Motor Oil” sign, the Milan Leader office is visible. With no local news on TV, radio, or internet, people had to subscribe to the paper to find out what’s going on in town.
Also on the right, I see a sign advertising cigars, and another promoting paint.
Thanks to Gail Hullstrung for donating this fine photo.
Martha Churchill can be contacted at mc [at] marthachurchill [dot] com.

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