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As we continue our virtual "walk" down Culver's Main Street, we've reached the southwest corner of Main and Jefferson Streets, known today as the Antiquarian and Historical Society's Heritage Park, though many will recall its lengthy tenure as a Texaco service station.
That's no surprise. A service station existed there 1924, anyway, though initially it was the William M. Hand and Sons Service Station.
Rewinding further back, the earliest years of use of the spot in Culver are a bit shrouded in mystery, but a March, 1910 report notes the original structure was an 1868 school house W.E. hand had moved to the corner from location unmentioned, but certainly out of the town proper. Hand used it for his home, apparently, until 1919 before its remodeling and conversion to a store.
Circa 1926 (or in one source, 1924), the old wood frame structure was torn town and replaced with a service station, which was initially leased by the Standard Oil Company, Howard Mikesell among the first managers. It was officially known as the Wm. M. Hand & Sons Service Station as of 1935.
The Culver Citizen noted, in July, 1946, that Gordon Cultice had begun operating the Standard Service Station at the corner of Main and Jefferson Streets, with Charles Baker managing. This wasn't Cultice's first foray into the business.
Born in Hibbard (though graduated from high school at Harvey, Illinois), Cultice had worked at Culver Military Academy and attended Tri-State College at Angola, Illinois as well. In Febraury, 1934, the Culver Citizen noted he began managing the Linco Service Station across the street (long known as a Marathon station, it sat at 102 S. Main, site of today's Culver Academies Museum). This is
In June of 1943, George Crutchfield of Indianapolis purchased Hand's Service Station, opening it in July. Cultice was certainly still involved in the business, and by 1952, Gordon's Standard Service joined seven other service stations listed in the Culver phone book. Cultice would, by the late 1950s, transition the business to the Texaco flag, which it retained well into the 1980s.
In the mid-1990s, by which point the station had been closed for several years and become delapidated, the Antiquarian and Historical Society began work to clean up the property. This was complicated by environmental regulations concerning proper disposal of whatever auto fuel was left in the old underground tanks, and so proved to be a more difficult and expensive endeavor than originally conceived. But it was accomplished, and by 1996, Heritage Park was underway. It is, of course, an ongoing project of sorts, as names continue to appear on the bricks there (and residents continue to stroll its pathways taking in memories of family and friends).View more articles in: