Decades of Fueling Oradell’s Drivers
A Journey into Oradell
Driving along Kinderkamack Road this past week, we noticed the startling increase in gasoline prices - attributable to a new gas tax, just in time for Election Day.
As we contemplated this inevitable change over time (we remember when gas was 34 cents a gallon), it got us to thinking of an unassuming place along the main road that manages continue, even as so much has come and gone around it.
The Shell Station just to the north of the Town Square has the appearance of a modern gas station. To some this sleek looking business is a bit out of place in the midst of all the quaint buildings surrounding it. But appearances can deceive, because the Shell station has been there for decades.
Just how long can be seen from the picture that accompanies this piece.
It is dated 1934 and it says a lot about what we were back then and how different it is to the world we face today.
One is impressed with the simplicity of the Depression era gas station. It was functional without being flashy.
One also notices little touches, such as efforts at landscaping.
Through all the changes, the common thread is the Shell sign. Of itself, it is quite an accomplishment. In a world that craves change; often just for the sake of change, here’s something found to be doing just with little need to change.
There it remains a reassuring, if unassuming presence - serving the community, as it has for decades. Even, as the gas prices leave us very much stressed.
This piece was originally written for River Dell Patch - it appeared in September, 2011
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thanks to Borough Historian Frank Vierling for his guidance. And, a special thank you to Borough Archivist, George Carter for his ear, his support generally and in particular his help in securing historic pictures from the Borough/Library Collection….. The Archives, located at the Oradell Public Library, are open to the public the first Friday afternoon of the month from 1-5 p.m.