It's time to head out to Find AMERICA

What say we take a tour around the country, circa mid-to-late last century? Not sure where this will take us, but the open road is before us and we have unlimited time.

First stop...Fergus Falls, MINN!

Log Cabin service station_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

What a dandy place this is! I've seen this card elsewhere online, but have not found any information about the Lindquist Oil Company nor what became of this great looking gas station.

As to Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Thanks to good old Wikipedia I know I'm not going to Fergus Falls in the winter. January, average high 16. January, average low -3. I live in California, we think twice before leaving the house when it's raining. So we won't be traveling through this part of the country in the winter. Good thing we're doing it now. July, average high 80. July, average low 60.

So lets stop for a moment and soak up a little history about the town which surrounded this little post card gem:
The falls from which the city gets part of its name were discovered by Joe Whitford (a Scottish trapper) in 1856 and which was promptly named in honor of his employer, James Fergus. It is not known whether James Fergus ever visited the city, but Joe Whitford did not live to see the city develop, as he became one of the many victims of the 1862 Sioux uprising in western Minnesota. In 1867, George B. Wright was at the land office at St. Cloud and found Whitford's lapsed claim, purchased the land, and built what is now the Central Dam in downtown Fergus Falls around 1871. After Wright died in 1882, his son Vernon would move from Boston to Minnesota and take over his father's interests in the town. Vern Wright would also be one of the two people who established the Otter Tail Power Company in 1907. The city was incorporated in the late 1870s and is situated along the dividing line between the former great deciduous forest of the Northwest Territories to the East, and the great plains to the West, in a region of gentle hills, where the recent geological history is dominated by the recession of the glaciers from the last great Ice Age, with numerous lakes and small rivers about.

Two major tornadoes hit Fergus Falls during the early 20th century, the second, the 1919 Fergus Falls tornado, being the greater. The only Church edifice left standing after the great cyclone was the predominantly-black Baptist church. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Okay, everyone back in the car and let's head out to see what's next.

Need something to read to bring back those fond memories of funny buildings? Back when architects need not show up because some guy had already sketched out his building design on a napkin? Well have I got the book for you. I've mentioned this book in the past. It's so much fun to look through. Page after page of amazing old roadside attractions. Buildings that screamed "STOP HERE!" The book is called California Crazy and Beyond by Jim Heimann. Yes, the book is full of the funny old buildings that once were all over this fine crazy state, but there are plenty crazy buildings to go around.

How about the airplane crashed onto the roof of the William Penn Diner in Delaware? The giant cash register in Dayton, Ohio back in 1918? The Coffee Pot in Austin, Indiana? The Fish Inn in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho? Or the Pig Barbecue in Harlington, Texas? I imagine they're all gone, replaced by corporate plastic fantastic.

I do believe Orange World in Kissimmee, Florida still exists. Tail o' the Pup hot dog stand is still in Los Angeles as is, I believe, the GIANT donut. Good times. Really good times. I'm glad someone put all of this together in one place. I can sit and look through this book for hours.

Next stop? Who knows.


  1. This just goes to show you - gas station don't have to be ugly. I may have to buy that book. I think a lot of those buildings are still out there, and it would make a great theme for a cross-country trip.

  2. That would be fun to do. Possibly also heartbreaking. Do you remember the Orange stands in California? Big orange sitting by the side of the road. They served fresh squeezed orange juice. The last actual stand I remember was I think near Davis or Dixon, California.

    It is a really fun book. Great reference piece too. And the guy that wrote it, Jim Heimann, is a big collector of ephemera.

  3. Anonymous8/12/2011

    The (this) Log Cabin Service Station was built in 1925 by my grandfather, Charles G. Lindquist.

    This article gives some history about it. The 'Jim Knapp' in the article is my father.


  4. Thank you so much for this information. This is what makes the net so wondrous. I'll repost the card today along with the information you sent. In the future when someone searches for this card and the history of this gorgeous station they'll find the information you've provided. Thank you! And your grandfather built a real dandy of Americana.