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Hillsboro service stations: Do you remember these?

Lead Summary
Steve Roush-
“James Dean, he was keen, Sunday movies were taboo
The senior prom, Judy’s mom, rock ’n’roll was new
Cracker Jack prize, stars in your eyes, ask daddy for the keys
Ah, do you remember these?”

– The Statler Brothers

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s go back to the 1960s, a time where if you were wearing a mask, chances are it was either Halloween or you were trying to rob someone.

Last time, we took a look at the car dealerships around Hillsboro in business more than a half-century ago: Baker Auto Sales, Banyas Motor Company, Matson Chevrolet and Pontiac, Abe’s Used Cars and Hillsboro Auto Company.

Now that we have ourselves a car, let’s gas up the ol’ Studebaker and take a ride around town.

There were several gas stations to choose from.

There were three Shell stations – one on North High, one on South High and one on West Main.

There were Sohio stations on South High and West Main, a Pure Oil station on East Main, a Gulf on North High and a City Service on North High.

Since I’m a longtime newspaperman, I picked up a paper and browsed the pages. “Holy cow,” I thought, “Would you take a look at this?!?”

The advertisement read, “Wins trip around the world,” and continued, “Mr. H.E. Loudenslager, Division Manager of Sohio in the Portsmouth Division, is shown presenting a Sohio Jackpot check to Mr. Lynn Sydenstricker, Hillsboro Route 4.

“Mr. Sydenstricker, who runs the McCoppin Mill, held license plate No. 261HF and won a ‘Trip Around the World for Two.’”

Hillsboro had four Sohio stations: Newsman’s Sohio Station at 132 West Main Street; Boone’s Sohio Station on North High Street; Bumgarner’s Sohio Station on South High Street; and a Sohio Service Station at High and Walnut streets.

Well, until I get myself license plates for the Studebaker, I guess I’m not yet eligible for a trip around the world, though it might be nice to cruise out to McCoppin Mill, since it’s long gone. But first, I paid 31 cents a gallon for fuel, and with gas prices that cheap, I decided to hit up the county fair and watch a movie.

Five young ladies were competing for Highland County Fair Queen in 1961, Anna Ross, Janet Fling, Paula Dollinger, Ruth Ann Tissot and Patty Chambers.

From Sept. 1-7, 1961 at the Roselawn Drive-In Theatre in Allensburg, “Ben-Hur,” the “most exciting, most inspiring motion picture ever made” with Charlton Heston and “a cast of thousands,” was playing on the big screen in Technicolor at 8 p.m. (promptly) each night.

Tickets were $1 for adults, and children 12 and under got in free.

As we munch on some popcorn and watch the 212-minute classic film on a warm summer night in Allensburg, let’s pause for now and we’ll continue next time.

Steve Roush is vice chairman of the Highland County Historical Society Board of Trustees, a vice president of an international media company and a columnist and contributing writer for The Highland County Press. Email him at

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