When the Weaver family bought the old Wood & Goss DX station in 2014 to expand Weaver Auto Sales, some suggested that the Route 66-era building had become an eyesore that should be torn down.
The Weavers thought otherwise.
“It has a history,” Jeremy Weaver explained. “We looked around it, and nothing was structurally unsound. There was no reason to tear it down.
“We decided if there was a reason to keep it part of Route 66 history, why wouldn’t we?”
Now, the familiar building at the southeast corner of Route 66/Elm and South Adams in Lebanon has been renovated into a shrine for the DX service station that occupied the corner from about 1963 to 1994.
It isn’t an exact restoration, but it’s close. The original concrete blocks were covered with brick that matches the Weaver Auto Sales building on the adjacent lot to the south. “My dad wanted to tie the two together,” Jeremy said, referring to Donnie Weaver, owner of the business. The doors to the restrooms – originally outside on the west wall – were moved inside to make them easier to heat.
Other than that, “we left as much in here as we could that was original,” Jeremy said.
Authentic DX signs adorn the top of the station. A DX sign listing prices for regular (18.9 cents), unleaded (27.9 cents) and premium (36.9 cents) hangs outside the door. The pump island and lights were removed when Elm Street was widened a decade ago, but one original outdoor light remains on the east side of the property.
Inside, the office area is filled with DX memorabilia that the Weavers, particularly Jeremy, found at auctions, swap meets, eBay and elsewhere. “It’s not easy to find. DX was a regional gas company.”
A somewhat-battered DX gas pump stands in the corner of the office flanked by vintage cans that once contained DX lubricants. One DX oil rack -- “America’s Finest,” the sign boasts -- displays seven cans of DX motor oil. The sign on another oil rack reads “DX Distance Supreme Motor Oil -- Guaranteed to Out-Perform All Other Motor Oils.” This rack contains 14 cans labeled with two logos, DX and Sunoco. Sun Oil merged with Sunray DX Oil Co. in 1968. According to Wikipedia, DX stations gradually were rebranded as Sunoco stations starting in the late 1980s.
A rack of DX road maps for Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa and Illinois hangs on the wall, its sign recommending, “Make it DX all the way.” DX pump signs and magazine ads also hang from the walls. A painting of a DX service station hangs in the front restroom.
A shelf above the desk holds an array of DX products from various eras, including motor oil, lubricant, anti-freeze and outboard motor oil. A few of the products have the Sunoco insignia.
A plaque on the wall features a mid-1960s photo of the station and a Wood & Goss ad from a phone book. The ad lists an array of services and products including B.F. Goodrich tires.
Jeremy said his original plan was to decorate the station with memorabilia from all brands of gas sold along Route 66. But he decided to concentrate on the DX brand to stick with the history of the station.
“It took me a few years to come up with all this stuff,” he said, adding that his father-in-law, Craig Hart, found some of the items at swap meets.
“If this was just an old Shell station or Texaco, that stuff is everywhere.”
The three-bay shop – the truck bay was added after 1966 – remains in operation. It includes the original lifts, tire rack on the wall and, hanging from the ceiling, a vintage oil-change machine.
Jeremy has researched the history of the building with help from the Goss family. Gene Wood and Kenneth “Red” Goss originally partnered on a gas station downtown behind Vern’s Malt Shop, moving to the location on Elm/Route 66 and South Adams about 1963. The new location previously had been the home of a DX distributorship operated by the Davidson family.
Following Red Goss’ death in 1971, Wood & Goss Service Station became Wood Service Center, which Gene Wood continued to operate until 1993 or 1994. The building later was used as a mechanic shop, a body shop and as Alvis Paul’s car lot, J&A Auto Sales.
The building was vacant when the Weavers bought it from the Davidson family in 2014. Jeremy said the renovation began almost immediately.
Weaver Auto Sales, founded in 1948 on Van Buren Street, has been located directly south of the station since 1971, when Robert Weaver – Jeremy’s grandfather – bought the Whirl-A-Way car wash at that location. Jeremy said the car wash featured the first automatic wash lane in Lebanon and had two gas pumps that were the first in town with a pay-at-the pump system.
Jeremy and his brother Jordan both work full time assisting dad Donnie with the business.
Route 66 travelers who want to see the DX station are welcome, Jeremy said. “I can show them around.”