Cross the border from North Carolina to South Carolina on Highway 176 and you will stumble across a retro replica of an Esso station named “Silver Springs Filling Station.” It has a traditional 1930s Wayne gravity-powered gasoline pump and a kerosene barrel as well. There is an outhouse back behind the building to complete the recreation.
Standard Oil was broken up into dozens of companies in 1911. Standard Oil of New Jersey had control over New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Washington D.C., and became known as “Esso” from the phonetic pronunciation of the letters “S” and “O.” The name was shelved in the United States in 1972 (rebranded to Exxon Mobil), but it is still used across the world, including in Canada.
It’s unclear who exactly built this and when, but it’s an interesting look back in time!
Know Before You Go
From North Carolina: Southeast on Highway 176 from Tryon, about 1.5 miles down on your left.
From South Carolina: Northwest on Highway 176 from Landrum, about 2.5 miles up on your right.
There is a body shop across the street where you can park. The door is locked but period artifacts are visible through the windows.