Teapot Dome Service Station – Zillah, Washington - Atlas Obscura

Teapot Dome Service Station

Zillah, Washington

Perhaps the world's only gas station inspired by a political scandal. 


Inspired by the Teapot Dome Scandal of the Harding administration, Jack Ainsworth built the Teapot Dome Service Station in 1922 along Old Highway 12 in Zillah, Washington.

The building, from which petroleum products were sold, humorously reminds passerby of the scandal involving erstwhile Secretary of the Interior, Albert Fall, leasing Navy petroleum reserves to private oil companies without a competitive bid process. Fall eventually went to prison for taking bribes, though nobody joined him for paying a bribe. Both the oil field and its eclipsing scandal borrowed their names from Teapot Rock, a rock formation in Natrona County, Wyoming, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.   

The teapot-shaped building in Washington is 14 feet in diameter and has a circular frame clad in wood shingles, a conical roof, a sheet metal handle, as well as a spout made of concrete that functions as a stove pipe. A normal-looking outhouse, nearly the size of the station itself, is positioned nearby.

To accommodate the construction of Interstate 82 in 1978, the station and outhouse were moved about a mile west down Old Highway 12. When the City of Zillah purchased the shuttered station (fair and square) in 2007, the teapot, its pumps, and outhouse were relocated to their current location at 117 First Avenue where they can still be found in a gleamingly refurbished state. 

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