Gas Station

  • 7 nicolaus hasson wadhams mobilgas station before removal of old station april 11 1954 mill division st 595 152 w750
  • 7 wadhams garage plymouth w1200

Set amidst downtown Plymouth’s late 19th and early 20th-century style business blocks, the pagoda service station operated by Wadham’s Oil & Grease Company flaunted a distinct style. Dating back to the 1870s, Milwaukee-based Wadham’s was one of the nation’s earliest petroleum companies. Originally a lubricant manufacturer, Wadham’s capitalized on the increasing popularity of the automobile. In the 1910’s Wadham’s refocused its business efforts to operate a chain of retail gasoline service stations throughout Wisconsin. Sporting distinctive bright red tile roofs, hanging lanterns, and ornate towers, Wadham’s pagoda stations were an instant success and quickly became a familiar sight in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin. Wadham’s built more than 100 pagoda stations between 1917 and 1930, including the Nicolaus-Hasson Wadham’s-Mobilgas at 320 E. Mill St. in downtown Plymouth. Most of the Wadham’s pagodas suffered the same fate as the Plymouth station. In April 1954, a demolition team razed the station in favor of rival trail-blazer Texaco’s “porcelain box.” The downtown Mobil Plymouth site, still pumping gas today, is home to an Eliot Noyes-inspired Mobil mini-mart. Sponsored by Van Horn Auto, artist Scott Lindley’ Wadham’s Gas Station remembers the whimsical history of Wadham’s Gas Station.