Service station on the Red Lion Circle?

Tinybutfierce

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According to my husband, our house used to be a service station on the Red Lion Circle back in the 1930’s. It was moved back in 1937 to its present location about 4 miles down the road. There is cast pipe in our basement from when there were multiple toilets in the bathroom, there is a section of siding that replaced the exterior door to the bathroom, an oil stain in our living room where a mechanic’s desk used to be, patches of floorboards that had to be replaced because machinery once occupied the spot, and pocket doors that closed off the rest of the house from the living room/front porch.

Would anyone be able to verify this as being true? We’ve never been able to find any written information regarding the house’s history and we can’t find any photos. The only information we have is from talking to the two previous homeowners. We believe the house was moved in August of 1937, based on a date written on a floor stud in the basement.
 

46er

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Would anyone be able to verify this as being true? We’ve never been able to find any written information regarding the house’s history and we can’t find any photos.
Do the neighbors know what brand service station it was; Esso, Socony-Vacuum, Texaco, Gulf, etc? The current day oil company may have records. Back in the day my Grandfather and Father worked for Socony, my Grandfather on my Mothers side worked for Esso as did my Father-in-law. Have you tried contacting the town tax assessor?
 

Tinybutfierce

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Thanks for all of the suggestions and feedback. I’ll definitely reach out to the owner of the Red Lion Inn and the town tax assessor.
We also found the initials “B.M” and “E.W esq” written in chalk underneath the plaster and lathe when we renovated our dormer bedrooms, so I’d love to get more information.
 

bicycle tim

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In 1936 Henry Charlton Beck authored a book titled Forgotten Towns of Southern New Jersey that contains a chapter on Red Lion. I don't want to get the website in trouble by quoting copyrighted material but the chapter contains a description of a building across from the Red Lion Hotel (now the Red Lion Inn) that is remarkably similar to the building you describe in your original post. The book should be readily available.
 
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Boyd

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I don't want to get the website in trouble by quoting copyrighted material
I don't think anyone would get in trouble if you posted a short quote from Beck (I have done it myself several times here). What you can't do is scan or paste the text of a full page from the book. ;)

But everyone should have copies of Beck's books , so definitely get one if you don't already have it!
 

Teegate

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Page 1 through 50 are on Google Books. Not the Red Lion chapter. In any event, post the quote if you want.
 

lj762

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But everyone should have copies of Beck's books , so definitely get one if you don't already have it!
Don't forget another option: Public Library! Yes these still exist. Atlantic County Public Library has 9 or more copies of "Forgotten Towns..." in various branches. If your nearby branch doesn't have one, they will happily get it from another branch for you. Or even from a different library system in NJ.
 

bicycle tim

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Quote from Beck:
....... "On the opposite corner there is a building which is also public, a combination gas station, general store, and poolroom"...... Beck subsequently describes the building as the Antrim Store
 
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46er

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This is another good site to step back in time. Quite a few pictures of old NJ gas stations, but very little for south Jersey. They have onein Toms Rover that was last a hess station before shutting down, and I have passed by the one in Butzville, it is now a private residence; close to Hot Dog Johnnys :D

 

Tinybutfierce

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I actually found the section regarding Red Lion from Beck’s book posted on the Southampton Twp website. It doesn’t appear to be the same building, unfortunately. The website mentions that the general store was open until at least 1972. Our house was moved to Firelane Rd in 1937, as far as we know.

Thanks again, everyone, for your input. I’m having a lot of fun investigating this! I reached out to the tax assessor, but his records are only for the current state of the property. I also reached out to the DiPaolo family at the Red Lion Inn and am waiting to hear back.
 

Rooftree

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On 1940 map on Historic Aerials there was a building at the Circle between RT 206 N and RT 70 W. It shows a road coming in off of 206 before the Circle and back on to 70 down from the Circle. It also appears to be two entrances in front of the building right at the Circle. The structure appears to be square. It sure looks like some type of business.
 

Teegate

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I would suggest you go to the clerks office in Mt. Holly and look for this info that Jerseyman used before to find Davis Grove. I suspect the reason the building was moved was because the state forced them to move it for the 1937 widening. If you go to the clerks office just show them the info below and they will show you where to find it. You will yourself have to look through the info, as they will just show you where it is. Some of it now may be digital and you may have to use the computer. That always frustrates me. It should be easy but it is not. However, I suspect they will not be digital.


New Jersey State Highway Department
Route 40 (Rev. 1927) Section 5A
Red Lion to Buddtown Road (widening)
February 1937
drawing 6 of 11 (Most likely drawing 1 or 11)
(Burlington County Clerk’s Office Plan #2922)
 
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Teegate

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It seems to me that after the state built the highway starting around 1927, they must have allowed the construction of gas stations on their property along the route. The state owns a large portion of land on each side and they may have let them build there out of concern that the route needed them. Then sometime around 1937 the decision was made to stop that practice, and that may be the reason this station was moved and the Davis Grove station closer to Burrs Mill was eliminated. It would be interesting to know if the Davis Grove station was also moved, and if so, where?
 

Tinybutfierce

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It’s funny that you mention Davis Grove, as that’s how I stumbled upon this site the other day. I’m going to have to go back and read that thread in it’s entirety, as Burrs Mill Rd is literally down the street from me.

I’ll definitely try to go to the Clerk’s office at some point. With two young children, it’s not always easy to get out of the house unaccompanied, but I can make it happen at some point. I tried the Southampton Historical Society, but they’ve never heard of anything like what I described and have 0 information on anything like that.

The more I look into this, the more interesting the mystery becomes. I know that the house was some sort of store or shop or something. The door leading to our front porch and the windows of that room resemble a shop front. I’ll see if I can post some pictures.
 

Teegate

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I went to the Davis Grove location and searched around a few times. The state police were not happy where I parked my car and made me move it :) No trace at all as far as I could tell. Not even the concrete monument mentioned by Jerseyman. It may be underground.
 

Teegate

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As you and anyone else read the first page of the Davis Grove thread, take notice of a few things that I found odd. The original poster was named anghew025 but there is no info for them under their name and avatar. By that I mean the little triangle pointing down that you see on all other posts. So in the administration area I did a search for them and there is nobody registered to this site with that name. What is interesting is in post # 3, Jerseyman responded to them and me and he called them LMCFashions and not anghew025 which is really odd. So I did a search for LMCFashions and there is nobody registered with that name. I actually believe the post actually was LMCFashions so how their name is not listed is beyond me.

Anyway, I was hoping to contact them (As I would have their email) and find out if they learned anymore about Davis Grove.