In addition to the Reynolds Building and Mickey’s Coffeepot, Winston-Salem had a couple of other roadside attractions of note.
Large statues of bulls or cows (along with roosters and chickens) are some of the more popular roadside attractions to be found. Many restaurants use them to call attention to their businesses, usually set on the ground or sometimes a rooftop.
Winston-Salem had one instead mounted high off the ground advertising a butcher shop. The Thrif-Way (and no, that’s not a typo) butcher shop’s statue is held aloft by two poles.
But the main attraction I was interested in seeing and the one that really got me off the road during my travels is a symbol of the days when fossil fuel was celebrated, a former Shell filling station shaped like—well, of course, a shell.
Eight of these shell-shaped stations were built in the late 1930s by a local marketer of Shell gasoline, the Quality Oil Company. The building is modeled on the trademarked logo of Shell Oil. It is built of a bent wood and wire frame covered with concrete stucco and painted in the same bright colors as the logo.
These eight filling stations were used for decades but eventually fell by the wayside notwithstanding their novelty. Sadly, seven were eventually torn down. This location was used by a lawnmower repair business during the 1970s and ‘80s. Finally, in the late 1990s Preservation North Carolina, a statewide historic society, purchased and restored the building, bringing it back from its state of disrepair and saving it as the last of its kind for future generations. While the building was not open while I was there, it is used by the organization as a regional office.