Irvington is filled with beautiful Victorian and Arts and Crafts-era homes, but what of the other structures? Clearly by the 1910s, as residents began to buy automobiles, they needed filling stations. Very few of the first generation gas stations remain in Indianapolis. Because Brookville Road used to be the main route for travel between Indianapolis and Cincinnati, several entrepreneurs constructed petrol stops at various crossroads and in small towns all along the highway. Brookville Road and Arlington Avenue served as a gateway intersection for entering southeastern Indianapolis so it became a likely candidate for just such a business.
This rare image shows the McKissick & Williams Filling Station in 1939. City directories reveal that it had been located at 5989 Brookville Road (southwest corner of Brookville Road and South Arlington Avenue) since at least the 1930s and possibly earlier. Other filling stations would eventually arrive at all four corners of the intersection. As the factory to the west of the station expanded, the structure was torn down. Most of the first and second generation gas stations in Irvington have closed or are being used in another capacity.
The historic image is courtesy of Helen Hunt. The contemporary image showing the site today was taken on August 4, 2011.