The Ranch had 3 permanent Gas Stations at one point in time, also called Service Stations. All of them were built across from each other, so to speak, at the beginning of Blondie Street, near the original entrance of the Ranch. They were originally designated as the Standard American, Texaco and Ashland Service Stations.
The American Standard or Amoco station, was the first to be built in 1958 and was remodeled in 1965, followed by the Texaco Station 2 years later and the Ashland Station in late 1968. Originally used for filming their respective Service Station Commercials, these structures were built with the financial aid of the individual oil companies, and also followed closely the design and architecture of its real stations seen throughout the Nation at the time.
The original American Standard Service Station, as it appeared in an early tv commercial, circa 1962, before the major remodel. This screenshot is from a American Standard commercial, which can be seen on the Commercial page.
Above a screen capture from Bewitched in 1964 showing the side of the American Standard Station with the Deeds Mansion to the right.
To the left, a capture from the show Gidget in 1966 showing the Tire rack that sat outside to the right.
Because of Self Serve becoming more popular and Full Service was going out slowly, the Oil Companies also accommodated for this in the new designs of their Service Stations, and so the original structure on the Ranch was modified to represent this as well.
In 1968, the American Standard Service Station underwent a transformation and was expanded. To stay true to the actual new design that was used throughout the Nation, so was the one on the Ranch. A 3rd Bay was added to the left, as well as a gabled roof with overhang and planter boxes on either side of the structure. It is/was a Practical set, complete with working Bay Doors and space for full size vehicles, and working hydraulic lifts to jack up the cars.
In 1981/82 a show called Mr. Merlin used the American/Standard Service Station as the main base of operations for Max Merlin and his young apprentice Zach. Throughout it's 22 Episode run many scenes were filmed around and inside the station giving a great oppertunity to see what the structure looked like back in the early 80's
After Mr. Merlin ended, it was seen on occasion in shows like 'V' and 'Life Goes On' but sat dormant for many years after. It was used as a storage for set pieces sometimes but remained untouched till 2009, when the show 'The Middle' required it to be remodeled in to a Used Car Dealership.
Above and right, a view of what the inside looked like back in April 2009.
The Ashland Station only resided on the Ranch for a short time. Constructed sometime in 1968, it is only seen with its name, in a 8mm home movie. No known photos exist of it as the Ashland Service station in its prime. This structure was just a facade however, unlike the Standard or Texaco and was only 8 feet deep, but not enough to hold a full size vehicle.
As with the other 'Stations', it was more than likely constructed for filming of commercials. However, like the photos, no known commercials exist unfortunately. Thus the only way to see it is in several TV shows of the time.
The Ashland Service Station, seen here in the "Partridge Family" from 1970 as a Used Car lot. Shortly after this was filmed, the structure was torn down and turned back in to parking space.
A great find that showcases the exact reason for which this structure was built. It is for the first Texaco Sky Chief commercials from 1966, in color!!!
Since it was a model Texaco Station, it was used for the filming many of the Texaco Commercials of the time. Black and White and Color commercials were shot, many with the Texaco Fire Chief Girls as seen above.
And since it was a practical set, it was used on occasion for several shows. 'Bewitched' was one of them. It is believed that the roof was retractable, as in numerous shots natural daylight can be seen cast on the floor inside.
The station did not last long as a Texaco Station. Although it can be clearly seen in show like many of the shows from the mid sixties, it was converted to a modern style in 1967. The transformation can actually be seen in an episode of 'I Dream of Jeannie'. The 'tower' was removed and the structure was converted to an ACE Service station as seen below.
The station was completely remodeled sometime in 1972 and changed to an Amoco Station. It maintained its look for 2 decades, although it was seldom used as a Gas station anymore. The structure was 'blown up' in 1996 for the movie "Grosse Point Blank" but remained in unknown state until it was demolished sometime in 1999. It made it's final appearance in "Pleasantville" from that same year.
The 'new' Amoco Station as seen in the 'Daisies' commercial from 1972
The former Texaco station as a former Amoco Station, nameless and derelict in 1996.
As of this writing (May 2019) the remaining structure, formerly the original Amoco/Standard station has been used as a Dairy Queen for the show 'Young Sheldon' but has retained its remodeled look from the show 'The Middle'. Currently there are no plans to restore it back to its former glory.