There are two identical 1940s or earlier gas station buildings in Charlevoix and Emmet counties. One is in the small village of Burgess and the other is in Harbor Springs, on Lake Street across from the modern, functioning Phillips Service Station.
The little old stations have two pillars holding up the front hipped roofs where automobiles can pull in between the pumps and the station office and retail store.
The little building that was a 1940s gas station in Harbor Springs is now a tailor shop. The one in Burgess stands out in front of the owner's house and is in pristine condition.
Burgess is the township seat of Hayes Township. At the turn of the century Burgess, like many small villages in Charlevoix County (i.e. Dwight, Dot, Intermediate, Springvale, Inwood, Phelps and Berry), had its own post office. The Burgess post office was discontinued in 1905, but the population of the burg was still 40 in 1910.
Today it would be closer to 20. Hayes Township's brown brick town hall is catty-corner from the old gas station on the crossroads of Burgess Road and Old Highway 31.
James Vol Hartwell is owner of the Red Fox Inn Bookstore in Horton Bay, which has been part of his Fox family for 103 years. He is a Northern Michigan history aficionado. Three of his "Lost and Forgotten Northern Michigan" books are available at his store and excerpts from his writings will appear here each month.