A few months back, I stumbled upon an abandoned Shell gasoline station near Shenandoah Caverns in Virginia.
A few months back, I stumbled upon an abandoned Shell gasoline station near Shenandoah Caverns in Virginia. The station likely harks back to the construction of Interstate 81 through the Shenandoah Valley in the mid-1960s. Interestingly, there’s still an operational Shell station with an identical design on the opposite side of the freeway.
The origins of Shell can be traced back to 1907 when it emerged from the merger of the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company of the Netherlands and the Shell Transport and Trading Company of the United Kingdom. This merger thrust Shell into direct competition with the American Standard Oil Company, and by 1920, it had claimed its place as the world’s largest oil producer. As part of the prestigious “Seven Sisters,” Shell wielded significant influence in dominating the global petroleum industry from the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s. However, as I stood before the remnants of this forsaken gas station, it was evident that times had changed.
Today, Shell operates an extensive network of over 40,000 gasoline stations and oil refineries, diversifying its business ventures across various product and market sectors. Yet, this weathered and abandoned station served as a poignant reminder of a bygone era, preserving a tangible piece of Shell’s rich history amidst the contemporary landscape.