Vintage pumps may return to U.S. 30

November 04, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Though motorists won't be able to fill up their tanks at these gas pumps, tourism officials hope a dozen vintage pumps along U.S. 30 will make people want to stop and get out of their cars.

The 71/2-foot-tall pumps, replicas of the slender pumps popular during the early part of the 1900s, will begin cropping up along U.S. 30, also called the Lincoln Highway, sometime next year, said Paul Cullinane, vice president of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor.

Initially there will be about a dozen "Pumps on Parade" along the 200-mile stretch of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, which includes Adams, Franklin, Fulton, Bedford, Somerset and Westmoreland counties, he said. Depending on the interest, the number of pumps may grow to 25 or 30.


"We're trying to create excitement for tourists traveling the corridor," Cullinane said.

Local artists can submit renderings to paint the pumps in different themes.

The idea came from the group's executive director, Olga Herbert, after seeing the "Cows on Parade" about four years ago in Chicago, said Karen Fetter, Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor's marketing manager.

"She tried to adapt it to meet our mission. We're using gas pumps to promote driving," she said.

A Philadelphia company has made the vintage replicas.

There are plans for four pumps in Franklin County, including one in the orchards between Chambersburg and Fort Loudon, Pa., one at Dodie's Restaurant in Fayetteville, Pa., and one at Caledonia State Park. The fourth, which will be the initial pump installed, will likely be located in downtown Chambersburg near the Ice Cream Station across from New Texas Lunch, if the owners approve, Cullinane said.

Cullinane said that just because a Franklin County artist does one project, it may not stay in Franklin County.

"Say the artist did a theme on banking with pictures of money. If there is a site with a bank in Westmoreland County, that is where the pump will go," Cullinane said.

He said the gas pumps are replicas of ones at the height of the automobile era when roads were improving and gas stations were popping up.

"They were selected because we were looking for ways to create excitement about the Lincoln Highway, and what better icon than the gas pump?" Cullinane said. "It's something everyone can relate to."

Cullinane and others from the heritage group hope to eventually list the sites of the pumps in a tourism guide so people traveling the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor know where to spot them.

He said he expects some people may want to have their photo taken with each pump.

Artists have until Nov. 15 to submit their drawings, and those selected will be notified by Dec. 1, Fetter said.

Artists will receive $500, and they must pick up their pump from the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor's Ligonier, Pa., office and return the completed piece by Feb. 1, Fetter said.

She hopes the pumps will be in place by July.

Artists interested in submitting renderings for the pumps should contact Herbert, executive director of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, at 724-238-9030.

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