Lakehead Service Center, 1961

October 31, 1961

Lakehead Service Center, 1530 London Road (News-Tribune file photo)

The Lakehead Service Center opened in 1961 on London Road in Duluth’s Endion neighborhood. After remodeling, additions and a name change, it’s still there today, operating as London Road Car Wash. Cars exiting the car wash today still use the original exit, as seen in these photos.

This photo is undated, but it may be from a couple years after it opened:


Here is an article that previewed the opening of the service center, from July 28, 1961:


By Garth Germond, Duluth Herald staff writer

Mayor E. Clifford Mork and Robert B. Morris, Duluth Chamber of Commerce executive secretary, will take part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the new Lakehead Service Center Saturday.

George Finch, president of Lakehead Service Co., and William Soules, vice president and general manager, say their new center – located at 16th Avenue East and London Road – is the first of its kind in the state.

They describe it as a "supermarket" for auto owners, offering complete mechanical repairs and maintenance, gas and oil service and a high speed car wash. The car wash will be opened next week.

Soules says that the car wash will employ a variety of new-type automatic equipment. It will use a mild detergent under high pressure to watch cars; a 10-horsepower vacuum cleaner to clean interiors; and a 120-horsepower blower for fast drying.

The center occupies about a half-block of space. Its white-painted concrete-block buildings were erected by United General Constructors, Inc. C. Everett Thorsen was the architect and Elmer M. Peterson the consulting engineer.

Soules and Finch announced appointment of Donald E. Anderson, former operator of the Highland Service Center, as head of their repair department, and Leonard Sathers, a veteran Duluth gasoline service station operator, as service manager. Pure Oil Co. products will be featured.


For more information on the Pure Oil brand, click here.

Here are a few close-ups from the first photo:

2 Responses

  1. PJ, Duluth

    It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a Pure sign at a gas station, or even Clark. That’s my critical comment for the day.

  2. KP

    I remember our first trip through that carwash. It was pretty amazing. Before that, it was always just a bucket of water and a hose in the driveway at home.

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