Route 66 News

Abandoned but not forgotten

The folks who run the Abandoned Oklahoma site take a closer look at the long-defunct Conoco gas station on Route 66 near Arcadia.

The station is particularly notable because of its notorious history:

Back then, times were very hard and it was difficult to make a living. One day, about the time Al Capone was terrorizing the City of Chicago, a so-called salesman came by the station, offering to sell the owners a way to make a lot of money, literally, for he had a set of plates for a counterfeit ten-dollar bill. The story goes that the people yielded to temptation, with the thought of being able to get rich quick. […]

The way the counterfeiting was done was that they would press one of the plates on a piece of paper with the green ink on it, then let that side dry 24 hours, and print the black side of the bill the next day. Things went along just fine for a time, but while passing one of the fake ten-dollar bills, one of the persons was arrested, and with the identification on him where he lived, he was traced to the old station. While searching the building, the counterfeit plates were found. So ended this crime spree, like so many others. The person being taken to jail was overheard to say, “It wasn’t worth it!”

The old station was closed, never to open again. Many years later, which had nothing to do with the counterfeiting, a murder victim was found in the old abandoned building. Police were unable to determine whether he was killed there or the body just dumped, for he had no identification on him and on one seemed to know him.

Nowadays, the remnants of the station have a more sedate existence. The current owners keep it neat, with flowers growing in the window sill, and it’s a nice scene for travelers on the Mother Road.

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