620 W. Chapel Hill St.

35.997122, -78.911893

Cross Street
Year built
Year demolished
Construction type
Building Type
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Shell Filling Station, 12.07.56 (Herald-Sun)

Looking northeast from West Chapel Hill St. at the approximate location of Yates Ave. The line of the street would have extended towards the billboard from West Chapel Hill. 02.02.08. (G. Kueber)


Looks like Howell's Shell at 620 W. Chapel Hill. Photo taken prior to 1961.
Wayne Henderson

So this is the northeast corner of Yates and West Chapel Hill? Just to the south of where St. Paul's Lutheran was? That looks right from what I can see of the building in the background of this picture and the aerial shot in that post.

Nice job Wayne - I wondered if you would be reading and be able to id it. The photo is from 1956.


Readers of this blog should vote for Durham to be the next city for which the UNC library digitizes Sanborn maps.

Hmm. I think this is the station in front of Northgate on Club Blvd. I could be wrong, though.

If you want to see digitized Sanborn maps, use NC LIVE. Your local library can assist you in logging on, and Sandborn maps of Durham are available back to the 1880's. You can also visit the North Carolina Collection at the Durham County Library for more information: http://www.durhamcountylibrary.org/ncc or http://www.durhamcountylibrary.org
p.s. - You tax dollars already paid for the NC LIVE Sanborn maps - please use them!!!

Always glad to help out with the gas stations. Actually, this one was relatively simple. The dealer's name, Howell, is about the door. I simply looked it up in the list that I created from old city directories and phone books. Got any more???


how are you able to read Howell above the door? I downloaded the image and opened in photoshop and cannot see a name. what am I missing!?

That's a good eye, Wayne. I hadn't even noticed the name above the door, which I can barely make out in the picture I posted. Going back now and blowing up the original, I can clearly see "CB Howell, Manager" above the door.

I do have a few gas station pictures of Durham that complement your collection - I'd be happy to send them to you.


I just wanted to say that I love these mystery pictures. Keep 'em coming!

That is one pretty filling station -- all bright and shiny for Christmas! Love the Santas on the roof, the Star of David,the foil and fake snow on the windows, & of course, the lights. Everything is so perfectly placed on display -- the tires and the cans arranged in a triangle. Talk about pride in ownership! Mr. Howell and his employees did a bang-up job. What a great picture.

I love mystery photo Fridays...even though I have no idea what I am looking at. So glad there are some real historians to show the way!

Sorry retired English teacher, that is NOT the star of David. That would have been WAY progressive for the time!

These pix are great--keep them coming!

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