Pure Oil / Couch Oil Station - Hillsborough Road

36.01495, -78.934899

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Pure Oil station, 1955
(Courtesy Wayne Henderson)

To my knowledge, one of the last two cottage-style Pure Oil stations left in Durham, along with the one at Alston and East Main Sts., is the one located near the junction of West Main St. with Hillsborough Road. Built by 1937, this station appears to always have been associated with a larger distribution center (the "Bulk Oil Plant") for the Pure Oil Company, given large horizontal, cylindrical tanks located to the rear of the building apparent in 1930s-1950s maps and aerial photos, and still present today.

By the 1950s, this station and the associated infrastructure was owned by Couch Oil Company. It appears to be owned by Unocal today.

Former Pure Oil station, 04.04.09.



I love this place. My grandpa was a salesman for Quaker State for 35 years, and I spent countless hours with him at a similar bulk plant in Indiana.

I always get the propane tank for my gas grill refilled at Couch just because I can.

I haven't been here in three years and I was using Mr. Heater radiant heating at studio but this was the cheapest place I found to fill (not exchange) propane tanks.

A lot more enjoyable than standing out at the cages at Home Depot waiting for 20 minutes for someone to show up like the cashier promised.

We love this place so much we commissioned K Brown to take a photograph of it. And don't forget the "antique" coca-cola machine inside the building.

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