Eatonville Motor Co. (early 1900s)

Eatonville Motor Co. (ca. 1918)
Eatonville Motor Co. (ca. 1918)

The Eatonville Motor Co. would later become Christensen Motors. Notice the primitive gas pump out front.

“Early gasoline transfer was a dangerous business, due to storage concerns, spillage and the extreme combustibility of gasoline. Gasoline transfer in these early filling depots consisted of an attendant who either placed his ear to the filling spout of the automobile as the gas was being transferred, and listened for a certain sound that would indicate the automobile was full of fuel, or he simply looked down the filler spout of the automobile eying the filling process. Both systems were very inaccurate and the automobile owner could only hope the car was filled.” (Vintage Gas Pumps)

Kay (Christensen) Davis says, “My Grandpa Pravitz had a garage and Grandpa Christensen took it over.”

For more information, check out Rich William’s comment below!

Photo courtesy of Kay Christensen David and Christensen family.

Click on image to enlarge.

One response to “Eatonville Motor Co. (early 1900s)”

  1. Diane, according to Dick Christensen, Leslie Kipper built this building as a Ford repair shop in 1919. Four years earlier, Dick Christensen’s father, N.C. Christensen bought the Lindsey Mercantile business across the street. (The original Van Eaton Mercantile building) A few years later, the Pravitz family took over Leslie Kipper’s business and the building remained a repair shop until the Cushman family bought the building in 1926 and converted it into a grocery store.

    During the Depression, N.C. Christensen and the Cushman family traded buildings. Cushman’s to the old Van Eaton Mercantile building and Christensen’s into the Cushman grocery store building. From then on, this building was Christensen’s Department Store.

    In 1940, Mr. Christensen contracted Matt Kjelstad to help him build another building next to the store This building became Christensen Motors. It was run by Mr. Christensen’s sons, Neil and Don selling Dodge and Plymouth automobiles. Many people remember Denny Hightower, George Neistadt, Harry Munsen, Mike Bertram and others servicing their automobiles. In the early 1960’s, Jim Bean purchased the car dealership and moved it to a new location on the corner of Washington Avenue and Center Street East (Currently Dawn’s Floral) Soon after, Dick and Joan and their son Rick renovated the Christensen Motor’s building making it part of their Department Store.


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