A few weekends back on an abnormally warm January Sunday, a friend and I hopped in the car in search of some roadside adventure. We headed northeast of Des Moines to the stretch of the Lincoln Highway that runs through Belle Plaine to check off the first item on my 2015 bucket list.
Preston’s Gas Station embodies everything I love about road trips and that irresistibly kitschy sense of Americana. For any traveler—Lincoln Highway lover or not—this is a great detour for a photo opp and roadside time warp.And be on the lookout for some quality 1950s-era advertising—my favorite was a small sign that read, “If you must drink and drive… Drink Pepsi!”
A bit of history about Preston’s Gas Station
According to the Lincoln Highway News, George Preston first began working at the Belle Plaine gas station in 1923 when he was 13. Later he purchased the property for $100 and was operational until 1989. When George passed away in 1993, the corner station was preserved by his son, Ronald, until his passing in 2011.
While I wasn’t able to find much about the station since then, the Lincoln Highway News wrote in 2012 that the Lincoln Highway Association and Belle Plaine Historical Society were working to preserve the site for travelers for years to come.
Preston’s Gas Station, 1301 4th Avenue in Belle Plaine, Iowa