Shea’s Gas Station Museum – 30 APR 2011

The Wall Drug is to Pharmacies what Shea’s Gas Station is to museums. Perhaps I’ve become jaded after visiting the high-tech Lincoln Museum but to call this private collections of memorabilia a museum is a bit of a stretch. It consists of two buildings… …this building was moved here from 21 miles away where it claimed to be the oldest filling station in Illinois:
Each building has a phone booth (not part of the original structures).
Four generations of Shea’s are connected to this Historic Landmark and the museum along with the entire Shea family have been inducted into the Route 66 Hall of Fame. The oldest Bill is a survivor of WWII. Both he and his 89 year old wife were there the day I visited.
Bill number two greeted me, collected the $2.00 admission fee and proceeded to give me a guided tour...telling me all kinds of stories about Route 66 and some of the items on display.
It was fascinating and eclectic but not organized or highly educational, other than the information one can get from talking to one of the Shea family members.
Here's one to add to my photos of interesting mail boxes:
They had two old televisions they didn’t know what to do with, so they put images of Bill Senior in them and tossed them into the mix.
Polly Gas was a short lived brand out of California.
This is a picture of the Santa Monica Pier which is the end of Route 66.
A collection of all things related to filling stations, automobiles, Route 66 or just anything a family member decided to collect such as law enforcement patches.
I’ve been in the antique business, have a house full of collectibles and love going to museums but had to ask Bill 1 about this item (as Bill 2 was busy helping a German filming crew).
He said it held fuel for a kerosine stove and would hang upside down. Below is a welding machine that still works. Bill 2 said they “used it to teach the grand kids how to weld. They can weld two soda cans together without spring a leak, something certified welders can’t do. When you can do that, you know how to weld.”


This hole-in-the-wall is world renowned, having been featured in printed material in Japan, Germany, and many other countries. They have a visitors log book with signatures from over 59 counties.

Tinky Winky waves good bye:
I’ve often thought my house (built in 1886) could be turned into a museum…I’ve collected enough stuff over the years (got an operating Victrola)…all I need to do is get organized…now I know, all I need to do is empty the garage & basement into the living room and charge admission.