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Roundtop being fixed

Beginning on April 29, crews began repairing the Roundtop Filling Station in Sherwood.
Beginning on April 29, crews began repairing the Roundtop Filling Station in Sherwood.
Beginning on April 29, crews began repairing the Roundtop Filling Station in Sherwood.
Beginning on April 29, crews began repairing the Roundtop Filling Station in Sherwood.

The Roundtop Filling Station in Sherwood is in the midst of being repaired.

According to Darrell W. Brown, of Sherwood, who is the man heading up to restore the historical landmark in the city, the project began on April 29.

“It’s been nearly a year and a half since serious efforts to save the historic building began, so I am thrilled to see this progress!” Brown said.

The first step for the restoration project is bracing the structure, he said.

In the 1920s, Gay Oil Company held a filling station design competition and the architect John Parks Almand won the competition with a “mushroom-shaped” design. Almand’s design was a structure designed for small city lots and provided a distinctive visual element, according to the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. While a significant departure from the Almand design, the Roundtop Filling Station draws an architectural reference to the station designs of independent oil and gas companies from the prior decade. While the large oil corporations established a standard corporate architecture, many smaller gas companies opted for whimsical designs that had a strong visual impact to entice customers. The Roundtop Filling Station is a part of this architectural trend.

According to the original operator of the station, W. D. Williford, the station was constructed in 1936 for Pierce Oil Company by Justin Matthews. Pierce Oil was one of the “baby Standards” that followed the breakup of the Standard Oil Trust in 1911. Pierce was awarded the area of operation of southern Missouri, Arkansas, western Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. Pierce Oil went out of business in 1940 and was purchased by Sinclair Oil. From historic photographs, the Roundtop Station was also operated as a DX Oil Company station for a period. Williford operated the station from 1936 to 1972. Williford purchased the station in 1957 and sold it in 1999 to George Brown. Being ideally situated on U.S. Highway 67 between St. Louis and Little Rock, the station had a steady business with travelers. For the better part of the mid-twentieth century, it had the only modern restrooms between Searcy and Little Rock. Williford recalls that “pumping 100 gallons of gas into the glass bowl pump was a BIG day.” Electric pumps were installed in 1941. In later years, the station was operated as a DX Gas Station. Although the station has been out of service for several decades, it is the only such extant gas station designed in the Mimetic/ Programmatic architecture style—and in this particular shape and plan—in the state of Arkansas.

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