Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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January 3, 2013

Pioneer Village project needs bricks

Gas station an effort to move museum forward in time

Corsicana — The Navarro County Historical Commission is seeking old bricks to help complete the gas station project at Pioneer Village in Corsicana.

“We are in need of some old bricks for the Gas Station project and I am hoping one of you will know where some are,” President Bruce McManus stated in an e-mail sent out Tuesday. “Looking for regular old brick, Corsicana Brick, Whitselle Brick, Cherry Reds, etc… nothing new with holes in it.”

The City of Corsicana offered up 500 old bricks, taken up from streets, but the commission estimates they’ll need at least 150 more to finish the work.

The gas station project is an effort to move Pioneer Village forward in time, into the early part of the 20th century.

The gas station was one of three wooden gas stations left in Navarro County that is being moved from Retreat to Corsicana’s historical park within Jester Park.

The station has been donated by Bill and Linda Harrison, and is being transformed into a Magnolia gas station because of Corsicana’s connections to the early oil company. Magnolia was formed from the merger of Navarro Refining Company and the Security Oil Company. The Corsicana Preservation Foundation, not related to the Historical Commission, has preserved an oil derrick and is working on restoring the former Magnolia refinery on South 15th Street.

The Corsicana Preservation Foundation has already saved an oil derrick and is now working to save the old refinery out on FM 709.

Pioneer Village currently consists of early buildings from the 19th century, cabins, early stores, and this would be a foray into the 20th century in a cost-effective way, McManus said.

Estimates of the cost of the project are about $30,000. While the commission is seeking a grant, it is also hoping for donations to help defray the expenses. Making the project slightly more expensive is the difficulty in finding historic gas pumps, which have become a darling of antique collectors.

People willing to donate old bricks, or Magnolia gas station paraphernalia for the park, should call McManus at (903) 714-1470.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

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