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Whalley Gas Toots – Just Bein’ Friendly!

November 19, 2015

George Arthur Whalley was “a friendly man” who enjoyed passing the time of day with all who stopped at his gas station and grocery. A newspaper report, based on an interview with Mrs Whalley noted:

“If they didn’t stop, he greeted them anyway, with the toot of a donkey whistle hooked up to an air compressor alongside the gas lamps that flanked his establishment.”

A mixed blessing, perhaps:

“Many a hurrying motorist was startled by the shrill blast.”

The Whalleys bought the 2 1/2 acre lot at the corner of Grosvenor Road and the Pacific Highway in 1925 for $750.

From the same newspaper article:

“Across the road about where Fowler’s Garage stands now, Bill Barker had a goat ranch. Between 20 and 30 of the ruminants gamboled where much of the business section is now located. The goat milk was sold for babies, and in those pre-baby-sitting days, Mary Whalley, then in her teens, sometimes minded the goats.”

That property, on the west side of the highway, and leading down to the river, “was laid out in 2 1/2 acres blocks with homes and poultry houses.” Decades later, “No trace of it remains.”

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