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Old gas station to become city center
An old gas station on Atlanta Road will soon become a welcome center for Cumming. The building near Dairy Queen was the city’s first gas station. - photo by Autumn McBride


An old gas station in downtown Cumming will soon be returned to its former glory.

City administrator Gerald Blackburn said crews have been working “off and on” for about three months to revitalize the old Sinclair station, which is near Dairy Queen on Atlanta Road.

The station, which dates to at least the 1930s, will eventually become a welcome center for the city, he said.

“Back a long time ago, every city had a gas station where when you came into town you could go and get information about the town,” Blackburn said.

“These days with technology and everything, you just don’t have that anymore.”

But the old station may soon serve that purpose again.

Blackburn said the station was part of property the city bought about three years ago for $730,000 to save it from demolition relating to roadwork around the square.

Judy Willingham, who with husband Jay owns Dairy Queen, said she’s happy something’s finally being done with the site.

During her 35 years in Cumming, she said it’s never been a gas station.

“I believe it was a jewelry store for a while,” she said. “We’re delighted it’s going to be redone.”

Blackburn said the renovation, which will cost $65,000 to $70,000, should be finished in about three months. The funding was set aside in the city’s general fund.

Crews will first complete renovations to the building’s exterior, he said, which will likely take up to about two months, followed by interior work.

After the renovation, Blackburn said, the building will look much like it did in 1934, when it became a Sinclair service station.

“It was the first gas station in town,” he said. “It was the first to have powered gas pumps.”

Blackburn said city leaders have been trying to determine who owned the station before it was branded Sinclair.

He said city leaders hope to find old gas pumps, which would just be decorative, similar to those at the site during its heyday.

“You used to have old stations like this in every corner of the county, now this is about the only one that remains,” Blackburn said. “We want to save it.”