Charlestown building restored to 1930s memory
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— While the inside is fully modern with stainless steel appliances, laminate flooring and replica marble counters, the outside of 300 Market St. hearkens to a time when mom and pop stores ruled the marketplace.
For those old enough to remember the Charlestown of the early 20th century, Shockley’s Store and the gas station are back — at least from outward appearance.
Richard and Pamela Mahan, who also own the historic Indian Queen home at 322 Market St., are just finishing the interior renovation and preparing to find tenants for the four apartments. At the same time, the couple is celebrating their success at recreating the exterior, which Pam hopes will incite others to do likewise.
“It was in bad shape. We’ve spent the last four months renovating it back to its unique gas station exterior,” she said.
Built in 1930, 300 Market St. was best known as Shockley’s Store, essentially Charlestown’s general store that also featured a service station with a garage and gas pumps.
“It was also the town post office at one time,” she said.
Sitting on a busy corner, the building was in a unique position in town.
In the process of the renovations, they have discovered signage from the gas station, including the large “This is Charlestown” sign advertising Standard Motor Gasoline that a neighbor agreed to let them have. There’s also a sign announcing gas being sold for 30.5 cents per gallon.
“We’re trying to find old gas pumps,” Mahan said.
For the period, the couple figures the models with a glass globe at the time would be perfect.
What was once cinder block grey is now bright white with blue shutters. There’s even a set of faux garage doors showing where cars would pull in for ser vicing.
“It’s got so much interesting architecture,” Mahan said. “It’s a piece of Charlestown history.”
The Mahans are hoping that their project may spark more of this kind of revitalization to follow in the historic town.
“Maybe this is part of, hopefully, the start of people renovating old properties in Charlestown,” she said. “It’s not about us. It’s about trying to do good for the town.”
The faux garage door on the side of the former Charlestown Gas Station at 300 Market St. helps recreate the shop that was there in the early part of the 20th century.
Pamela and Richard Mahan have spent the past four months recreating the exterior of this property at 300 Market St. in Charlestown to look as it did in the early 20th century.