Saturday, August 7, 2010

Vanished Rochester: Rochester Shell Service

The Rochester Shell service station at 205 S. Main St. was opened in February of 1942 by Orville E. Quick, who had operated a previous filling station on the other side of Main Street for many years before. Frank Rewold was the general contractor for the new facility, and the station was described as "one of the finest in Michigan" in its grand opening advertisement.

Orville Quick died in 1951, and Russ Williams bought the business from his heirs. Williams operated the Rochester Shell Service until March 1958, when Eugene Byers purchased it and combined his wrecker service with the gas station. Byers had previously been associated with Dean Lee in another filling station and wrecker service on South Main St., but in the mid-1950s the Lee and Byers firm had been dissolved with Lee operating the service station and Byers operating the towing business.

Eugene Byers and his brother, Norm, operated the Byers Shell Service and Byers Wrecker Service from the corner of Second and Main for nearly thirty years. The wrecker yard was located directly behind the service station to the west, where the carcasses of wrecked vehicles were on display for all of the town to see. Byers eventually moved the wrecker yard to a larger location on South Street (where it is still located today) and gave up the service station business to concentrate exclusively on towing and recovery. The service station building was razed in the mid-1980s to make way for the boutique business suites currently occupying the site.

This view of the Rochester Shell Service dates from the 1940s when Orville E. Quick was the proprietor.


  1. Oh so many memories of this gas station. It was located at the corner of second and main-end of my street. If any cars were towed---this is where you would see them. We always got our gas there-everyone was so nice! Ginni-Girardot-Counard

  2. you really need to get the facts checked out. Gene was still in service until 4end of 52