As Seen On TV!*

Finances have weighed heavily on the public mind for the past couple of years. One of the most common — and perhaps the most overused — phrases in all of 2009 was, “In this economy…” We’ve all fretted over the rising prices of gasoline and other amenities, and many consumers have cut back on spending in an attempt to stretch their dollars a bit more.

In 1953, when this photo of Ault’s Service Station (8602 Southeastern Ave.; now Randy’s Pizza) was taken, a gallon of gasoline cost less than a quarter. At times, when stations were in competition, the price dipped as low as 15 cents per gallon. Oh, for those days again…!

Of course, inflation ran its course. As the millennium drew to a close, a gallon of gas cost closer to a dollar — though, again, at times the price wars dropped it to 78 or 80 cents.

The last time I filled my tank, I paid $2.79 per gallon — a full two dollars more than I might have paid only a decade ago.

Thinking about those two dollars makes you long for a really good bargain, doesn’t it?

…For example, something that would cost you less than a dollar per month — but would give you priceless benefits in return?

Yes, yes, you know where I’m going now, because this entire post is a shameless bait-and-switch! This is the part in the script where you say, “Tell me where I can find such a great value!” and I reply, “A membership in the Franklin Township Historical Society costs only ten dollars per year.” That’s only 83 cents per month!

“But wait, there’s more!”

For your donation, you’ll receive a host of benefits. In addition to the Society’s newsletter, you’ll be invited to attend Membership Dinners and other events. You’ll also be supporting educational presentations in local schools, walking tours of Wanamaker and Acton, cemetery tours, quilt and antiques shows, historic preservation and archiving, and many other community programs sponsored or contributed to by the Franklin Township Historical Society. You’ll even be supporting this blog, and all the photos and articles that appear herein.

All that, and more, for just 83 cents per month. That’s so little money, I can’t even convert it to the obligatory cups-of-coffee scale.

Or, if you’ve an inclination to long-term planning, you can join as a Life Member for a one-time $100 donation! That’s right — full membership benefits, every year for the rest of your life, and you’ll never need to send another check! It’s an even better deal than the low, low price of $10/year!

Okay, enough of the infomercial script; since we’re a nonprofit organization, we don’t really have operators standing by. To join the Society, or to renew your membership, please mail your check (made out to Franklin Township Historical Society) to:

FTHS Membership
c/o Virginia Compton
8103 Mathews Road
Indianapolis, IN 46259

The Franklin Township Historical Society is a not-for-profit organization, and relies on donations to operate. All contributions to the Franklin Township Historical Society are tax-deductible.

* The title of this post is in fact accurate, as the Franklin Township Historical Society has been featured on no fewer than three national television programs. We’re famous! Kinda.


  1. Anonymous

    Ault's Service Station was a Mobil Gas Station with a revolving “flying red horse” situated out on the corner of the intersection. That was the service station strip of New Bethel. Red Jones had the Texaco at Franklin Rd and Southeastern which originally was a Phillips 66. Just west of there on Southeastern near the corner of Hanna Ave was Red Jones' Sinclair Station which he vacated when he took over the Phillips 66. The Sinclair Station eventually became Bob Bikini's Paint Shop. Then there was also Teague's Go Gulf Station where the Village Pantry now sits. Does anybody have info on what brand Yoke's station was next to the Pelican “We Never Close” Diner, or the brand of the station that backs up to the Wanamaker Feed & Seed Elevator? There was also a service station at the Gold Mine Tavern on Southeastern. New Bethel never was a large metropolitan area, but one thing is for sure. “We had gas!”

    1. Anonymous

      Johnnies sold Marathon and the station on the corner was a Standard. First taste of Mountain Dew was out of the pop machine in front. They fixed many a bicycle tire for me there.

  2. Anonymous

    I said that Teague's Go Gulf is where the Village Pantry now sits. My apology, it is where the Dollar General now sits. The Village Pantry was located up by Wildwood Drive on Southeastern.

  3. Anonymous

    Also there was Gasoline and service available at Humphrey Motor Company's Chevrolet Dealership, brand unknown next to the Fire Station on Southeastern. Like I said, “We Had Gas!”

    1. Ron Keller

      Gas at Humphrey’s was Sunoco

  4. Anonymous

    My grandfather Clarence Ault, owned Ault's service station. I can remember the flying red horse that revolved on the pole. He also put in a car wash behind the station, which was a first for the area. He kept a collie dog in the office at night to deter burglars and found the seat of a burglars pants one morning when he opened up for business. Robert Ault

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