King City, Missouri: The Big Pump

An old gas station built in the shape of a huge, red electric gas pump. Regular-size pumps stand out front for photos, though you can't actually fill up.

Tri-County Historical Museum Society

508 N. Grand Ave., King City, MO
Tri-County Historical Museum Society. North edge of town. On the east side of N. Grand Ave. just south of its junction with US Hwy 169.
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Visitor Tips and News About The Big Pump

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The Big Pump.

The Big Pump

At the big gas pump. Also there are giant wind turbine blades on display.

[J Nichols, 07/31/2011]
The Big Pump

The Big Pump filling station was built in 1937 by Foster's Builders for Kyle Phares of Phares Oil. It originally didn't carry a brand name gasoline and was first a discount filling station, one of the first in the area. It later carried several brand names, the last being the CO-OP brand.

It was moved from its original site in the late '70s and purchased by Jerry Jones, who owned Jerry's Bargain Barn and moved north of town, close to his business.

The Big Pump served as a CB radio repair shop at one point and fell into disrepair.

How and why King City acquired the structure remains a mystery. However, it's good that it was saved from being destroyed and forgotten. It's definitely a piece of Americana that several wish would not have left the place of its roots. Thanks to King City for saving this structure.

[JD, 12/22/2009]

The Big Pump.

Giant Electric Gas Pump

Here is a photo of the Giant Gas Pump in King City, Missouri, with my '55 Packard parked in front of it for scale. The Big Pump is quite remarkable... too bad it isn't still an operational filling station!

[Jeff Pachl, 11/29/2007]
Giant Electric Gas Pump

"The Big Pump" is now located at a convenient roadside park location in King City, MO, on highway 169. This location is about 80 miles north of Kansas City. King City is the hometown of a gentleman named Rufus Limpp (now deceased) who was (I believe) an oil jobber who built the structure.

[Mic Jones, 10/24/1998]
Giant Electric Gas Pump

The town of Maryville, MO, once had a gas station shaped like a giant electric gas pump. Electric gasoline pumps were evidently new when this station was built, but now, unfortunately, the station, known as "The Big Pump" is gone. The small wedge-shaped traffic island it stood on now is home to a statue of St. Francis. The Big Pump was once moved to a lot just north of Maryville, where it could still be seen from the side of the road, but it had been painted over or something, and was hardly recognizable for what it once was. I don't know where the structure is now, because I didn't see it when I was through there last.

Also, there is a giant weathervane, near 2nd and Buchanan, just one block east of Main Street, in downtown Maryville. I believe the giant weathervane is associated with a company that manufactures lightning rods and such, and is located at the above-mentioned intersection.

[Don Fraysier, 10/12/1998]

King City is about 35 miles southeast of Maryville.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Scrap Metal SculpturesScrap Metal Sculptures, Stanberry, MO - 12 mi.
Ice Cream Cone BuildingIce Cream Cone Building, St. Joseph, MO - 24 mi.
Walter Cronkite Interactive MemorialWalter Cronkite Interactive Memorial, St. Joseph, MO - 25 mi.
In the region:
Rhino Tombstone, Liberty, MO - 56 mi.

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