Vick's Corner History
Vick's Corner was started in 1930 by Layton C. & Edna M. Vick with a small hamburger place and the original station with living quarters above the station. Both were located on the South side of highway # 9, the hamburger shop on the East side of what is now highway #86 and the station on the
The Service Station which had a basement under the original part, also enlarged by adding a service bay area also with additional living quarters above it. The service bay was the drive over pit type with storage compartments and work area below the floor for working on the cars. Later on live bait and tackle and block ice was added. Half of the basement was converted to a live bait tank for extra bait supply. At different times there were full pledged boxing matches held behind the station and later on a trap shooting area.
Layton C. and Edna were both avid sports people and were able to muster a hunting and a fishing trip from time to time. They had five children one which passed at birth four still living. One owns Millie's Pancake Haus in Tucson, AZ., One lives and works in Garland, TX. area, One lives in Loveland, Co., and works a large natural gas co. and the other one owns and operates the present Vick's Corner World. In the 60's highway #32, now #86 was totally re-done and traveling North on 86 the spur that goes toward Spirit Lake would go through the middle of the restaurant and the spur that goes to the West would go through the station area. At that time Layton C. and Edna bought the farm across highway 9 on the Northwest corner. The restaurant was demolished and the station was moved to it's present location. The farm house they had acquired had no indoor plumbing, little wiring and space heaters for heating and a dirt basement floor. The Vick's had to revamp the house totally then deal with getting every thing revamped for the station. The station sits in the outer part of the original barn yard area. Grading, fill and extensive work was done. Two driveways were added with entrances on highway 86 and 9.
There were seven wells on the farm none which were much good so a well was witched and was a good one. As you can tell the relocation was a very major project! In the mid 60's Layton C. passed on and Edna with the help of two boys still at home ran the station. As the boys graduated and moved the eldest son Layton W. moved back from business college in Des Moines and for two years leased the station from his mother, Edna. During this time highway 9 was totally revamped and made into a four lane towards Spirit Lake with a larger intersection going to a wider two lane towards the West. Again the Vick's were faced with very trying times as the road project took a portion of the farm and station property. All the underground tanks, signs etc. had to be moved again. The entire driveway system had to be rebuilt and due to the loss of space in front of the station a lot had to be built behind the station.
Now the East entrance was behind the building and the West entrance was 800 feet further to the West which ultimately meant a lot more driveway maintenance. The pump islands were relocated and wiring all re-done again. It took two years for the driveway to become fairly stable and a lot of work. During this time period Layton W. bought the station and grove area from his mother, Edna. The entire grove area when Layton W. bought it was a typical old farm grove with piles of rock, old fencing rolls, machinery, accumulated junk, scrap wood piles etc., you name it was there. It took several years of work to clean the grove up to what it is now, including planting 80 plus trees, much grass seed, building two roads into the grove area.
When the grove clean up first started Darrold & Sygrid Weaver rented the cleaned end for a Antique Show and Flea Market on one weekend. The next year for two weekends, then Darrold had medical problems so at that point with encouragement from some dealers Layton W. took over the shows and went to three shows a year.
A 200 AMP electrical
service with lighting was
One late afternoon after the auction people left it burnt to the
ground. That stopped the auctions but in due time a new Morton building
was put up for storage.
We had one more brush with fire that could have been totally devastating. With almost no insurance and on the 50 year anniversary of the start of Vick's Corner. Fully stocked up for the summer season and on Tuesday morning at about 3AM we discovered a serious fire at the station. Called the volunteer Spirit Lake fire department and in 15 minutes they got here!!!
And put it out. The fire chief said afterwards if it had been 10 to 15 minutes more the building would have been burnt to the ground. Even though the building was severely damaged and most of the stock inside had to be destroyed, through Yankee ingenuity we were pumping gas that afternoon. The building was slowly restored as soon as we could and was usable again. Presently the living quarters is used for storage. The garage area of the building originally had all the studs and cross beams exposed but we finished off the interior ceiling and walls plus replaced the screw in fuses with pull handles with all new wiring and breakers.
As time progressed Layton W. kept adding new products etc. until room was non existent. A new building? He wanted to keep the original building, after all his home was above that building when growing up so the Canopy idea came about. (outdoor cooler area). There are now full hook up Camping spots for RV's and many spots with just electrical hook ups which are available between Antique Shows with another 200AMP system and now an additional 100AMP system that was installed in the grove area for even better facilities.(500AMPS) As demand increases we will add more full hook ups as needed At this point Layton W. has no plans for retirement but plans to keep on expanding facilities and services as best as possible. In 2001 through 2003 a large 3 car garage was built near the house and a office area that connects the house and garage was added. A new water line has also been installed towards the top of the grove area.
spring and on into the summer, the Vick's have been also replacing
/repairing the siding on the original station building, using both the
good old siding and a lot of new siding. Due to the age of the
building, the new siding had to be milled, in order to be original, as
no one had that pattern any more. There still is about 1/8 of the
building to be sided yet, but most of it is done.
A more recent improvement has been New style electronic fuel pumps and a
redesigned pump island and all new signage in line with going
independent so a better higher quality fuel source could be offered to