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Behrens-Rapp Filling Station History


The Behrens Brothers, John Frederich Behrens and William C. Behrens, built a “pure oil station" in 1925 on land they had purchased at the intersection of 14th St and Waterloo Rd. The filling station's hip roof, brick pillars, drive-under canopy, and ring of light bulbs captured the era's architectural style.

The Behrens operated the station for twenty years before son-in-law Norris Smith took over management and ownership in 1945.

John Rapp began working at the station in 1943, but World War II interrupted his service. After the war, he returned to his work and became the manager in 1950. He purchased the business from Norris Smith in the 1960s and continued operations until May 1990.

When construction plans for the new Highway 58 endangered the building, a group of Cedar Falls citizens worked to preserve it and find it a new home.

In 1993, the Cedar Falls Historical Society, Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitor’s Bureau, and Trolley Trackers Questers Chapter #1113 partnered to move the building to its current location and restore the station.
On July 21, 1993 it settled into its home at First and Clay, where it now serves as a Tourist Information Center.




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