Friday, October 06, 2006

Lizzie Wash first of its kind here

QUESTION: They’re working on the old Kmart site at Airport Road and South Circle Drive and when they cleared out all the Pfitzer bushes you could see this sign on the wall. What’s the history of Lizzie Car Wash? Also, would you know when the Kmart closed?
- Mark Petta
ANSWER: Known as “Lizzie Wash,” the car wash opened in the summer of 1968. The Gazette reported it had “a washing capacity of one car each 56 seconds.”
Lizzie, the first of its kind here, was self-operated, with drivers remaining in their vehicles. There was also an area for washing pickup trucks. The business sold Skelly gas, and customers got free washes with the purchase of 10 gallons. Lizzie Wash was no longer listed in the city directory after 1970, according to Penrose Library’s Special Collections.

The adjacent Kmart, which was built in 1964, closed in 1997. It is being remodeled into smaller spaces for retail and industrial use.


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