At the corner of Mount Shasta Boulevard and Alma Street, the old Freeman’s Fast Lube building is getting new life. Kevin Brooks, owner of Brooks Complete Auto, has purchased the building and is renovating it to look as it did in days gone by.

Mount Shasta, Calif. —

At the corner of Mount Shasta Boulevard and Alma Street, the old Freeman’s Fast Lube building is getting new life. Kevin Brooks, owner of Brooks Complete Auto, has purchased the building and is renovating it to look as it did in days gone by.

As one of the last remaining service stations along Old Highway 99, which ran smack dab through town, the building was constructed sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s – years before Interstate 5 was punched through in 1964.

Brooks is renaming the building “Mt. Shasta Pit Stop.” Though he will still offer oil changes at his other location further down North Mt. Shasta Boulevard, Brooks said the Pit Stop is the perfect location for people to drop off their vehicles and enjoy downtown shops while they wait.

“As I work to restore this old place to its new lease on life, I can almost hear the service-needed bell ringing, marking the arrival of a weary traveling soul along this old Highway,” said Brooks last week. “It makes me wonder who these people might have been, where they came from and where they might be headed.”

Brooks said over the course of time, the station has been painted many colors and called by many names. Long gone are the fuel pumps, filling island and awning.

“As we race along today in our high tech fast paced lives, we have long lost sight of how thing used to be,” said Brooks, who has researched the building and other Old Highway 99 businesses from the 1940s and ’50s.

It was a time when automobile travel had just become popular with the masses, he explained.

“Highway 99 would bring travelers to our little town at a rate of three cars a minute in 1950,” Brooks said. “It didn't take long for all the towns along this route to figure out the economical effects of getting these travelers to stop and do their shopping in the local businesses.”

Mt. Shasta Boulevard was once home to many full service gas stations, diners and motels, Brooks said. Signs of these long gone businesses are still present if you look closely.

“A prime example of a highway roadside motel is the Strawberry Valley Inn,” Brooks said. “The telltale sign is the adjacent small garage on each room, small by today’s standards but more then ample to house yesterday’s-sized cars.”

Replacing the old diners are retail shops, office space and galleries.