The Corner Station building began as Reece’s Service Station in 1921. It was built on an angle to the street and the quality brick facade and sturdy construction seems to say the building was meant to last and be part of this Fairview Utah community for a long time.  Later, Reece’s brother-in-law Wendell Christensen took over and most folks remember the place as Wen’s Service. The building was also owned or run by Bert Vance, Dave Boylan, Dave Smith, John Unferdorfer and others after Wendell retired.

Wendel A. Christensen, a Life of Service

Obituary of Wendel A. Christensen, Long-time owner of the Corner Station Building, published: Monday, June 11, 2007

“Wendel A Christensen, our loving father, grandfather, brother, and friend passed away peacefully in Fairview, Utah on Wednesday, June 6, 2007, at the age of 89. Wendel was born in Fairview, Utah, on September 15, 1917, the only son of Peter Afton and Bertha Gull Christensen. He married Nora Hurst on November 23, 1937, in the Manti LDS Temple. Wendel was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in various callings throughout his life.

Wendel and Nora were the parents of three children: DeeAnn, Roger Wendel, and Julie Rae. His wife, Nora, preceded him in death on September 22, 2003. Wendel was raised in Fairview and he attended North Sanpete High School. At the age of 17, Wendel joined the C.C.C.’s. After this, he worked at Riverton Motors and attended mechanics school.

Wendel served his country as a military policeman. Following the war, he owned and operated the Chevron station and garage, Wen’s Service, for over 40 years. Along with the garage, he ran a tow truck service, had a fleet of semi trucks, coal trucks, and milk trucks.

Wendel was a bus driver for the North Sanpete School District for many years. Later in life, he worked for the school district as a mechanic and as the grounds maintenance supervisor until he was almost 80 years old. Wendel was active in civic affairs. He served as the Chief of the Fairview City Volunteer Fire Department and on the Fairview City Council.

Wendel was a true example of how one person can touch so many with simple love and selfless acts of service. Wendel and Nora spent many winters as “snowbirds” in Yuma, Arizona. Thoughout his life, he was in constant demand to help fix anything that needed fixing. During the summers back in Utah, Wendel spent his time mowing lawns. He was a familiar sight as he rode throughout the town on his John Deere mower. He spent his early mornings at the Home Plate Cafe working and socializing.

Wendel will be missed by countless family and friends. He is survived by his children: DeAnn (Jerry) Barentsen; Roger Wendel (Anna Jean}; and Julie Rae (Marcus) Nielsen; 12 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild; sister, Fawn Mulvey; sister-in-law, Olive Hurst. Preceded in death by his wife, parents, and two sisters, Beth (Ellis) Orton, and Carma Lee Christensen.

The family would like to express a special “thank you” for the wonderful compassionate service given by Iris, Gary, and the staff of the Baker’s Residential Care Center and to his special nurses Kristy and Dan Sego and Delores Spencer. Without their loving kindness, things would have been much more difficult. Funeral services will be held Monday, June 11, 2007, at 1:00 p.m. in the Fairview 1st Ward Chapel, 100 South Main Street. Family and friends may call at the chapel in Fairview from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. prior to the service. Burial in the Fairview City Cemetery, under the care of Rasmussen Mortuary.”

A Snippet of “automobile memories” from a Fairview Resident

“Nobody had a car. There wasn’t many cars around Fairview at that time— there was a few, but not very many–in 1918. Then in 1924 Thel and I bought another new Ford–T Model. And I forget what that one was–oh a little better than $600. It was green with a black top. So I got Thel and we looked at the car and we decided we’d take that one. And that new car— 4 door sedan—$728. And that was the spare tire and everything!!  And I remember the first time we pulled down into the service station to get some gas, it was just one little service station here in Fairview, right here on the corner. One pump. And Dan James over here– Mary James’s Dad, he was the marshall at that time. He walked up and he looked in the window and he said, ‘They can’t call it a ‘Lizzy’ anymore can they?’ “Well, then of course later on long about 1927— no ’29, they come out with this model A Ford. I ordered one of them. They was hard to get you know, so many people ordering them you know, but anyway my mother had bought a new Essex down to Manti and we was down to Mount Pleasant in that new Essex and I happened to see or drive over to Locking Johns and said: “When you gunna get that Ford for me?” and he said, “Well, I dunno when we can get it but as soon as they fill the orders you can get it, but we’ve got one in here today that was ordered and the fellow can’t take it.” And they said, “Do you want that?” And I said, “Well, I’ll see.”

The Corner Station had another new beginning in Spring of 2008 when Katie, Christine (mom and daughter) and Phil Shell (pop) bought the old, closed 1921 gas station from an out of state owner. They hoped to help revitalize Fairview’s Main Street, plus they loved the history of the building – the “people” history being a mix of many things found in life – happiness, sadness, accomplishment, disappointment and service. The Corner Station logo mascot, “Charlie”, represents all of the men (and even a woman or two) who owned the building or worked here.

It took months of scraping grease from the floor, scrubbing, patching and painting walls and tile laying – plus overseeing the work of licensed contractors and friends to make the building handicapped accessible, electrically safe and soundly plumbed.  Finally, in the Fall, The Corner Station opened with gifts, home decor, toys and more. After 7 wonderful years the Shells closed and put the building up for sale in October of 2015.

Despite efforts to sell, the building sat empty until Jason Mardell approached Katie in 2017 to transform the building into a deli. The two of them put their heads together and came up with the Corner Station Deli and Co-op space you see today. More on the OUR STORY page.