Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Fill 'er up at Belk!

How about a gas station at Belk? This is a photo from the "Belko" service station at Belk, Parkhill Mall, Tarboro, North Carolina, circa 1975. You could even use your Belk/Leggett charge to fill your gas tank. (Pat Richardson)

Find more Belk memories in The Belk Archive


  1. Ah yes, the days before Wal-Mart, when department stores represented true "one stop shopping."

  2. Amazing. I had no clue they did that at a store like Belk.

  3. Mitch & Billy: The larger Belk stores were definately full-line operations in the '70s. They had furniture, garden supplies, electronics, restaurants, fabric, and even gas stations (though this is the only picture of a Belko I've ever seen)

    Muddy: The name is killer :-). I'd imagine the pumps were turquoise back in the day, too

  4. Tuesday March 1,2008 We need a Belk Dept. store in Abilene, Texas. We use Belk when can get to one which is not often. Dick

  5. Good luck on getting a local Belk, Dick.

  6. This Tarboro store had been a Belk-Tyler store. My uncle, Lee Ferrell, had been manager at the downtown store throughout the 1950s, prior to his death. My Dad, Tom Tharrington, had worked the shoe department while a student at Atlantic Christian College in Wilson. My cousin's husband, Clarence Hayes, was assistant manager, and eventually managed the Belk store in Savannah, GA.My Uncle Herbert Tharrington, Hayes' father-in-law, managed the Chester, SC store. The old downtown store had many neat nooks and crannies to explore.

    The modern, new mall anchor, at Parkhill Mall in Tarboro, was really unique, in that there was a garden center, an adjacent outside play yard for children, a furniture department in addition to the ubiquitous housewares. The store was spacious, and gracious. Across the parking lot was the Belko Auto Center, with full service from tires, brakes, oil changes, as well as gas. It even had a comfy customer service lounge with TV.

    I distinctly recall that the gift wrapping area was bright, clean, and well-organized. Most importantly, the bows were ready made. In my first real job, I had worked at the downtown store, wrapping gifts for the 1968 high school graduation gift season. The customer side was lovely, however, the worker side quite primative, and we had to crank out bows with Sasheen ribbon with those pointed plastic buttons. I learned NOT to make too many generous cranks with the bow maker. I guess a big fluffy bow was not very cost effective.

    Do you remember the silver patterned wrapping paper?

    Alas, our local Belk is closed.

    There is a photo of a champion steer in the downtown Rocky Mount Belk-Tyler flagship of 14 stores. On the right, outside the pen is Bill Bailey, who became the manager of the housewares & fabric departments, and snack counter in the building behind the main store.

    I could say so much more.
    I'll save it for another day.

    Linda Tharrington Goines

  7. Regarding the color of the pumps, I think they were a classic black with gold lettering. Trust me, as a commuting teacher, I bought lots of gas there.

    That Belko store is a privately held operation now, but it is pretty much as it was originally.

    My husband,Rick, writes a fishing column for the Tarboro paper, and is researching the mall and Belk anchor for a Memories type column.
    Reach him at CarolinaAngler@gmail.com if you have information about that Belk store as "new" in the early 70s.
    Linda Goines

  8. Linda: Wow! I thought I had a connection to Belk, but its small potatoes compared to the connection your family had to the chain. I greatly appreciate all your comments and historical information and it really sends this post to the next level.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any further information on the Belk at Parkhill Mall, but if I did, I'd be glad to share it with you and your husband.

    Thanks for giving this post a boost :-)