Oil cans, hub caps and bay doors have been part of the back drop at 1101 Main Ave since the doors first opened as the Spanish Trail Filling Station in the early 1920s and now you’ll find them again, on walls and in windows. Charles “Chick” Sheehan bought the Foley Tire Shop at 1162 Main Ave from Walter Foley in 1923 and around the same time, purchased the filling station at 1101 Main Ave. He enjoyed much success selling Goodyear Tires, his reputation proceeding him wherever he went. In 1925, the Foley Tire location was sold to the owners of what was to become Model Tire, a long-standing downtown Durango landmark. Chick consolidated tire shop with the Spanish Trail Filling Station at 1101 Main Ave, keeping the Foley Tire Shop name.
Sadly, Chick was involved in a serious accident on the “Cuba road” and never recovered, passing away in February 1934. Through Chick’s long fight to recover, one of his employees, Art Pearce, worked hard to maintain Foley Tire Shop’s outstanding reputation and after Chicks’s passing, through arrangements with the Continental Oil Company (CONOCO Triangle as it would later be known) purchased the tire shop. Pearce enjoyed much success with the Foley Tire Shop until 1946 when it’s newest proprietor Ernie Schaaf took the helm. In 1953 CONOCO Triangle demolished the existing building, erecting a new gas station that became known as Ernie’s Conoco Triangle. Ernie operated the shop for the next 48 years in various Durango locations. However, around 1970, the location was permanently shuttered as a gas station.
From 1970 through 1988 when Jaime Wisner purchased the corner, the property changed hands several times and housed an eclectic mix of uses, from church to bank to window shop and at least as many in between. Wisner housed his travel business at 1101 Main Ave until 2005 and then rented it. Patiently waiting for the day he could return the corner to it’s former glory. Thus begins the tale of it’s newest incarnation, 11th Street Station and Ernie’s bar, both nods to history long gone but not forgotten.