The last full-service gas station in Mason City closed on Thursday. Wooz’s Car Wash has been a fixture since 1972, but owner Henry Pirhonen (peer-OH-nin) has accepted an offer to sell the property to Kwik Trip which plans to build a Kwik Star store there. Pirhonen says the new store will do well in that location, but people will miss the full-service Wooz’s provided. It’s believed there are perhaps only two or three full-service gas stations remaining in Iowa, though they were common decades ago.
The station’s car wash was always popular, he says, and has scrubbed perhaps a half million cars since Pirhonen took over the facility. He says they’ve sold a wide array of products besides gasoline over the years, including Christmas trees.
Prior to the digital age, the service station was also once home to a photo hut, where people could drive up, drop off their film, and return later for an envelope filled with their pictures.
Officials with Kwik Trip Incorporated say construction on the new store will start next spring.