Cassville residents should see a lot of activity at the corner of Main and 10th Street during 2008. Chuck and Patricia Pilant plan to renovate and restore the building, which was once a service station, over the next year.
"We just moved back from Oregon," said Chuck, who is originally from Barry County. "When I looked at that old building and the memories starting coming back, I decided I would buy it and fix it up."
Chuck, who was born in Wheaton and attended second and third grade in the Cassville R-IV School District, has many fond memories of the old service station. In the 1940s the building belonged to his grandfather, Aubrey Pilant.
"He repaired and painted cars in that building," said Chuck. "He did body work in the back and mechanic work in the front. I don't think the business had a name back then. It was just known as Aubrey's shop."
When the Pilants recently traveled from their home in Portland, Ore., to Cassville for a family reunion they began to consider the possibility of relocating to Barry County.
"We had been thinking about retiring," said Chuck. "When we came back we saw how nice it is here and the people are so nice. We decided this would be a great place to come back to."
Shortly after moving back to Cassville, Chuck purchased the building from Charlie and Ruth Thompson. He will take possession of the building, which the Thompsons used as a storage facility, on Jan. 1.
"The building used to be the Johnston's warehouse," said Ruth. "Years ago it was a service station and car repair business. We've used it as a storage facility for several years. I think it is really neat that Mr. Pilant is going to restore it."
Over the next year, the roof and windows of the old service station will be replaced, and other work will be performed to restore the facility to its former state, said Chuck.
"We want to clean it up and make it a usable building again," said Chuck. "We will cut back the vines that have grown up on the building, scrape the roof back down and redo it completely and clean up the parking lot.
"There is metal flashing on the building that is meant to look like slate," said Chuck. "I think it should really be slate. We have a lot of work to do."
After the renovation project is complete, Chuck will either lease the facility to an interested business owner or place a family business in the old service station.
"At this point I can't really say what will be located in the building," said Chuck, "but there will be a business in there again."
Chuck has obtained a building permit from the City of Cassville. He plans to begin cleaning the old service station next week. Major renovations will begin in March or April.