Sapulpa man's collection of old stuff

Thursday, September 15th 2005, 10:23 am
By: News On 6

People collect things they like. Roy Wresche of Sapulpa likes service station memorabilia. Folks bring things over and drop them off. He hardly ever says no.

As News on 6 reporter Rick Wells explains, his collection has gotten so big it's spilled out into the yard and into a couple of garages out back.

The sign says Roy's Historical Museum, but it is really more of a collection than a traditional museum. Like most collectors, Roy Wresche collects what he likes; most of this is service station memorabilia, most of that is Texaco. "’Bout everything they put out, you can find a date on somewhere." That's part of the fascination, like an old tube of grease, 1947. The signs are dated too. "There's a sign there 3 and 33, there's 4 and 47." You can almost trace Texaco marketing by dating the signs. Even the bigger ones he's got have dates too. "2-10 and 58 isn't it?" These were some of the last of the metal signs; the new ones are all plastic. “That’s' one of the oldest signs there on the ground that's from the 20's."

When Roy Wresche retired from the Sapulpa Fire Department, he opened up a car upholstery shop, but his love for gas station stuff soon filled every corner. He's got odd tools and Texaco products. I guess you could buy Texaco table salt once and gas pumps from every age. “I've got too many things to do and not enough time to do 'em in."

There is a '32 Studebaker, a good restoration project. There is a World War II halftrack he used to haul Boy Scouts around in. Maybe the crown jewel of the whole collection is a 1912 Buick. He rebuilt from the ground up. "I guess you could say I'm a packrat." No, I'd say collector works just fine.

The Sapulpa Historical Museum has some of Roy Wresche's handiwork on display. He restored a 1939 Ford fire truck once used by the Sapulpa Fire Department. It's on display at the Museum Annex at 15 East Lee Street.