Raco Photos

Above Raco station is in Columbia, South Carolina.
Takne Nov. 2003 by Robert Droz on his US 1 trip.

RACO stood for Royal Arrow Company which was based in Jacksonville, FL.
For years they marketed under the ROYAL ARROW brand name but somewhere
after I left Florida they shortened it up to RACO. My guess it was
the early 70s, but it could have been a bit before or after. Based
on an ad in a Jacksonville phone book, I have long figured that
ROYAL ARROW/RACO were secondary brands of a Standard Oil (Ky.) jobber
or commission agent in Jacksonville. Back in the late 1950s there
were a lot of small ROYAL ARROW stations in the Jacksonville area.
My old survey showed 20, so my guess is that they had some 25-35 sites.
Most were quite small and some they had were old "30s style" sites
with outside lifts. Buildings were usually white with red/blue trim
and a red arrow with the brand name across the front. I think I can
remember seeing several of these quite early in the 50s when still
traveling with my parents!! I don't think they ever got very far
out of Jacksonville, as the farthest I remember was at Green Cove
Springs on US 17, maybe 20-25 miles south of Jacksonville. After
they changed over to RACO their stations seemed to improve, although
there didn't seem to be nearly as many from what I could see on
trips back the Florida. I did not see any during my 1995 trip,
but I spent almost all my time on the "newer" eastern part of the
city and beach areas, and most of their stations were in the older
portions of the city and to the southwest burbs such as this one in
Orange Park on US 17 The photo was taken on November 17, 1984.


Walt Wimer