The Storrs Garage

Lost Mansfield > The Storrs Garage


As automobiles became more common, Ralph Walker recognized that there would be an increasing need for their service and repairs.  He opened the Storrs Garage in 1915, a business that he would operate for nearly sixty years.  Equally farsighted, he also established a much-needed bus service between Storrs and Willimantic that same year.  His business would eventually expand to include several modes of livery and freight service for the University and community. His daughter, Eleanor Carpenter, recalled that he rented cars as early as the 1930s.  “He [also] picked up freight for the University at the Mansfield Depot with a truck. And he had limousines to carry the school teams to away games” (UConn Advance, Dec. 13, 1984).

Storrs Garage
The Storrs Garage, established in 1915. The vehicle on the left is the first college bus.

The original building was a two-story wooden structure with attached garage bays.  The Walker family lived on the second floor.  The building was constructed on land purchased in 1913 from Homer V. Beebe who owned the general store across the street. It was located at the intersection of Storrs Road and Oak Hill Road.

Storrs Garage
Storrs Garage, 1930s. Note the gas pump with the SOCONY Pegasus glass globe. SOCONY was a precursor of the Mobil Oil Corporation.

The wooden building was later replaced by a two-story concrete and brick structure.  Following Ralph Walker’s retirement in 1973, the building was sold to the University of Connecticut which used it primarily for storage. It was demolished on May 22, 1985 to make way for a parking lot.  

Storrs Garage
Storrs Garage, shortly before it was razed in 1985.

This series is made possible by a Capacity Building Grant from The Last Green Valley, Inc.

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