This was in 1962.
This is in Abingdon. The sign in the picture on the left faces the Porterfield Highway; the sign on the right, Russell Road.
It’s a typical former tobacco warehouse, probably built in the late 30s. It burned down in the ’50s and was rebuilt in this configuration. The last tobacco auction was held here in 2005.
It’s got plenty of room for vendors. According to the owner, they have had flea markets here for ages in the off periods from March through August. “Then we’d move the vendors out for the auctions,” the owner said. At times, part of it was also leased out to companies for storage use.
This is called a “pre-1980” view of the Rainbow. This building replaced an earlier bide-a-wee that had a swooping rainbow sign out front. I know the Rainbow Autel was here on the Robert E. Lee Highway (Highway 11) in Wise County at Chilhowie in the late 60s, because I would see it as I passed by in a Greyhound bus on the way to Roanoke to visit my brother. The “autel” caught my attention (I don’t remember anything else about it). There’s also a public record of an ad placed for the autel in a 1963 Marion (VA) school yearbook. I can’t track it back earlier than that with regular internet resources.
By the way, the owners of the Rainbow Autel, when it incorporated in 1972, were Sturgills. Neither was O.V. Sturgill, but he lived in the area.
On the back:
Rainbow Autel – Restaurant
U.S. Hwy. 11 – Hwy. 107 – Interstate 81 – Exit 13
30 units – Air Conditioned – Cable TV. Russell Stovers Candies. Heated Pool. Restaurant Connected. Private Dining Room
American Express, Diners’ Club, NRA, VRA
Phone Area Code 703-646-8411 or 703-646-8462
(vertical: Pub. by Larry D. Webster, Box 14, Abingdon, Va, 24210)
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