SUMNER — For more than 15 years, Tim Wallace amassed a vintage village of gas pumps, signs and an actual gas station on his sprawling property. His wife, Sue, would like people to enjoy it at least one more time.

Tim Wallace died May 21 at the age of 61. This Sunday, June 10, Sue, with the help of family, is opening the Past Gas & Ancient Oils Museum for a celebration of Tim’s life from 1 to 4 p.m. at 380 Black Mountain Road.

“He loved this place and loved his cars and loved it when people came up to share it,” Sue Wallace said. “I want it to be a happy event. There will be a few minutes that I’m sure it’s going to be tough, then I want everyone to go through the buildings, enjoy themselves.”

In a 2015 Sun Journal feature, Tim Wallace talked about the work the couple put in collecting more than 20,000 pieces of gas, oil and automotive memorabilia. They’d recreated an old-time general store and amassed dozens of antique gas pumps.

“I like the hunt when I go find stuff,” he said at the time. “When I first walk into a building that’s got a bunch of stuff in it, it’s like, ‘Wow, Christmas,’ and then some. I get a kick out of the people coming and seeing it. I like the people that reminisce, and I get a lot of reminiscing people.”

In that story, Sue joked about her original reaction when Tim announced he was going to dismantle an old, squirrel-filled gas station in Auburn and set it up on their lawn.

“I said, ‘You’re nuts, you’re not bringing home a filling station,’” Sue said. “I thought he really lost his mind.”

Then, she came around and joined in the collecting. The couple were married 37 years.

“Come in, see what he’s done, see what can be done by two people that were a team,” said Bruce Cochran, Tim’s cousin. “I think (having the museum) was a life dream. (Tim) had been restoring cars — he still has a car that he had in high school, one that will be on display, a 1971 Dodge Charger that they call Maggie. That’s his first real car and that’s the car that he and Sue met in.”

With Tim sick, Sue said, the museum wasn’t open much of last year. She’ll close the museum after Sunday, but her hope is to someday open it again to the public.

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Tim Wallace and his wife, Sue, sit at their Past Gas & Ancient Oils Museum in Sumner in 2015. Tim died two weeks ago and Sue is opening the museum at least one more time, on Sunday, June 10, for a celebration of his life. (Sun Journal file photo)

The Past Gas & Ancient Oils Museum in Sumner, built over 15 years on Tim and Sue Wallace’s country lawn in Sumner, is shown in this 2015 photo. Sue is opening it Sunday, June 10, for a celebration of Tim’s life. (Sun Journal file photo)

Tim Wallace and his wife, Sue, amassed more than 20,000 pieces of gas, oil and automotive memorabilia at their Past Gas & Ancient Oils Museum in Sumner, some of which is seen in this 2015 photo. (Sun Journal file photo)


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