It appears that a long-standing Wawa store in South Jersey is closing its doors for good.

Just how "long-standing" you ask?

53 years.

And, unlike many stories like this, this particular Wawa is not being replaced by a new, super Wawa.

Some quick math says sometime around 1970 (Nixon was in the White House then), Wawa opened a store at the corner of the Black Horse Pike and Cains Mill Road in Collings Lakes.

Some events in 1970

  • The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV
  • American Bandstand introduces the Jackson 5
  • An oxygen tank explodes during Apollo 13's mission to the moon
  • The Ford Pinto is introduced

If you aren't familiar with Collings Lakes, its a small community in the far western part of Atlantic County, located roughly between Folsom, Buena, and Williamstown.

According to social media posts, that Wawa is closing at the end of this week.

If you think of Wawa as a place where everyone goes and while you are there, chances are you'll bump into someone you know, that's exactly what this particular Wawa was like.

Wawa in Collings Lakes NJ - Photo: Google Maps
Wawa in Collings Lakes NJ - Photo: Google Maps

Collings Lakes is such a small community that this Wawa was the corner store. It was the hang-out spot. In reality, there's not much there (I can say that having grown-up there in the 70s and that's still how it is).

Wall of memories at the Collings Lakes Wawa - Photo: Chris Coleman
Wall of memories at the Collings Lakes Wawa - Photo: Chris Coleman

Collings Lakes has a Chinese restaurant, a bar, one gas station, one Wawa, and another mini-mart/liquor store. That's about it.

And now the half-century-old landmark is closing.

I've documented in the past that while Super Wawa stores are quite nice, those old-school stores can bring you back in time.

That's how the Collings Lakea Wawa was. It wasn't turned into a superstore. It had one of those old parking lots that was kinda hard to get in and out of. The inside wasn't recently remodeled -- and that gave it character.

If you grew up around here and grew up on Wawa, you know there aren't many old stores left. Seeing them slowly disappear is like watching history fade away right in front of yout eyes.

Wawa in Collings Lakes NJ - Photo: Chris Coleman
Wawa in Collings Lakes NJ - Photo: Chris Coleman

Should you find yourself in Collings Lakes today or tomorrow and you appreciate not only old-style Wawas but also what they stand for in a small community, you might enjoy one last visit here.

UPDATE: This store is now closed -- see what it's like inside a desolate Wawa

Editor's note: I reached out to Wawa's corporate office for a comment about this store closing and had not received a reply by publication of this article.

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Gallery Credit: Chris Coleman

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