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Buckeye Lake Truck Stop closing Sunday

BUCKEYE LAKE – It’s the end of an era.

The Buckeye Lake Truck Stop, a local institution for more than 35 years, is closing its doors Sunday at 7 p.m. Manager Charlie Moore said the garage will remain open, but otherwise, it’s closing.

“You just can’t make money at this any more, that’s all,” said Moore. He said many factors contributed to the closure, not the least of which are soaring fuel prices and a recent smoking ban. Everything hit him at once.

Attendant Susan Miller, a 14- year Buckeye Lake Truck Stop employee, said the closure is particularly unfair to Moore, who always went out of his way to help anyone who needed it and regularly contributed to local organizations like the Firebelles, the Tri-County Dive Team, the Buckeye Lake police and firedepartments, and local sports teams.

It’s very common, said Miller, for Moore to offer food and even temporary work to a homeless person in need. Miller said Moore has volunteered fuel and mechanical repairs to truckers to help them back on the road. “He’s done everything for everybody,” she said. “He never turned down anyone for anything.”

Moore, while shy about discussing his accomplishments, acknowledged, “We’ll never turn anyone away. We’ve tried to help them out.” His career began at the Sunset Truck Stop on US 40 near Zanesville at Mt. Sterling Hill. When I-70 was built, Moore moved his operation to Buckeye Lake, where there was very little competition at the time. This changed as major truck stops bloomed at the I-70 and Ohio 37 intersection little more than a mile to the west. But, the Buckeye Lake Truck Stop persevered although the other truck stops offered national fuel brands and credit cards.

Moore said his resilient truck stop weathered the fuel crisis of the 1970s and several trucking strikes, however, the current economy finally proved too much to conquer. “This is the roughest I’ve ever seen it,” he said.

Moore will continue to work with Englefield Oil, who owns the Buckeye Lake Truck Stop, at various duties until he retires in a few years. “Englefield’sa good company,” he said. Moore basically developed the truck stop from its beginning and he’ll definitely miss it.

Miller said the Buckeye Lake community will miss Moore, too. “If there were more people like him,” she said, “the world would be a better place.”

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