Paul. C. Kresge
Kresge's Corners
Originally Est. 1924
Cresco, Pennsylvania
Prop. Paul C. Kresge

Paul C. Kresge was born May 7th, 1902, the youngest of eight children. His mother claimed the C. which stood for crybaby. Paul was anything but, he teased and pulled pranks on everyone he knew and some that he did not. His great sense of humor and rosy red cheeks added to his gruff charm. He made friends easily and they lasted a lifetime. He had a smile and a firm handshake for each customer, that stood behind his craftsmanship and guaranteed his work. When it came to business, Paul took things seriously. "Kresge's Corners" was constructed with his own hands in 1924. He and his wife, Bertha "Barnie" Kresge built a small house, a garage for Paul, and a lunch stand where Barnie sold sandwiches and homemade ice cream to Paul's patrons as they waited for their motorcars to be serviced. Paul pumped Texaco Petrol and specialized in the service of Reo auto cars and trucks.


By the mid 1930's they had decided to sell the garage and relocate to Long Island, New York. Paul Kresge had expanded his business to offering wheel balance and alignment services to his customers. He purchased the best hand held calipers and precision measuring devices available. Working out of a small garage on his home property he created his second shop. Located at 71 Bay Avenue, on the corner of Liberty Street, in Patchogue, N.Y., this shop, established in 1938, became a success quickly. Paul was known for producing quality work, backed by his unwritten guarantee, . . . a smile and a firm handshake.

In 1947 Paul moved to a larger building as his business had outgrown his small home based garage. Renting a building from Brownie Brothers Moving and Storage, he now had a larger work area with a pit to work on the chassis from underneath the car. He remained there at 540 East Main Street, Patchogue, New York for nearly Twenty years. It was there that his Nephew, Dale Wesley Oles would hang around, listen to the men talk, and get his first taste of the family business.

There was another side to Dale. He loved the country. Come summer time the guy lived to mow hay and milk cows. Every summer he would hop on a Greyhound bus and head to Guilford Vermont, where he would not return until labor day. After the Guilford Fair of course. He worked on his uncle's farm. Gary and Beryl Borger treated him like there own son. Not many of us live out our dreams like Dale did. He had the best of both worlds and vowed to someday raise a family in Vermont.

Dale Oles graduated from Alfred University in 1964, after graduating he married his college sweetheart, Barbara Jean Blake, moved to Long Island, and went to work for his Uncle Paul as a mechanic at Kresge's Alignment Service. Dale worked very hard to learn the business from the master alignment man. Customers were soon confident in Dales abilities. In 1969 Paul Kresge decided to retire and sell the equipment and business' good name to Dale, as long as he promised to keep the Kresge name on the door, and back his work with an honest smile and a firm handshake. This was another step in the Kresge legacy.

Within a year Dale sold the building and made the decision to build a new shop of his own. He rented temporary quarters from Tommy Baldwin in East Patchogue while his new building was under construction. Paul worked for Dale at Baldwins shop as the new shop was built. In 1970 the new Kresge's opened at 1184 Montauk Highway in East Patchogue, NY. This new shop featured three bays with a full pit area. He added New York State inspection equipment and foreign car service. The business expanded at an amazing rate. Dale now had contracts with the County and State municipal departments. Dale hired and trained three full time Mechanics. Paul Kresge was very proud to see Dales success and help out around the new Kresge's in his older years. Paul C. Kresge passed away in 1974. He had no idea how far the legacy would go on.

In 1978 Dale decided he had enough of the city and moved his family of four to Guilford VT, he had spent all his summer there as a boy with his cousins, aunts and uncles, and wanted to raise his children there. For a couple years he hired someone to manage Kresge's as he built his dream house in Vermont. Absentee ownership of his alignment shop became more stressful than it was worth and in 1980 Dale sold Kresge's to Mark Pitts. Mark bought the business with a promise to keep the Kresge name on the door and a firm handshake as a guarantee. Four years later, in 1984, after working various jobs, Dale opened another Kresge's at its current location. He rented a space at 239 Canal Street, in Brattleboro, VT. Dale and his 17 year old son were unaware of it at the time but the legacy was far from over. Dale built a customer base in Vermont from the ground up. He soon got the reputation for doing the best work in town.

Vermont was where he belonged. He again had the best of both worlds, a country setting, and a Kresge's in Vermont. In business one would say it did not get any better than that, but it did. In 1989 Dale's son Daniel W. Oles graduated from Castle State College with Honors and a degree in Small Business Operations. Dan came home from school and joined the family business, going to work for his Father in May of 1989. Dale then realized that Kresge's Wheel Alignment and Uncle Paul's legacy could go even further.

Dan worked for his father for seven years and in 1996 Dale sold the business to his son.

Dale was proud of Dan. Dale was proud of Kresge's. Dan promised to keep Kresge's on the door, maintain quality workmanship, and use a firm handshake and a smile to guarantee his work.

Dale and Dan worked together like partners over the next few years, as time went on Dale stopped working on the floor doing repairs. However he road tested vehicles, set appointments for customer and ran for parts or pizza. He was getting tired.

Dale was diagnosed with cancer in the year 2000 and passed away in June of 2003. Dale had a great sense of humor and was a craftsman of distinction. His work was good and his handshake was sincere. Dale was raised to respect honesty. With a tear and a smile I reminded him often that the legacy he left to his children was that of love, honor, and respect.

In 2003, four months after his fathers passing, Dan Oles bought the building at 239 Canal Street, now the permanent location of Kresge's Alignment Service. Dan has expanded steadily, now employing three full time mechanics. He has purchased and uses the most modern and technologically advanced equipment from Hunter Engineering Co. Dan has plans to expand the building in the summer of 2008 by adding a customer friendly office space and waiting room, as well as an employee lunch room. This will help create another full service bay, allowing Kresge's to expand there services to include oil changes, air conditioning, and custom suspension service. As always Dan stands behind his work with a firm handshake and a sincere smile.

I am sure Paul and Dale are watching from above as Dan expands the business and upholds the Kresge legacy. They talk about the business that started in Pennsylvania in 1924 by a young man with a dream, passed on to a nephew with another dream, then to a son who will continue the dream. Who knows how long the legacy will last, after all Dan has a 14 year old son, Jacob Wesley Oles?

I am proud to have known them all. I don't think the dream is anywhere near over. Written by Dale's sister, Elaine Oles Graves.


(802) 257-2233 · 239 Canal Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301 · kresgesalignment@gmail.com


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