A new purpose for familiar Sutherland landmark

Savannah Lashley was born and raised in North Platte. She lives in Hershey. And she is living the dream of owning her own bakery, in Sutherland. "I started at Wal-Mart 12 years ago, and started in the bakery then. That's when I got into baking, and realized I wanted to do my own thing and here we are," Lashley said.

The name of the bakery is Sassy's Sweets. As you might imagine, there are many treats for customers to try here. "I think my specialty is the sticky buns, the cinnamon rolls, and the pecan rolls. I think those are the top favorites for everybody here and they are fun to make," Lashley said.

The building where the bakery is housed, is an eye-catching one along Highway 30. Perhaps what makes this bakery even more unique is that the building was once an old gas station, and it had a connection to the Lincoln Highway."

"In 1934, they decided to change the routing of the Lincoln Highway, and it changed from east of here about a mile from the north county road location to the location just in front of this building," local historian Linda Tacey said. Tacey says a local businessman saw the changes coming, and moved his business from another part of town, to the bakery site to take advantage of new business on the re-routed Lincoln Highway. "In 1934, he built this building and the one next to it," Tacey said. "The one next to it was for the Central Telephone Company, and this one was the Uhlig oil company. He started with one pump, and then in 1937 became affiliated with Phillips 66 and in 1939, Mr. Uhlig added another pump because of the business."

In those days, a gas station on the Lincoln Highway had some features you don't see today. "At that time, Phillips 66 had hired a nurse that traveled around to the different filling stations and she provided travelers aid if anyone was ill. She also did the inspections for the restrooms, because the restrooms had to be certified by Phillips 66."

The building served as a gas station until 1962. "Then in 1963, the local historian who I was mentored by, Lois Alden, had a handicraft shop and a tourism shop here, and so it became that. Down the road, it became another handicraft store called the Country Station, and now we are very fortunate to have our local bakery named 'Sassy's Sweets' here," Tacey said.

The times have changed. Not as many cars are traveling coast to coast on the old Lincoln Highway anymore, as the interstate has become the preferred route for many. Although the building is no longer a gas station, it's good to know Savannah Lashley is continuing the legacy of the building in Sutherland, by turning it into a bakery. "Me and my dad did all of the remodeling, because this was still a garage at the time," Lashley said.

"This building has stood here and withstood time. It was well built, and it's a cornerstone here in the town," Tacey said.