After 65 years, Atkinson says goodbye to Cumberland Auto
Published 5:49 am Wednesday, March 22, 2023
CUMBERLAND – After nearly 65 years in Cumberland County, Margaret Atkinson is stepping away from Cumberland Auto Services, saying she’s ready to retire.
Cumberland Auto Services Inc. was started by the Atkinson family in 1959. According to Margaret, her husband, H.G. Atkinson Jr. and brother, R. P. Ingle started the business under the name Cumberland Garage. H.G. Atkinson Jr. was a first-class mechanic who ran the auto repair side of the business and Ingle sold auto parts.
In 1964, they built their current location at 1296 Anderson Highway. Margaret would help out at the shop as the secretary and bookkeeper. Today, her son Greg has taken over as the president and runs the establishment. The auto shop provides repairs, auto parts, a 24-hour wrecker service and a used car lot.
Email newsletter signup
“We really enjoy working with people,” said Margaret. “We charge a reasonable price and it’s our livelihood and we made a living out of it.”
Looking back through the years, Margaret remembers how they had to adapt to the changing technology. She remembers how bookkeeping and all the paperwork were done by hand and slowly evolved into now everything on the computers.
Being a family business, favorite memories from the business and the family can mesh together. Atkinson favorite memories looking back include the birth of her children and grandchildren as well as assisting the people who needed their help.
What’s next for Cumberland Auto?
Margaret Atkinson is now 92 years old and both she and her son are ready to retire from the family business. She now no longer does the bookkeeping as she passed it to a certified public accountant. With health issues and age, they are both ready to move on from the business.
Cumberland residents should not worry as there is no closing date set yet. The shop is planned to remain open for now as the Atkinsons are hoping to find someone to rent the location to.
“It’s a great location and business is good, but there’s not enough help,” said Atkinson. “We need two more mechanics and right now we are turning away more than we take in.”
As time goes on, according to Atkinson, plans may change depending on what happens. They hope to rent out the location, but they are not against the option of selling if it comes to it. For now, Cumberland Auto Services Inc. is serving Cumberland as it has for multiple decades.