Route 66 News

Peach Springs gas station named to National Register

The John Osterman Gas Station on Route 66 in Peach Springs, Ariz., has been listed to the National Register of Historic Places effective March 15, according to an email Thursday from the National Park Service.

Osterman Gas Station, Peach Springs, Ariz., circa 2007.

According to Route 66 photographer and historian Quinta Scott:

John Osterman was a Swedish sailor who landed in Peach Springs, where the largest body of water was a dry wash. He opened a small gas station, and quickly developed a reputation for honest work. He would tow a car day or night. He persuaded his brother, Oscar, to join him, sold him the gas station in 1925, and moved to Kingman. A year laterArizona designated the road in front of the gas station U.S. Highway 66. Oscar built a bigger garage with living quarters over the service bay.

Varying sources places the garage’s construction to 1927 or 1929.

The station was closed a few years ago. In 2007, it received a $28,000 cost-share grant from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program to rehabilitate the building.

The program, in its 2007 newsletter, mentioned that the station had been nominated to the National Register. Because nominations are usually accepted in a relatively short time, there must have been a snag involving the application.

Upon receiving the grant, it was reported that the Hualapai Indian tribe was going to re-establish fuel service at the station,  plus use it as a workshop and retail venue for Hualapai artisans.

Now that the National Register listing makes it eligible for more grants, perhaps this will accelerate the tribe’s work on the Osterman station.

An email to the Hualapai had not been answered as of Thursday evening.


8 thoughts on “Peach Springs gas station named to National Register

  1. Jeff Short

    Your “sources” are either really good … or the news is slow when it comes to Route 66 info.

    Looks like this story was published via the Associated Press today.

  2. Kenneth Byers

    I grew up at the Peach Springs Garage. My family operated the business from 1954 untill the road was bypassed in the seventies. The living quarters that dated from about 1928,was a house that was about 10 feet behind the station. The only thing in the upper area of the garage was an office. I climb up to it as a child. I was told by Grant Tapija Sr. that the stairway to the office was removed in the late thirties. Grant worked on the original construction in the late 20s. He said 1927.

  3. John Kulas

    I stopped at the garage in September, 1970 on my way from Detroit to San Francisco. It was in the evening, and I needed a headlight replace on my 1968 VW. I had a new headlight with me but I needed someone to install it because it was getting dark. The young man at the station struggled for about 30 minutes before finally finishing the job. I asked him how much I owed him. He hemmed and hawed, rubbed his chin and thought about it for a few minutes. I was preparing myself for a hefty repair charge when he finally said, “Fifty cents ought to do it.” What a relief! I’ll never forget that young man’s honesty and kindness. Forty-six years later and I still think about my visit to Peach Springs and the young man who helped me out.

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