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.
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.