The Threatt Filling Station near Luther, Oklahoma, on Thursday was one of 40 recipients of $3 million in grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.
This is what the National Trust wrote about the Route 66 station in a news release:
Constructed c. 1915 and still family-owned, the Threatt Filling Station was likely the first and only Black-owned and operated gas station on Route 66. A refuge for Black travelers during the Jim Crow era, its farm also reportedly served as a safe haven for families fleeing the 1921 Greenwood Massacre in Tulsa. The filling station will be restored for use as an interpretive and visitor’s center.
An email to the National Trust requesting more information about how much money the Threatt station will receive went unanswered. Three million dollars divided by 40 would be $75,000 each.
UPDATE: Bill Thomas at the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership stated in an email Friday morning that the station received $100,000. It initially requested $150,000.
In the past four years, the National Trust has funded 105 historic places connected to black history and invested more than $7.3 million to help preserve landscapes and buildings imbued with black life, humanity, and cultural heritage.
This year’s funds were awarded to key places and organizations that help the Action Fund protect and restore significant historic sites. Grants are given across four categories: capacity building, project planning, capital, and programming and interpretation.
The Threatt Filling Station just a few weeks ago also landed on the list of the National Trust’s list of America’s Most Endangered Historic Places.
Built by Allen Threatt in 1915, the gas station remains one of the few surviving African-American-owned businesses along Route 66. The bungalow-style station made of rock from the Threatt farm’s quarry was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.
The Threatt Filling Station operated until the early 1960s, when it was converted into living quarters. The surviving members of the Threatt family seek to repair the station and reopen it as a historical and Route 66 museum.
(Image of the Threatt Filling Station in 2014 by Melodbit via Wikimedia Commons)