Posted in: Travel,
by Gregg Laskoski on May 5, 2012 08:00 AM
Every now and then we like to share a little slice of America's history, whether it's from the highways you know or the hamlets you've never heard of... And this item comes from Peach Springs, Ariz. (FYI: there are no springs; only peach trees.)
We hear that the John Osterman Gas Station on Route 66 in Peach Springs has been named to the National Register of Historic Places, according to the National Park Service.
Here's what happened: John Osterman was a Swedish sailor who landed in Peach Springs and decided to open a gas station. He was a mechanic who developed a reputation for good, honest work and he would come out and tow your car --day or night-- if you needed it. His brother, Oscar, who joined him, and John sold him his half of the business and moved to Kingman, Ariz. A year later, in 1925, Arizona designated the road in front of his gas station: U.S. Highway 66. The one and only.
Oscar built a bigger garage with living quarters over the service bay. Osterman serviced cars and pumped gas for many years, but what occurred toward the end of his life remains uncertain. What is known is that the station closed back in 2007.
Today, apparently, the station belongs to the Hualapai Indian tribe and the federal government said the Hualapais are planning to re-establish fuel service at the station and also use it as a workshop and retail venue for Hualapai artisans. With the National Register's listing, the locale is eligible for more grants and that may accelerate the work that will soon reopen the station.
As the famous song says: "Now you go through Saint Looey,
Joplin, Missouri, And Oklahoma City is mighty pretty.
You see Amarillo, Gallup, New Mexico,
Don't forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernandino..."
So if you're motoring west on the highway that once was the best, who could pass up Peach Springs?