Service Stations along Route 66 - El Reno, OK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member hamquilter
N 35° 31.874 W 097° 57.285
14S E 594761 N 3932459
Quick Description: Using two local El Reno service stations as an example, we see how Route 66 developed and maintained an economic benefit to local communities along its route.
Location: Oklahoma, United States
Date Posted: 9/23/2017 2:02:21 PM
Waymark Code: WMWNTE
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member veritas vita
Views: 6

Long Description:
The coordinates above are located at Jackson Conoco Service Station at 301 S. Choctaw. Diagonally across the intersection is Avant's Cities Service Station at 220 S. Choctaw. These two service stations are just a small example of what occurred all along Route 66.

The year was 1928; the newly designated Highway 66 had reached El Reno, and the 10-mile section between El Reno and Yukon to the east was being paved. People were on the move, and in the few years to come, the Dust Bowl calamity in Oklahoma would send hundreds of motorists streaming west for a better life.

Oil companies saw the opportunity and the need. They began building service stations and leasing them out to Operator/Managers to provide for this need. Avant's Cities Service and Jackson Conoco were but two of these new stations, built in 1933 and 1934. Not only did they provide much needed gasoline along Route 66, but they became a cultural waypoint. This success lasted through the next three decades, except for a slight set-back during the days of World War II when gasoline was at a premium and people didn't travel as much. But, it picked up again after the War, and stations were often enlarged to meet the mobile need.

This lasted until the 1956 Interstate Highway Act when a new system of roads was developed. By 1962, traffic going through El Reno was diverted to the more direct Interstate 40 which bypassed the town on the south. Stations like these two still maintained some local business, but the swell of travelers died down. The stations went through several changes in ownership, and eventually became home to different type businesses. Today, one is a donut shop; the other houses am equipment rental company.

This scenario was repeated across the country as bypasses were constructed. Today, historic Route 66 is still the mecca of history buffs and back-road adventurers, and still brings nostalgia to the surface, but the three decade boom in Route 66 service stations is now a thing of the past.

For a detailed story of how this transition occurred, particularly in the history of these two stations, see pages 12 thru 16 of each of these National Register of Historic Places nomination forms. Both these stations were placed on this Registry in 2004.
Avant's: (visit link)
Jackson: (visit link)
Americana: Service Station

Significant Interest: Other Icon

Milestone or Marker: Other Icon

Address of Icon:
220 and 301 S. Choctaw
El Reno, OK US

Web Site Address: Not listed

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