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ROUTE 66

Roy T. Herman's Garage and Service Station
Thoreau, New Mexico

 

Herman's Garage
New Mexico Historic Preservation Division

Roy T. Herman’s Garage and Service Station in Thoreau is one of the oldest remaining gas stations along Route 66 in New Mexico and one of the State’s earliest examples of franchise service stations with its style, plan, and materials. Despite being uprooted and moved twice, the building retains its historic appearance and orientation to Route 66, a reminder of what it was like for travelers to stop for gasoline and service on the Mother Road.


Roy T. Herman's Garage
National Park Service
Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program



The building served as a gas station along Route 66 beginning in 1935 when it was a Standard Oil Company Station in the nearby town of Grants. In 1937, the building was moved to Thoreau just as Route 66 moved to its present alignment a half-mile south of Thoreau’s main street north of the railroad tracks. It was the first roadside business along this realigned section of the Mother Road. As a young veteran, Roy T. Herman worked at the station and operated the garage in the late 1940s.  In 1950 he purchased the station, and he and his son have operated it since. In 1963, Mr. Herman moved the building 200 yards farther west on Route 66, and ceased selling gasoline to operate solely as a repair garage.

This former gas station is a one-story building with hipped and flat roof portions.  Sections of white enamel covering with red and blue strips characteristic of early Standard Oil Company gas stations remain on the walls. A broad-pitched hipped canopy extends over a service lane to the concrete pump island. Like most service stations along rural portions of Route 66, the building is set back from the road, permitting parking and providing off-road maneuvering room.  The station’s 1940s pumps and 1950s sign remain on the property.

Roy T. Herman’s Garage and Service Station was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

Plan your visit
Roy T. Herman’s Garage and Service Station is located on State Road 122, 150 yards west of the I-40 Exit 53 at Thoreau, NM.
 
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