Provine Service Station, Hydro, Oklahoma, USA
Carl Ditmore built this two-story gas station in 1929 in a rural area approximately one-half mile south of Hydro along U.S. Route 66. Rural service stations, similar to the Provine Service Station, began springing up across the countryside in the late 1920s in response to increasing transcontinental automobile travel. This style of rural station was convenient for the traveler to get gasoline, pay the attendant, and be on his way. Like other rural, mom and pop-built stations of the time, this one was built with the owner’s living quarters located on the second story. Mr. Ditmore and his family used the upstairs as private living quarters while operating the station downstairs.
The small station is a vernacular interpretation of the Bungalow Craftsman style. Its hipped roof has wide, overhanging eaves with exposed rafter tails. The projecting second-story covers the open service bay, supported by massive, tapered piers.
The station changed ownership several times but continued to pump gasoline for Route 66 motorists. In 1934, W.O. and Ida Waldroup purchased the station and renamed it the Provine Service Station, the name it still goes by today. In 1941, the Hamons family took over its operation. Lucille Hamons ran the business and lived there for nearly 60 years. She quickly became one of the highway’s legendary characters. Her self-reliance and generous assistance to motorists earned her the nickname “Mother of the Mother Road.” The Provine Service Station is commonly known as Lucille’s Place.
In 1971, the completed section of Interstate 40 a few miles to the south cut the station off from direct access to the new highway, but Lucille found a way to survive. She installed a beer cooler, and her best regulars were the boys at Southwest Oklahoma State University in nearby Weatherford (a dry town). She kept the station open until the day she died, August 18, 2000. Today, crosses commemorating Lucille’s life sit along the Mother Road across from the station.
The Provine Service Station was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
The Provine Service Station is located ½ mile west of the intersection of Highway 58 and Interstate 40 south of Hydro, OK on historic Route 66. The station is no longer operating, but visitors are welcome to stop and take photographs.