By Marc Schoder: PNT Correspondent
The Midway Service Station in Kenna, just north of Elida, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places according to records from the U.S. Department of the Interior.
“My staff from the Historic Preservation Division in Santa Fe went to Roosevelt County to look for sites that stood out in the landscape of New Mexico,” says Katherine Slick, State Historic Preservation Officer.
The service station is the most noticeable building between Elida and Roswell on U.S. 70.
Slick said the service station at Kenna was selected thanks to help from members of the community and historian John Murphy.
“The history and other documentation of the service station at Kenna reflected the communities’ heritage as well as its’ roots,” Slick said. “The site’s historical significance shows the architecture of the time period with a canopy attached when it was made into a gas station and residential cottage when it was built back in 1938. The site hasn’t been altered sitting where it has been along U.S. 70.”
The station is the lone building left over from the fires in Kenna in 2000.
“The former depot that was located in Kenna was moved and remodeled, which put the Midway Service Station in the running to be put on the national registry since it was the last standing commercial building left over from the fire in 2000 as well as its relationship with U.S. 70,” says Slick.
“The station needed a new roof,” said Trudy Davis, one of the service station’s owners. “Different people suggested in order to get grants, that we be put on the National Registry of Historic Places.”
Davis adds that they did not get any grants to get the roof redone, due to it being too much hassle to go through. The process of getting on to the list started in September or October of last year, according to Davis.
“We were tickled about it when we first learned that the service station was going to be placed on the list,” Davis said.
The building has been owned by her family for three generations and passed down to Davis and her sister, Debbie Allison of Glenco, by their mother when she passed away.
Currently, the building stands as a post office where it serves approximately 20 customers.
“My sister and I are going to leave it as is for right now,” Davis said.