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Little Giant

On Route 66, a few blocks west of The Campbell Hotel, sits another remnant of Tulsa’s history.

If you look closely at the building on the left, you can see the roofline and support pillars for the Little Giant service station.

During the 1930s, the Little Giant service station operated at 2024 E. 11th St., on the corner of 11th and Xanthus Place. We’re not sure how long the station was in business, but we know it was up and running as early as the 1930s, because crews working in the building found gas and oil receipts dating back that far. These, for instance, were written exactly 79 years ago today:

They’re pretty cool, but they’re not the most interesting thing that came out of the building. We’re not sure of the date on these coupons, but we know they go back to the Golden Age of Radio, when “Radio Money” redeemable toward up to 50 percent of the price of radio equipment would have been sufficient incentive to attract customers to a particular service station:

Notice the name on the station. We know it was called the Little Giant at one point in its history, but at the time it issued these coupons, it was called the Hill & Wells Service Station.

When the station was operating, it was a freestanding building, and the front was an open canopy with gas pumps underneath so cars could pull in. Like most stations of its day, the Hill & Wells/Little Giant was a full-service station. Drivers would pull in, and an attendant would come out and pump the gas, wash their windows, and check their oil while they waited for the tank to fill. Most full-service stations were gone by the late 1980s, but a few still exist. Lincoln Highway travelers will be familiar with the beautiful Art Deco Dunkle’s Gulf station in Bedford, Pa., for instance.

The last attendant pumped the last gallon of fuel at the Little Giant many years ago, but the building still stands, a quiet testament to another era. When you come to see us at the Campbell, take the time to wander a few blocks west and visit this tangible connection to the past.

To book a room, call us at (918) 744-5500 or visit www.thecampbellhotel.com. We look forward to seeing you!

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