Named after the Tonkawa tribe, the city of Tonkawa was founded in March 1894, by Eli V. Blake and Wiley William Gregory. Blake and Gregory, originally from Kansas, claimed the land that would become Tonkawa in the Land Run of 1893. Prior to the land run, from 1879 to 1885, this area was home to the Nez Perce. The Blackwell and Southern Railway (later bought by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway) built a line through Tonkawa, which stimulated growth of the town. In 1901, the Oklahoma Territory Legislature established the University Preparatory School (now Northern Oklahoma College) here. By statehood, the population was 1,238. The discovery of oil caused a boom in the 1920s.
The building in which TS Fork resides has been a central figure in the history of Tonkawa.
James Grant Wood owned the building. He is a grandfather of Jim Querry. It was a small building in 1915 that provided fuel for stoves and lamps. He was also a “drayman” who delivered freight by horse drawn wagon. All materials came in by train so he would pick it up there and deliver. His business eased into a filling station as cars came into being.
In 1920, he built a new, brick building with living quarters upstairs but his wife did not want to live there.
Through the years, generations of people and automobiles passed through the service station, and the building began to show its age. With the addition of many more stations around town, the family that owned the station shut it down and retired.
The building sat empty for years. Fast forward to recent years—First National Bank(which happens to be across the street) and the Tonkawa Development Authority joined forces to revitalize the building. The station was converted to an assembly of three properties, including a value-added kitchen, two-story restaurant, and storefront (yet to be completed.)
Visit today to see the beautiful renovation and enjoy the farm to fork experience!