The stolen pump is valued at a loss of $5,000. The other two red pumps have now been removed to keep them from being stolen.

MIAMI – Sometime in the night Sunday, or in the early morning hours of Monday, thieves stole an antique eight-foot high red gas pump from Miami's historic Marathon Gas Station.

Miami Police Officer Kelly Johnson was dispatched to the old gas station at 331 South Main Street in Miami in reference to a report of grand larceny.

According to the police report, an unknown suspect removed one of the three antique gas pumps bolted to the concrete in front of the station. The bolts had also been removed from the two remaining pumps standing beside the now missing pump.

Authorities believe the pump may have been stolen sometime between 9 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25 and 8:30 a.m., Monday, Feb. 26 when the larceny was first discovered.

The stolen pump is valued at a loss of $5,000. The other two red pumps have now been removed to keep them from being stolen.

The station was built as a Transcontinental Oil Station on old Route 66 in 1929 and was later purchased by the Marathon Oil Company. Marathon used the symbol of the Greek runner Pheidippides, who conveyed the news of the victory of Greek forces over the Persian invaders at Marathon, in its identifying logo and signage. Marathon Oil's slogan was "Best in the long run.”

Daryl Buckmaster, of Miami, purchased the building in 1999 and worked to restore the property before selling it in an auction in 2016.

When he originally purchased the station, all of the windows had been broken out and there was a momma cat with kittens dwelling inside.

“I had it rented out for beauty shops for a time,” Buckmaster said. “I started buying signage and things to create a tourist attraction. It was a labor of love, there wasn't any money in it, but it was, I thought, quite an attraction for Miami. I'm really into historical property and I knew what it looked like and I just wanted to put it back like it was.”

The little white Marathon Gas Station was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1995. Its design and location, on a corner, gave it good exposure to traffic flowing down Main Street in the Route 66 hey-days, and the station continues to draw tourist traffic.

Buckmaster worked to bring the little gas station back to its original condition, and over the years thousands of tourists have been seen stopping at the nostalgic location to take a closer look, for a photo opportunity, or to snap a selfie.

“We had a visitors book, and we had people from all over the world that would stop and take pictures,” he said. “Many articles have been written on the station in area newspapers and several travel and historical books.”

The restoration work done by Buckmaster returned the structure to 95 percent of its original condition with white external glazed subway tiles, and the original slate roof. He even used old paint chips to match the original colors.

The two bright red gas pumps flanking a center yellow pump, which once dispensed kerosene used for lamps and heaters, were all added in 2010. The pumps sat under a canopy supported by two pillars in the style of a Greek temple.

“We found two of the pumps in Parsons, Kansas, and another one in Joplin,” Buckmaster said. “They’re all three 1924 Rush Pumps and we had those restored. We did a lot of the work ourselves and then hired people as well."

While working on the pumps, Buckmaster's son had taken them down to Darnell Services in Miami. There they realized that the owner’s father had purchased the original Marathon Gas Station sign when the station had originally closed.

The theft is upsetting to many in Miami and those who love old Route 66.

“They called me and I went down there, and I was just heart-sick,” Buckmaster said of learning the pump had been taken sometime in the night. "I believe the year the pump was manufactured was 1924 and it's what they call it a rush pump. Just one can go as high as $5,000 to $6,000. My son and I had to go all over to find three matching pumps to put back and paid a lot of money having them restored. Those are the same type of pumps that originally would have been there. The yellow pump was always in the middle, which would have been kerosene, and the red pumps were for gas.”

Huge bolts secured the pumps in place and the pumps are very heavy, according to Buckmaster.

“They had intentions of taking all three of them because they had taken the bolts out of all of them. It would have taken a lot of time,” Buckmaster said. “It's right on Main Street, surely someone saw something or knows something that can help. It's kind of sad for Miami.”

The building was also once vandalized with graffiti and those vandals were caught.

Buckmaster worries about what will happen if the stolen gas pump isn't located or returned.

“It's such a great place and I don't know whether or not it will ever be put back again now that this has been done. It's kind of like the end of something special,” he said. “We put a lot of work and money and time in that place and it was a labor of love. It's too bad this world's like that.”

The Miami Police Department asks anyone with information to call 918-542-5585.

Melinda Stotts is the associate editor of the Miami News-Record. She can be emailed at or followed on Twitter @MelindaStotts1.