LCRA awards $17,360 grant for upgrades to historic building in Upton County

Upton County Historical Society will replace roof, install air conditioning in historic Conoco station building

Oct. 25, 2023

A Lower Colorado River Authority representative presents a $17,360 grant to the Upton County Historical Society for upgrades to the old Conoco service station building, which is being renovated into a community meeting space in McCamey. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Joan Farley, historical society supporter; Linda Dusek and Jana Morgan, historical society members; Jan Smith, daughter-in law of longtime McCamey Garden Club member Ava Smith; Marita Lorbiecke, historical society member; Wayne Smith, son of Ava Smith; Mackie Myers, historical society member; Cody Zamora, Upton County commissioner, Precinct 4; Tammie Smith, historical society president; Bryan Glenn, historical society supporter; Cooper Hogg, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Mitch Upchurch, Upton County sheriff; Dusty W. Kilgore, Upton County judge; and Mike Smart, Upton County commissioner, Precinct 3.

McCAMEY, Texas – The Upton County Historical Society will replace the roof and 1930s-era electrical wiring at a historic building in downtown McCamey, as well as install the building’s first-ever air conditioning, thanks to a $17,360 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority. The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $4,340 in matching funds from the historical society, will enable the group to complete substantial renovation projects that will transform a 1930s service station into a community event space. The building housed a Conoco service station from the 1930s until the 1970s, when ownership was transferred to the McCamey Garden Club. The club disbanded in 2019, and in the spring of this year, ownership of the building was transferred to the Upton County Historical Society. The historical society now is working to honor the generosity of the previous owners and the nearly 100-year-old building’s legacy as a gathering place for the community. “Our mission has always been preserving our past for future generations, but we didn’t know how we were going to be able to fund this project,” said Tammie Smith, president of the historical society. “The wiring is outdated, the plumbing is gone and the roof needs to be replaced since it’s probably 15 years old. There’s also no form of heat or air.” Smith said most of the historic buildings in town have been torn down over the years. The old Conoco station is one of the few remaining buildings built between the 1930s and 1940s. The station in the original downtown district of McCamey will be used as an event space for local residents and people from surrounding areas. “This is our history,” she said. “Restoring places of history like this adds something to our community, and people take pride in it.” The grant will help support the historical society’s goal to complete the station restoration by McCamey’s 100th anniversary in 2025. “Our goal is to have a majority of it completed by then so that people who were raised here, or even those who are first-time visitors, can come by and experience this building,” Smith said. “It will be amazing.” The community grant is one of 45 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January. More information is available at

About LCRA

The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations.

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