J.E. Sweatt sold a parcel in Black Springs, now 295 Kennedy Drive, to Cecil G. and Nola Mae Carthen in December of 1956. The couple was from Oklahoma, where Cecil had been working as a mechanic for a lumber company. In Reno, he worked for many years as a mechanic for the Richardson-Lovelock auto dealership.
Within just a few years, Cecil's younger brother, Thurman Carthen, and his wife, Mae Ella Carthen, had moved to Black Springs with their young son, Thurman Carthen, Jr., and lived on the same property. Cecil and Nola Mae soon moved to Sacramento, but Thurman's family remained in Black Springs, where they raised their nine children.
The house is believed to have been either built or moved here in response to the opening of the nearby Reno Army Air Base (later called Stead Air Force Base) in 1942, during World War II. According to Deborah Furnis, Black Springs experienced a surge in housing development at that time, as Black airmen stationed at the base could only find housing in Black Springs prior to Air Force housing becoming available.