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Archive for oklahoma

Father of Oklahoma City

By Linda Tancs

Henry Overholser was an Oklahoma businessman and such an important contributor to the development of Oklahoma City that he’s often referred to as the “Father of Oklahoma City.” Among the treasures he left for locals to cherish is the Overholser Mansion, regarded as the first mansion built in the city. Constructed in 1903, the house was once eloquently referred to in the local paper as a “sermon on beauty.” It was built in the Queen Anne and Chateauesque architectural styles, a stark departure from the Mission, Craftsman and Prairie styles of the period. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the home is now owned by the Oklahoma Historical Society. Located on the northwest corner of Hudson & NW 15th Street, it’s open for guided tours.

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The Grand Lady of Bartlesville

By Linda Tancs

Frank Phillips was a poor farm boy in Iowa who later became an oil magnate in Oklahoma, founding Phillips Petroleum Company. His success is evident at the Frank Phillips Home in Bartlesville. Fondly referred to as the Grand Lady of Cherokee Avenue, the Neoclassical house sports intricate mahogany woodwork, silk damask wall coverings, Waterford crystal chandeliers and a 2,000-volume library no doubt enjoyed by guests like Will Rogers, Wiley Post, Elliott Roosevelt and architect Edward Buehler Delk. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the house is now owned and operated by the Oklahoma Historical Society.

A Sip on Route 66

By Linda Tancs

One of the biggest kicks on Route 66 is Pops, a soda emporium/gas station/convenience store in Arcadia, Oklahoma. Pops is home to Bubbles, the world’s largest bottle of soda pop. The thirst-inducing structure is 66 feet tall and weighs over four tons. Reputedly it glows at night.

Oklahoma City Remembers

By Linda Tancs

The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum remembers those who were killed, those who survived and those whose lives were changed forever following the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.  The memorial comprises an outdoor symbolic garden featuring the gripping Field of Empty Chairs, one for each of the lives lost.  Indoors, the highly interactive museum takes visitors on a chronological, self-guided tour through the events of the day and its aftermath.  The 20th anniversary of this significant terrorist attack is on 19 April.

The Runes of Oklahoma

By Linda Tancs

Mysterious carvings known as runes bring curious visitors to Oklahoma’s Heavener Runestone Park, located atop Poteau Mountain in the edge of the Ouachita Mountains that stretch across the Arkansas – Oklahoma border.  The park’s centerpiece is the Heavener Runestone, a massive boulder bearing what some believe is an ancient Viking inscription claiming the discovery of this land in present day Oklahoma.  Of course, the only known Viking settlement in North America is located considerably north in Newfoundland.  So is the rune a ruse?  You be the judge.

Apache History in Oklahoma

By Linda Tancs

How many times have you, your children or your grandchildren shouted “Geronimo” down the slides or off the monkey bars at a playground? No doubt you’ve heard it many times. What few probably know is the history of the real Geronimo, the Apache warrior behind the fabled shout-out. Buried at Fort Sill National Cemetery in Oklahoma, historians seem unable to agree on much besides the fact that he was one of the last great Indian warriors of the 19th century, spending the last 15 years of his life as a prisoner of war at the fort after fighting against Mexican and U.S. forces for their infringements on Apache lands. Hardly a hostile prisoner, he became friendly with his captors and even attended the inauguration of President Theodore Roosevelt. Does that diminish his image as a fierce combatant? Visit his stomping grounds, and you be the judge.

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