Walk down the main streets of Guthrie, Oklahoma and you are met by some of the most beautiful architecture at every turn.
Guthrie started out with the Land Run on April 22, 1889 where it became an immediate town of some 10,000 people and was the first capital of Oklahoma. Well for a few years it was, until a special election in 1910 named Oklahoma City as the state capital and it was from 1913 as it is today.
It's still a little early for shops and some Museums, so we headed for the one we knew was open – The Oklahoma Territorial Museum and Carnegie Library.
I had to ask the lady at the Museum, because I've thought about it for some time, what the difference is between Sooners and Boomers? Now I know, she and the Museum explained it well and no it is not just related to the University cheer song.
During and leading up to the Land Run – the 'Sooners' as they became known were the cheeky ones getting to the unassigned lands first. Checking out the ideal plots of land and then hiding out until the whistle blew for the race for the land grab. They would then pop up out of hiding and stake their claim.
The 'Boomers' had spent many years through government and legislation trying to get access to the land and often came in setting up towns only have to the army move in and shift them back to where they came from and burn the towns down.
The Museum was really good, fantastic information AND I found a new and interesting character to portray in dress. Loved perusing the Montgomery Ward & Co catalogue!
Hee hee hee, would love to get my hands on a copy of this Lady's Etiquette book as well! Might have to research this one. If the drafting books language is anything to go by, this should be hilarious!
In 1907 Oklahoma became the 46th state of the United States of America and so another star was added to the flag.
The original state flag commemorated Oklahoma as the 46th state, it was later changed because with its mostly red nature it fell out of favour where the colour red was associated with certain war conflicts around the world. 1925 saw the current design take over.
The library is stunning, beautiful timber work, high ceilings, and fireplaces.
A well worth trip to this Museum if you are ever in Guthrie.
Back up the road we walked – Saloons are few and far between these days. Back in the day there were 22 saloons in the main block!! What's an Aussie to do when they can't find a beer at high noon? One girl did offer for us to come in and she'd pour one for us while she was changing light bulbs (officially opening times for the few bars/restaurants is 5pm) we thanked her and declined.
We stepped inside the (once) Blue Bell Saloon and was glad to see the bullet hole ceilings and the gorgeous bar were still intact. However, was only patroned by a few having hamburgers (a cafe restaurant now) and not one beer tap to be seen, no bottles of liquor on shelves no nothing!
The famous western movie star Tom Mix used to bartend here.
Anyways, it's time to take the Historic Trolley tour of Guthrie then we will find somewhere for lunch.
Suffice to say there are some 2,000 historically listed buildings and homes in Guthrie. Some designed by architect Joseph Foucart.
There are a few parking lots that used to have what I can only imagine to be the most beautiful sand stone hotels, including the Mineral Wells Bath House with its indoor pool – said to have every kind of healing bath imaginable.
There are many examples of Greek revival, Georgian and Craftsman style homes to name but a few. (I can see a few 'Fixer Uppers' here too! I've been watching that show too much lol!)
So much information that I didn't get down in time as I was busy gazing at the buildings and homes but this one did make me giggle. This little red and grey home was ordered in a complete package form from Sears and Roebuck catalogue – sorta like your very first IKEA kit you might say!
Guthrie used to be wealthy for its cotton producing. A gentleman by the name of Adler was the first to be licensed for wholesale liquor manufacturing (funny how I remembered that bit 🙂 ). The very first services, gas, electric, water and more, all came out of Guthrie. The most famous lawmen for the area, known as 'The Guardsmen', were Heck Thomas, Bill Tilghman and Chris Madsen.
Last but not least Guthrie was originally a train stop and was known as Deer Creek in 1887, all 4 major train services came through this stop including Souhern Kansas Railway (later taken over by Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway). As some of you may know the ATSF was also associated with the Harvey House era and Guthrie's second depot was indeed a Harvey House stop (restaurant style stop for travellers, full service) and the Harvey girls lived in dormitories on the second floor level of the stop.
Trolley tour finished we had lunch, went to the Extra Special Fabric Store that I have been told had some awesome prints suitable for Cowboys and Cowgirls. It didn't disappoint, walked out with some new fabric for Jack and myself. Will be back there again.
Then we headed to the Drug Store Museum and wow! If you've got anything wrong with you, you would definitely have found all sorts of known and obscure cures for any type ailment. Was very interesting.
We wandered in and out of antique shops before hitting the road back to Edmond. A worthy little day trip only a half hours drive away.
It is Memorial Day weekend here (like ANZAC Day in Aus) Lest We Forget.
For more info, check out some of these sites.