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Brand New State: Oklahoma and the Great Plains in Transition
We're pleased to share these images from 2014’s Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Conference. Click any image for a larger view and/or view the photos as a slide show. using your keyboard’s arrow keys.
An opening reception on Thursday evening was held at one of the city’s most historic venues, the Overholser Mansion. The annual paper sessions and Awards Ceremony and Banquet took place at Tapwerks Ale House in the heart of historic Bricktown. Saturday’s all-day field trip focused on sites in central Oklahoma that span the history of the state, including Fort Reno, one of the posts manned by the Buffalo Soldiers, and Guthrie, the Territorial Capital.
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The Saturday field trip gang poses for the traditional group photo on the steps of the Guthrie Carnegie Library. These steps were the site of the symbolic marriage of Mr. Oklahoma Territory to Miss Indian Territory in 1907.
The Arcadia Round Barn. The Arcadia Historical and Preservation Society was the recipient of the 2014 Historic Preservation Award for their volunteer-driven, long term efforts to save, preserve, and interpret this Route 66 icon.
The post cemetery at Fort Reno, a 19th century frontier outpost in the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservation, contains the graves of numerous soldiers and civilians, as well as Indian Scouts such as “Chalk,” who was accorded full military honors in death.
The post chapel at Fort Reno, constructed by German and Italian prisoners of war in 1944. Fort Reno, which once was home to the famed Buffalo Soldiers in the 1870s and 1880s, later became one of two of the US Army Quartermaster’s Cavalry Remount stations, supplying thousands of horses and mules to the Army. During WWII, a POW camp was located at the fort – dozens of German and Italian soldiers who died in captivity are buried in a segregated section of the post cemetery.
The Arcadia Round Barn.
An 80-year-old elm tree was almost destroyed by the 1995 explosion at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in OKC. It is now called the Survivor Tree. The memorial was visited on the Thursday tours of OKC.
The Yukon’s Best Flour mill is a landmark on Route 66 as one travels west of Oklahoma City. The City of Yukon is known for its Czech (Bohemian) population and it is situated in the heart of the Oklahoma wheat belt.
The tour group took a ride around downtown El Reno on the state’s only working streetcar. Run by volunteers now, the route offers a look at the commercial center of this important crossroads town. The history of transportation comes together in El Reno, where the Chisholm Trail intersects Route 66, and rail lines flow out to the east, west, north, and south.