This week a childhood friend, Tommy
Elmore, from the
NE was inquiring about some info on the 700 ranch that was Ardmore's first
residence. I pulled out my copy of Sally Gray's book and here is the story:
Before the arrival of the railroad, the log
cabin at the 700 Ranch, built about 1879, was thought to have been the only
house constructed for habitation by white people between Gainesville and
Sherman, Texas on the south and Fort Arbuckle in Indian Territory on the North.
Ardmore first wooden residence, it was said to have been more of a place of
rendezvous than a home or ranch headquarters. Cal Stewart, who worked for the
Washington brothers in the 1880s, in an interview with Ardmore historian Paul
Frame, describe it as a place where crews of cowboys moved in and out depending
upon the time of year and type of work they were engaged in near the vicinity.
Others, however, recalled having visited Bill Washington at the house and also
with Washington's foreman, Arthur James, who live there with his family.
For almost a century, a remnant of the 700 ranch house could be seen at the
southwest corner of G Street and 2nd Avenue Southeast. Pete Nugent, who owns the
house in later years, sold it to Oscar key, then bought it back again. Although
lacking water and sewer connections the old ranch house was usually rented. In
1957, it was entered into the tax roll for $15, the lowest valuation in the city.
Later, after the structure had suffered complete deterioration, a replica of the
original double log house with a breezeway or "dog trot" between the two
sections was built near Hardy Murphy Coliseum. Then the decision was made in
1991 to move this production to the grounds of the Greater Southwest Historical
Museum. Strangely enough, the original site of Ardmore's first dwelling has
never been marked in any manner and it is known to very few. -Sally Gray,
Territory Town, The Ardmore Story
Photo of the original (now long gone)
700 ranch house on G Street SE.
Ratliff City residents voted to incorporate their town by a 34 to 10 margin
during an election on Tuesday October 29th another election on November 26th
will select town officers.
Danny Alexander, 12, made the mistake of drinking water from the wrong creek,
and contacted typhoid fever. He was taken to a hospital in Sherman, Texas and
has been absent from school since early September.
The old Tahlequah, Oklahoma depot
Engine 1108 at the Hardy Murphy
Coliseum has been sandblasted, painted, and will be moved to the Ardmore depot
probably sometime in first part of next year.
As of today, December 1st, there is a
new sheriff in Carter County. Chris Bryant assumed his office this morning. As
some of you know, Chris has helped me numerous times at the airpark memorial
through the years with projects, grounds maintaining and upkeep. I'm looking
forward to working with Chris. Below is a plaque I sandblasted for Chris' office
and I gave it to him this morning. Throttle up!
You can find current gas prices for a
particular Oklahoma town by entering the name or zip code in the GasBuddy search
Q. Where is a whimsical tower
inspired by the space age and the Mobius
It is called the Playtower and located in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Q. Where in Oklahoma is the
only museum in the U.S. dedicated to women pilots?
A. (answer in next week's T&T)
From This and That
newsletter archives of November 30, 2002
Thanksgiving afternoon I was going through
Pauls Valley, Oklahoma and stop at the depot downtown. They have a locomotive
and caboose on display to the north of the depot. Cabooses are now almost a
thing of the past. Very seldom will you see one at the back end of a train going
by. There is one thing missing in these photos, the train's bell. I guess it
must have been removed by scavengers long ago, or hopefully it is on display
somewhere in Pauls Valley.
Ardmore lost an historian last week. I
know he didn't consider himself an historian since he was a professional
photographer, but to me he was an historian. All his life he took photos of
southern Oklahoma, recording on Kodak film, people, places and things and now
those photos are part of history. Some of you 200 plus T&T Readers who have my
T&T History CD may have noticed there is a Folder named JoyceFranks on it. Some
of the 20 photos in that Folder were collected by Joyce just as keepsakes. And
others were actual photos he had taken over the years. Joyce came by to see me
several times the past year and brought with him his brown manila envelope with
photos he'd saved. We go through them one by one and have the best conversations
two history buffs could have. He'd tell me little tidbits of info on a photo
that only he alone could know. He'd pull out one photo, show it to me and say
remember this one? Sometimes I did, and sometimes he'd have to tell the story
behind the photo. Joyce would let me pick out the photos that interested me the
most, and scan them. If all the photos Joyce had taken could be burned to a CD,
it would be the most comprehensive piece of southern Oklahoma history
imaginable. There are a lot of us going to miss you, but you'll live on in your
photos. And if I could inscribe an epitaph at the bottom of Joyce Franks'
tombstone, it would be just two words. "Everybody's Friend". If your out there
somewhere looking down and reading this, and I believe you are, thanks Joyce for
being everybody's friend.
"In the Daily Ardmoreite (Nov. 18), there
was an article about how the severity of the winter weather can be predicted
using the kernel of a persimmon. If you cut open the kernel (seed), there will
be one of 3 shapes inside : a knife, a fork or a spoon - each mean different
types of weather prediction. According to the article, if it is knife-shaped
expect bitter, icy winds; fork-shaped - relatively mild winter with light
powdery snow; and for the spoon-shape, lots of snow to shovel. This year, the
inside of the kernel is spoon-shaped, so I guess (if the folklore is correct),
we better get those snow shovels out. I personally would rather have lots of
snow in the place of what we usually have...sleet and freezing rain."
"This is Lighthouse Assembly of God
baptism service probably at Lake Murray in the 50's.
Left to right: Henry Guess, John Guess,
Harve Guess and Bill Guess. You wrote about Bill Guess, the police officer in
the early 30's. And Henry Guess was shot at the Blue Front Cafe in 1947 on Caddo
Street in Ardmore.
Some mail from this week's MAILBAG.....
Replies from some of my Facebook friends when I mentioned the
persimmon seed and predicted snow:
"Rabbits a plenty here with thick fur and owls constantly hollering up for food
at night that's a bad sign for a rough winter according to what I was taught
years ago by a neighbor. So start winterizing everything around we have started
stocking up on stew meat and heating supplies here." -Johnnye Belinda
Carriker-Bewley at Faxon, Oklahoma (south of Lawton)
"Nature is pretty amazing. The old-timers learned a lot just by observing the
animals. If the squirrels around my house are any indication of how bad a winter it's
going to be, it's going to be pretty bad because they ate everything they could
find. There's not one pecan or pinecone left on any of my trees!" -Douglas
Crowson at Madill, Oklahoma
"My Dad always went by that.
We had a big persimmon tree and I never saw it fail. Like Mr. Crowson said he
also watched the animals." -Bill Butler, Ardmore
"My grandson they opened 10 persimmons and they were all
spoons." -Kelly McGuire, Marietta, Oklahoma
"Here too, with the squirrels. Never saw them gnaw through the
green hull of pecans before, but they have stripped my tree. Several people have
told me they did that to their pecans too." -Diane Patrick Armstrong,
"Farmers Almanac said Texas & Oklahoma should expect a dry,
warmer than usual Winter." -Scott Bumgarner, Sherman, Texas
Springer Christmas Parade ? Saturday ? December 10, 2016
Open to antique cars, bikes, ATV, floats, walkers and horse groups. Entry fee is
one (1) new unwrapped toy. Participants in the parade please meet in the
Springer School parking lot on the South side of the school at 12:30 PM and the
parade will start at 1:00 PM. Volunteers are welcome and greatly appreciated.
Come and enjoy the parade and join everyone at the Community Center for
refreshments after the parade.
One of my diatribes that may be of interest --------
CRAF - Cold War Program
Not generally known, the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, CRAF was a 1950s top secret
program whereby all airplanes with range enuf to fly the Atlantic would be
"federalized" to support Europe in the event Soviets invaded Western Europe. All
such airplanes of airlines were fitted with IFF systems (ID Friend or Foe) which
could be ground-interrogated & automatically respond, the signal changed daily.
CRAF's purpose was to evacuate civilians from & transport military personnel &
cargo to Europe.
I was one of five people in Pan Am that managed our part of CRAF & was
investigated for security clearance. I was impressed with the secret nature of
our work, don't mention its existence, only discuss within on a need-to-know
basis, extreme penalties for violation, etc. I only knew the ID of one other in
Pan Am I had to work with.
Pan Am & TWA were the only U.S. airlines serving Europe. Pan Am would staff &
operate Keflavik, Iceland; London, England & Brussels, Belgium, our other points
in Germany, etc. only to be evacuated. TWA would operate Paris, Rome, Santa
Maria, Azores. My job was to develop the equipment, tooling & manpower
requirements for our locations. I was to become Maintenance Chief at Keflavik,
to handle a calculated 19 flights daily each direction --- quite a build-up from
our then-scheduled two a week.
It was understood that draft legislation existed to be enacted when/if the
whistle blew to permit the drafting of personnel to staff the active locations,
people who would be put aboard outbound flights without delay. This was serious
business & for me, enuf I went to Keflavik again to survey the situation with
the future possibilities in mind ----
Looking back, I never saw evidence of our plans being enacted, the equipment
being stockpiled at locations --- if CRAF were activated, our planning would
have been for naught & personnel sent in the field without support ----- not
without historical precedent, at least one of which I was involved that Gov't
failure to follow thru resulted in failure --- that floperoo the subject of
Years later, 1981 after I had retired & moved home to Oklahoma, I got a call
from Pan Am's Director of Security saying I had to come back to NY for a
'security debriefing'; I had retired without that requirement. He was insistent
& as we talked, I figured he had no ID as to what/why my security clearance was
for - or whether it was still active. I explained per the above what it was all
about & he decided that was debriefing enuf." -Bob McCrory
At the link below are 10 more scans of old photographs this week.
One photo from
the above 10 I want to bring out, is the old photograph of Hargrove College in
Ardmore. There were two Hargrove College's in early day Ardmore. The first one a
D and 10 NW. There is a plaque that was placed there by the Oklahoma Methodist
Historical Society in 1964 which states, "Hargrove College 1895-1914. A
Methodist college once stood here, begun by the City of Ardmore it was given to
the Indian Mission Conference of the Methodist Church, named in honor of Bishop
Robert K. Hargrove. In 1907 the school burned but was rebuilt north of the city.
It exerted a vital religious & educational influence throughout the area."
The second location was on Chickasaw Blvd where Carter
Seminary would later be located (now the Chickasaw Health Clinic).
Hargrove College in 1909
at the Chickasaw Blvd location.
I'm not sure what year
or the location the photo below was taken, but if I were a betting man, I'd bet
at 10th and D NW.
Cold! If the thermometer had been an
inch longer we'd have frozen to death. -Mark Twain
See everyone next
Butch and Jill Bridges
PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443