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Vol 11  Issue 565 November 22, 2007

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

Email: butchbridges@oklahomahistory.net, Phone: 580-490-6823

I never know what history will come to me the plain old fashion way (instead of email) by the U.S. Post Office.  This week I received a letter from Norma Lowery in Texas and inside were several old postcards. When I look back over the past 11 years there has been so many of you who have shared your history here every week, and from the resulting emails, it is appreciated by so many all over the country and overseas.  I can not name everyone here who has contributed, but you know who you are, and it is appreciated me and so many others.  Thanks Norma.

This first postcard from Norma is the Bromide Bridge, and looks like the present day Lincoln Bridge before it was replaced by a stone bridge??


This next old post card was the Palace Hotel in Sulphur.


And this one I sure never heard of, don’t remember ever seeing anything like it at Sulphur…. called Beauty Spring.


Of course this one is just an older photo of Lincoln Bridge as it is today.


Also in the envelope with the postcards was a copy of an old Devils Den flyer. Boy, I never realized there was so many attractions with names a Devils Den years ago.  Let see…. Indian head rock, devil’s bed, bonnet rock, man in the moon rock, devil’s throne, devil’s backbone, submarine rock, devil’s harp, mushroom rock, devil’s bathtub just to name a few.


I see the name H.F. Greenfield, Jr  of Tishomingo as a contact person on this old Devils Den brochure. I wonder if he was the original owner?



Several of you wrote in last week to let me know I failed to include a link to another photo from Bill Bow of the concession stand at the Skyview Drive In. Guess I got in too big a hurry to get the T&T out.


Jill and I was at Lone Grove last Saturday morning eating a wonderful breakfast at Monty’s Diner and upon leaving, we noticed an old Ford parked outside.  I don’t know who it’s owner is, but maybe someone will write in and tell us.


Here’s a pic of our first home at Lone Grove. Its not that big or fancy, but we plan to place a modular home just to the east of this one.   lol


Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..“Butch, when you looked into the seeds of your persimmons did you find a spoon, knife or a fork. You’ll have to carefully cut open the seeds and out of ten seeds which has the most of one of these shapes. If there are more spoons that means heavy snow is coming, more forks means light snow, and more knives means icy conditions. This actually comes from the Farmers Almanac so it must be true!”  -R. Helms

“Doug is probably too young to remember the Whittington Park swimming pool. There was a wading pool in the park across the street North of the swimming pool. I know the pool and skating rink were still open in 1948 because at that time my husband and I lived at 503 Park St. We had the only acre of land in what is now the Fairgrounds that did not belong to the city of Ardmore. We sold to them in 1949. I believe the swimming pool closed in the 50s but the wading pool remained open for several more years. The larger pool was filled with dirt. In the late 50s or early 60s there was a big barbeque at Whittington Park to celebrate Ardmore’s birthday. Several ranchers donated steers and the beef was cooked by burying it in the old pool. I guess with coals or something to cook it. Several individuals cooked large amounts at home. I cooked twenty pounds in my roaster. The Home Demonstration Clubs served the dinner from large galvanized trash cans. Needless to say there was a huge crowd there to celebrate with a free dinner. As someone mentioned before, there was a skating rink above the dressing rooms for the swimming pool. The rink stayed open after the pool closed. Life was so good in those days. Life is still good. I just can’t do the things I used to do.”  –Frances Dunlap

“Persimmons.  I have loved them all My life— A few years ago I grafted some Oriental Persimmons on our wild persimmons. They are sweeter than the wild –seedless– and the size of a tomato. The rain this year did something and they didn’t make very good—just 12 or 13. Last year the hail got them all but the year before I got a bunch of them.”  -DeWayne

Free admission to Bombing Memorial Museum. This lasts for the month of November.

“I am willing to pay someone to get the biggest box from the post office and fill it with ripe, ready to eat persimmons and ship it to me in Pahrump Nevada. These boxes are Priority Mail and only take about two days for delivery.”  -Ted Edwards  tebear1@sbcglobal.net

“Could anyone tell me if there is any history of Peter’s Prairie school/church around Grove, OK? or where I might look. Thanks.” -Darlene  darlenerudner@msn.com

“I assume by now that you realize you missed putting the picture of the inside of the of the Skyview’s snack bar in the T&T.  I’m sending you some more aerial shots of Ardmore I thought you might like to see. They were taken at the same time, 1953, as the one of the Skyview.” -Bill Bow



“The guy with his back to me is Jimmie Gaskins at the fountain Coke machine while Don Nutt looked on from the other side. I don’t remember the young lady’s name. I believe she was the wife of an Airman stationed at Ardmore AFB.”  -Bill Bow


“When I visited my Grandma in Ardmore in the 30’s, I would swim in the Whittington Park pool mentioned this week in This and That. Later the pool was no longer there but a skating rink above where the pool was located operated in 1953 when our son had his birthday party there and I have movies of the kids who attended. There was still a wading pool in the park where we served refreshments after skating. Guess I remember farther back than some folks.”  -Evelyn Gant

“Butch, wish you and Jill could have made the reunion last month in Ardmore. I was counting on you to help me with the trolley tour guide duty. I just pointed out interesting things as we went along. We did 3 tours with the trolley packed to capacity each time. All the events of the weekend got rave reviews but the trolley ride got the most positive comments. Below was our final route with comments for everyone’s enjoyment.” -Dennis Medrick AHS Class of 1962 reunion  dmedr4508@aol.com

Leave Museum on Sunset – South to Stanley – East to D St. S.W. pointing out the Lincoln School and the Carnegie Library– North to 1st Street – West to the Goddard Center garden designed by Janie Couch, statue of “Girl With A Rabbit” by Lena Beth Murphy, continue and circle around Central Park, then East on Main Street pointing out where there used to be White’s Auto Store; the A & P grocery store at 230-232 W, Main; Luke’s Music Store at 212 W. Main; Eden’s Fine Foods; the Tivoli Theatre; Tol’s Jewelry Store at 204 W. Main; Reavis Drug at 127 W. Main (Maynard Reavis used to watch for shoplifters up over the front of the store); S.H. Kress 5¢ & 10¢ Store; Strasmicks Jewelers at 112 W Main; Duke & Ayers 5¢ & 10¢ at 111 West Main; The Park Theatre; City Barber Shop with Mr. Bill Price (Truman and Jearld’s father) and shoe shine man, Sylvester, at 3 West Main; Steele’s Drug at 1 West Main; Stubbs Army Navy at 9 East Main; the Globe Theatre; Daube’s Department Store at 105-109 East Main (remember the animated Christmas figures in the front window?); and Martin’s Drug at 125 East Main, B.L. Owen’s Furniture store; the old Pepsi Bottling Plant.

Go South on A St. SE to 1st Avenue SE. Up ahead is the old Tyler Simpson Grocery distribution warehouse, to your left across the tracks you can see the old Reddy Ice Company.

Go West on 1st Avenue SE to Washington pointing out the old Jordan Bus Station and the Coca Cola Bottling plant run by Dutch Rogers at 102 S. Washington. South on S. Washington past the Colvert’s Dairy at Stanley; to the left at Stanley is the old Wilkinson’s Feed and Seed where they incubated little yellow chicks in the window at Easter time; south past the Honest John Hubbell’s Dairy King . Hubbell’s son John Paul was the first male OU cheerleader. South past the old Pratt’s Grocery.

Left through the underpass onto Lake Murray Drive; east to the original Super Dog (Joe Ben Ponder sold out to Stan Baldwin); now the Burger Ranch) at 708 Lake Murray Drive East; across on the left is the old A & W Root Beer Stand. Go south past the Hardy Murphy Coliseum to Springdale Road, east on Springdale to Park Street, north on Park past the old Ardmore City Zoo, to the back entry of Whittington Park; remember the old skating rink upstairs and the swimming pool downstairs: up in the park was a large circular wading pool and pavilion.

Back out to Park Street, north to 3rd Street, then west to Carter Street at the Jefferson Grade School; south on Carter past the front of the school; (403 Carter on the corner across from the school was the home of Gordon and Lila Sturdevant) west on 4th Street to Emmanuel Baptist Church at C Street. South on C Street to Lake Murray Drive; west on Lake Murray Drive to north on Washington past the Hamburger Inn and the Mulkey Hotel; our old Alma Mater still stands tall at 200 block of N. Washington.East on 3rd Street across the railroad tracks; at F Street, note the old City swim pool where Boyd Roberts, Kent Harrell and Dean Williamson served as lifeguards; just south of the pool was Dr. J. J. Boyd’s home and office where the famous sugar pills were prescribed, administered and dispensed, next door to him was Jay Robert’s mom, Thelma Roberts, my first grade teacher.

East to G Street, north to 5th Avenue past Conchieta Sue McCluskey’s home and next door, J. C. Priddy’s rock home. Across 5th past the site of the former Washington Elementary, north to 6th, noting the location of Basil Moran’s Grocery Store (he later sold to Houston Cox). West to F Street, south to 5th Avenue and turn west onto the famous Viaduct bridge (the wooden original burned down in 1968). Across the Viaduct to N. Washington. North on N. Washington to 12th Avenue; (the brown rock house in the 1100 block is where Chuck Rice lived, remember his mom serving the great cinnamon rolls hot from the oven at the high school cafeteria?) West on 12th Avenue past the old Sooner Foods Grocery where the famous shoot-out with burglars, Thompson submachine guns and shotguns took place. It was later a Gibson’s Discount Center. Note the Scofield Memorial church on the left was originally at the Ardmore Air Force Base, sawed in half and transported partly by floating down the river, and reassembled at it’s present site some time around 1958. West down 12th Avenue to E Street. South on E Street to Franklin Grade School at 6th Avenue; west on 6th Avenue to Wolverton Street then north to 8th Avenue. West on 8th Avenue to G Street and north on G Street to 12th Avenue. West on 12th past where the old Von Keller hospital and later the Hardy Sanitarium was; to N. Commerce (U.S. Hwy 77). Cross Commerce to the southbound west service road. South on the service road to the old Joe Ben Ponder’s Drive-Inn, our famous Super Dog!!! Where Grandy’s now stands.

South on Commerce past the entrance to the 77 North Drive-In Theater, the old Tower Motel and Tower Grill (D. Allen Wint, proprietor); south to Main Street (Jay Garner’s Cre-Mel Root Beer drive-in, now a used car lot is on the east side of the highway). West on Main to Sunset, south to the Greater Southwest Historical Museum.

“I haven’t made a run out Lake Murray Drive for many, many years but I took my first swimming lessons (1950 or so) in that pool in the Hardy Murphy Coliseum photo. For all I’m worth, I can’t remember it going away although I know very well it did as I was using the new pool when I was in high school. The old ranch house and the RR engine were moved out there after that photo and it’s been long enough since I was there so I’d not know a thing about where/why/whatever they are now. The city park just north of the pool was an active playground for many of us as were the tennis courts at or near the pool area.” -T. E. (Thal) McGinness Houston, TX  tem01@hotmail.com

Always something interesting in the newsletters from the Kerr Center: http://www.kerrcenter.com


Museum Memories
-Contributed by Melinda Taylor
The Wilson News
“Fruit Demonstration Car”
The Frisco fruit demonstration car is due to arrive in Ardmore Thursday, July 15. The car will be in charge of Ashley Bales, agricultural agent for the Frisco Company. The Frisco Company extends an invitation to all peach growers to attend the demonstrations given on the car.
“Wilson Fruit Growers Ship First Car Peaches”
Fruit growers from the neighborhood of Wilson and Hewitt shipped a car of early peaches from Wilson Saturday. The variety shipped was the “Mamie Ross.” Elbertas are not quite ready for shipment. The crop now promises to be the largest ever grown in this section of the state. There is considerable difficulty in finding baskets and crates enough to handle the crop.
“Uncle Dick” Bynum has shipped his second car of Elbertas this year. They go to the Chicago market where they bring top prices.

Today is Thanksgiving, and we hope everyone is having good food and fellowship with friends and family, yet taking time to give thanks for all the good things that life gives.

The Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Edgar Albert Guest, 1881-1959

It may be I am getting old and like too much to dwell
Upon the days of bygone years, the days I loved so well;
But thinking of them now I wish somehow that I could know
A simple old Thanksgiving Day, like those of long ago,
When all the family gathered round a table richly spread,
With little Jamie at the foot and grandpa at the head,
The youngest of us all to greet the oldest with a smile,
With mother running in and out and laughing all the while.

It may be I’m old-fashioned, but it seems to me to-day
We’re too much bent on having fun to take the time to pray;
Each little family grows up with fashions of its own;
It lives within a world itself and wants to be alone.
It has its special pleasures, its circle, too, of friends;
There are no get-together days; each one his journey wends,
Pursuing what he likes the best in his particular way,
Letting the others do the same upon Thanksgiving Day.

I like the olden way the best, when relatives were glad
To meet the way they used to do when I was but a lad;
The old home was a rendezvous for all our kith and kin,
And whether living far or near they all came trooping in
With shouts of “Hello, daddy!” as they fairly stormed the place
And made a rush for mother, who would stop to wipe her face
Upon her gingham apron before she kissed them all,
Hugging them proudly to her breast, the grownups and the small.

Then laughter rang throughout the home, and, Oh, the jokes they told;
From Boston, Frank brought new ones, but father sprang the old;
All afternoon we chatted, telling what we hoped to do,
The struggles we were making and the hardships we’d gone through;
We gathered round the fireside. How fast the hours would fly–
It seemed before we’d settled down ’twas time to say good-bye.
Those were the glad Thanksgivings, the old-time families knew
When relatives could still be friends and every heart was true.

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges
Ardmore Oklahoma
PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443

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Oklahoma Bells: https://oklahomahistory.net/bellpage.html
American Flyers Memorial Fund – Administration Webpage
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Mirror Site of the Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Website
Carter county schools, past and present
Carter County Government Website

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