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Vol 22  Issue 1,143 December 20, 2018

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

History on Ravia, Oklahoma

Ravia lies four miles west of Tishomingo at the intersection of State Highways 1 and 22. The town name honored Joseph D. Ravia, a Texan of Mexican descent, who had married a Chickasaw and settled in the region. In 1894 the Post Office Department designated a Ravia post office, with Eliza Forbess as postmaster. In 1899 the residents petitioned the U.S. Southern Indian Territory District Court to incorporate the town. They stated that the community had seventeen business establishments and thirty residential buildings. The court finalized the procedure in May 1899. In 1900 Ravia’s population stood at 128. In 1900-1901 the St. Louis, Oklahoma and Southern Railway (acquired by the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway in June 1901) laid tracks near Ravia. The business district shifted to the railroad, which increased the number of residents. In 1901 the estimated population was five hundred, and a bank, two sawmills, a livery, a blacksmith shop, two wagonyards, four general stores, four doctors, five stockmen, and several other retail outlets served the town. The community became a shipping center for agricultural products. At 1907 statehood the population stood at 690. In 1908 fire destroyed most of Ravia’s business district. At the time newspapers claimed the community had twelve hundred residents, but by 1910 the population was down to 556. By 1911 the town had added a Farmers’ Union Cotton Company, a corn mill, two hotels, an opera house, and the Ravia Weekly News. Other early newspapers included the Ravia Gazette, the Ravia Herald, the Ravia Tribune, and the Ravia Times. In 1910 a small gold vein was discovered, creating a short-lived mining rush. Other natural resources were mined or extracted in the region, creating either brief or long-term industries. These included lead and zinc, petroleum and natural gas, sand and gravel, dimension stone (granite), and asphalt. In 1920 the population was 513, and it declined to 345 in 1930. The school system matured from a subscription school, to an eight-year public school, to a high school (circa 1918), and by the 1930s a consolidated high school. In 1940 the population stood at 424, but it dropped to 327 in 1950. The businesses were mainly gas stations, grocery stores, a drug store, and a feed store. The population loss continued in 1960 with 307 residents, before the trend ended with a figure of 373 in 1970. The school district reverted to a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade system. In 2000 the school had eighty-four students, and Ravia’s population was 459. Gene Autry (1907-1998) was raised at Ravia, and worked at the railroad depot before succeeding in the entertainment world. Jonas Wolfe (1828-1900), a two-term governor of the Chickasaw Nation resided south of Ravia, and he is buried there.

Q.  Where is a healing rock in Oklahoma that’s said to have mystical healing powers?
A.  Located in the town of Skiatook, Tepee Rock, also known as Healing Rock, is a natural monument regarded as a healing site by Native Americans.  (CLICK HERE)

Q.  What draws 6,000 people a day to this small town with a population of 3,500?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

Here’s a couple of pavers I sandblasted the other day.



Below is from This and That newsletter archives of December 21, 2006

Here is another interesting piece of Ardmore history from the 1975 Shrine Club Rodeo Program. Its the old Jewish Temple that was located where now is the Ardmoreite building’s east parking lot.

This is a unusual monstrosity located a few miles north of Lexington, Oklahoma on Highway 77. It looks like it walked right out of a horror movie of outer space and is roaming the countryside ready to devour humans.
Last Friday Carr Tuck Pointing out of Iowa finished up their job of doing some repair work on the outside of the courthouse, caulking all the granite seams, and power washing the outside of the building. Its been about 10 years or so and our winters had taken its toll on the outside of the building. In a coupe of years the courthouse will celebrate its 100th birthday, and you will not find a better preserved and maintained building for is age in all of the county.
Shirley Zink brought by an old 1963 map of Ardmore. It has a lot of photos of historical places in Ardmore, but what really caught my attention was who drew the map. It is signed by Burl Chadwell. I remember Burl well back in the 60s when I was a kid, and I had forgotten he made street maps for the City of Ardmore, basically hand drawn. There has been a ton of streets added to the map of Ardmore since Burl drew that map in 1963. His son Craig Chadwell still lives in Ardmore with his wife Nancy. Thanks Shirley for the old map of Ardmore.
“Please tell Jayson Pruitt that the air potato plant is a horrible enemy here in FL. We beg all who will listen to pull them out and throw the potatoes away.. because they will sprout the next year even if you try to burn them in the burn pit! They choke all the trees around here and prevent the native plants from growing, getting nutrients and sunshine. They are also extremely ugly to see growing all over everything.T hey don’t even have a bloom worth mentioning… I guess the novelty of this plant for some people must be because they don’t have to witness and deal with the utter onslaught each year of this Maniac plant!! It grows so fast you can actually sit and see it growing!! Maybe I should go out and take a picture of what these plants do around here in Central eastern FL.” -Licia Babb -FL
“Hi, it is such a joy to read about “home”. I was born in Durwood and raised in the Sulphur area. My folks owned and operated the Drake Grocery Store, their name was Coleman. I now live in Arizona and love reading about the Ardmore area. I am very homesick!! Hope to visit soon.” -Marcy Nadeau

Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..


Singer Wanda Jackson will be appearing at the Tower Theater in Oklahoma City in February. The last time I saw her was at the Continental Club in Houston in 2007 just before we moved to Big Sky, Montana. She was one of the original female rockabilly singers but I didn’t become aware of her until I was out of college. I became familiar with her music about the same time I started listening to Ronnie Dawson from Dallas. He was another rockabilly artist with real star power.

Brenda Lee was the first female singer that sang rockabilly that I was aware of growing up in Ardmore in the 1950s and 1960s.

While we always enjoyed seeing Wanda Jackson, we didn’t get to see her that often. Rosie Flores appeared in Houston quite often and she is the singer we most often saw who sang rockabilly.

-Monroe Cameron

Jill and I appreciate all the emails and snail mail Christmas cards we’ve receive the past couple weeks from many of you. I think how big a family we are here, scattered all across the country, and meeting here like this every week. I can’t put into words how much we appreciate everyone. So, from our family to yours……

Merry Christmas everyone!

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

“Friends Make Life Worth Living”PO Box 2
Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443


Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
Oklahoma Bells: https://oklahomahistory.net/bellpage.html
Bill Hamm’s Cemetery Database
American Flyers Memorial Fund – Administration Webpage
Official American Flyers Memorial Website
Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Base Website
Mirror Site of the Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Website
Carter County Government Website