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Vol 23  Issue 1,147 January 17, 2019

PO Box 2, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73402

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

Extreme cold coming to Oklahoma Friday night the 18th and Saturday. Be prepared. Remember the 4 Ps. People, Pets, Plants, and Pipes. Prepare for those way below freezing nights for sure.

A Glimpse into the Past

Joe S. Robison, the man who with a partner built the First Federal Building and who owns the opera house at Main and C Street Southwest, had another brainstorm about 1907, streetcars for Ardmore. He organized and was president of the Ardmore Traction Company which functioned until 1924 when it fell victim to the automobile age. Two second-hand trolley cars were obtained from Fort Worth, Texas. The first conductor was J. W. “Bill” Moore and the fair was 5 cents in town and 10 cents to the end of the line at Lorena Park. The trolley followed a route from the Santa Fe Depot west on Main Street to C Street, then north along C Street to 8th Avenue Northwest, then west along 8th to Wolverton and north on Wolverton out of town to the car barn, 1 mile north of town, then to Lorena Park, also a Robison conception, on the ridge near Dornick Hills Country Club. In time the equipment increase from 2 cars to 6 which included to “summer cars” consisting of mounted benches shaded by canopies overhead. This transportation venture was popular but not lucrative, particularly after the advent of the automobile. In 1922 service was discontinued and during the 1930s the tracks were removed as a project of the WPA.  –Sally Gray, Territory Town, The Ardmore Story published 2006

This photograph was taken in July 1947 at an Ardmore parade down Main Street.

https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.190.156/knn.c7e.myftpupload.com/ttphotos19a/ParadeJuly1947b.jpg

Doug Williams sent in a neat photo this week of the Devil’s Kitchen. It was located near where the future dam of Lake Murray would be built.

https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.190.156/knn.c7e.myftpupload.com/ttphotos19a/DevilsKitchenLakeMurray1904.jpg

November 2003
Lone Grove postmaster Trish Brown with stringing a cable for a communication satellite hook up at the post office when part of the ceiling gave way and Brown fell through the ceiling. She was attended to by first responders and later taken to the emergency room where she was treated and released.

November 1958
Roaring funnels and hurricane-like winds ripped through Carter County a week ago. Property damage could reach $100,000. Reece Allen and several other county employees were loading lumber at the District #2 barn when the winds struck. The nearly new sheetmetal roof was torn off and two graders damaged. One side of Ray McKown’s dairy barn was blown away as was a barn and chicken house owned by Arvel Jones. The funnel also destroyed a number of outbuildings. Leo Price, Lone Grove School Superintendent, said a house was unroofed and barns and sheds damaged. Winds were measured at speeds of up to 94 miles per hour at the airport in Oklahoma City.

November 1934
A quarrel over a quarter caused the death of one man, the wounding of a second and the arrest of two brothers. The tragedy was enacted in the wooded country half a mile west and 1/4 Mile south of Brock at 5 pm. Sunday afternoon Roscoe Bearden, 31, was killed during a poker game and drinking session. The brothers Merritt were charged with murder. Funeral services for Bearden were held at Cheek Cemetery two days later.

I bought a new digital Dash Cam (P1080) the other day. Much higher video quality than my old one. Last Saturday I traveled down Ardmore’s main street with the dash cam rolling. Some good video and memories for those who have not been to Ardmore in a long time. The video is broken up into 3 parts and uploaded them to YouTube. Enjoy.

Video 1. https://youtu.be/zSgLzrkWw1M

Video 2. https://youtu.be/wk6nXPRuW5Q

Video 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX-UrtuKPUk

Q.  Oklahoma is no stranger to abandoned towns. From the east to the west side of the state there are hundreds of ghost towns that most people have long forgotten about. One, in particular, located in western Oklahoma close to the border of Texas, is still littered with memories, homes, and a whole lotta Okie junk.
A.  Reed, Oklahoma is located in far western Oklahoma in Greer County. It’s close to the border of Texas, just off State Highway 9. For more info CLICK HERE

Q.  This County In Oklahoma Was One Of The Most Dangerous Places In The Nation In The 1920s?
A.  Answer in next week’s newsletter

August 18, 2011 Issue
I received an interesting phone call from Missouri this week from a Nathan McAlister seeking any kinfolk of Ardmoreite W. George Ritter (1854-1927). George Ritter and his descendants were Ardmore pioneers from its beginnings. He came here from the Black Forest of Germany, setting up a bicycle repair shop in Ardmore. But something I learned just this week was G.W. Ritter was a violin maker. Nathan is a collector of fiddles/violins, and ran across a fiddle for sale outside Joplin, Missouri recently. He said it was in really great condition, had been taken care of by its owners, however many that has been through the years. Nate said he could look inside and see, though faint, wrote in pencil, that this was the 13th violin made by W. G. Ritter, and would be his last, signed dated, W.G. Ritter, Ardmore, Oklahoma January 10, 1920.

Followup on the W.G. Ritter violin: It now has a new home in Owasso, Oklahoma.

Here’s a paver I sandblasted the other day for Tuff the bulldog.

https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.190.156/knn.c7e.myftpupload.com/bricks/TuffDogFlagstone.jpg

Below is from This and That newsletter archives of January 18, 2007

“Butch, I think I’ve told you this story before. Being the last County Surveyor for Carter County, I came into the County Clerk’s Office one morning in 1978. The clock that had hung on the clerk’s office for a number of years had fallen and broken. The clock had been given by Mr. Peden of Peden’s Jewelry Shop, but the glass had broken and couldn’t be fixed so I told Florence Gregory Jones who had thrown the clock into the trash that I would fix the clock and hang it back up for her. So I went to the Light Gallery on North Washington and ordered the glass which is on the clock today. However I modified it to give me, Mike Carr, a little advertisement as County Surveyor. And that is the story of the clock. I have replaced the fluorescent bulb 3 or 4 times in the last 25 years, the 2nd hand was lost along the way which I replaced with a bent paper clip, but it still keeps good time, thanks to Mr. Peden.” -Michael D. Carr
https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.190.156/knn.c7e.myftpupload.com/ttphotos7a/CarrClock.jpg
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“Henry House and Hickory creeks are two separate parallel creeks running south from the mountain, about 5 miles apart. Hickory Creek crosses State Highway 53 just over the hill west of Woodford, and is the one on which Mountain Lake (aka Woodford Lake, an Ardmore water supply) is built. The most significant falls on Hickory is quite sizeable (probably 15-20 feet tall on about a 45 degree angle, and maybe 35 yards long across the creek), and I’m surprised you haven’t found it (when I get this sent and get to your next issue, I’ll probably read where someone else is giving this same information). Anyway, it is located just about 100 yards east of the Mountain Lake road, about a mile south of the dam. For years, and possibly still, there was a house on the west side of the road there, and a tremendously big tree right against the road so that the road had to take a slight zag-zig to miss it. When you get up to Mountain Lake again (in better weather than this!), it would be worth the short hike out there to see it. You can’t miss it, since Hickory Creek runs parallel to the road.

Henry House Creek crosses State Highway 53 at the bottom of a L_O_N_G hill 4 or 5 miles east of Woodford (some nut “told me” that a ’56 Ford with a 202 Thunderbird engine and overdrive would register 140 mph going down that hill—can you believe what some people will say?!) . I have never been up House Creek to see the falls.

By the way, there is another sizeable falls and a small deep water hole on Hickory Creek that everyone in the 40’s and 50’s used to call the “Blue Hole”, and the locals used it extensively then to swim in. If it still looks like it used to, you would not believe there is such a nice place anywhere near there. It is located just about a half-mile north of State Highway53 just north of where the short-lived black school was just west of the Hickory bridge. The land is now owned or controlled by Creede Speake, but you might persuade him to let you in to photograph it.” -Keith Ward, Oklahoma City
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Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG…..

Hamburger Inn conjures many memories. My dad and one of the sales reps that regularly called on us were going to Hamburger Inn for lunch when the rep (a family friend) saw my mother an sister coming out of the post office which was across the street. The rep, attempting to be funny gave out with a wolf whistle and waved at them. It just happened that Matt Alexander, the old beat cop, was nearby and heard his whistle. He , in his slow pace walked up to the rep, tapped him on his shoulder with the night stick he always carried. He reprimanded him and let him know that was unacceptable in Ardmore. My dad got a big kick out of the incident, I don’t think Matt thought it funny. We use to go to Hamburger Inn during duck and goose hunting season. At 4:00 A. M., “Hamburger” Brown (his nickname) was cooking and whistling loudly “Rock Of Ages”….. good times, good memories. -Dale Young
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Butch, I was looking thru your link to the old Ardmore Air Base out near Gene Autry because my dad was stationed there from 1954 to 1958 (I was born at the base in Oct. 1956). I got curious and decided to view it on Google maps to see how much of the old base was still there. Disappointed to see not a whole lot still stands, though I could still make out where some of the old barracks buildings used to be. Anyway, I noticed on the map just north of the air strip that is now the Ardmore Municipal Airport a designation for the Henderson Cemetery. I’d never heard of it, so I got curious & looked it up. Found it on the Find-A-Grave site and looks like this old cemetery has long been forgotten. The most recent burial I could find was from 1933, but most seemed to be the late part of the 1880’s, 1890’s to the early part of the 1900’s. It just makes me very sad that this cemetery (with 77 graves documented) as become overgrown and forgotten. I got curious to see if any of your readers remembers the cemetery or anything about it.
Thanks, and Happy 2019.
Kathi George
Springdale, Arkansas
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Butch, the below was of particular interest to me. I had no idea the area mentioned was a National Park at one time. Do you have any more info on this? I hope you post this on the “What I remember…. “ Facebook group page and get into that. Also, I think nowadays we’d be glad to PAY people to take the cedar trees now! Hahaha! -Earlene Chandler

“January 1935
Officers to patrol the Turner Falls and Price Falls areas as well as the scenic route between the two parks are on duty and people caught carrying off cedars and other plants in the Arbuckle Mountains will be arrested. This warning was issued after wholesale cutting down of cedar trees for Christmas trees was reported. Last Sunday scores of persons were said to have visited the mountains and to have taken away cedar trees and cacti. Since the area is a national park this is an offense, and persons called may be assessed a heavy fine.”
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I really enjoy reading your newsletter each week. This week I saw you towns for Carter County. It reminded me of a map I put together of towns/post offices in Johnston County (PDF format). I am looking for any corrections/additions that someone might suggest. Keep up the great work you do! -Richard Craven
https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.190.156/knn.c7e.myftpupload.com/maps/JohnstonCountyTowns.pdf
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Hey Butch, wasn’t there a restaurant called The Chalet in the 60s on Commerce? Does anyone remember it? When was it open?
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Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer we’d have frozen to death. -Mark Twain

See everyone next week!

Butch and Jill Bridges

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

https://oklahomahistory.net

Vicious Dog Attacks in Oklahoma
https://oklahomahistory.net/viciousdogs.html
Oklahoma Bells: https://oklahomahistory.net/bellpage.html
Bill Hamm’s Cemetery Database
http://www.usgwarchives.net/ok/carter/cartercm.htm
American Flyers Memorial Fund – Administration Webpage
https://oklahomahistory.net/crash66.html
Official American Flyers Memorial Website
http://www.brightok.net/~wwwafm
Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Base Website
http://www.brightok.net/~gsimmons
Mirror Site of the Ardmore Army Air Field/Ardmore Air Force Website
https://oklahomahistory.net/airbase/
Carter County Government Website
http://cartercountyok.us