Unidentified gentlemen pose in the famous Dew Drop Inn located in the basement of a drugstore on the northwest corner of Main and Caddo Streets. According to legend, the Dew Drop Inn was connected by tunnel to the California Cafe (old Stolfa Hardware Store) to the west and to the Whittington Hotel across Main Street. Guest of the hotel could travel to the bar without being observed or braving the elements. (Courtesy of Sally Gray)
By 1890, 3 years after the Ardmore station came into existence, there were 10 saloons. Because Ardmore was in the Chickasaw nation, saloons could not legally and openly sell alcohol. It was a federal crime to have or sell alcohol inside the Chickasaw Nation, and the crime was usually referred to as “introducing”. According to Paul N. Frame‘s book, A History of Ardmore Oklahoma, From The Earliest Beginnings to 1907, saloons stocked such drinks as “oat” beer, hop ale, malt mead, malt tonic, Schlitz fizz, hokey pokey, and pablo. That is not to say that alcohol was not available. Frame also writes it was estimated that over $200 worth of whiskey came into Ardmore every 24 hours. Out of sight of customers and the law, saloons carry drinks with more kick. And saloons were not the only source of whiskey. Ardmoreites frequently travel to Gainesville Texas by train and return with what was came to be known as “Gainesville shoes” when a purchase of whiskey was placed in a shoe box and carried home on the evening train. (Courtesy Sally Gray)
Q. When and where was the highest recorded wind speed in Oklahoma?
A. 5/03/1999 Highest recorded wind speed in tornado (via Doppler Radar) – Moore, Oklahoma
Q. Where is a 40 ft hole and Oklahoma waterfall so hidden, almost nobody has seen it in person?
A. Answer in next week’s newsletter
Below is a 5 page interview (about 1950) of George Bourland Jr. by Ralph Evans. George was a well known resident of Overbrook, Oklahoma.
Sgt George Bourland Jr. is buried in the McAlister Cemetery south of Ardmore.
09/06/07 comment: “Interesting interview with George Bourland, Butch. I met George back in the early 60s. When I was 11 years old I started working for Tommy Anastasio washing dishes, then cooking pizzas, then steaks until I was doing just about everything except waiting the tables and mixing the dough. It got to where, on Fridays, the busiest night of the week, Tommy would say “I got an errand to do boy, I’ll be back in about 15 minutes.” Then he’d come back hours later just after closing time with either George Bourland or a police officer named Marchesani (sp?). They would be about half-lit and on one occasion even offered me a glass of wine. I did say I was 11 didn’t I? I was kind of annoyed at being left to do everything but proud that he had the confidence in me. I thought those guys were really cool and George was one of the funniest old guys I ever met.” -Dave
06/16/06 comment: I noticed that you said George Bourland, Jr. was Chickasaw. He had no Indian blood. His parents were George W. and Juliette Brown, grandparents were George W. and Mary M. Brown. George and Juliette were 2nd cousins. George W.  died before George  was born, and his mother died shortly afterwards. George and is brother Sid Bourland were brought to Okla. by Chickasaw Bill Bourland, and raised by their Aunt, Amanda Brown Love. I grew up with Sid Bourland and knew George, Jr.”
Recently a mural has been painted on the side of the Blue Bonnet Feed Mill in Ardmore. Amazing.
Some mail from this week’s MAILBAG….
Tuesday, December 20, 2022 marks the 135th anniversary of the opening of the first Marietta Post Office. The original storefront post offices are long lost to history, but the current building was completed in 1940 by C.L. Boyd Construction Company.
Thanks to the Washington family’s political muscle, good location, and some good luck, the Post Office came to Marietta in 1887, along with mail service transferred from rural offices in Arnoldville, Murphy, Jordan, and others. At different times in Love County history, there were at least 33 different Post Office locations. Before Jerry Washington became our first Postmaster, our mail was brought to Marietta from Arnoldville, a few miles southwest of Marietta.
Marietta’s original location was allegedly chosen due to proximity to the BNSF railroad tracks, the old trail from Burneyville to Lebanon (near modern-day Creek Street) and the original Arbuckle Trail, which connected Gainesville and Fort Arbuckle (now roughly Highway 77).
The current post office, now 82 years old, was constructed with New Deal funding and still includes the mural “Chickasaw Family Making Pah Sho Fah” by Solomon McCombs. The artwork was commissioned by the federal Treasury Section of Fine Arts and was completed in 1942. The mural has since been restored twice, the most recent in 2006. -Nic McMillin
Below pictures are from the 1950 Rodeo program from the Gene Autry Coliseum, later named Hardy Murphy Coliseum. -Robert Hensley
Below is a B.L. Owens Furniture store bingo card -Robert Hensley
Vennie Adams owner of a clothing store at 215 A. NE, Ardmore, Ok. currently A st Antiques occupies the space. March 1947 Mr. Adams was a retired Music teacher. -Robert Hensley
Below is a vest the Ardmore Jaysees wore -Robert Hensley
The pictures below is from the Palacine Oil Company -Robert Henlsey
Hi Butch, I’m a week behind on your newsletter but was looking at #1349 and noticed something funny. There are two photos of a hotel, one when it was called Hotel Alexander, and one when it was called the Randol. If you inspect the photos though, they’re the same. The same people standing in the same spots in both photos. There is a difference though at the bottom right of the Randol photo where there are a white pole and a sign hanging and other stuff which aren’t present in the Alexander photo. So whichever of the hotels is newer must’ve reused an old photo, and edited that stuff in or out of the photo. They didn’t have photoshop back then but there must’ve been a method for film cameras. Thank you for your newsletter each week. -Roger Cornelius, Gulfport, FL
I really enjoyed the list of payphones. I remember using some of them back in the day. But there was one that was not on the list, although it really wasn’t a public payphone. I know it was there from 1964-1968. It was installed inside the home of Willie May Woodruff. She owned and operated Woodruff’s Ranch about 5 miles south of Ardmore on U.S. 77. I just wish I could remember the phone number and her address, but it’s been over fifty years since I was there and a lot of water has run under that old bridge, lol.
I was good friend of her grandson William Scott “Bill” Woodruff we went to school together in Ringling. -Larry Paul
Below is from my Vol 3, Issue 340 December 25, 1999 newsletter:
The Daily Ardmoreite
Sunday, December 28, 1919
BUCK GARRETT HOST TO COUNTY SHUT-INS ON CHRISTMAS DAY
At the county jail, following his usual custom, Sheriff Buck Garrett was host to the prisoners on Christmas Day. And the sheriff lived up to his policy of not doing things by halves and put on a highly appreciated “spread”.
There was turkey and cranberry sauce and pies and all the “fixings” attendant at a Christmas feast. Besides all the good things at the dinner table, the “shut-ins” received candies, fruits, nuts, tobacco, etc., all of which helped materially to lighten the burden of feeling that they were denied the freedom of the average American citizen.
“I have been reading your This & That pages. Enjoy the articles very much. I am sending you this picture, of the last days of the Ambert Page Grocery store on Marsden road, Love County. I last entered this store in 1940, before my family moved from Marsden to Cheek Road, Lone Grove, OK. The store, at that time was south on Marsden Road. I don’t know when it was moved to the cross roads of Marsden and Oswalt. Photo taken in December 1983, a very cold winter. My next trip down Marsden road, the store was gone.” -Charles Segler
“I seem to have upset some of your readers! I should explain that an “Old Geezer” is a London (Cockney) expression and was used affectionally! So please let them know that I am a Londoner and I am sorry if I have offended you or them as that was not my intention!” -Ireland
“Becky York from northern Idaho e-mailed me these pictures of places here in southern OK and was wondering if anyone could help her identify any one, or the places where the pictures were taken. Picture #9 she thinks is her Grandfather Joseph York and his wife standing in the doorway of the York, Indian Territory Post Office. (Pontotoc Co. Oklahoma) Picture #8 she thinks was taken at Healdton, OK, but isn’t sure. Does anyone know where these pictures could have been taken??” email@example.com
“Yes Virginia, there really is a Santa Clause.”
See everyone next Thursday!
Butch and Jill Bridges