Monday, June 12, 2017

Bartlesville/Pawhuska, Oklahoma

This is a great place for history lovers like me!

This building right here is what we actually came to see.  The Pioneer Woman's Mercantile, in Pawhuska.  You might have seen her cooking show on the Food Network.  I've been reading her blog, for years.  She and her family have been renovating/remodeling this building in Pawhuska for a couple of years.  She has documented every step of the way, posting lots of pictures of their progress, and even asking her readers' opinions on the type of flooring, walls, etc.  It's been fun to watch her progress online, so when I knew we were going to be in Oklahoma anyway, I asked Tim if we could make a slight detour to this area.  (I know that's a lousy picture.  It was just the wrong time of day.  Too much glare from the sun.)

I was so excited about eating breakfast in her restaurant, I got up at 5:30 to get ready, so we could be there by 7:00, when they opened.  Since we are staying in Bartlesville, we had a 30 minute drive through lush, rolling green hills to get to Pawhuska.  We arrived at 7:02.  Can you see the line out the door in the above photo?  (Click on the picture to enlarge)  It was over a block long.  Ummm, no.  Not gonna do that.  Luckily, she has opened a separate bakery upstairs.  I had a cream cheese danish, Tim had an apricot croissant, and we were happy.

Then we went back downstairs and looked around in the store.  We were glad we'd gotten there so early.  All the crowds were in line for breakfast, but the store and the bakery were not crowded at all.

This building was right across the street.  Looks like maybe someone is in the process of renovating it, too.  There are many beautiful buildings in this little old town, but a lot of them need work.

I liked this mural.  There are several huge ranches in the area.

This public statue is called "Osage in the Enemy Camp." 
The warrior is proving his bravery by reaching down to touch his enemy.

This is their city hall.  The bell in the tower was once used to call councilmen to meetings.

After walking around town a bit more, we headed back to Bartlesville.

This is the Caney River.  It runs in front of Riverside RV Park, where we are staying.  Tim took this picture when he was out riding his bike.  Or on the golf course.  I'm not sure.

I know he took this picture at the golf course.  It's a carving of K.B. "Boots" Adams, 
who evidently donated the golf course to the town.  Carved from a dead tree.

Unfortunately, this is the only view of the river from the RV Park.  Too many trees and bushes.

Today, we went exploring in Bartlesville.  This town is a lot more interesting than I knew.  There is a LOT of money here.  This is an oil town, for sure.  Phillips Petroleum is headquartered here, and their logo is on everything from buildings to ambulances to the fire station. 

But before the oil boom, and before the white man, Native Americans inhabited the area.  Many came to be here because they were run out of their original territories.  Some came on The Trail of Tears.  Some of the local tribes were the Delaware, the Cherokee and the Osage. 

The Osage Mineral Estate is owned by the Osage tribe and held in trust by the Federal government.  All lease royalties were paid to the tribe, and allotted equally to each member.  Sadly, the Osage oil boom brought with it many criminals and scam artists.  Some Osage people were cheated by their court appointed financial managers.  Some were even killed for their wealth.  A series of Osage murders, many unsolved, made national news in the 1920's.  

Okay, on to happier subjects.  We toured the Bartlesville History Museum this morning.  We learned a lot, but most of the exhibits were behind glass, so I couldn't get many photos.  Too much glare.  This room was an exception.  It represents the first school in town, the Nelson Carr one room school.  Nelson Carr was the first permanent white settler in the area.  
Hmmm...wonder if there's any relation to the Oklahoma Carrs that I know?

And this is the Price Building.   Designed by Frank Loyd Wright, and completed in 1955.  Enlarge this one and look closely.  The iron work is gorgeous.  I read that FLW had always wanted to see one of his skyscraper designs actually built.  He finally accomplished his dream with this one.  
The only Frank Loyd Wright skyscraper ever built.

And.  Did you know that little old Bartlesville, Oklahoma was the site of the first cable television station?  Neither did I!  Not that I really care.  And you probably don't either.  But it was.

AND.  The very first Boy Scouts of America troop was formed in Bartlesville in 1911.  

There is so much more to see and do here.  I've already told Tim that I want to come back someday.

One last thing.  There are buffaloes all over this town.  Not regular buffaloes, either.  

Painted buffaloes!
Evidently, this was a girl scout project a few years ago, to raise money for charity.  Now almost every business has their own buffalo, painted to suit their preference.

Tomorrow we are on the road again.  This time to Branson.  I have a funny story about something we saw back at Texoma that I will share with you tomorrow.  Or the next day.  Or sometime.

I know my friends and family back home pray us through these trips.  Sometimes, not often, but sometimes,  I get nervous, being on the road so much.  But I try to always remember this:

"In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."  That's from Psalms, chapter 4 verse 8.  And I believe with all my heart that the Lord our God is our only real protection in this beautiful dangerous thrilling world.  I hope you understand that, too.

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