Although we were closed to the public this month, our volunteers kept working hard. Our volunteers have been working the photo room, clearing out the Sapulpa Fire Museum (had been flooded due to the 2019 tornado), and has been preparing for our Phase One Reopening.
We will be opened to the public for tours starting June. Thursdays through Saturdays, we will be open 10 AM to 3 PM. We will allow groups, however, no groups larger than six at a time. We also ask our visitors to wear face masks. We will start providing hand sanitizers at the entrances.
Wondering what we're doing the rest of the week? Well, on Tuesdays, we will be thoroughly cleaning the buildings (Tuesdays, not open to public). In addition, on Wednesdays our volunteers will be working on their many projects and finishing up their "to-do" lists (Wednesdays, not open to public).
Then and Now Images of Sapulpa
This month we like to show the then and now images of the Sapulpa Fire Museum, which this time last year, was affected by the Memorial Weekend 2019 tornado.
Insurance Commissioner Surveys Sapulpa Tornado Damage
Wednesday, June 5th 2019, 1:29 PM CDT
Wednesday, June 5th 2019, 7:32 PM CDT
By: Amy Kauffman
SAPULPA, Oklahoma - Commissioner Glen Mulready, along with state and local leaders, is getting a first-hand look at tornado damage in Sapulpa. The EF-1 tornado ripped through the area last month causing major damage to trees, power lines, and homes.
One of the insurance commissioner's stops was to the Sapulpa Fire Museum. The entire roof of the 100-year-old building was torn off. Some of the debris and bricks are still left on the ground and because of all the rain, there's a lot of water damage inside.
Volunteers from the historical society are still working to move some artifacts out of the fire museum. The building is about 100 years old but was purchased by the historical society about 7 years ago.
They say they bought it so they had a place to store a 1938 retired Sapulpa city fire truck and a 1949 hook and ladder truck. There is also an old apartment upstairs that sustained the most damage because the roof was torn off.
The roof is tarped right now but there are still parts on the second floor where you can see the entire way through. The building does have insurance and there are a lot of donors, so the director of the historical society says they are in pretty good shape to start rebuilding, but with such an old building, it does come with some risks
"We will take a little bit of a hit but we will work on it over time. We have a lot of volunteers who work every day. We are a completely volunteer organization so we will be okay," said Sapulpa Historical Society Director Mike Jeffries.
The Sapulpa Fire Department says they had about 500 reports of damage from the tornado and that can be anything from a broken window to tree limbs down to a damaged roof.
(See Link Below for More):
Did You Know...
"Booker T. Wins State Trophies" (Sapulpa Herald, May 15, 1947)
In the state wide interscholastic meet held at Langston University recently, the students of Booker T. Washington School won not only first place in the B Division but again won the grand sweepstake trophy. It was announced today by D. Adolph Williams, principal.
Booker T. had little trouble winning in the B Division where they contested against cities as McAlester, Guthrie, Luther, and others. From Williams: the credit for this fine showing goes to the hard work of the faculty and the spirit and will to work of the students. Of the 23 students to represent Booker T in the 37 contests only one failed to gain one or more points for the school.
The following students competed in the tests:
Roy Hardmond, Ralph Owens, Donald Foshee, Bishop Chapman, Wiley White, Mark McClosky, and Marcus Lynch were in the vocational agriculture department.
Artifact of the month
Before and during World War II, the Nazi Party organized the Hitler Youth program from 1926 to 1945, and indoctrinated in Nazi ideology. The Hitler Youth wore uniforms, similar to the Nazi officers, including a belt buckle (as seen in the image). This belt buckle states the program's motto: Blut und Ehre ("blood and honor").*
*Note: the museum has a collection of World War II artifacts brought back from the war by Sapulpan soldiers (these artifacts include American, Nazi/German, French, Italian, Japanese weaponry, clothes, photos, etc.) - We do not promote any ideology.
This month has been different, to say the least. We have been closed for tours and the public, but does not mean we took time off. Some of our volunteers have been working in our photo collections, some have been working on archives in the obituaries, and others had some homework. Our Collections Manager is currently in grad school at University of Oklahoma, and has had homework over digitization our collection - the homework project, which will be completed soon, is the digitization of the City Directories from 1907 to 2009.
The Sapulpa Historical Museum may be closed, however, we are still working hard for you and our community. From the Oklahoma Historical Society and Oklahoma Museum Association, we are following their guidance to practice safe, social distancing, and possible reopening procedures:
We will be starting Office Hours for the Midtown Mini Storage, starting May 6th. Our office hours will be: Wednesday & Thursday, 9 AM to 1 PM.
The first priority of the Sapulpa Historical Society is the health and safety of our patrons, volunteers, and staff. SHS sites and affiliates are closed to the public at least until June 1, 2020. We will keep you updated as the situation develops. We appreciate your cooperation during this time. If you'd like to contact us:
Then and Now image of Sapulpa...
(Then) 1916: 502 S Water St (and neighborhood) of young Luther Harper. Photograph taken by Roscoe Frye. Frye was among the first Sapulpa men to be killed in World War I*.
(Now): 2016: 502 S Water (and neighborhood).
*Four men from Sapulpa were selected to become officers in the Army. They were Curt D. Edgerton (former Justice of the Peace), Edward M. Lotridge (former Justice of the Peace), J. Ben Braden (former Assistant County Attorney), and D. Roscoe Frye (former Linotype Operator for the Herald). All had been drafted, and members of the 179th Brigade of the 19th Division. The war department rules allowed for 10% of the men to apply for officers training; only 1.7% were taken, however. Rosco Frye was later killed in action. The local American Legion Post was named after him. (Sapulpa Herald, January 5, 1918).
Did You Know...
The Sapulpa papers reported on the sinking of the Titanic and would continue reporting on this story for several days. This was certainly a big story for the country, and around the world. Here is what our papers had to say:
Artifact(s) of the Month:
Liberty Glass Co. recognition lapel pins for 5, 10, 15, and 20 years of service. These pins are from the 1960s and 1970s, given to the hard and dedicated workers of one of the many great glass plants in Sapulpa (and area).
These were given to Ken Cook from 1961 to 1977.
What have we been up to this month...
We hosted the annual banquet featuring the special guest, Michael Pahsetopah and his family. Here are a few images of the banquet, as well as, the annual report of the Sapulpa Historical Society 2019.
From the 2019 Museum Report by Mike Jeffries (Museum Director) and Rachel Whitney (Collections Manager):
"The 2019 year was a very full year filled of ups and downs. Early in the year, we completed the process of digitizing the historic Sapulpa area newspapers dating back to 1904! Everyone may access them through the Oklahoma Historical Society webpage by visiting their Gateway program. The newspapers include Sapulpa Evening Light, Creek County Courier, Kiefer Searchlight, and many others. We would like to convey our thanks to the Oklahoma Historical Society and those who provided grants to get this done, which includes the children of Ed and Melba Livermore.
"The Saturday of Memorial Weekend last year, after hosting the Class of 1969 reunion, a tornado swept through historic downtown Sapulpa, damaging many of the buildings. The roof of our Fire Museum was torn off, with rain pouring into the building for two days. Most of the artifacts were secured and unharmed; insurance covered much of the damage to the building. We now have grants to reopen soon!
"Dealing with the tornado damage had set our timeline for getting a new restroom and display room a little behind schedule. However, this past month we have both new rooms on the second floor. The new display room is ready for the creative genius of our display committee. This is the same committee that is responsible for planning this evenings’ meal, for decoration of the event room, and for planning all of our events. They, along with all of our volunteers, do the work that keeps the museum clean, neat, and interesting to visitors, by sharing the story of Sapulpa and its people.
"The most difficult part of the past year has been the loss of four volunteers; three had been directors to the Historical Society. David Main, Maryetta Collins, Bob Langston, and Reg Green were not only volunteers but friends. Among them were thousands of hours of giving not only to the museum but to the City of Sapulpa, the Chamber, Main Street, to their churches, the Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, the Boy Scouts, little league baseball, and much more. They are a perfect example of what makes Sapulpa such a wonderful place to live. The museum exists to honor those, like these four special people, who lived their lives well and honorably in service to their community and to others.
"Although there were struggles through the year, we push forward and we plan to work harder than ever before. We have many projects in mind, and some we have already started. We currently have a few ideas in motion for the new display room. How does a room to appreciate Sapulpa’s artists sound? That sounds great – let’s do it! Also, we have had the opportunity to have a special exhibit with us in the Saunders’ Hall (ballroom) on the third floor. “Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry” display describes how Oklahoma faced the difficulty of fighting the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, and much more in the 1920s and 1930s. The event will last from February 27-May 2. Come see it soon!
"We are renovating, moving, and shaking things up within our establishment. We encourage you to come see us in action!"
Then and Now Image of Sapulpa
In the first image, it is an image possibly taken about 1912. Most of downtown buildings were built on Main St, Dewey, Hobson, and Lee. This was taken shortly after a few of the large buildings of Dewey and Hobson were built - most were built in 1910, but some were built just before 1918. This picture was probably taken from the bridge that was on West Walnut, looking north.
Sapulpa Historical Society has new blog series to be posted every Friday.
The new blog series, "Then and Now," has 4 segments to teach Creek County history.
First Friday's segment: 'Sapulpa Showcase' shares an artifact-of-the-month in the museum.
Second Friday's segment: 'Historical Highlight' tells a little tidbit about the town's history.
Third Friday's segment: 'Society Sights' shows a then-and-now image of a local business.
Fourth Friday's segment: 'Museum Moments' features life in the museum world.
Catch Sapulpa’s new blog series “Then and Now” every Friday right here !