Hey friend! Welcome back to another museum adventure! Today, I want to tell you about Frank Eaton’s Historic Home and the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza.
The Oklahoma Territorial Plaza was dedicated on September 20, 2008 in Perkins, Oklahoma. It was an official project of the Oklahoma Centennial commemoration in 2007. (The Oklahoma Centennial was November 16, 2007.)
Travel Tip: The buildings are only open on Saturday afternoons from 1-4 p.m. for certain parts of the year. So make sure to check their hours if you want to go inside the buildings! If you don’t want to go inside then you can walk around the outside of the buildings any day of the week.
Frank Eaton aka “Pistol Pete”
Now you might be wondering why the name Frank Eaton sounds familiar – well, that’s because Frank Eaton is “Pistol Pete” the inspiration. And for those who don’t know – Pistol Pete is the mascot at Oklahoma State University. Go Pokes!
Frank Eaton was born on October 26, 1860 in Connecticut. Then his family moved to Kansas in 1868. By 1876, Eaton’s mother and sisters had moved to Indian Territory. His father was murdered so Eaton moved to Fort Gibson to learn everything the soldiers would teach him. He was given the nickname “Pistol Pete” when he outshot everyone at the fort.
For more information about the life of Frank Eaton, please see the Frank Eaton Historic Home website or read his autobiography!
Frank Eaton and his wife, Anna, lived in the home pictured below from 1929-1958. The home was built around the turn of the twentieth century (c. 1900) and is still in excellent condition due to preservation efforts. A team of people completely re-did the inside to make it look just like the Eaton’s had styled it. You can compare old pictures to the building today. The original address of the home was 119 E. Chantry in Perkins, Oklahoma.
*All photos were taken at the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza in Perkins, Oklahoma. The photo with Pistol Pete the mascot was taken at OSU.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) operated from 1933-1942 as one of FDR’s programs. There is a CCC Outhouse close to the Eaton Home. It was built in 1935 in Payne County, Oklahoma.
Cimarron Valley Railroad Museum
The Cimarron Valley Railroad Museum was founded by the Read family in Cushing, Oklahoma in 1970. They acquired the Santa Fe Depot from Yale, Oklahoma that was built in 1916 and moved the building to Cushing to house the museum. The museum won an Oklahoma Heritage Association award in 1974 for preserving Oklahoma’s rail history.
The museum has all kinds of cool railroad artifacts! They have Pullman items, lanterns, signs, tools, furniture, and so much more! You literally need to walk through this museum and talk to the volunteers to understand the importance of this place.
Canadian Pacific “Metapedia” Railroad Car
Travel Tip: Sometimes the volunteers will open the train car and let you walk through it! I was lucky the day I visited the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza because I got to walk through the car. Shoutout to the awesome museum volunteer! 🙂
The Canadian Pacific Railroad (CPR) car was built in 1903 as a wooden dining car. It was converted into a high capacity parlor car in 1917. In 1919, it became a business coach assigned to president of the CPR, D.C. Coleman. In the 1920s it was renamed the “Metapedia.” Coleman got a new railroad car in 1929 and the “Metapedia” was reassigned. The CPR retired the coach car from use in 1975. It was bought by Pierre Trudeau and Guy Trudeau who wanted to use it as an office building. A Guthrie man bought the car in 1978 from a listing in the Trains Magazine. It was shipped by rail to Guthrie, Oklahoma!
Finally, the railroad car was donated to the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza in 2013. It is truly a magnificent car to walk through. The detail is so intricate and the volunteer was very knowledgeable. For more information about railroad history in Perkins, Oklahoma please see the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza website!
The AT&SF Caboose 999627 was originally built in 1949, but was rebuilt in 1976 and given its new number. It’s really hard to miss! It’s bright red and sits next to the Perkins sign on the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza.
Methodist Episcopal Church
The Methodist Episcopal Church built in 1892. It is the oldest public building in Perkins, Oklahoma and Payne County! Today, church is held there and you can rent the facility for events.
The IXL Schoolhouse was built in 1896 in Payne County.
Bud’s Service Station
Bud’s Service Station was built c. 1957 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The building is made with porcelain and enamel. The building was moved to Perkins and is being restored by the Cimarron Starlite Cruisers Car Club.
There are a bunch of cool car and service station items in this museum. The volunteer was super kind and answered all of my car questions. He even turned on the juke box and let me see how the inside of it worked! Talk about cool!
The Vassar Barn is behind the Eaton Home. It was built in 1919 in Lincoln County, Oklahoma.
The Davis-Longan Log Cabin was built in 1901 in Payne County, Oklahoma. You can’t walk inside this building, but you can peek in the windows and it is super cool inside.
There is a beautiful Veteran’s Memorial honoring those who served in the Revolutionary War, War 0f 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, The Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The Oklahoma Territorial Plaza website has a Veteran’s Honor Roll with all of the names including Veteran’s of more recent wars.
The Oklahoma Territorial Plaza in Perkins, Oklahoma is definitely worth a visit! Remember they are only open on Saturdays for certain months of the year. But they do have an appointment option available on their website! Go check out this super cool place full of local history.
Also, make sure to talk to the volunteers because they are kind and awesome!
Travel Tip: There are activities for kids to do, but I would be careful taking younger kids to these museums because they might not be as interested. But I want to note that there is a playground and splash pad in the park. So there are things for young kids to do if they don’t want to walk around the museums!
Happy Traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! 🙂
750 N Main St.
Perkins, OK 74059