Oklahoma History Center: OKC

Hey friend, welcome back to another post! Today, we’re talking about the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

This was the first time I had visited this museum in about 10 years. There were new exhibits and updates that were so cool! My appreciation for the history of Oklahoma has grown and evolved since I was in high school so it was fun to see everything in a new light.

*All photos used in this post were taken by myself at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


Enjoy these photos from the various galleries throughout the museum. There’s so much to see and read so I’ll let you visit the museum for yourself 🙂

TRAVEL TIP: There is an audio tour available for the museum in English, Spanish, French, and German.

Inasmuch Gallery

  • Crossroads of Commerce: A History of Free Enterprise in Oklahoma

Sonic was the place to be after school when I was in high school. Everyone would drive down there to hang out and grab food or a drink, especially after swim practice! Lemonade was my favorite 🙂

ONEOK, Inc. Gallery

  • We Are Who We Were: American Indians in Oklahoma

Gaylord Special Exhibits Gallery

  • Launch to Landing: Oklahomans and Space

I thought this exhibit about Oklahomans in space was so interesting! There were vehicles, space suits, and even moon rocks!

Kerr-McGee Gallery

  • Steamboat Heroine
  • African American Experience
  • Military
  • Oil and Gas

Steamboat Heroine

The Oklahoma History Center has a really cool exhibit on the steamboat Heroine. This vessel weighed 160 tons and was 140 feet long! This boat is thought to have been one of the first steamboats to navigate the upper Red River. (See the map on the wall when you visit!) 

Sadly, the Heroine sank in May 1838 a few miles from its destination… It had been carrying supplies for soldiers at various military forts. 

The Heroine was considered a veteran vessel because it had been operating for around 5 years which was a LONG time for a steamboat in the nineteenth century. This was dangerous work! 

The Red River changed course in the 1840s and the Heroine wound up being found in a pasture! Teams from the Oklahoma Historical Society and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University worked together to excavate the site from 1999 into the mid-2000s. 

The hull of the boat filled with sand sealing much of its content. Some of the wreckage survived and allowed archaeologists to further study steamboat constructions from the mid-nineteenth century. Contents from the cargo also survived allowing historians to study more about westward expansion in the early-nineteenth century.

To learn more about the Heroine, please visit the Oklahoma Historical Society website! I’ve linked the website at the end of this post.

Sam Noble Gallery

  • Land Run
  • Curator’s Corner
  • Century Chest
  • Law and Order
  • Farming and Ranching
  • Education
  • 1950s Kitchen
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

I loved this gallery! There was information about sod houses, cattle trails, and farming – and we all know how much I love American Western history 🙂

Can we also talk about how cool the “Oklahoma!” marquee sign is in this photo? I wonder if the Oklahoma History Center would tell me where they found letters that big?! LOVE IT!

Red River Journey (Outside the Museum)

You can also walk around the outside of the Oklahoma History Center to see the following pieces:

  • Great Spirit Buffalo II by Phillip Haozous
  • Liberty Bell Reproduction
  • CCC Sculpture
  • Lodge by Bob Haozous
  • Extinct by Bob Haozous
  • Civil War Cannon
  • Vietnam-era Huey Helicopter
  • Devon Energy Oil and Gas Park
  • OG&E Energy Corp. 14 Flags Over Oklahoma
  • Unconquered by Allan Houser
  • Monarch at Rest by Harold T. Holden

Concluding Thoughts

I loved visiting this museum again! I always find it interesting when I go back and visit places that I went to when I was younger. My love and appreciation for history has grown so much over the past decade and I love seeing things from a new perspective.

I hope you’ll check this museum out whenever you’re in Oklahoma City!

Happy traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! 🙂


800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive

Oklahoma City, OK 73105

TRAVEL TIP: The Oklahoma Historical Society has a membership program that you can purchase that is extremely reasonable. I purchased a basic membership which allows you to visit all of their sites. I’ve used mine several times already and can’t wait to visit more places!


Oklahoma Historical Society – website

Oklahoma History Center – Gallery Guide

One thought on “Oklahoma History Center: OKC

  1. Thank you for another wonderful study of Oklahoma’s history. How much we miss when we don’t take time to think about and learn from such rich and varied history ! I had no idea we had a steamboat. The journeys and work on such a vessel surely were dangerous but at the time an improvement over hand and mule work. This museum is great and you’re the best Katie for compiling and sharing such valuable history for all to see and learn from 👏🥰


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