Jones Historical Society Museum: Jones, OK

The Jones Historical Society Museum is located in Jones, Oklahoma. I had the privilege of stopping by their museum and looking around! They have a cool collection of local history items and an old railroad car next to the museum!

Museum History

The Jones Historical Society Museum was founded in 2001 by a group of citizens that wanted to preserve the history of the town. The Museum collections consists of artifacts and photographs. They are always looking to add more items or photos to their collection (if anyone from Jones comes across this article – please reach out to them via their website).

The museums is actually housed in an old train depot that the Catholic Church of Jones wanted to sell. So, the historical society purchased the building for $7,000.00! The Jones Historical Society has over 200 members and welcome new people to join.

Historian Tip: Look up the local historical society where you live and see how you can become involved! Memberships to local history societies are usually under $50 for an entire year. The memberships help preserve local history and you get cool benefits too!

Concluding Thoughts

The Jones Historical Society Museum was a neat little local museum and I am very grateful that I had an opportunity to go check it out. I hope you’ll contact them and go see the museum as well!

Travel Tip: Make sure to research out to the local history museums when you take a road trip. You never know what kind of treasures you will find or what awesome people you will meet!

Happy Traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚

Lessons I Learned From Working in Museums

Hey friend – welcome back! Today, I am going to tell some of the things I learned from volunteering in a local history museum, working in a children’s museum, and through my virtual internship with History Colorado. I learned so many lessons and I’m excited to share them with you! Let’s get started! πŸ™‚

Stillwater Museum of History at the Sheerar: 2017-2018

I volunteered at the local history museum in Stillwater my senior year of college (2017-2018). I helped design flyers and helped facilitate Saturday programming for kids. I learned to be patient and how to set up an event in whatever space is possible (no matter how small that space may be). The museum was small and we didn’t have a lot of room…

Here’s a link to an article with a picture of me volunteering! If you have the time and resources, I totally recommend volunteering at a local museum. You will meet so many cool people and learn a lot of new things!

Oklahoma WONDERotirum: 2018-2020

For those of you who don’t know, I went to graduate school at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Go Pokes! While in graduate school, I worked at the Oklahoma WONDERtorium – a local children’s museum that drew visitors from all around the state and the world.Β 

I was a part-time staff member. But the Oklahoma WONDERtorium was a small museum, so we all wore a bunch of different hats and kind of filled in wherever we were needed. Programming was my favorite and I loved getting to help design and facilitate programs in the museum and in the community.

The museum’s exhibits were built with play-based learning in mind. The kids would come in and learn through play. There was an art station, water table, diner, doctor’s office, nursery, treehouse, theater stage, space exhibit, a mountain, wind tunnel for scarves, and big blue blocks! The exhibits were created to inspire hands-on learning which allowed the children to try new things every time they visited the museum. It was so fun seeing their imaginations run wild! I couldn’t tell you how many plays we watched on the theater stage, how many castles were built using the blocks, or how many times I had pretend birthday cake at the diner. It was so much fun!

There was also a Wonder Room that had different activities each month! The room often had different types of board games or crafts. We even put a woodworking shop in there one summer! Keep reading to hear more about that one! πŸ™‚

My favorite thing I participated in was the Wonder Workshop in the Summer of 2019. We set up a literal woodworking workshop in the Wonder Room. I got to be one of the foremen in the shop and helped build so many projects! We had a little bit of everything and it was so fun to see what the kids dreamed up to build. My motto was if you can draw it, we can build it – and build we did! It was so fun teaching the museum patrons – children and adults – how to use power tools, hand saws, hammers, etc. The longer the patrons stayed in the workshop the more their confidence grew.

I’ll never forget one grandpa who would bring his granddaughter to the museum every week and they would build things together in the workshop. And one day her grandma brought her and the little girl looked at me and said, “One day when I grow up, I want to be just like you.” This meant a lot to me because this little girl saw me working with power tools and knew that she could be anything she wanted to be when she grew up.

I also got to lead story time for a semester! We would read books and sing fun songs. ‘Baby Shark’ was a definitely a crowd favorite!

Finally, I loved being able to represent the museum at local community events in Stillwater. I was able to take activities to local schools, family events at Oklahoma State University, and summer day camps. I got to meet some really cool people at these events. Summer on the Plaza was a recurring event at OSU and I designed our programming for that event around Minute-to-Win-It games. It was so much fun! (Google Minute-to-Win-It to see what kind of games can be played)

The biggest lesson I learned from working in a children’s museum was to have fun, be flexible, and set a good example for the next generation. Be kind and be patient – you never know what you might learn πŸ™‚

History Colorado: Fall 2020

After finishing graduate school, I completed a virtual remote internship with History Colorado. I interned in the Oral History department and learned so many new things! I learned how to do oral history, transcribe interviews, how to accession items into the collection, and how to do research for interviews. It was cool getting to work with people via Zoom that I probably never would have had the opportunity to work with otherwise!

Oral histories are such an important historical resource! You can find oral histories in most state historical societies and the Library of Congress (loc.gov) has several as well. I encourage you to learn how to do oral histories! This is a great way to capture your family history!

For more information, see the following blog posts: How to Conduct an Oral History and How to Write Your Family History πŸ™‚

Concluding Thoughts

Working in all three of these museums taught me something different and I will be forever grateful for the staff who taught me new things. I still use a lot of the skills I learned from the museums in my jobs today!

I hope you’ll go visit a museum in your area sometime soon. Make some time to talk with the staff or volunteers – you never know what you might learn!

I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚

99’s Museum of Women Pilots: Oklahoma City, OK

The 99’s Museum of Women Pilots is dedicated to preserving the history of women in early aviation to present day. This museum is a hidden gem located on the grounds of the Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City.

Museum History

The 99’s Museum of Women Pilots was opened in 1999 – but that’s not why it’s called the 99’s Museum. The 99’s were a group of 99 female pilots who first met in 1929. Their first headquarters was in New York, but it was moved to Oklahoma City in 1955. They began fundraising for the 99’s museum in 1972 and by 1975 some land became available.

There is over 5,000 square feet of history and artifacts to walk through in the museum today. There is also a huge archive with some really cool resources like oral histories!

My Favorite Exhibit: A Timeline of Historic Flights by Amelia Earhart

So, I started researching the story of Amelia Earhart for a video on my YouTube Channel – one of my buddies wanted to know more about her story. I found out the 99’s Museum of Women pilots has one of the largest collections of Earhart’s personal belongings – and that it happened to be located in Oklahoma City of all places! So my dad and I made a road trip to check out this museum!

The collection is well-researched and put together. They have Amelia Earhart’s personal treasures, a piece of one of her airplanes, and even a lock of her hair! For more information on the history and story of Amelia Earhart – check out my video HERE! πŸ™‚

My 2nd Favorite Exhibits: Women Aviators of WWII & WASP

Many women served during World War II. Jackie Cochran founded the Women’s Auxiliary Ferry Squadron (WAFS) in 1942. Then Nancy Harkness Love founded the Women’s Flying Training Detachment (WFTD) in 1942. In July 1943, the two groups merged to form the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots. Jackie Cochran was the leader of the women.

Training for WASP lasted four months. There were 1,078 women in the WASP, but they weren’t made official members of the US military until 1977. The WWII WASP were awarded the WWII Victory Medal in 1984 and were given the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.

The Women’s Auxiliary Service Pilots (WASP) were one group who served. These female pilots were employed by the United States Federal Civil Service and volunteered to join the war effort to fill the shortage of male pilots. These women worked in civilian jobs which allowed men to go fight in combat missions in Europe. The women’s job was the test and ferry aircraft and train more pilots.

Several female pilots served in other military forces besides the United States. For example, the British had the ATA and the ‘Night Witches’ served in the Soviet Union.

More Exhibits

There are several other cool permanent exhibits in the 99’s Museum that cover early aviation through present day. All of the exhibits in this article can be viewed online! But there are other exhibits in the museum that make the trip to the actual museum in OKC totally worth it πŸ™‚

The following exhibits can be viewed online: the 1929 Powder Puff Derby, Jerrie Cobb and Space Exploration, and the Marion P. Jayne Collection.

Click HERE to watch my YouTube video ‘tour’ of the museum!

Concluding Thoughts

This museum is a hidden treasure in Oklahoma City. I am so happy that I happened to stumble across it on a museum list. It was well worth the drive to visit and learn about the history of women in aviation! I hope you’ll go visit – in-person or virtually through their website!

Happy traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚


Visit

4300 Amelia Earhart Drive, Ste A 
Oklahoma City, OK 73159-1106

Phone: 405-685-9990

Oklahoma State Game Day Outfits: Football Edition

I LOVE football season, y’all! I love the stadium, the energy, cheering for my team, and everything else that goes with it! I especially love dressing up for games. Today, I am giving you several outfit ideas for an Oklahoma State football game! This will mostly be for the ladies, but one of my guy friends makes an appearance in some photos, so you can take some inspiration from him! Let’s get started!

First, for an Oklahoma State football game, there is never such a thing as “too much orange.” The more orange, the better! Go Pokes!

Accessories!

I recommend finding some cute orange jewelry (i.e. bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings, etc.) The orange necklace below is a single strand of beads and can be styled in many different ways! For my Oklahoma State girls, I found the orange beads in the Student Union store, but I’ve seen them at other boutiques in Stillwater.

I have recently gotten into the button trend! Several of the boutiques in Stillwater and OKC have Oklahoma State buttons! I got mine from Wooden Nickel in Stillwater, but I’ve seen several other boutiques advertising buttons on their Instagram pages.

Orange and black hats are perfect for keeping the sun off of your face, just make sure not to lose it in the Oklahoma wind… “OOOOk-lahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain.” You can wear a baseball hat, bucket hat, or western fashion hat – the possibilities are endless!

Finally, cute purses can complete an outfit. Purses from Walmart or Target are perfect for tailgating! They’re cheap and cute!

Travel Tip: You can only take clear purses into Boone Pickens Stadium now – so keep that in mind if you’re going to the game! If you like a good bargain (like me), wait until after football season is over and then buy a clear purse! You’ll save lots of $$$! I saved $40 on my clear purse!

Clothes!

I love layering basic, solid-colored pieces when picking out an outfit. I also love adding an unexpected texture to pieces when I can. The orange skirt above is faux leather and so much fun – I found it at the Student Union store! Black leather skirts are also super cute with an Oklahoma State t-shirt.

I love a solid color dress – black, orange, white, cream, or denim. Add some cute accessories and you’re set! Just make sure that it’s not a super windy day… I know that’s hard to find in Oklahoma (LOL).

You can never go wrong with an Oklahoma State t-shirt! There are several opportunities for students to get free shirts on campus, but if you’ve graduated (like me) make sure to stop by the thrift stores in town to save money on t-shirts. You can cut them into crop tops if you’d like to! All of the boutiques also have t-shirts, but they can be a little bit expensive… Again, wait until after football season for those t-shirts to go on sale!

Don’t forget about Oklahoma State jerseys! You can wear a football jersey, basketball jersey, or baseball jersey. This is a fun way to change up your look. You can find jerseys online, Walmart in Stillwater, the Student Union store, or TJ Maxx. My friend and I found Nike Oklahoma State jerseys at the TJ Maxx in Stillwater for $30 which is CRAZY! Make sure to check TJ Maxx out!

Shoes!

If you know me, then you know that I LOVE shoes. I’m short, so the orange platforms (above) were perfect for me! I found them at Target, but I’ve seen similar shoes on Amazon.

Cowboy boots are ALWAYS acceptable! You’ve always got be prepared to ‘boot scootin boogie!’

I also love a good bargain when shoe shopping! I found the black over-the-knee boots at the Crazy Days Sale in Stillwater. Every Summer, Stillwater hosts a several-day sale event across town and lots of boutiques participate. The black boots were originally like $80 and I got them for $15 – heck yeah!

“I’ve got friends in lowwww places”

Is there anything more ‘Oklahoma State’ than singing ‘Friends in Low Places’ at a football game?! Thank you, Garth Brooks!

I love seeing my friends at the games! My friend and I didn’t plan to match for this game, but it worked out anyway! Always try to take pictures with your friends! You’ll be thankful for the memories later πŸ™‚

OSU Homecoming Outfit Ideas!

Who doesn’t love Homecoming at Oklahoma State?! It’s a big deal every year and it’s going to be even bigger this year (2021) because we’re celebrating the Homecoming Centennial! You’ll definitely want to start preparing your outfits now. Yes, outfits, there are so many different events that you can attend!

First, you’ll want to find an outfit for the orange fountain dyeing! I recommend going casual! I typically wear jeans/shorts and a cute shirt. Guys, you’ll want to wear a t-shirt or polo like my friend below! After the orange dye completely colors the water orange, you can come back and take more pictures later.

Photo Tip: You can NEVER go wrong with a classic cowboy boot picture at Oklahoma State University. You don’t have boots? That’s ok! Wear whatever makes you happy and shows that you’re “loyal and true!”

OSU Walk Around Outfit Inspo!

Walk Around is another OSU Homecoming tradition. You basically walk through all of the decs that the Sorority and Fraternities build. You can see an example pictured below. Those decs are made out of chicken wire and tissue paper! Some even move! They’re pretty impressive!

Tip: “Pomping” is where take the tissue paper and stick it into the chicken wire. The Greek community on campus will talk about this for months…

Cold Weather Game Day Outfits!

Cold weather games happen toward the end of football season in Oklahoma. My best tip is to layer up – you might be hot at the beginning of the game, but you’ll be thankful by the end to have those layers! Always put a pair of gloves in your pocket!

Denim jackets are another closet staple for cold games! Make sure to grab an Oklahoma State button and pin it on the front! Fringe jackets are also so, so cute!

Beanies and ear bands will save you when the games get cold! My sister and I got these ear bands at Kohls in Oklahoma City! But you can find them online as well on other websites!

Don’t Forget the Face Stickers!

Face stickers are another fun way to change up your game day look! You can go small and basic – like the stickers below or they make bigger stickers. If you’re dedicated, you can even paint your whole face orange and sit with the Paddle People!

For the Guys!

Here’s another tip for the guys! Both of the Walmart stores in Stillwater have some pretty awesome OSU stuff for guys! How cool is this blazer that my friend found for $25?! Every time we were at a game someone would stop and ask him where he found this jacket… Walmart, friends, Walmart!

Concluding Thoughts

I LOVE football season! I hope these outfits inspire you to create your own perfect game day look! Get loud and go cheer on the Oklahoma State Cowboys! Go Pokes!

I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚

Pops: Arcadia, OK

Hey, y’all today we’re going to take a little trip down Route 66! I’m going to take you to Pops in Arcadia, Oklahoma. The Round Barn is less than a minute away from Pops – so you can easily hit both spots in the same afternoon! Check out my article on the Round Barn here!

This iconic place is open 7 days a week – minus a few holidays – so you can literally check this place out any time! You can gas up your car, head inside to the old-fashioned diner for a delicious hamburger, and then pick out a unique bottle of soda!

History of Pops

The Pops restaurant opened in 2007. The establishment was owned by Aubrey McClendon, a late oil and gas magnate from Oklahoma. The building was designed by Elliot + Associates architects – a noted architecture firm. The building’s architecture has a ultra-modern look! Their design for the Pops location has won them many awards. 

Pops opened a second location in 2016 in Nichols Hills. It was very much like the first location with its hip and modern design. Unfortunately, the second location didn’t last too long and closed down in December 2018. 

Dirt Soda?!

Pops boasts over 600 kinds of soda – so there will definitely be something for everyone. They have the classics that everyone loves, but then there’s also flavors like Ranch and Dirt. Try them if you’re brave enough! My parents always told me and my sister to not eat the dirt… 

Photo Time!

Make sure to head outside for a photo op with the gigantic bottle! The iconic soda bottle in front of Pops is 66 feet tall and it weighs in at 4 tons. The bottle’s height of 66 feet is a nod to Route 66 which it sits on. The soda bottle can be seen for miles on the prairies of Oklahoma. It even lights up with LED lights after sunset and has the old neon look that Route 66 has become known for. It is truly a spectacular light show! 

Travel Tip: Make sure to check the giant bottle out both during the day and after it gets dark! It’s really cool to take photos both during the day and night! See examples below!  

Concluding Thoughts

This fun place embodies the spirit of Route 66 being free-wheeling, colorful, and most importantly – fun! I don’t know about you, but all this talking has me thirsty… I’m gonna go grab a soda. 

Happy Traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚


Visit

660 W. Highway 66

Arcadia, OK 73007

Phone: 405-927-7677

Rock Island Railroad Car: Choctaw, OK

The Rock Island Railroad Car is located in Choctaw, Oklahoma at the intersection of 23rd and Henney. Choctaw is a suburb of Oklahoma City so getting to this railroad car was super easy! It is a red-ish colored Rock Island railroad car – so you know what to look for! The train car is numbered Rock Island Car 17725!

To get to the railroad car you will pull into a gravel parking lot on the southeast side of the intersection. Then you will walk along a sidewalk to get to the car.

Travel Tip: The sidewalk only goes to one side of the car so if you want to walk around the car, I would suggest wearing closed-toe shoes. The grass was a little bit tall when I went, but other reviews on Google say it is usually well-maintained.

Unfortunately, there is not a plaques on the site… so I don’t know how long the railroad car has been in Choctaw or who purchased it? If you are reading this post and know the answers to these questions – please send me a message on my contact page and I will update this article!

Happy traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚

Visit:

Address: 14003 NE 23rd St, Choctaw, OK 73020

Stillwater Museum of History at the Sheerar: Stillwater, OK

The Stillwater Museum of History at the Sheerar is a local history museum in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Their goal is to preserve Stillwater and Payne County history from Oklahoma Territory days to the present.

Wood pieces from the original Old Central structure located on the campus of Oklahoma State University.

Museum History

The Stillwater History Museum is located on the bottom floor of the Sheerar Cultural and Heritage Center. The building originally housed the First Church of Christ Scientist and was built in 1928.

The museum opened in 1974 – originally operated by the Stillwater Arts and Humanities Council. The facility was named for Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Sheerar who made a sizable donation to the museum. Beginning in 1989, the Stillwater History Museum was owned and operated by the Stillwater Museum Association. In 2017, the museum officially changed its name to the Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar.

Travel Tip: There is a beautiful auditorium on the upper floor of the Sheerar which seats 200 people. Church services are still regularly held in the auditorium. You can also rent the space for weddings and events if you’re interested!

Exhibits

This museum has several exhibit spaces – some are permanent, while some are traveling! Some of the exhibits include: Stillwater Collects, Main Street Memories, the Victorian Parlor, and the Gerald and Harriet Thuesen Gallery. Two of the previous traveling exhibits were the “Daughters of the American Revolution” exhibit and “Early Oklahoma: Black Hope/Black Dreams.” These were both really cool exhibits!

There is something new every time I visit this museum – so make sure to check it out whenever you are in Stillwater or driving through town!

My Favorite Pieces

My favorite piece in the Stillwater History Museum would have to be the old Pistol Pete mascot head. It’s so different than Oklahoma State University’s current Pistol Pete look, but there’s just something cool and unique about it. The Pistol Pete head is a part of the permanent collection – so you should always be able to see this one!

I also like the exhibit piece about how turnips saved Stillwater! The sign for this one caught my attention and I loved reading the story! Because you wouldn’t think that something as simple as a turnip could save a town…

Personal Connection

I have a personal connection to this museum. I was a volunteer my senior year of undergrad in college. I helped with weekend children’s programming and designed flyers for events. I learned a lot while volunteering for the museum that year. I totally recommend volunteering at your local history museum if you have the time and resource to do so! πŸ™‚

Concluding Thoughts

I love stopping in to visit this museum when I am in Stillwater! I love seeing the new exhibits and learning new things! I hope you’ll make a trip and go check out this awesome local museum! The workers and volunteers are always so kind when I stop in and visit.

Bonus! If you can’t make a trip to Stillwater, they do have a virtual tour option on their website! (sheerarmuseum.org)

Travel Tip: Make sure to stop by the gift shop on your way out! They recently added magnets to their shop and they’re super cool. I try to get a magnet at every museum I visit and was thrilled that they had some new ones on my last visit! I also picked up a really cool Native American history map, prairie bonnet, and some historical document replicas for some of my upcoming YouTube videos. You never know what you’ll find in the gift shops at local museums!

If you’re interested in watching my history videos – my YouTube Channel is linked HERE!

Happy traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚


Visit

702 S. Duncan
Stillwater, OK 74074

Phone: (405) 377-0359

Harrah History Center: Harrah, OK

The Harrah History Center is managed by the Harrah Historical Society in Harrah, Oklahoma. This was a cute little town I visited in central Oklahoma. It’s located about 45 minutes East of Oklahoma City.

Travel Tip: The museum is only open on certain days of the week. Currently, that day is Tuesday from 10-4 p.m., but it’s still a good idea to call ahead and make sure that someone is there. They answered the phone very quickly on the day I visited πŸ™‚

Museum History

The Harrah History Center was opened in April 1999. The museum is maintained by the Harrah Historical Society. This is a small, local museum run by a group of volunteers whose mission is preserve the town’s history for the next generation to enjoy and learn from!

Town History

The area was discovered by Louis Navarre in the 1870s – he described it as a paradise. He returned in 1889 to establish a residence.

On September 22, 1891, the lands of the Sac and Fox, Iowa, Potawatomi, and Absentee Shawnee were opened. Lots of people flooded into the area.

In 1891, E.W. Sweeney purchased a townsite. He owned and operated a ferry business to cross the river. He eventually built the Sweeney Bridge.

By 1892, 10 Polish families moved to the area. They settled in the Canadian River Bottom.

May 23, 1895, the Kickapoo Lands were opened. Harrah was located on the South side of the North Canadian River. The Kickapoo land was North of the River. The Potawatomi Lands were South of the River.

The Pennington Post Office was built on March 13, 1894 – this is present-day Harrah. The Post Office changed the name to Sweeney on March 30, 1896. The Post Office name was changed again to Harrah on December 22, 1898. The original Post Office certificate proudly hangs on the wall of the Harrah History Center.

Louis and Julia Navarre sold 32 acres of land to Frank Harrah in April 1898. This was platted as the original townsite of Harrah. A plat is a plan or map of an area of land.

Soon, the railroad built a line through the town. The Choctaw, Oklahoma, and Gulf Railroad was the specific company who built the line. This meant that Harrah had some of the most advanced transportation at the time!

The town of Harrah is still located in central Oklahoma today. Many of the families in town can trace their roots back to some of the original settlers. The volunteers at the Harrah History Center showed me some of the artifacts that can be traced back to the town’s founding.

Concluding Thoughts

The Harrah Historical Society is a great local museum to go visit if you are looking for a day trip outside of OKC. I was not disappointed and loved getting to chat with the volunteers.

Please make time to go and visit the local history museums in your area!

Happy traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚

Travel Tip: I stumbled across a super cool monarch butterfly mural down the street from the history museum! You can stand in front of the butterfly and make it look like you have wings! The mural was huge and made a perfect selfie spot!


Visit

Phone: (405) 454-6911

Address:

20881 Main St,

Harrah, OK 73045

National Wrestling Hall of Fame: Stillwater, OK

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame is located in Stillwater, Oklahoma. It sits on the Northeast end of the Oklahoma State University campus! I didn’t learn about this museum until I moved to Stillwater for college. My first visit was during spring break of my junior year – I had been in town for a few months at that point and wanted to explore a little bit! I found the museum’s website and had to check it out! I was not disappointed!

Oklahoma State University is known for their college wrestling team. So wrestling is a BIG DEAL in Stillwater. John Smith has been the head coach for years! John Smith is considered to be one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. He won 2 Olympic Gold medals! Go Pokes!

Travel Tip: The museum has 2 sets of podiums on the inside that you can take photos on! So it might be fun for kids to take some of their medals and pose for a picture. If you don’t have any medals – you can find plastic medals fairly cheap at Walmart in the party section or at the Dollar Store. I hope you enjoy making some fun memories πŸ™‚

Let’s talk more about this museum though!

Museum History

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame was built in 1976 with the goals of preserving history and inspiring future generations of wrestlers. This museum contains all kinds of artifacts from shoes and singlets to Olympic gold medals!

Wrestling is a sport that anyone can participate in and enjoy. Their collections showcases the diversity in the sport!

My Favorite Pieces

I didn’t have a favorite piece in this collection. I wasn’t very familiar with the history of wrestling before going to this museum. So I liked the various displays that talked about the history of the sport! It was easy to understand and very well put together.

I did like the painting pictured below though! I loved the bright colors!

There was also a really cool display about Presidents who wrestled!

Concluding Thoughts

If you want to see more of the museum make sure to head on over to my YouTube Channel and watch the video – National Wrestling Hall of Fame: Stillwater, Oklahoma!

Happy Traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚


Visit

405 West Hall of Fame Avenue
Stillwater, OK 74075

Phone: (405) 377-5243

Frank Eaton’s Historic Home & The Oklahoma Territorial Plaza: Perkins, OK

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.

Watch this video to walk around the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza with me! I go in the buildings and train car! It’s super cool! πŸ™‚

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.

To walk around the inside of the Eaton home, watch this video!

CCC Outhouse

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! πŸ™‚

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!

AT&SF Caboose

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.

IXL Schoolhouse

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!

If you want to see how the inside of a Juke Box works watch this video!

Farm Museum

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.

Veteran’s Memorial

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.

Concluding Thoughts

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! πŸ™‚


Visit

750 N Main St.

Perkins, OK 74059

Sam Noble Museum of Natural History: Norman, OK

Hey y’all! Welcome back to another museum review! Today, we’re visiting the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History in Norman, Oklahoma. I loved visiting this museum when I was little. My dad would take me, my sister, and my Nana to go see the dinosaurs. We lovingly called it the “Dinosaur Museum” and still call it that to this day!

As a child, I had an obsession with dinosaurs and wanted to be a paleontologist when I grew up. I seriously thought I could find dinosaur bones in my grandparents pasture if I looked hard enough! Ohhh to be young and full of dreams – my Nana and Papa let me dig holes to my hearts content.

Back to the museum though, my last visit to this museum was during my sophomore year of college. So the pictures are a few years old, but they are photos of the permanent collections so these items are still there! Let’s get started!

Museum History

The Sam Noble Museum of Natural History opened to the public on May 1, 2000 and is located on the University of Oklahoma (OU) campus in Norman, Oklahoma. The museum’s collection was founded in 1899! There are over 10 million specimens ranging from earth sciences, life sciences, and social sciences stored in 12 collections! Those 12 collection categories are: archaeology, ethnology, herpetology, ichthyology, invertebrate paleontology, mammalogy, Native American languages, the Oklahoma collection of genomic resources, ornithology, paleobotany, recent invertebrates, and vertebrate paleontology. Wow!

The Sam Noble also conducts extensive research and the curators teach classes at OU! Additionally, Undergraduate and Graduate students have an opportunity to do hands-on research.

Exhibits

There are 6 permanent exhibits in the museum: the Orientation Gallery, Hall of World Cultures, Hall of Ancient Life, Hall of Natural Wonders, Hall of People of Oklahoma, and the Conoco Oil Pioneers of Oklahoma Plaza.

The Pentaceratops Skelton pictured below is one of my favorite pieces in the entire collection. It’s massive, y’all. This skeleton holds the Guinness World Record for being the largest at 10.5 feet! Keep reading to see my most favorite piece!

My Favorite Piece

This dinosaur skeleton is my most favorite piece in the entire collection. Remember at the beginning how I told you about my dinosaur obsession as a child – well imagine walking into the museum and seeing this right in front of you! Talk about a dream come true!

But do you want to know the coolest part? This photo was taken from an elevator that takes you to eye-level with the dinosaur! Yes, eye-level with a dinosaur. Literally, the best thing ever!

Concluding Thoughts

I love the visiting the “Dinosaur Museum,” but don’t get to go very often. It’s always a special day when I get to road trip to see the dinosaurs! I hope to make it back to this museum sometime soon!

Happy traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚


Visit

2401 Chautauqua Ave.

Norman, Oklahoma 73072

Phone: 405-325-7977

Pioneer Woman Museum: Ponca City, OK

Today, we’re talking about the Pioneer Woman Museum in Ponca City! My first visit to this museum was during my first semester of graduate school. I needed to visit an archive for a project for my Historical Methods class which was related to my research. I study women’s history so what better place to visit, right? Give me all the herstory!

I love the phrase used by the museum, “I see no boundaries.” This phrase embodies the pioneer spirit and is a great reminder for all visitors to the museum. There are no boundaries to what you can achieve. Keep trying! πŸ™‚

Travel Tip: The great thing about Ponca City is that it’s located about 45 minutes north of Stillwater! So if you’re traveling to Stillwater it wouldn’t hurt to drive an extra 45 minutes to visit this museum as well as the other cool sites in Ponca City!

Museum History

The Pioneer Woman Museum opened in Ponca City, Oklahoma in September 1958. The museum was expanded in 1996 to its current capacity. The museum features and explores the rich contributions of Oklahoma’s pioneer women to state and national history.

The Pioneer Woman Statue

The Pioneer Woman Statue was commissioned in 1930 because Ernest Whitworth Marland who wanted something to honor his mother and grandmother. Marland was a millionaire oilman, philanthropist, US Congressman, and the 10th Governor of Oklahoma.

Travel Tip: The Marland Mansion is also in Ponca City and you can tour the historic home. I haven’t been to it yet, but I’ve heard that it’s impressive! Road trip, anyone?

Marland held a competition for the statue design and Bryant Baker’s design won the most votes. The statue is 17 feet tall and weighs 12,000 pounds! If you add the base to the total height – it is 33 feet tall. It’s massive and very impressive, y’all!

The pioneer mother bravely takes hold of her young son’s hand and leads him forward. I was very moved by the piece. I even bought a mini version of the statue in the gift shop to sit on my desk and I was devastated when it got broken when I moved 😦 I need to go back to the museum to visit again and get a new one!

β€œIn appreciation of the heroic character of the women who braved the dangers and endured the hardships incident to daily life of the pioneer and homesteader in this country.” -Statue Inscription
​

Museum Exhibits

The museum features a wide array of items pertaining to women’s history in Oklahoma and the West. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a lot of photos when I was there in 2018… But I did take a photo of the bedstead!

Most of the photos I took were pretty research specific and covered old documents in the archive. So next time I visit I will take more photos and hopefully update this article! Thank you for understanding πŸ™‚

Concluding Thoughts

The Pioneer Woman Museum is one that you definitely need to go see. I’m almost positive that you will leave this place inspired!

Happy Traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚


Visit

701 Monument Road 

Ponca City, Oklahoma 74604

Phone: 580-765-6108

How to Label Old Family Photos

Hey friend! Welcome back to another article! Today, we’re talking about how to label old photographs. As someone who uses old family photographs in my research, it makes my job 100% easier when someone has previously labeled the photos! So today, I am going to teach you how to label photos, what kind of writing utensils to use, and what kind of information you should write on the back photos to make future historian’s jobs easier. Let’s get started! πŸ™‚

How to Label Old Photos

  1. Handle the images along the edges. There is nothing worse than leaving fingerprints on old photographs…
  2. Use a #2 pencil for labeling on paper items. This is the best thing to use because it’s easily erasable if a mistake is made.
  3. Find a spot on the back of the photo to label it, or at the very least a discreet location.
  4. Include the names of people, date, and location on the photo. PLEASE. There is nothing worst than finding an unlabeled photo and not being able to figure out who the people are… It makes me so, so sad.
  5. Also, label the Digital files as well! Name, date, and location is a good place to start.

What Writing Utensils to Use

Please use a #1 or #2 pencil when labeling old photos. They are soft and likely won’t puncture the photo. Remember to write lightly so that the writing doesn’t show through on the front.

What Information Goes on the Back of Photos

Please include the following information on the photos you label.

NAME

DATE

LOCATION

These are just the basic things that a photo label needs! There’s no need to stress out on trying to include an entire story! But if you want to write more then feel free to do that as well. All future historians and archivists will be forever grateful to you for your labeling effort! πŸ™‚

Concluding Thoughts

I hope this article gave you some useful tips on how to label old family photographs. Preserving family history is so, so important and I am glad that you are taking the steps to preserve yours! Keep up the great work!

I have a few other articles about family history! I’ve linked them below for you to check out!

How to Write Your Family History

How to Conduct an Oral History

I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum: Oklahoma City, OK

Hey y’all! Welcome back to another museum post! Today, we’re talking about one of my FAVORITE museums EVER! The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and the collection features cowboys, cowgirls, rodeo, Native American art, military history, and so much more!

The museum does an excellent job of representing the diverse groups of people in the American West. For example, did you know there were cowboys in Hawaii?! Or that Hawaii is considered a part of the West?! Keep reading to learn more about this awesome museum! You might even be inspired to make a trip there yourself πŸ™‚

Museum History

The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum was founded in 1955. The museum has only grown since then. Millions of people have walked through the front doors to experience the American West for themselves.

#HashtagTheCowboy

May 2021

This photo was taken on my birthday! I got to meet Cowboy Tim at the museum and saw Seth from Marketing, but didn’t realize that’s who he was… Sorry Seth… I literally turned and looked at my dad and was like “Oh my goodness! That’s Cowboy Tim from Social Media!” And he was kind enough to stop and let me take a picture with him! Thanks Tim!

My Favorite Pieces

I love so many pieces in this museum. First, the collection is massive and they only display about 10% of what they actually own! That’s crazy! During graduate school, two of my classmates and myself were actually given a tour of the “vault” where they house the other 90% of the collection. It was so cool to see how the pieces are carefully stored and preserved. The curator was extremely knowledgable and patiently answered all of our questions. Then we got to tour the research library and go through some of the scrapbooks in the library for our project! 10/10 would recommend doing research at the Dickinson Research Center!

But back to my favorite pieces in the collection, I think I can narrow it down to four: Albert Bierstadt’s painting, Frederic Remington’s works, the Rodeo Gallery, and Prosperity Junction (the life-size replica town). Keep scrolling to see each and read a short description – they’ll go in the same order as the list!

Albert Bierstadt’s Painting

The painting above was done by artist, Albert Bierstadt. He was known for his landscape paintings. I first encountered Bierstadt’s work in a humanities class at community college. I loved the magnificent scenes he portrayed. I was in awe when I saw this painting in person – it’s massive! I love the colors and all of the details. The closer you look at the painting – the more you see.

I love the Frederic Remington collection. They have several of his sculptures and paintings! You can also find Remington’s pieces in other museums in Oklahoma too! The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art has one of his paintings too – check out that museum review next!

Rodeo Gallery

The Rodeo Gallery is so cool! I did a project on the history of women in rodeo in graduate school and we got to look through some of the primary sources in the Dickinson Research Center – it was amazing! The Rodeo Gallery features the notable men and women in the sport. Many rodeo athletes have been inducted into the hall of fame. I love seeing their awards, fancy outfits & boots, and saddles!

Finally, the museum has a life-size 19th century town on the inside! You can walk through most of the buildings and see what a typical cattle town would have looked like – it is amazing. I find something new in this exhibit every time I walk through it!

Travel Tip: Talk to the docents and security guards in the museum galleries. They’re easy to spot – they wear a white shirt and have a badge on. These people are so kind and knowledgeable about all things concerning the West. I learn something new every time I talk to one of them! Ask them about their story as well because they come from all parts of the US.

Concluding Thoughts

The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum has been one of my favorite museums since I was a young child. I loved going to the Chuck Wagon festival – sitting on the longhorn, making crafts, and seeing demonstrations of western cooking – but I think I appreciate the museum even more now as an adult. There is so much to see and do in this museum!

They rotate the exhibits often so there is always something new to see! They also have events for people of all ages – kids days, adult book clubs, and festivals. Look at their calendar for more info!

I hope you’ll go visit one of my favorite museums! Happy traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚


Visit

1700 Northeast 63rd St.

Oklahoma City, OK 73111

Phone: (405) 478-2250

OSU Museum of Art: Stillwater, OK

The Oklahoma State University Museum of Art is located in Stillwater, Oklahoma. This is a smaller gallery right off Main Street. They have a room for permanent pieces and a gallery for traveling exhibits. This museum had free admission!

Travel Tip: You’re not allowed to take medium-sized or large purses in the gallery. They offer to hold them at the front while you walk through the gallery or suggest you take them back to your vehicle. Just something to be mindful about!

Here are a few photos that I took inside and outside the museum! I hope you’ll go check this gallery out!

My Favorite Piece

My favorite piece was the glazed earthenware piece by Futurist artist Renato Giuseppe Bertelli. Futurist artists were known for depicting speed and motion. That’s one of the reasons I like this piece – it looks like it’s moving and that caught my eye. This piece depicts Benito Mussolini in motion representing his ability as a leader to know everything. This work also depicts Mussolini’s masculinity through sharper angles – giving the allusion of power.

Concluding Thoughts

The OSU Museum of Art is a cool little art museum to check out whenever you are in Stillwater. Remember, admission is free! This would be a great date for broke college students (free activities are great!) or a fun girl’s day trip. Whatever you do – make sure to add this to your list of things to do in Stillwater, Oklahoma!

Travel Tip: There are other little galleries on the Oklahoma State University campus as well. These galleries display OSU student’s art! I had the privilege of attending one of my friend’s capstone exhibitions at the Gardiner Gallery on campus and it was beautiful. The Gardiner Gallery also hosts traveling exhibits from time to time. Admission is also free to this gallery!

Happy Traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚


Visit

720 S Husband Street
Stillwater, OK 74074

Phone: 405-744-2780

5 Things You Need To Know Before Moving To College

Hey friend! Welcome back! Today we are talking about the essential things you need to know before moving into a college dorm or apartment!

Moving away to college can be a scary experience for some people because they’ve never lived anywhere but home. But I’m here to tell you that it can be a fun and exciting experience! Make sure to read all of my tips and also feel free to ask questions!

My college journey was unique because I commuted my first two years to community college, then lived in the dorms for two years while finishing my bachelor’s degree, and then lived in two apartments during my master’s program. So I’ve lived in quite a few places and I am going to tell you what you need to know!

1. Before moving to college make a list of things that you need to bring with you.

Many colleges and universities have lists on their websites of things they suggest you bring with you. There is also usually a list of things that you can’t bring to a dorm with you (i.e. candles, toasters, and pets) – so look at your school’s website. Below is a short list of things I found useful when living in a dorm and apartment in my college town!

Things that I found useful when living in a dorm:

Pillows, Sheets, & Blankets

Microwave

Mini-Fridge

Shower Caddy for Toiletries

Shower Shoes (Sandals)

Desk Organizer

Folders

Plastic Dishes

Snacks!

Good Pair of Walking Shoes

Plastic Storage Bin Tower

2 Large Plastic Bins

Clothes Hangers

Lint Roller

Blackout Curtains

Things that I found useful to add to the above list when living in an apartment:

Microwave

Toaster

Blackout Curtains

Clock

Good Pair of Walking Shoes

Futon or Chair

Shower Curtain & Rings

Bathroom Rug

Pots & Pans

Dining Table & Chairs

Silverware & Plates

Small TV

Remember this is not a complete list! These are just a few things that I think most people might use. If you’re missing something you can always run to the store in your town.

BONUS TIP: Make sure to look at the thrift stores and antique shops in college towns! They have great stuff for cheaper prices than the chain stores. You could even make a DIY project if you have time! Also look for stuff at the dollar stores – they have cute storage options and decor!

2. Invest in a good pair of walking shoes. You will need them!

Make sure to pack a good pair of walking shoes when moving to college. You will be walking all over campus and will want comfy shoes! Some campuses cover miles and your feet could hurt if you don’t have good shoes.

If you need to wear professional shoes for a presentation I recommend sticking your heels or sandals in a plastic sack inside your backpack and switching shoes once you get to class! My life was forever changed when I started doing this! Your feet will definitely thank you πŸ™‚

Here’s a little bit of insider information from a person who commuted for two years – make sure that you have comfy shoes because the close parking spots fill up fast and you will likely find yourself walking a long way to get to class… It happens, but good shoes can help!

Also, as a commuter I also tried to leave a spare pair of shoes and socks in the trunk in case it rained and my shoes got wet. There’s nothing worse than having to wear soggy socks for an entire day of school… trust me. Just pack the extra shoes on rainy days! Stick them in a plastic sack so nothing else in your trunk will get wet if you change shoes!

3. Talk to anyone and everyone in your first few weeks of the semester! And keep in contact with people you met at orientation.

Odds are that you had to attend some kind of orientation for new students – whether it was virtually or in-person. Try to keep in contact with these people and meet up with them once school starts. You can go to a coffee shop, Welcome Week event, or have a Zoom call – whatever you feel is safe for you!

Many dorms and apartment complexes will host “Back to School” bashes where you can meet new people too. If you see someone in the hallway make sure to say hi and introduce yourself! The people on my floor were so much fun and all had really cool stories.

Try to attend some of the Welcome Week events that your school hosts. I’ve noticed nowadays that colleges and universities are hosting in-person and virtual events! So try to attend one however you safely can πŸ™‚

4. Make sure that you have completed all of your paperwork and have copies of all the important documents you might need.

Make sure that you have completed all of the paperwork before move-in day at your school! Some of this is done online, while other papers might need to be printed out and signed.

BONUS TIP: If you plan on working a job while going to school (part-time or full-time) make sure to have copies of all documents you need to fill out employment paperwork. This includes your license, social security card, and voided checks. I had friends who had to travel home and get their paperwork and it was a mess. So save yourself the trouble!

5. Know that moving to college can be a big transition. It is okay to be nervous and to make time for yourself.

Moving to college can be a big adjustment – give yourself grace and time to create a new routine and make new friends. Make sure to have time for yourself somewhere quiet. You can talk to your roommate about setting boundaries about quiet times.

I also recommend walking around campus and finding some of the quiet spots. My university was pretty large so there were quite a few quiet spots to study if you knew where to find them. Try studying in different locations too. And you don’t always have to be studying – you can go somewhere quiet just to breathe and think!

Concluding Thoughts

Congratulations on moving to college or university! I am so proud of you and know that you’re going to do great things! Remember it is okay to be nervous about this transition, but don’t let it get you down because everyone is nervous. If you are having problems when you get to college make sure to talk to your parents and find a mentor on campus that can help you with the transition. I hope this helps!

Good luck! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚

The Painters of Pompeii @ The OKC MOA (Exhibit Review)

Hey friend! Welcome! Today, I am reviewing the Painters of Pompeii Exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. It opened in June and will run through October 17, 2021. You don’t want to miss this one – it’s literally a chance of a lifetime to be able to see these Ancient Roman works of art.

The collection is visiting North America for the first time from the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, Italy. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is the only location in the US this collection is traveling to. This exhibit features beautiful frescoes (wall paintings) from Ancient Rome.

70 frescoes comprise the collection on display at the OKC Museum of Art. There are even a few mosaic pieces which are super cool!

What are frescoes?

Frescoes are created when wet plaster is applied to a wall, then paint is applied on top which allows the colors to stay vibrant. This is a very simplified explanation – if you are interested in learning more about different types of art I recommend checking out your local art museum or you could even visit the studio of a local artist!

Frescoes are a part of the wall they’re painted on – they’re not hung on the wall like a painting today. They were permanent and full of brightly colored scenes inspired by food, mythology, jobs, and every day life. Frescoes were located in public buildings and homes all throughout the ancient cities.

History of Pompeii & Herculaneum

Back to the Painters of Pompeii, many of the frescoes in this exhibit were buried under volcanic ash and rock when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE. Pompeii and Herculaneum – two cities in the Bay of Naples – were nearly perfectly preserved.

Excavation of artifacts began on Pompeii and Herculaneum between 1594 and 1600, but they were halted due to an earthquake in 1631. The city lay untouched for over a century.

Carlo of Borbone began excavating again in 1748 to find artifacts for the Museum of Portici. He and his team found several things over the next two decades.

Eventually more men joined in the excavation effort, but this was not done systematically under Bourbon domination. Finally, Giuseppe Fiorilli instituted a system for excavating the site. Many more men were entrusted with excavating even more portions of the city and it continues to this day.

For more information about the history of Pompeii and the excavation sites, please visit the Pompeii website!

My Favorite Pieces

As a historian, my favorite part of the exhibit was the timeline that extended around the top of the room with key dates in history. I also loved all of the maps, explanations of the the buildings, and the wall plaques by each piece describing the scene, mythology, etc. I like being able to see the bigger picture – how to the art I’m looking at fits into the larger story. Basically, history.

My favorite pieces from the Pompeii site were “Mask Amidst Bunches of Grapes and Vines (9798),” “Hercules and Omphale (9000),” and “Cassandra’s Prophecy (111476).”

My favorite pieces from the Herculaneum site were “Still Life with Birds (8736),” “Villa of Papyri (9423),” and “Still Life with Papyri (4668).”

These pieces are all unique and have beautiful colors! Being in the same room as these frescoes was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am really grateful I was able to walk through this exhibit with my dad!

Concluding Thoughts

This exhibit was super cool. You don’t get to see art from Ancient Rome every day – especially in Oklahoma! The exhibit requires you to stay behind the line on the floor – if you get too close a gallery attendant will ask you to move back. We saw this happen… Please be kind to the artifacts so that many generations to come may experience the awe and wonder that is the frescoes from Pompeii and Herculaneum.

I hope you’ll go check “The Painters of Pompeii” out! Admission to the OKC MOA includes this exhibit.

Travel Tips: If you’re driving in from out of town the museum also has a cafe where you can eat! There is also paid parking across the street from the museum so you won’t have to walk very far! And make sure to stop by the museum gift shop and check out the cool things there! I got 2 magnets for my collection!

Happy art viewing! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚


Visit

415 Couch Drive

Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Phone: 405-236-3100

10 Tips for College Freshmen

Hey friend! Welcome back to another post! Today we’re talking about 10 tips to help college students be successful in their first semester of school. I spent 6 years in school and am gearing up to teach my own classes this fall – so I think I can help you! Let’s go ahead and hop right in with 10 Tips for College Freshmen!

1. Look at the syllabus before you go to class.

The Professor will typically go over the syllabus on the first day of class, but it makes things goes much more smoothly if you’ve already glanced at it. You can have your questions ready to ask on the first day!

2. Make a friend in all of your classes within the first week.

College can be a scary experience for some people, but having a friend in the class can definitely make it less daunting. I had at least 1 person who I swapped notes with in every class that I took. You can even form small study groups!

You could even study together via Zoom or Skype so that everyone can participate in the projects or study sessions. I remember it was always difficult trying to coordinate schedules and trying to get everyone together on campus at the same time… Video chatting makes things so much easier!

Halloween Party on Campus

3. Do the readings for class and watch the supplemental videos.

Teachers assign readings for a class for a reason. Try to read the material before class, but skim it if you have too. Looking at the materials can at least give you an idea about what the lectures will be over that week.

4. Talk to your professors, Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA’s), mentors, and other people.

Talking with your professor before class, after class, or during their office hours is a great way to build a strong relationship. Your professors will be the people who know your work and can possibly write you letters of recommendation for future job/college applications. Plus they’re super smart and you’ll learn something new every time you talk to them! I spent a lot of time visiting professor’s office hours and was always given solid advice on how to be successful. Professors will also make appointments if you can’t make their office hours so don’t be afraid to ask! Just talk to them πŸ™‚

Undergrad students, GTA’s, and Professors at the 2020 Oklahoma Phi Alpha Theta Conference

Go visit your Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA’s or TA’s) if you’re enrolled in a large class. These people are the graduate students from the whatever department your class is in. Personally, I was a GTA for the history department. Often, the GTA’s are the ones who will be grading your papers. You will want to visit with them before class, after class, or during their office hours to go over assignments or to discuss your grades. GTA’s will also make appointments if you can’t make their office hours so don’t be afraid to ask! Just talk to them πŸ™‚

GTA’s at the Oklahoma Phi Alpha Theta Conference 2019

Make sure to talk to other mentors on campus when applicable. You can be involved in leadership classes or an Honors Programs which can lead to having more mentors on campus. Additionally, you will want to regularly meet with your academic advisor at least once a semester to ensure you are on the right track to graduate.

Finally, just talk to anyone on campus who is willing to talk back to you. I worked on campus my entire college journey and met so many cool people! I knew people all across campus and loved running into them. These connections can help you later on in life as well!

5. Make time to study, but also make time to relax.

This was one that I struggled with while in school. I worked all of the time either at my job or on my school work. It was really hard for me to relax and take a break. Looking back I can see where this hurt me, but I know how to take breaks when needed now.

But I’m not saying that you should avoid your readings or homework. Make sure to get those done before you do anything else. But don’t let the assignments consume you – reach out to your professor or GTA when you need help.

6. Try a new club, intramural sport, or activity. You never know what might happen!

College is the time to try new things and to get outside of your comfort zone! Many college and university campuses will have websites with lists of clubs and activities. Make sure to look at the wellness page to find intramural activities too!

Try anything that piques your interest! I tried tennis and water polo while I was in college – had I ever played them before? No… I had not, but I had fun learning! I also participated in a swim club, history club, geography club, Phi Alpha Theta, and the list goes on and on, but I think you get the point. There are tons of organizations that you can take part in.

TRY SOMETHING NEW πŸ™‚

Oklahoma State University Swim Club at Wichita State University

7. Ask Questions.

Ask the question in class. Odds are that most people didn’t understand and won’t ask for clarification. If you ask the professor to clarify they are usually happy too. You have to remember that your professor has been studying the topic they’re lecturing on for years and sometimes might not explain things well.

Don’t be afraid of what other people might think either. You are brave for asking the questions. You will be better off for it too because you will better understand the topic.

8. Visit the library, wellness center, student union, health services, and any other building on campus with student resources.

Make sure to check out all of the places that have student resources on campus. This includes the library, wellness center, student union, dinging halls, residential buildings, etc. Each of these buildings will have different resources.

Many college and university campuses will also have counseling services, Veterans services, student disability services, transfer student resources, and resources for non-traditional students. If you don’t know where to find the resource that you need, make sure to reach out to a professor that you trust and they will help point you in the right direction.

9. Make sure to keep your living space clean, do you laundry, and look after your nutrition.

Moving to college or university can be a huge adjustment for some people and that is very understandable. But you’ll want to make sure that you’re taking care of your health and your space. I recommend trying to set up a schedule that will help make chores a part of your regular weekly routine.

Try to make sure that you’re eating somewhat healthy and making good choices too. You’ll probably want to invest in a good water bottle – especially for the hot summer months. Drinking enough water is an important thing to do!

10. Try something outside of your comfort zone at least once a semester.

I know it’s easy to get into a habit or a routine, but I recommend trying something new and outside of your comfort zone at least once a semester if not more frequently. This can include trying new foods, trying new clubs, or activities. Just try new things!

Personally, I tried two-stepping lessons, tried inner tube water polo, and went to sporting events that I had never been to before! Every experience was different and so fun! I am so glad that I went! πŸ™‚

Two-Stepping Night at one of the Dorms on campus!

Concluding Thoughts

Alright y’all, those are my 10 tips for college freshmen! I hope you have a fantastic semester and that this college experience is a great one for you! For more college tips and tricks check out the Student Resources page on my website!

If you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask someone on your campus for help! And if you have a more general question feel free to send me a message via my contact page! I will get back to you ASAP.

Happy studying and trying new things! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚

Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art: Shawnee, OK

Did you know that you can see real Egyptian mummies in Oklahoma?! Yes, you read that right. There are Egyptian mummies in Oklahoma! They’re housed at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art in Shawnee, Oklahoma. This museum is located on the grounds of the former Saint Gregory’s University campus, but Oklahoma Baptist University owns the campus nowadays.

The permanent collection at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum is expansive in scope and time periods. I was able to see cuneiform tablets, Egyptian mummies, ancient Chinese artifacts, pieces from Medieval Europe, a Samurai helmet, African masks, a painting by Frederic Remington, and Native American artifacts all in one building. This museum literally has a little bit of everything.

Museum History

The Mabee-Gerrer Museum opened in 1919 – making it one of the older museums in the state of Oklahoma. It is named for Benedictine Monk Father Gregory Gerrer. Father Gerrer displayed his collection on the campus of Saint Gregory’s High School and College in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Though Father Gerrer collected the pieces in the museum, he never intended to keep them only for himself. He wanted to share the world with Oklahoma and that is exactly what he did. He would often be found sitting in the museum and loved telling visitors about all of the objects in the collection. Sadly, he passed away in 1946.

Stephen Gyermek was hired as the museum director in 1957 and he expanded public programming for the museum. By 1962, the rooms that housed the museum were needed by the school and the collection was loaned to the Kirkpatrick Science and Arts Foundation in Oklahoma City. Work began immediately to create a permanent building for the museum and the Mabee Foundation generously donated a large amount of money. Ground was broken for the new facility in 1977 and the Mabee-Gerrer Museum opened to the public in 1979.

My Favorite Pieces

I am grateful Father Gerrer brought back pieces of the world to Oklahoma. As a historian, it is truly humbling to be in the same room as some of the pieces in the collection.

This museum also brings in collections from around the world on loan. As a child, I remember going to the Mabee-Gerrer Museum in 2004 to see the Etruscan Treasures Exhibit. The jewelry was absolutely breathtaking.

My two favorite artifacts in this museum are the Egyptian mummies and an ivory eagle from Japan.

First, I have always been fascinated by Egyptian culture – the pyramids, the pharaohs, and hieroglyphics. I took an undergrad class on the history of Ancient Egypt and Israel and absolutely loved it! So being able to actually see REAL mummies and artifacts from Egypt was actually really, really cool. I remember sitting in the gallery being in awe of what was in the room. History can be very humbling sometimes. I sat there looking at these mummies wondering what their lives had been like. Were they wealthy? What was their family like? What did they do every day?

My second favorite piece is a large ivory eagle sculpture from Japan. It is HUGE and the detail is so intricate. The bird looks like it could fly off of its perch! This piece of art is an ancient practice and the Mabee-Gerrer has an information plaque next to the sculpture that talks about illegal ivory hunting practices and encourages the preservation of the world’s elephants today. Way to go!

This museum is a hidden gem if you ask me! This would be the perfect place to take your family on a hot summer or cold winter day. They even have some free admission days – so check their website!

The Museum Today

If you would like to see more of the museum head on over to my YouTube Channel and check out my video: Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art: Shawnee, Oklahoma! The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art is open to visitors year round hosting public and private events. I hope you’ll go check out this awesome place!

Happy Traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚


Visit

1900 West MacArthur

Shawnee, OK 74804

Phone Number: 405-878-5300

For more information about hours, the history, gift shop items, or how to become a volunteer please visit their website!

The Round Barn: Arcadia, OK

A round barn? Yes! They really exist! This style became popular in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries because people thought that tornadoes would bounce off the walls and go around the structure, rather than going through it.

Today, the barn is in great condition as you can see here. It still remains an iconic stop on Route 66 and many tourists visit every year. The Bottom of the Round Barn houses a museum and gift shop for tourists. There are several pictures, old maps, farming equipment, and so much more! They even have a tiny replica of the barn – it’s so cute!

Personally, my favorite part of the museum is all of the old photographs of Odor, his family, and Arcadia. The maps are also super cool!

You can go inside the top of the barn too! Today, the barn hosts music gatherings, proms, and weddings in the loft. The floor is beautiful and it is so fun to peak out the windows and watch the cars drive by on Route 66! Make sure to stand on the platform in the middle of the room too!

Once you’re done looking around inside, make sure to head back outside and go check out all of the old farming equipment behind the barn. There are all kinds of pieces of equipment!

Keep reading to learn the history behind the Round Barn, the man who built it, and the town of Arcadia!

Round Barn History

The Round Barn in Arcadia, Oklahoma was built by William Harrison Odor. He began the project in 1898 and it took awhile to complete. The foundation was built out of local red Permian rock. The walls and rafters were constructed out of native burr oak boards which were cut while they were green. The boards were soaked in the river to make them pliable so they could be shaped into the iconic curves. The building process took several months.

The workers convinced Odor to let them pay the difference in materials to convert the top of the barn into a loft for dances and social gatherings. The acoustics were amazing. Odor had one condition – only “good music” could be played in his barn.

Odor had to climb to the apex of the barn’s roof to tie the rafters together, himself – because nobody else was brave enough to do it. That point was 43 feet off the ground! It’s a good thing that he wasn’t afraid of heights!

Arcadia History

The town of Arcadia was organized in 1902 by William Odor, Isaac Dawson, and B.F. Newkirk. The Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad had laid tracks south of the barn on Odor’s land. 

By 1914, Oklahoma County built a crude dirt road between the barn and the railroad tracks. This road became known as State Highway 7. 

By 1926, the road was still unpaved, but it became a part of a brand new larger national highway system. Do you know what highway it was? It became know as U.S. Highway 66, better known as Route 66. The Mother Road brought in a whole new group of people and the Round Barn quickly became a landmark to see!  

Finally, in 1929, the highway was paved! The road was 18 feet wide with a 5-inch concrete base and 2-inch asphalt overlay. 

The Barn Switches Hands

By April 1946, Frank and Katie Vrana owned the Round Barn. They used it as a workplace and place to store hay for the next 30 years. They cut a large door into the side of the structure and it severely weakened the building. So much so that the barn began to lean due to the high winds… Oklaaaaaaaahommmmmaaa where the winds come sweeping down the plains! 

Saving the Barn

The Round Barn in Arcadia was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. By this time the barn was in pretty poor shape. The entire thing had decayed and was falling apart. It had also been the target of arsonists and vandals. 

The Round Barn’s condition continued worsening over the next decade. Then in the late 1980s a group of people sought to restore the Round Barn. Beverly White, along with Luke and Ana Robison formed the Arcadia Historical and Preservation Society. 

The descendants of Frank Vrana donated the barn to the Arcadia Historical Society on May 27, 1988. Luke Robison was a retired builder and carpenter and set to work restoring the Round Barn to its former glory. On June 29, 1988 according to an eyewitness – the Round Barn’s roof β€œjust kind of sighed and fell in, like a souffle” due to the years of rot and decay. This didn’t stop the restoration team though! 

Official restoration work began in 1989 performed by an army of volunteers who liked to call themselves the β€œOver-the-Hill Gang.” Many of the volunteers were retirees! Like William Odor before him, Luke Robison was the man to tie the rafters together at the top of the new roof. 

The Round Barn was completely restored and dedicated on April 4, 1992. 

Then in November 1993, the National Trust for Historic Preservation gave the volunteers an award recognizing their craftsmanship and work in preservation. 

By 2005, the Round Barn was in need of more repairs. A new army of volunteers gathered their tools and got to work. They received funding from the National Park Service’s Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. 

Today

For more information on the Round Barn head on over to my YouTube Channel and check out my video Round Barn: Arcadia, Oklahoma (Part1/2)!

The Round Barn is open to visitors almost year round. They host public and private events. I hope you’ll go check out this awesome place! Their address and phone number are below. I will also link their website!

Happy Traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚


Visit

107 E Highway 66

Arcadia, OK 73007

Phone Number: 405-396-0824

For more information about hours, the history, gift shop items, how to become a volunteer, or to rent the barn for an event please visit their website!