Museums & Historic Sites to Visit in Stillwater!

Hey there, welcome to my blog! My name is Kaitlyn and I have a passion for history. I have a master’s degree in history from Oklahoma State University (OSU) and love to write about history tips and museum visits! This post includes some of my favorite museums and historic sites to visit in Stillwater, Oklahoma. For more information about each individual museum or historic site, please click on my blog links or the Instagram posts at the end of each section – let’s get started!

Oklahoma State University – Stillwater Campus

Old Central

Old Central is the oldest building on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater. It currently houses the Honors College at OSU and I had a few classes in the basement when I was a student. It’s a really neat building that contains so much history!

For more information on preservation efforts and current pictures of the building, see my longer blog post: Old Central

Willard Hall (Left) & Edmon Low Library (Right)

OSU Student Union (Left) & Gundersen (Right)

Thatcher Hall Air Park

The Thatcher Hall Air Park at OSU honors ROTC and veterans. There is a plane, two canons, and several plaques to walk around and see. For more information, see my longer blog post: ROTC Thatcher Hall Air Park

Nancy Randolph Davis Statue

The Nancy Randolph Davis statue stands in front of the Nancy Randolph Davis building on Monroe street (this is the middle of the OSU campus). Her story is inspiring and I hope you’ll read my longer blog post to learn more!

For more information, see my longer blog post: Nancy Randolph Davis Statue

Heritage Hall at Gallagher Iba Arena

Heritage Hall inside of Gallagher Iba Arena tells the history of Oklahoma State University athletics. This hall covers all sports at OSU and has some of the coolest memorabilia – like the old Pistol Pete head pictured below. Stop by before or after attending an athletic event at OSU or stop by Monday-Friday during business hours.

For more information, see my longer blog post: Heritage Gall at Gallgher Iba Arena

National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Oklahoma State University is known for its wrestling program which has won 34 NCAA Championships. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame is on the North Eastern corner of the Oklahoma State campus. It’s a neat place to visit with a ton of cool history. Don’t forget your camera so you can take a picture on the podium!

For more information, see my longer blog post: National Wrestling Hall of Fame

OSU Museum of Art

The Oklahoma State University Museum of Art is a small art museum in Downtown Stillwater. Exhibits rotate in and out pretty frequently, so there is always something new to see. The historic building that houses the museum is beautiful!

For more information, see my longer blog post: OSU Museum of Art

Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar

The Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar is one of my favorite places to visit in Stillwater. The museum tells the story of the founding of Stillwater and how the town has progressed. There is also rotating exhibits so there’s something new to see each month!

For more information, see my longer blog post: Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar

Dr. Angie Debo Statue at the Stillwater Public Library

Dr. Angie Debo’s statue stands outside of the Stillwater Public Library. She was an amazing historian with a cool story – read more about her in my longer blog post!

For more information, see my longer blog post: Dr. Angie Debo Statue

Historical Markers in Stillwater

There are other historical markers all across Stillwater! I’ll drop the addresses below so you can go find them if you want to!

Last “Boomer” Town (Left) & Land Run Boundary Line (Right)

Fire Station No. 1 (Left) & Captain David Payne Memorial (Right)

Bonus – Transformers

I know the Transformer statues aren’t historical, but they’re fun to see if you’re visiting Stillwater. Bumblebee is on the West side of Stillwater on highway 51 and Optimus Prime is on the East side of Stillwater on highway 51!

Concluding Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed looking through all of these super cool historic sites and museums! Make sure to use this post when you plan your next trip to Stillwater, Oklahoma.

If you have any questions about the places I visited, please feel free to send me a message on my contact page. 

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

Historical Markers in Stillwater, OK

Hey friend! Welcome back to another post. Today, we’re talking about historical markers in Stillwater, OK. I talked my sister into helping me find some of these signs and we had a lot of un!

*All photos in this post were taken by myself in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Historical Markers in this Post:

  • David L. Payne Memorial
  • Stillwater Fire Station No. 1
  • Oklahoma A&M College
  • Last “Boomer” Town
  • Boundary Line
  • See “Concluding Thoughts” for my blog posts about more historical sites and museums you should check out in Stillwater, OK!

David L. Payne Memorial

VISIT: Boomer Lake Park at Washington Street and Lakeview in Stillwater. (Diagonal from the gas station)

Monument for Capt. David L. Payne. He was responsible for the Oklahoma Boomer movement in 1879 which eventually led to the Land Run on April 22, 1889 for the “Unassigned Lands.” Did you know Payne County in Oklahoma was named for him?

Stillwater Fire Station No. 1

VISIT: 120 E 9th Ave, Stillwater, OK 74074

TRAVEL TIP: This historical marker sits right outside of Balanced Coffee which happens to be one of my favorite coffee shops to visit when I’m in Stillwater! The atmosphere is really nice and everyone is so friendly!

“In the early 1930s, an innovative and motivated group of men led by Stillwater Fire Chief J. Ray Pence met and discussed the lack of quality fire service training and materials in the United States, particularly in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. In July 1934, a group of educators and fire service leaders met in this building to draft a series of training manuals to be published ‘as economically as possible while providing thorough and valid information about fire fighting.’ The manuals were subsequently published and distributed by Oklahoma A & M College (Oklahoma State University).”

“This initial meeting and subsequent meetings continuing on a yearly basis, launched what would become the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA). Headquartered at Oklahoma State University, IFSTA is the world’s largest publisher of fire training materials. This nonprofit, volunteer organization, with participants from around the world, continues to grow while maintaining an awareness of its founders and those who contributed to its growth and success. The contributions of Chief J. Ray Pence, Professor W. Fred Heisler, and Professor R.J. Douglas will always be remembered.”

“IFTSA and the fire-related academic, extension, and research efforts of the OSU College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology were all products of these insightful leaders as they met and worked in this historic place.”

“Erected and dedicated this 23th day of July, 1997, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Stillwater Fire Department. Erected by the International Fire Service Training Association, Oklahoma State University Fire Service Programs, and the City of Stillwater Fire Department.” (Stillwater Fire Station No. 1 Historical Marker Sign)

Oklahoma A&M College

VISIT: South Main Street, near south edge of Stillwater. Next to Last “Boomer” Town Historical Marker.

“Serves the State by instruction, experimentation and extension service. Established Dec. 25, 1890, by First Legislative Assembly of Oklahoma Ter. Prairie broken for experimental farm, 1891. ‘Old Central’ dedicated, 1894. Extension division established, 1915.” (Oklahoma A and M College Historical Marker Sign)

Last “Boomer” Town

VISIT: South Main Street, near south edge of Stillwater. Next to Oklahoma A & M Historical Marker.

About 3/4 mi. east

“Here 300 armed ‘boomers’ made their last stand for settlement of the Oklahoma country led by Wm. L. Couch; and surrendered to U.S. Cavalry troops commanded by Col. E. Hatch, Jan. 26, 1885. On this site, the ‘boomers’ had built log cabins and dugouts for their town of Stillwater founded by them on Dec. 12, 1884.” (Last “Boomer” Town Historical Marker Sign)

Boundary Line

VISIT: Intersection of Ranch Street and Washington Avenue in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

1889 and 1893

“On April 22, 1889, the Run for land south in Old Oklahoma began on this line, by Proclamation of Pres. Benj. Harrison. Also, on Sept. 16, 1893, the Run for land north in the Cherokee Outlet began on this line, by Proclamation of Pres. Cleveland. At Booth No. 1, site 3/4 mi. east, thousands registered for the Run in 1893.” (Boundary Line Historical Marker Sign)

Concluding Thoughts

It took me several trips, but I think I finally found all of the historical marker signs in Stillwater, Oklahoma. It was super fun trying to track them all down! I hope you learned something new in this post and are inspired to go find some historical markers near you!

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

If you are interested in more Stillwater history, historic sites, or museums check out my other blog posts:


*Historical Markers in Stillwater, Oklahoma

OHS Historical Marker Program (Payne County) – Oklahoma Historical Society Website

Dr. Angie Debo Statue: Stillwater, OK

Hey friends! Welcome back to another post! Today, we’re talking about the life of Dr. Angie Debo. She was a pioneering historian and is widely remembered across the state of Oklahoma. Dr. Angie Debo wrote nine books, “edited three, co-authored another, wrote many chapters, articles, and forwards, and presented numerous papers on Native Americans and Oklahoma history.” (Angie Debo Sculpture Project) Let’s get started!

*All photos in this post were taken by myself at the Stillwater Public Library and the Edmon Low Library at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Dr. Angie Debo’s Story

Born on January 30, 1890, Angie Debo spent the first decade of her life in Beattie, Kansas. In November 1899, her family moved to Marshall, Oklahoma Territory. She graduated from Marshall High School in 1913 and taught in local schools from 1913-1915. She then went on to attend the University of Oklahoma (OU) from 1915-1918, graduating from OU in 1918 with a history degree.

After graduation, Debo was the principal at the Village School in Enid from 1918-1919. She then taught for four years at Senior High School in Enid, Oklahoma. Debo soon returned to school and completed her Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago in 1924. She published her master’s thesis, “The Historical Background of the American Policy of Isolation (1924).” It was co-authored by J. Fred Rippy.

Debo returned to teaching at West Texas State Teachers College in Canyon, Texas from 1924-1933. She also taught in local high schools associated with the college. Debo began working on her doctoral degree while teaching at West Texas Teachers College through the University of Oklahoma. Debo finished her Doctorate Degree from the University of Oklahoma OU) in 1933. Debo’s dissertation was titled, “History of the Choctaw Nation: From the Close of the Civil War to the End of the Tribal Period” and was later published as a book titled, “The Rise and Fall of the Choctaw Republic” in 1934. Dr. Debo’s book won the John H. Dunning Prize of the American Historical Association in 1935.

Next, Dr. Debo was the curator of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas for a year (1933-1934). At the end of 1934, Debo moved back home to Marshall, Oklahoma. From 1937-1939, she received a grant from the Social Science Research Council to research and write “The Road to Disappearance.”

In 1937, Dr. Debo helped edit and conduct interviews fro the WPA Indian-Pioneer Project which would late become the Indian Pioneer Papers. From 1940-1941, she was responsible for supervising the Federal Writers Project in Oklahoma.

Dr. Debo published “And Still the Water Runs” in 1940. In 1941, she published “The Road to Disappearance” and “Oklahoma: A Guide to the Sooner.” In 1943, she published “Tulsa: From Creek Town to Oil Capital.” She published her only work of fiction in 1944, “Prairie City, the Story of an American Community.”

Dr. Debo taught summer school at Oklahoma A&M in 1946. She was also a Rockefeller Fellow at the University of Oklahoma (OU) from 1946-1947. She published “Oklahoma, Foot-Loose and Fancy-Free” with some of her funding from the Rockefeller Fellowship.

Dr. Debo was a busy lady in the late forties and fifties. From 1947-1955, she was the curator of maps at Oklahoma A&M (present-day Oklahoma State University). She wrote a column for the Oklahoma City Times titled “This Week in Oklahoma History” from 1952-1954. She was also a book reviewer for the New York Times from 1952-1961. Dr. Debo published “The Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma: Report on Social and Economic Conditions” in 1951. Dr. Debo retired from curating maps at OSU in 1955, but continued researching, writing, traveling, and advocating for Native American rights. Dr. Debo wasn’t done teaching though, and taught Oklahoma History at OSU from 1957-1958.

Dr. Debo published “Geronimo: The Man, His Time, His Place” in 1976. This book won a few awards including the Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Association of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. For more information about the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, click HERE!

Dr. Angie Debo was interviewed for an Oral History Project at Oklahoma State University from 1981-1985. The oral history and transcript are linked in the sources section at the end of this post if you are interested in listening to it. Dr. Angie Debo passed away on February 21, 1988. She is buried in North Cemetery in Marshall, Oklahoma.

Dr. Angie Debo Statue

There is a statue of Dr. Angie Debo in front of the Stillwater Public Library! The contest for the sculpture required artists to submit a design that would “evoke a combination of libraries, reading, Stillwater, and/or Oklahoma.” (Angie Debo Sculpture Project) Eleven artists submitted 16 proposals, and the winning design of Dr. Angie Debo was submitted by Phyllis Mantik.

At the time of the contest, there were no known statues of Dr. Angie Debo anywhere in the United States. So, this statue was a big deal for Oklahoma! Mantik’s design for the statue included the tribal seals of the Indigenous tribes of Oklahoma along the bottom of the base. Watch the video below to see the base in its entirety.

The Stillwater Public Library Trust received several donations for the sculpture. In total, $63,000 was raised from multiple people and communities. The sculpture of Dr. Angie Debo was the first sculpture on City property in Stillwater!

The statue of Dr. Angie Debo was unveiled on November 18, 2010 at a ceremony attended by over 200 people. Notable guests included Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis and Oklahoma City University & Chickasaw Governor Bill Anoatubby.

RESEARCH TIP: The speeches, programs, and memoranda items can be found in the Oklahoma State University Archives. I have linked the OSU Archives HERE.

“I chose to show Angie Debo as a young woman to focus on her character and highlight that at an early age she chose the life of a scholar rather than what was expected for a woman of her time.”

Phyllis Mantik
(Angie Debo Sculpture Project)

Concluding Thoughts

The Dr. Angie Debo statue is an inspiring place to visit in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Dr. Debo’s story can be an inspiration to us all and I am glad I got to visit the Stillwater Public library and see the statue. I hope you’ll go see it if you’re ever in Stillwater!

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


1107 S Duck St

Stillwater, OK 74074


Statue Information

“Angie Debo Sculpture Project,” Stillwater Public Library.

Dedication of Angie Debo Statue, Stillwater Public Library, Stillwater, Oklahoma Collection, Oklahoma State University Archives, Oklahoma State University Libraries.

Chelcey Adami, “Scholar and Activist Angie Debo to be Commemorated in Sculpture,” Stillwater News Press (Stillwater, Oklahoma), March 5, 2010.

Lynda, “Angie Debo,” Stillwater Public Library Blog, December 27, 2010.

Biographical Information

Patricia Loughlin, “Debo, Angie Elbertha,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture,

Angie Debo – Center for Great Plains Studies (University of Nebraska – Lincoln)

Angie Debo Biographical and Archival Information – Oklahoma State University Edmon Low Library

Biography of Angie Debo – OSU Library

Chronology of Angie Debo’s Life – OSU Library

Oral History with Angie Debo – OSU Library

The Angie Debo Collection at the OSU Library – OSU Library

Old Central @ OSU: Stillwater, OK

Hey friends! Welcome back to another post – today, we’re talking about historic Old Central and the Oklahoma Museum of Higher Education in Stillwater, Oklahoma. For those of you who don’t know or are new around here, I am a 2-time Oklahoma State University alum. For undergrad, I was a member of the Honors College at OSU and spent some time in Old Central. I had a couple of classes in the basement of the building and my honors advisor’s office was on the first floor! I loved this building and am super excited to write about it today! Let’s get started!

FUN FACT! To see a collection of old Oklahoma State logos click HERE. I LOVE all of them so please don’t ask me to pick a favorite…

History of Old Central

The Morrill Act allowed Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College (OAMC) to be founded on the Christmas Day, December 25, 1890. Oklahoma Territorial Governor George W. Steele signed the legislation for the college and agricultural experiment station in Payne County. 200-acres in Stillwater was selected because of the variety of soils for agricultural experimentation. Four homesteaders contributed portions of their land to make the campus. Frank E. Duck and Alfred N. Jarrell were paid to give the southern portion of the campus. Charles A. Vreeland and Oscar M. Morse were paid to give the northern portion of the campus. These four families took land from their homesteads to make the campus possible. The people of Stillwater helped clear the 200-acre tract of tall grass prairie grasses. They did this with a horse and plow and could only complete a few acres a day. This project took months to complete. Temporary buildings were raised for the campus! Keep reading to learn about Old Central – the first permanent building on campus.

James C. Neal was the first director of the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station on the OAMC campus in 1891. Robert J. Barker was the first President of Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College from 1891-1894.

RESEARCH TIP: To view an interactive OSU timeline click HERE. I found this website to be very helpful when researching this post!

The people of Stillwater decided that OAMC needed a permanent building for classes. In 1893, construction began thanks to $10,000 worth of bonds. “The bonds were not only the first issued by Stillwater, but also the first by any municipality in Oklahoma successfully paid at maturity without refinancing.” (OSU Timeline) In total, the building cost $25,000 to complete.

Old Central was made out of sandstone and brick masonry. The heating and cooling system installed in the building was very modern for the time. Old Central was dedicated on June 15, 1894 as the first permanent building at Oklahoma A&M! Students were allowed to use the building beginning in September 1894.

It was originally called ‘College Building’ or ‘(Old) Central Building.’ The local townspeople called the building ‘Stillwater’s Pride.’ (OSU Timeline) The new building housed a chemistry lab, administration offices, classrooms, a large assembly room, and the night watchman’s room. There was also a library which contained 1,600 volumes inside!

In 1914, stabilizing tie-rods were installed to help with the building’s unstable foundation. Soon, more cracks in the walls appeared and the building was deemed unsafe. Old Central was condemned in 1921, but the building was saved in 1928 by Henry G. Bennett. Bennett’s mission to save the building refurbish and restore the structure. Bennett passed away in 1951 and the next President of OSU wanted to destroy the building… But a group of faculty and alumni didn’t let this happen!

More renovations to Old Central began in 1962, but it wasn’t enough. The building was discontinued from use by the university in September 1969. By 1970, the Old Central Committee and Oklahoma Historical Society entered negotiations for preserving the building. The groups decided that making the building into a museum would be the best way to preserve it for future generations to admire. So, the Museum of Higher Education was established.

Old Central has withstood the test of time, it survived “three fires, a tornado, and repeated threats of demolition.” (Spurrier and Roark, 118). Historic Old Central was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 27, 1971 – scroll through the gallery below to see a picture of the certificate! From 1971-1983, Old Central was restored once again.

The Oklahoma Historical Society had an office located in Old Central for the next 3 decades. Their next restoration project began in October 2007. For more information about the restoration process, see the Spurrier and Roark’s article linked at the end of this post! The restoration process took 2 years and cost $6.7 million “to overcome the challenges involved in brining a nineteenth-century building up to twenty-first-century standards.” (Spurrier and Roark, 120-121)

After the renovations, the Honors College at Oklahoma State University moved into Old Central in 2009. It is still the home of the Honors College at the time of this post in June 2022!

Swipe through the gallery below to see Old Central through the various seasons! Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter – we love Old Central in all its glory 🙂

Inside Old Central

First Floor

“The original 1894 bell hangs in the belfry, complete with its original clapper, and although according to tradition students once rang the bell for hours after football victories, hairline cracks now limit its ringing to special occasions such as honors college award ceremonies and visits by prospective students, families, and alumni.” (Spurrier and Roark, 121)

This display case is located on the First Floor of Old Central outside of the Honors College advising offices. For a closer view of its contents, please scroll up to the section about the History of Old Central for more images.

Staircase – South Side

The Watchman’s Room was located in this area. Dormitories didn’t appear on the OAMC campus until 1910. Prior to this many of the students stayed at local boarding houses which cost $2.50 to $5.00 per week. A single male student was allowed to live in Old Central if he acted as the night-watchman and janitor. Francis M. Greriner and Clarence H. McElroy were the first two students to hold the position.

Stairs & Assembly Hall on the Second Floor

The Assembly Hall has had many uses over the years including classroom spaces, ceremonies, and meeting spaces. Today, the large lecture hall seats approximately 120 people. It is a beautiful space. While researching this post, I read that the Honors Hooding ceremony used to take place there. I guess the Honors College had grown since that article was published because my ceremony was held in the Student Union. I also read that some of the first graduation ceremonies at OAMC took place in the Assembly Hall! That’s so cool!


The basement of Old Central now houses a classroom, computer lab, and restrooms. I took classes in the basement of Old Central when I was a student at Oklahoma State University. It’s a cool space! You can see the door on the left side of the picture that leads to the classroom.

Concluding Thoughts

I love historic Old Central! This building is so special to Oklahoma State University history and Payne County history. It was really cool to be a student and attend classes in the basement and to ring the original bell clapper after I received my Honors Hood for graduation. I love this building and my alma mater. I hope you’ll go visit Oklahoma State University and Old Central. Ever you’ll find us loyal and true!

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


Old Central

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, OK 74075

TRAVEL TIP: Old Central is behind the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center. It’s also very close to Hideaway Pizza and the Fire Station.


*Information from various plaques and information sheets in Old Central used. I have included pictures above within the post.


Spurrier, Robert and Roark, Jessica, “Where Honors Lives: Old Central at Oklahoma State University” (2015). Chapters from NCHC Monographs Series. 23.


Leroy H. Fischer, Historic Old Central – Centennial Histories Series (Stillwater: Oklahoma State University, 1988).


“Old Central at OSU” – Visit Stillwater Website

“Old Central Collection” – Oklahoma State University Website

“History” – Oklahoma State University Website

“Timeline” – Oklahoma State University Website

Philip Reed Rulon, “Oklahoma State University,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture.

Washington School Exhibit @ The Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar: Stillwater, OK

Hey friend! Welcome back to another post. Today is a special post because I am reviewing an exhibit about the Washington School that my former graduate school advisor, Dr. Laura J. Arata created! It was on display at the Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar and the Stillwater Public Library.

The Washington School was the all-Black school for students in Stillwater, Oklahoma for many years. This school served the community in many capacities besides being a school, like hosting a Head Start program, the Stillwater Nursery Center, and the Central Oklahoma Community Action Agency. In total, the Washington School served the community for over 40 years. 

*All photos in this post were taken by myself at the Stillwater Museum of History at the Sheerar unless otherwise noted in the caption of the image.

History of Washington School

The Vision

The Washington School in Stillwater, Oklahoma was named after Booker T. Washington, a famous educator and orator. Booker T. Washington was born in 1856 as an enslaved person. Some of his notable achievements include being a founder of the National Negro Business League, the first leader of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, and he was an advisor to several presidents. He was well-known for his message of “racial uplift through education, business, and self-determination.” (History – Exhibit Panel) The ideas espoused by Washington were controversial and resonant at the same time. 

The Building

In 1906, the Booker T. Washington School in Stillwater, Oklahoma opened to serve the Black community with students from first through eighth grade attending school in the wood frame building. If students wished to pursue a high school education they were forced to go to another city like Guthrie, Langston, Norman, Oklahoma City, or Tulsa. By the late 1930s, there was demand for a Black high school in Stillwater. A flood damaged the original school building in 1935 and the community lobbied for building a new, bigger school which would accommodate the older students – keeping them in the community. But not everyone in Stillwater liked this plan and it was met with some resistance.

In 1938, a brick building was constructed for the Washington School which allowed for additional high school level classes. More classrooms, an office space, and a gymnasium was added for the students. The school kitchen was located in the back of the gymnasium. Plus, the school had heat and running water! It is believed some of the funding for this project came from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). In addition to a new building, the Washington School also hired a new principal – Lee A. Ward. 

A New Principal

Lee A. Ward was the principal of the Washington School and had arrived in Stillwater around 1938 when the new school building was being finished. Ward went to school at Colorado State, taking administration courses. 

“When I arrived in Stillwater to become principal of the Washington school I held a faculty meeting at once and at that first meeting I told teachers we must begin that very day to plan a program to inspire our youngsters to continue their education beyond public school… That has been our goal all along, and we can see that we have been successful. Living well does not concern wealth alone, but includes a contribution to society. I have seen our people go out in the world and become useful citizens without going through college, but I contend an education is extremely valuable.” 

– Lee Ward (Principal of Washington School) 

Ward’s daughter, Pearl graduated from Washington School. Nancy Randolph Davis – the first African American enrollee at Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University) lived with the Ward family during her first summer of her Master’s Program in Home Economics. Nancy spoke highly of Versie and Ella Pearl in a 2009 oral history interview calling them her “sisters” because they were kind to her while she lived with them. For more information about Nancy Randolph Davis, please see this BLOG POST.

Both, Versie and Ella Pearl graduated from the Washington School. Ella Pearl graduated in 1949. Mrs. Ward was the librarian at Washington School. Under the leadership of Ward, the Washington School continued to grow and get bigger. The building soon needed to be expanded to accommodate the growing student body. 

With all this growth, the building had to be updated! Eventually, an auditorium and two new classroom wings were added to the Washington School – one on the East side and one on the West side. There were 8 teachers at the Washington School in Stillwater to teach all of the pupils. 


Washington High School had several very good athletic teams which won several football and basketball championships. The official mascot for the Washington High School was the Bears and their school colors were maroon and silver. The Washington letter jackets and uniforms featured an “S” for Stillwater. Below I have included the Washington High School song.

By 1938, Washington had a baseball, basketball, football, and wrestling team. The Washington High School male sports teams soon earned a reputation for their athletic talents. Unfortunately, organized female sports were not around yet… But a few years later, the Washington High School would have a cheerleading squad and a marching band. 

The Washington School basketball games were held in the newly built gymnasium. The basketball team won the state championship in 1954 and 1956!

The Washington High School football team was really good and the newspaper for Oklahoma A&M (OAMC) began reporting on their games – especially the 1938-1939 season. The football games and practices were held in the empty lot across the street from the school with goal posts made out of plywood boards. But some games were played at Pioneer Field on Friday evenings according to the Daily O’Collegian (OAMC newspaper). Many OAMC students began attending the games for 25 cents and the exhibit panel makes a point to note it was largely White students attending these games in the late-thirties and early-forties because Black students were not allowed to attend OAMC at the time. Additionally, the Washington Team would travel to Chandler (Wildcats), Cushing, Drumright, Enid, Guthrie, Langston (Kappa Alpha Psi), Oklahoma City, Pawhuska, Perry, Stroud, and Wellston for away games against other all-Black teams. The football team won the state championship in 1945, 1947, 1950, and 1956.  

Brown v. Board of Education

In 1954, the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case declared that “separate but equal” was a violation of United States Constitution. This case affected the 113 Black students at the Washington School. The final all-Black graduating class at the Washington High School finished their schooling in 1956. After this, the Washington High School students were integrated into the Stillwater public school system. The elementary and junior high students at Washington School were integrated a year later in 1957. The Washington School would operate for another eleven years before closing their doors to public school students. 

“Don’t Wait for Something to Turn Up; Turn it Up!”

– Washington School Class Motto 1956. Each graduating class picked a motto, and the class of 1956 chose this quote which summarized the “principles of hope, hardworking, and progress that had so long been a cornerstone of the [Black] community.” (“Raising Washington” Exhibit – Brochure)

Integration was a hard-fought battle. The Better Amendment was introduced into Oklahoma legislation and prevented separate schools from being tax funded by certain areas. Rather, the tax funds would go into a common fund. The governor of Oklahoma believed this would force integration to take place more quickly. Almost 300 schools across the state of Oklahoma integrated in the fifties. Shockingly, the “state of Oklahoma had the separate schools regulation in its School Code until well in to the 1960s.” (Plaque at the Sheerar on the Blackboard Wall)


Washington School is located on a flood plain of Stillwater Creek. Large floods took place in 1935, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1956, and 1957. The worst flooding of the area took place over the span of a decade significantly impacting over 400 members of the Black community. Students from the Washington School helped to survey their community in order to gather information. According to the survey, only 5% of families in the community had sufficient plumbing and indoor toilets in 1943. 

The most recent flooding in this low area took place in 2019. Please see the exhibit panel “Flooding” below for images of the water and damage done.

Washington School Exhibit Panels

I’ve included photos of the Washington School Exhibit Panels so you could see them! Please scroll through and look at all of them!

Do you know additional information about the Washington School in Stillwater, Oklahoma? Please contact Dr. Laura Arata at Oklahoma State University, the Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar, or the Stillwater Public Library to share. Help preserve this important piece of Stillwater history!

Legacy of Washington School

The Washington School still stands in Stillwater today though the building has suffered some damage, vandalism, and has worn down over time. The good news is the building is still structurally sound! A team of students from the Public History Program and Environmental Engineering Program at Oklahoma State University began surveying the building in Spring 2021. They found major damage in some areas, but there were other areas that were almost perfectly preserved. For example, the domed redwood ceiling in the gym is nearly perfect and some of the original glass is still intact in the four original classrooms at the front of the building. One of the most exciting finds was that the auditorium had not been affected by the recent floodwaters in the area. 

The Washington School is one of three remaining all-Black schools that represent the early 20th century. Several people are pushing for the Washington School building to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Washington School building is significant to Oklahoma history and needs to be preserved. Some of the proposed solutions to save the building include mitigating floodwaters, raising the building, or adding additional drainage around the building and in the area. Whatever option is chosen, I hope this building is saved. 

Concluding Thoughts

Hey friend, I hope you enjoyed learning about the Washington School in Stillwater, Oklahoma. If you know of additional information about the school or know someone who went there – please reach out to Dr. Laura Arata at Oklahoma State University, the Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar, or the Stillwater Public Library.

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

Visit the Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar

702 S. Duncan
Stillwater, OK 74074


Washington Exhibit Resources

Washington School Exhibit Panels

Washington School Exhibit – Bookmark

“Raising Washington” Exhibit – Brochure

Dr. Laura Arata, “Raising Washington: Story of Booker T. Washington School,” Payne County Historical Review, Payne County Historical Society, Volume 44, Issue 1 (February 2022). [Pages 4-21].

Oral History

Oral History Interview with Nancy Randolph Davis. Oklahoma State University. Library. Oklahoma Oral History Research Program, n.d. (Transcript Page 14-15).


Booker T. Washington, c. 1895, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Open Access.

Booker T. Washington, c. 1908, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Open Access.


Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar – Website

Nancy Randolph Davis Statue: Stillwater, OK

Hey friend! Welcome back to another post – today, we’re talking about Nancy Randolph Davis. She was the first African American enrollee at Oklahoma A&M College, a Civil Rights pioneer in Oklahoma, and an educator for over 40 years. Let’s go learn about her amazing story and the legacy she has left behind!

“I didn’t know I was a trailblazer; I just wanted to earn a master’s degree in my home state.”

Nancy Randolph Davis – Ryleigh Clem, “Trailblazer: Nancy Davis’ Legacy Lives On,” O’Colly, February 23, 2021.

TRAVEL TIP: This is what the Nancy Randolph Davis building looks like. The statue is located in this courtyard in front of the black benches pictured above. The sidewalk right before the benches on the left side of this picture leads to the Nancy Randolph Davis statue!

*Most of the photos in this post were taken at the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater by myself. Please read the photo captions for attributions for other photos (Websites are linked in the caption and “sources section” at the end of this post as well).

Nancy Randolph Davis

Early Life

Nancy Randolph Davis was born in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. She graduated from the Sapulpa Booker T. Washington High School in 1944. The Booker T. Washington High School had been established in 1905 in Sapulpa.

Nancy Randolph Davis had five siblings and parents who encouraged her to pursue her education. Her parents were Ed Napoleon and Ernestine Randolph. Her father was a huge champion for her education and said that all of his children had to finish high school. He wanted his children to pursue education and all opportunities extended to them – three of his kids chose to pursue a college education. Mr. Randolph worked for the Frisco Railroad Company and saved money to pay for his children’s education.

Mittie Jackson was a high school teacher that inspired Nancy Randolph to pursue a college education as well. Ms. Jackson told her that she was good at cooking and sewing so she would do well in a Home Economics program.

Langston University

Nancy Randolph Davis began her college education at Langston University in Guthrie, Oklahoma after graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1944. Langston University is an Historically Black College and University (HBCU) that was founded in 1897. (Langston University is still open today in 2022.)

Nancy was very involved on the Langston University campus and in her Home Economics program. She student taught in Luther, Oklahoma – a small, rural town in central Oklahoma. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from Langston University in 1948.

“I was not trying to make history. I merely wanted an education. after receiving my bachelor’s degree at Langston University, I wanted to attend OSU for my master’s degree since they had one of the best home economics programs in the state. I knew that God was on my side and that with hard work and perseverance, I would prevail.”

Nancy Randolph Davis – Sheri Waldrop, “Sapulpa Native Nancy Randolph Davis Educational Pioneer and Trailblazer,” Sapulpa Times, January 17, 2022.

Oklahoma A&M

Nancy Randolph Davis was encouraged to apply to the master’s program in Home Economics at Oklahoma A&M College. This was after Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher had won a Supreme Court case which allowed her to attend law school at the University of Oklahoma. Sipuel and Davis actually lived in the same dormitory at Langston University.

At first, Nancy wasn’t allowed to enroll in classes at Oklahoma A&M, but then Roscoe Dunjee (Editor of The Black Dispatch and NAACP Leader) and Amos T. Hall (NAACP Attorney) became involved in the case and she was allowed to enroll. Nancy Randolph Davis became the first African American enrollee at Oklahoma A&M College in 1949.

“OSU made a monumental decision that resounds loudly in the annals of history. Without the Supreme Court forcing them, OSU admitted this ambitious young black woman, granddaughter of a slave, daughter of sixth- and eight-grade graduates, and a Sapulpa, Okla., native into these halls of education.”

Nancy Randolph Davis – Sheri Waldrop, “Sapulpa Native Nancy Randolph Davis Educational Pioneer and Trailblazer,” Sapulpa Times, January 17, 2022.

Nancy attended school in the summer to work on her master’s degree in home economics. During her first summer in Stillwater, she lived with the Lee A. Ward family. Ward was the principal of the Black elementary school in Stillwater – the Booker T. Washington School.

The following summer, she lived with the Jones family next door to the Ward family. Hanner Hall eventually became the dormitory for African American students at Oklahoma A&M. Married couples lived on the first floor, women on the second floor, and men on the third floor.

At first, the professors at Oklahoma A&M made Nancy sit in the hallway outside the classroom to listen to the lectures. Integration was still illegal at this time. Nancy made the second highest score on a test and her White classmates insisted that she be able to join them inside the classroom. After this complaint, Nancy joined the class in the classroom, but she was not allowed to sit with her classmates and was often forced to sit in the back of the room or in an office space within the classroom.

Nancy graduated with her Master’s degree in Home Economics in the summer of 1952 from the College of Human Sciences at Oklahoma A&M.

Teaching Home Economics

In addition to attending school in the summers, Nancy Randolph Davis was a teacher herself in the spring and fall semesters. She taught Home Economics and Childcare at Dunjee School in Choctaw, Oklahoma for 20 years. Dunjee was an all-Black school where she taught 60 kids in one room with only 5 sewing machines. Her future husband, Fred C. Davis, was the Vice Principal at Dunjee School. They were married in 1953 after she finished her Master’s degree and they had two children together, Calvin and Nancy.

After 20 years at Dunjee, she took a new position at Star Spencer High School. (For those not familiar with Oklahoma geography, Spencer is a town located in central Oklahoma just east of Oklahoma City. Spencer is just west of Choctaw where Dunjee was located.) She eventually retired from Star Spencer High School in 1991. Nancy Randolph Davis devoted 43 years of her life to the Oklahoma Public Education system and touched the lives of thousands of students in Oklahoma. She always encouraged people to “fight through adversity to pursue their dreams.” (Two OSU Buildings Renamed to Honor Civil Rights Pioneer)

When asked if she thought education was still important for young people today, Nancy Randolph Davis replied:

“Education is the key. That’s my motto. Education is the key. If you have an education and you know people and how to work with them, and you can reach out and touch others, then you will be much happier and you’ll be successful in life.”

-Nancy Randolph Davis: Oral History Interview with Nancy Randolph Davis – Oklahoma Oral History Research Program – Oklahoma State University Library Digital Collections (Video & Transcript Available) (Page 24)

Civil Rights Work

Nancy was also actively involved in the community, participating in many organizations and was a major Civil Rights activist in the state of Oklahoma. Notably, she was an adviser to the Oklahoma City National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Youth Council.

Nancy had become very good friends with Clara Luper while they were teaching together at Dunjee. The two women worked together on many Civil Rights projects – including the drugstore sit-ins at the counters in Oklahoma City which began in 1958. This was the first and longest successful sit-in. Nancy Randolph Davis and Clara Luper recognized the importance of education in shaping activism and were able to use their teaching background to be successful. When asked about Clara Super, Nancy said the following:

Yes, Clara Luper was a good friend of mine. I used to go with her downtown with the sit-in movement. We would open doors at Katz department store, and at the different restaurants like Anna Maude’s Cafeteria, Skirvin Tower Hotel, and the living places where they did not want blacks, we were there. We stopped them from going to places where they had to go to the back door to eat, restaurants. Opened doors to restaurants and hotels.

-Nancy Randolph Davis: Oral History Interview with Nancy Randolph Davis – Oklahoma Oral History Research Program – Oklahoma State University Library Digital Collections (Video & Transcript Available) (Page 21)

Later Years

Additionally, Nancy was member of the Oklahoma Retired Teachers Association, Langston University Alumni Association, OSU Alumni Association, and the OSU Black Alumni Association. When asked how she wanted to be remembered, Nancy Randolph Davis stated:

“I just want them to remember me as a person who was reaching out trying to help others and helping myself. Remember me as a person who was an educated leader. That I was the leader but that they were just as important as I was.”

-Nancy Randolph Davis: Oral History Interview with Nancy Randolph Davis – Oklahoma Oral History Research Program – Oklahoma State University Library Digital Collections (Video & Transcript Available) (Page 29)

Nancy Randolph Davis passed away on March 23, 2015. She was 88 years old and has left a lasting legacy for all students at Oklahoma State University and in the state of Oklahoma.

“Oklahoma State University Mourns Loss of Civil Rights Pioneer Nancy Randolph Davis,” The Oklahoma Eagle (Tulsa, OK) Vol. 95, No. 13, Ed. 1 Thursday, March 26, 2015 (Page 8). (The Gateway to Oklahoma History – Database from the Oklahoma Historical Society)

Honors & Awards

Oklahoma State University and the state of Oklahoma have honored Nancy Randolph Davis and her legacy in many ways. I have listed a few of her awards in this post, but this is by no means an extensive list. Nancy Randolph Davis has been celebrated in numerous ways!

  • Oklahoma State University gave her the OSU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1999.
  • Davis Hall was named in her honor in 2001 – this was a residential hall on the Oklahoma State University campus. Three scholarships were named in her honor at Oklahoma State University beginning in 2001. There is the Nancy Randolph Davis Scholarship for freshmen, continuing students, and graduate students. These scholarships honor Davis’ commitment to education and learning.
  • OSU has celebrated “Nancy Randolph Davis Day” every February 1st during Black History Month since 2006.
  • She was inducted into the Oklahoma African American Hall of Fame in 2010. Among the other 2010 honorees were Dr. Lilliantyne Williams-Fields, Dr. Linda Toure (representing Opio Toure), Emma Lee Jones-Freeman, Dr. Wallace Owens Jr., and Roosevelt Milton. Opio Toure and Emma Lee Jones-Freeman were given the award posthumously.
  • She received the OSU College of Education and Human Sciences’ Enhancing Human Lives Award in 2012.
  • She was inducted into the OSU Greek Hall of Fame in 2012.
  • She was inducted into the OSU Hall of Fame in 2018.
  • There is a 3-mile stretch on Interstate 35 west of Stillwater that is named the Nancy Randolph Davis Memorial Highway. She was given this honor in 2018.
  • Oklahoma Governor David Walters designated May 31 as “Nancy Randolph Davis Day” in 1991.
  • She received the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.
  • She was inducted into the Oklahoma Afro American Hall of Fame by Ntu Art Association.
  • She was inducted into the Oklahoma African-American Educators Hall of Fame in 2015.
  • A bronze sculpture of Nancy Randolph Davis was unveiled in 2019 in front of the then Human Sciences Building. Human Sciences and Human Sciences West were renamed to “Nancy Randolph Davis” and “Nancy Randolph Davis West” to honor her legacy on October 23, 2020.
“African-AMerican Hall of Fame Announces 2010 Honorees,” The Oklahoma Eagle (Tulsa, OK), Vol. 90, No. 20, Ed. 1 Friday, May 14, 2010 (Page 5). (The Gateway to Oklahoma History – Database from the Oklahoma Historical Society)
There is a 3-mile stretch on Interstate 35 west of Stillwater that is named the Nancy Randolph Davis Memorial Highway. She was given this honor in 2018. Plaque from the second floor of the Student Union at Oklahoma State University. (Photo taken by Kaitlyn Weldon)

Concluding Thoughts

I love getting to walk around the campus of Oklahoma State University whenever I get the chance. The Nancy Randolph Davis statue is located in the courtyard of the Nancy Randolph Davis building which is in the middle of campus on Monroe Street. The Nancy Randolph Davis Building is on the West side of the road. I hope you’ll take some time to go find this statue!

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


Oklahoma State University

106 Nancy Randolph Davis

Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078


RESEARCH TIP: Nancy Randolph Davis gave an oral history interview in 2009 at Oklahoma State University. It is linked HERE. The cataloged piece includes a video and a transcript!

Oral History

Oral History Interview with Nancy Randolph Davis – Oklahoma Oral History Research Program – Oklahoma State University Library Digital Collections (Video & Transcript Available)


“Centennial Offers Up School Reunion,” Sapulpa Daily Herald (Sapulpa, OK) Vol. 83, No. 251, Ed. 1 Friday, July 3, 1998. (The Gateway to Oklahoma History – Database from the Oklahoma Historical Society)

“Building to Remember Student,” Sapulpa Daily Herald (Sapulpa, OK) Vol. 87, No. 88, Ed. 1 Monday, December 24, 2001. (The Gateway to Oklahoma History – Database from the Oklahoma Historical Society)

“OSU Honors First Black Student Nancy Davis,” Sapulpa Daily Herald (Sapulpa, OK) Vol. 91, No. 125, Ed. 1 Sunday, February 5, 2006 (Page 9). (The Gateway to Oklahoma History – Database from the Oklahoma Historical Society)

“A Living Legend: Sapulpa Native Paves the Way for Black Students,” Sapulpa Daily Herald (Sapulpa, OK) Vol. 93, No. 69, Ed. 1 Friday, February 1, 2008 (Page 1 & 4). (The Gateway to Oklahoma History – Database from the Oklahoma Historical Society)

“African-AMerican Hall of Fame Announces 2010 Honorees,” The Oklahoma Eagle (Tulsa, OK) Vol. 90, No. 20, Ed. 1 Friday, May 14, 2010 (Page 5). (The Gateway to Oklahoma History – Database from the Oklahoma Historical Society)

“Oklahoma State University Mourns Loss of Civil Rights Pioneer Nancy Randolph Davis,” The Oklahoma Eagle (Tulsa, OK) Vol. 95, No. 13, Ed. 1 Thursday, March 26, 2015 (Page 8). (The Gateway to Oklahoma History – Database from the Oklahoma Historical Society)


Ryleigh Clem, “Trailblazer: Nancy Davis’ Legacy Lives On,” O’Colly, February 23, 2021.

“Nancy Randolph Davis,” College of Education and Human Sciences, Oklahoma State University Website

“Nancy Randolph Davis, ’52” – OSU Alumni Association Website

Hicham Raache, “Oklahoma State University Renames 2 Buildings to Honor Civil Rights Pioneer Nancy Randolph Davis,” KFOR News, October 24, 2020.

Sheri Waldrop, “Sapulpa Native Nancy Randolph Davis Educational Pioneer and Trailblazer,” Sapulpa Times, January 17, 2022.

“Two Black Oklahoma Women Who Defined American Activism,” The Black Wall Street Times, February 13, 2021.

Two OSU Buildings Renamed to Honor Civil Rights Pioneer – Oklahoma State University Website


Gloria J. Pollard, “Unforgotten Trailblazer: Nancy O. Randolph Davis,”  Chronicles of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Historical Society, Volume 90, Number 4, Winter 2012-13 (Winter 2012) Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (The Gateway to Oklahoma History – Database from the Oklahoma Historical Society)

Heritage Hall (OSU Sports Museum): Stillwater, OK

Hey friend! Welcome back to another post! Today, We’re talking about Heritage Hall at Oklahoma State University on the West side of Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma. This museum is dedicated to OSU athletics and has some really cool stuff that has been donated by athletes, alumni, and fans! Let’s go look around at some of the cool pieces – this will be a small selection because the collection is huge.

“…Heritage Hall is more than a repository of mementos. It is the living, breathing spirit of OSU.”

Heritage Hall – OSU Athletics Website

Heritage Hall

Tradition is very important at Oklahoma State University so Heritage Hall was something that many people had dreamed of for a long time. For those dedicated individuals, Heritage Hall is “the living, breathing spirit of OSU.” (Heritage Hall) The museum chronicles athletic events from 1890 to the present!

Kay Norris is largely responsible for Heritage Hall. She approached the Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips in 1998 while Gallagher-Iba Arena was being renovated and expanded. Phillips liked the idea and they ran with it.

Norris put together a committee which included a student intern and university communications staff. The team put out a call “Wanted: OSU memorabilia” and people answered. Oklahoma State alumni and fans sent all kinds of items – championships rings, athletic jackets, shows, homecoming crowns, photos, ticket stubs, and so much more. Many of these items are priceless! Norris personally oversaw the placement of all items to ensure the story of OSU athletics was told properly.

Heritage Hall opened in November 2001 inside of Gallagher-Iba Arena. This museum displays OSU trophies, uniforms, pictures, and more! This collection contains information about both – men’s and women’s – athletics at Oklahoma State throughout the years. Below is a video from the museum opening.

Oklahoma State University Athletics put together a video with footage of the museum opening in 2001. Check it out!

The curator of the museum is a volunteer who leads tours and helps take care of the collection.

52 NCAA Team National Championships

Oklahoma State University athletes have won a combined 52 NCAA Team National Championships. Scroll through the pictures below to see a few of the trophies on display! Keep reading to see which sports won the championship title and the year they won.

Golf – 11 Titles

  • 1963
  • 1976
  • 1978
  • 1980
  • 1983
  • 1987
  • 1991
  • 1995
  • 2000
  • 2006
  • 2018

Wrestling – 37 Titles

  • 1928
  • 1929
  • 1930
  • 1931
  • 1933
  • 1934
  • 1935
  • 1937
  • 1938
  • 1939
  • 1940
  • 1941
  • 1942
  • 1946
  • 1948
  • 1949
  • 1954
  • 1955
  • 1956
  • 1958
  • 1959
  • 1961
  • 1962
  • 1964
  • 1966
  • 1968
  • 1971
  • 1989
  • 1990
  • 1994
  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2006

Basketball – 2 Titles

  • 1945
  • 1946

Baseball – 1 Title

  • 1959

Cross Country – 4 Titles

  • 1954
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2012

Equestrian – 5 Titles

  • 2000
  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2006
  • 2013

For more information about the NCAA Team National Championships won by Oklahoma State see the following website.

Oklahoma State football was retroactively named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) National Football Champions for 1945. The panel retroactively named champions for the years 1922-1949.


For a list of OSU athletes who have competed in the Olympics please see this page from OSU Athletics! OSU athletes have won a combined 34 Olympic medals: 21 gold, 4 silver, and 8 bronze.

My Favorite Piece in the Collection

One of Frank Eaton’s pistols and belts is on display along with a Pistol Pete suit! For more information about the life of Frank Eaton, see this post about his historic home in Perkins, Oklahoma!

TRAVEL TIP: Perkins, Oklahoma is located about 20 minutes South of Stillwater on Highway 177. Frank Eaton’s home is located in the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza. They are only open on Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. during certain times of the year. So, make sure to check their website before planning a road trip.

Concluding Thoughts

As a lover of sports and all things Oklahoma State, I really loved this space in Gallagher-Iba Arena. I wish more people talked about it! I hope you’ll swing by for a visit the next time you’re in Stillwater either on game day or on a weekday. Go Pokes!

I’ll talk to ya soon! 🙂


Oklahoma State University

Athletic Center, 200

Stillwater, OK 74078

TRAVEL TIP: Heritage Hall is open from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.


Gallagher-Iba Arena History – OK State Athletics Website

Heritage Hall

Heritage Hall Museum – Visit Stillwater Website

“Heritage Hall Represents, Reflects the Culture of Oklahoma State Athletics,” The O’Colly (Stillwater, OK), August 17, 2005.

Heritage Hall Sports Museum –

52 NCAA Team National Championships

Oklahoma State University – Self-Guided Tour PDF

OSU Olympians –

Timeline – OK State Website

“Volunteer Position Available for Heritage Hall Curator,”, August 4, 2006.

OSU ROTC Thatcher Hall Air Park: Stillwater, OK

Hey Friend! Welcome back to another post! Today, we are talking about the OSU ROTC Thatcher Hall Air Park at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Thatcher Hall is home to the Air Force and Army ROTC. The park contains old military equipment and an old plane!

The park is free to walk around and is located just outside of Thatcher Hall. (If you’re familiar with the Oklahoma State University campus or Stillwater – it’s kind of between the Spears School of Business building and The Garage.) The Park was made to honor the ROTC students and Veterans – past and present – from Oklahoma State University.

History of Thatcher Hall

Thatcher Hall has a long and interesting history at Oklahoma State University. It was originally built to be a women’s dorm building and it located near the Women’s Building on campus.

Thatcher Hall opened in January 1926, along with a dormitory building for men named Hanner Hall. Nearly two decades later, Hanner Hall was used to house Air Force and Army ROTC members during World War II (WWII). Hanner Hall eventually transitioned to a general use building and was torn down in the 2010s. Below are some photos of a marker for Hanner Hall at Oklahoma State University.

But back to Thatcher Hall – the building was named for Jessie Thatcher, the first female student to graduate from Oklahoma A&M (later OSU). She studied agriculture, chemistry, and physics. She received her diploma on June 9, 1897.

Today, Thatcher Hall is home to the Air Force ROTC and the Cowboy Battalion for Oklahoma State University. Many of the ROTC classes are taught in Thatcher Hall!

Cowboy Battalion – Army ROTC

The U.S Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) better known as the “Cowboy Battalion” is housed in Thatcher Hall. The Army ROTC commissioned its first offices in 1896 – according to one of my friends who went through the Army ROTC program at OSU (Shoutout to you – you know who you are!)

Pictured below are two large canons, one from World War I (WWI) and one from World War II (WWII). The canons were typically pulled by a vehicle or animal. They were capable of direct and indirect fire. For more information on the specifics of the canons please click here.

The canons were brought to Thatcher Hall in the 1970s. Prior to this, they had been located by the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College (OAMC) Armory. OSU received the pieces from Fort Sill (located in the Lawton, Oklahoma) to honor the students who served in WWI and WWII.

Air Force ROTC

The U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) Detachment 670 is also housed in Thatcher Hall. Detachment 670 was established at OSU in 1946.

Concluding Thoughts

The Thatcher Hall Air Park was really cool to walk through. It’s not too far from the center of Oklahoma State University’s campus. So, if you’re ever by the Student Union or Edmon Low Library take a few minutes and walk over there to see this equipment and read the plaques. You won’t regret it!

And as always – Go Pokes!

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


OSU Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) Thatcher Hall Air Park,” The American Legion.

OSU Army ROTC Thatcher Hall Memorial Park,” The American Legion.

Captain Carter Hanner and the history of Hanner Hall,” Oklahoma State University.

The people behind the names on OSU’s buildings,” O’Colly, September 9, 2017.

Where to Find Museum Discounts in Oklahoma!

Hey friend! Welcome back to another post. Today, I am going to tell you where to find discounts and passes to Oklahoma museums. I love, love, love going to museums! But I also understand that museum visits can get expensive… Keep reading for tips on how to find museum discounts in Oklahoma!

***These discount sites might be similar in other states within the United States so check them out for your area if you’re not in Oklahoma.

How to Get Into Museums for Free in Oklahoma

Many museums in Oklahoma actually allow visitors to walk through for free and ask for a small donation at the end of your visit. Here is a list of museums which have free admission in OKC!

Some museums even offer free admission days for children – so make sure to look up the museum admission page before you go visit!

Here are a couple of other different ways that you can get into museums for “free” in Oklahoma.

1. Experience Pass

The Oklahoma Metropolitan Library System has an Experience Pass which can be checked out from the library – you can go to the OKC Museum of Art, Oklahoma History Center, and the Museum of Osteology for free! You will need a library card to check out the passes, but library cards are free. You just need to go fill out an application at your local library.

Here are the links to each Experience Pass from the Oklahoma Metropolitan Library System: OKC Museum of Art, Oklahoma History Center, and Skeletons: Museum of Osteology.

2. Blue Star Museums (Armed Forces Day through Labor Day)

Blue Star Museums offer free admission to active duty military personnel and their families from Armed Forces Day to Labor Day. This is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and museums.

Here is a link to a map which shows the museums who participate in the Blue Star Museum Program across the United States. Just click on your state! Blue Star Museum Map!

Military Discounts

Many museums in Oklahoma offer discounted admission rates to military members and Veterans as long as you show your military I.D.

Museum Discount Websites in Oklahoma

Most states in the United States have travel websites that tell what you need to see when visiting a city. Most of these sites have coupons hidden in their pages. I stumbled across some museum coupons one day and am going to link those below! is a website that has museum coupons! Most of the coupons expire at the end of the calendar year. Here are the coupons they currently have as of 2021: Science Museum Oklahoma, American Banjo Museum, Skeletons: Museum of Osteology, and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

TravelOK and Discover Oklahoma are two websites which have a lot of travel tips for Oklahoma. I haven’t found any coupons on their websites, but they do list some of the military discounts. So you might want to check out their websites!

Museum Memberships

Museum memberships are another great way to save money on museum visits. Andddddd many museums will put their memberships at a discounted rate at certain times during the year. So you save even more $$$!

Museum memberships really pay for themselves within 2-3 visits! I frequent a few museums and love taking my friends with me – so the membership pass is totally worth it. My friends are able to get into the museum with me by using my membership pass. Its a win-win for everyone 🙂

College I.D. and Teacher Discounts

Many museums also offer discounts to college students and teachers. As a college student, I loved being able to save a few dollars by using my College I.D. card. When you walk in to pay admission just simply ask if they offer a student discount – some will and some won’t.

Museums also offer teacher discounts – so make sure to ask about that if you are an educator! Also, make sure to ask if they have any teacher resources for your classroom.

Smithsonian Museum Day

Once a year, the Smithsonian affiliated museums in Oklahoma (and across the United States) will have free admission. You log onto the website linked here and download your free ticket. You can only download one ticket for one museum!

Concluding Thoughts

I love visiting museums and hope you will too! These are just a few of the ways that you can save money when visiting museums in Oklahoma. If there are any pages or discounts that I missed, please feel free to email me or drop me a message on the contact page linked here! I hope to keep this page up to date with the latest museum discounts.

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

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!

“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! Always try to take pictures with your friends! You’ll be thankful for the memories later 🙂


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!


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!


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!

OK State 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!”

OK State 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!

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! 🙂

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.

*All photos were taken at the Stillwater Museum of History at the Sheerar in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

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!


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! 🙂

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! (

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! 🙂


702 S. Duncan
Stillwater, OK 74074


Stillwater Museum of History at the Sheerar Website

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 🙂

Let’s talk more about this museum though!

*All photos were taken at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

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

This was a really cool museum and I learned a lot about the sport of wrestling! Go check it out!

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


405 West Hall of Fame Avenue
Stillwater, OK 74075


National Wrestling Hall of Fame Website

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.

Red/Green Cow Exhibit

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! 🙂


720 S Husband Street
Stillwater, OK 74074

Phone: 405-744-2780


OSU MOA Website