Do you ever wonder what it was like to live in Oklahoma in times past? If you’re a history buff or are interested in learning more about Oklahoma’s history, notable people and historic events, we found 11 lesser-known places that hold historic keys into Oklahoma’s past. Read on to learn more about these (somewhat) hidden yet interesting places.
1. Sam Noble Museum, Norman
Located on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, the Sam Noble Museum is a natural history museum containing 7 million objects and specimens in 12 collections, including the world's largest Apatosaurus and several other dinosaur skeletons. Located at: 2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman, OK 73072.
2. Honey Springs Battlefield, Checotah
Also known as "The Affair at Elk Creek by the Confederates," the Battle at Honey Springs was the largest of more than 107 verified hostile encounters in the Indian Territory during the American Civil War. The site walks you through the events and even does a re-enactment on special days. Located at: 101601 S. 4232 Rd.,Checotah, OK 74426.
3. Spiro Mounds Archeological Center, Spiro
Spiro Mounds Archaeological Site is the only prehistoric, Native American archeological site open to the public in the Sooner State. It includes the remains of a village and twelve earthen mounds and is considered one of Oklahoma's richest cultural resources. Located at: 18154 First Street, Spiro, OK 74959.
4. Jim Thorpe House, Yale
Take a walk through history and learn about the World's Greatest Athlete - Jim Thorpe. Thorpe was born in 1888 in Oklahoma Territory and was a Sac and Fox Indian. His former home is available to tour during regular operating hours, Wed- Sat 8 am-4 pm. Located at: 706 E. Boston, Yale, OK 74085.
5. J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum, Claremore
Visit the world's largest private collection of firearms (over 20,000) in Historic Downtown Claremore on Route 66 - only 30 minutes from Tulsa. Not only will you find guns at the museum, but you can experience saddles, spurs, local ranching brands, German beer steins, World War I posters, military weapons, John Rogers statuary, Native American artifacts and so much more! Admission is free. Located at: 330 N J M Davis Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017.
6. Museum of the Great Plains, Lawton
The Museum of the Great Plains explores the human and natural history of the Great Plains. A few of the activities you can do at the museum include: digging up a mammoth, sitting through a tornado, examining bison guts, and exploring a GIANT map of the Great Plains. Located at: 601 NW Ferris Ave, Lawton, OK 73507.
7. Cabin Creek Battlefield, Big Cabin
For a piece of Civil War history, head to Cabin Creek Battlefield - the site the site of two important engagements between Union and Confederate forces in Indian Territory during the Civil War. The site is operated by the Oklahoma Historical Society and admission is free. Located at: 442370 E. 367 Road, Big Cabin, OK 74332.
8. Pawnee Bill Ranch & Museum, Pawnee
The Pawnee Bill Ranch was once the home and showplace to the world famous Wild West showman, Gordon W. "Pawnee Bill" Lillie. It is now operated by the Oklahoma Historical Society and available for tours year-round. Located at: 1141 Pawnee Bill Rd., Pawnee, OK 74058.
9. Pioneer Woman Statue & Museum, Ponca City
Pioneer Woman Museum is dedicated to sharing the stories of the pioneering women of Oklahoma. The museum's education center features craft demonstrations, special exhibits, an interactive timeline and the Pioneer Woman Walk of Fame. Located at: 701 Monument Rs., Ponca City, OK 74604.
10. Frank Phillips Home, Bartlesville
Frank Phillips played a pivotal role in the oil industry in America. He built his home in Oklahoma in 1909 and lived in it until his death in 1950. The Frank Phillips Home is an Oklahoma Historic Site and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours of the home are given daily Wed - Sat 10 am-5 pm. Tours last approx. 1 hour. Located at: 1107 SE Cherokee, Bartlesville, OK 74003.
11. Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, Enid
Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, brings experiences of the 1893 Land Run to life for visitors in Northwest Oklahoma through interactive exhibits, research, events and programs. CSRHC makes learning a fun and engaging experience for all ages. Located at: 507 S 4th St, Enid, OK 73701.
Did you know about all these historical places? What other historic gems do you enjoy in Oklahoma?