Tuesday, April 21, 2015

instant city

We are living in the capitol city of Oklahoma, well it was for a short time. Historic Guthrie Oklahoma was the capitol of the Oklahoma Territory, and then the capitol of the state until it was moved to Oklahoma City.

2 million acres free land + railroad = instant city

Guthrie, Oklahoma began as a dusty prairie stop along the AT&SF Railroad. On April 2, 1889, the day of the Land Run, Guthrie became a city of 10,000 people by nightfall. Located in the Unassigned Lands of the Indian Territory, Guthrie had been chosen as a site for one of the Federal Land Offices where land seekers were required to file claim to their parcels. By the evening of April 22, a tent city already dominated the landscape. Wooden buildings soon replaced the tents spreading across the hills along Cottonwood Creek. 
Guthrie became one of the largest cities west of the Mississippi and was quickly known for its beautiful buildings built of red brick and native sandstone. In just 4 months after the land run, in August 1889, The Guthrie City Directory listed the following: 6 banks,16 barbers, 16 blacksmiths, 17 carpenters, 2 cigar manufacturers, 5 newspapers, 7 hardware stores, 15 hotels, 19 pharmacists, 22 lumber companies, 39 doctors, 40 restaurants, and an astounding 81 lawyers! 
In 1890 Oklahoma became a US Territory and Guthrie was selected as The Territorial Capital. Seventeen years later, on November 16, 1907, Oklahoma was declared a state by then President Theodore Roosevelt with Guthrie as the First State Capital. 
Guthrie remained the capital until 1913 when a majority vote of the people chose Oklahoma City as the capital. The state government moved south and Guthrie was left behind. Built as a testament to Victorian elegance befitting the capital of a new state, the city still retained its style and architectural integrity. 
It stands today as a National Historic Landmark with dozens of beautifully restored buildings, perfect examples of late 19th and early 20th Century architecture. There are over 2,000 buildings within the Guthrie Historic District covering 1,400 acres. 

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