One of the Chamber’s
first orders of business was to attract the railroads to
Oklahoma City, which was the key to the quick success of the settlement. Soon,
Oklahoma Citybecame a crossroads for the nation. Later the
Chamber led the way in providing utilities, such as the water system,
telephone exchange, electric light and a gas system.
Oklahoma City's population had doubled and on November 16, 1907 statehood came
to Oklahoma. By this time, the streets were lined with brick buildings with fashionable
shops, stores and restaurants. Due to its numerous railroad extensions,
the city attracted new industries and packing plants in an area called
Packing Town, now known as Stockyards City.
By 1910, Oklahoma City had a population of 64,000 and began a petition to move the state
capitol from Guthrie. Obviously, Oklahoma City won the popular vote and the Lee-Huckins Hotel was declared as
the temporary capitol building. The permanent capitol at Lincoln and
23rd Avenues was dedicated in 1917.
On December 4, 1928, oil
was discovered on the corner of SE 59th and Bryant. In the 27 days before
the great gusher could be capped, it spewed 110,496 barrels of oil. The
Oklahoma City Field had been discovered, creating the city's most important
financial source and making Oklahoma City the world's newest boomtown.
came through town Oklahoma City responded as enthusiastically as it did to everything else and
literally hundreds of motels, hotels, cafes and service stations began to
be built throughout the city.
During the 1930’s Oklahoma City began to aggressively promote the aviation industry
so when the US Government wanted to form the Civil Aeronautics
Administration in the 1940s, Oklahoma City was ready. Today this branch of government is
called the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.)
Oklahoma City's metro population is more than a million, one third
of the entire state’s population. Both oil and aviation continue
to be most important players in this city's economy.
you're traveling Route 66
through Oklahoma City, there is very little to see until you get near
downtown. When you turn onto Lincoln Boulevard you will soon glimpse
the Capitol Building looming in the distance – a great photo
opportunity with the boulevard’s wide grassy median.
After you pass the
capital you will head west on 23rd Street and before long you will
have choice of several alignments before you arrive at OK-66, which is
39th Street in western Oklahoma City. Along the Classen Alignment, you will see a
great vintage triangular building with a giant milk bottle on top. The
tiny building now serves as a Vietnamese-style sandwich shop.
When you arrive on 39th street before
you enter Warr Acres, Oklahoma City provides several glimpses of the past, with
hotels and eateries that dot the highway. An absolute "must
see” is Ann’s Chicken Fry House. Located in what was once a
1948 Cities Service gas station, the building was changed into a
restaurant in 1966 called the Three Bulls Steak House. In
1971 Al Burchett and his brother purchased the restaurant and
renamed it after Al's sister-in-law, Ann.
Today, this superb restaurant not only
features great food, but does it in a pure Mother Road style that just
can't be beat. Ann's displays all manner of vintage memorabilia including a classic 1950s police car, a pink Cadillac, gas
pumps and more. It is located at
NW 39th St.
Soon, you will pass through Warr Acres and Bethany, without even batting
an eye. Seamless, if you’re not looking for the signs, you’ll never
know that you passed from Oklahoma City to one of its many suburbs.
Just a few miles west of Bethany, you’ll come
to an old steel bridge spanning the northern end of Lake Overholser. One of the oldest reservoirs in
the 1,700 acre lake was developed in 1916 and is familiarly called by
locals "Lake Hold Her Closer.” In 1941, the lake was approved as a
seaplane base, becoming the first of its kind in Oklahoma. Today, the lake provides hiking trails, picnic spots, boat ramps and
A couple of more miles along the
Mother Road finds you in Yukon,
which proudly displays the fact that it is home to Garth Brooks. Established in 1891 by the Spencer Brothers, Yukon sits at the site where
the Chisholm Trail once ran more than a century ago. In no time at
all, the town became an agricultural and milling center.
Even today, Yukon is dominated by a large
grain elevator proudly portraying "Yukon’s Best Flour.”
While in Yukon, check out
Sid’s Diner, a relic from the past that still serves up hamburgers and
fries as well as the old Mulvey Mercantile at 425 W. Main Street.
Continue you trek along
just 13 miles to
Oklahoma, home of the first Oklahoma