Oklahoma, the county seat of
Beckham County, was named for Robert H. Sayre, a
stockholder of the railroad. Getting its start in 1901 when the
steam engine pushed through, Sayre was
primarily dependent upon local livestock and farming. However,
this all changed when rich oil and gas fields were found in the area
began to grow.
When The Grapes of
Wrath was filmed, the Beckham County courthouse, built in 1911,
made a thirty second appearance in the final cut of the movie.
meanders through Sayre
providing many views of the
era as well as historic buildings dating back to the town’s founding
Many of these old buildings are
currently being enthusiastically refurbished as Sayer’s entire
historic downtown district, centered on Main and 4th
Streets, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as
well as the
Oklahoma Register, in 2002.
Here in the downtown district, you will
not only see Sayre's historic courthouse looming over the east end of Main
Street, but also the old Owl Drug Store, where travelers could get a
great milkshake in the not so distant past, as well as the old Stovall
Theater, which has seen many a year pass since projecting a movie upon
its wide screen. Running underground, at the center of 4th
and Elm Streets, is a walkway that once served to keep pedestrians
Route 66 was congested with traffic.
Watch for several murals on the buildings,
including the one on the art deco post office. Along the way you
will see the Western Motel which still caters to
travelers. Other points of interest include the Sayre Park
with its WPA constructed rock swimming pool, the RS&K Railroad museum,
and the Old Hotel Bed & Breakfast.
Not far to the east of Sayre is an ancient "Buffalo
Kill Site" dating from 300. B.C. that has become part of an
archeological dig by the University of
Oklahoma. This important piece of history can be seen when
visiting the Winery Flying W Guest Ranch, where trail rides and wagon
rides transport you back in time.
Westward for a few
miles, there are weed-covered sand dunes and patches of gnarled dwarf
trees; then the highway descends into a valley where there is more
vegetation, although most of the land is uncultivated.
of America, updated June, 2016.