Monday, June 24, 2013

Oklahoma State Capitol

We always enjoy getting together with Kirk and Susan and decided a long time ago we were going to see them next time we were close to Oklahoma City.  We got to see them last when they stayed with us a few days in Key West over the Christmas / New Years holidays two years ago.

After leaving Brad and Sue in Fort Worth, we headed out early for OKC.   We made it in about four hours.  Along the way we called Twin Fountains RV Resort.  They said they were full a few days ago but we thought we'd try again.  Earlier in the week we called around to campgrounds within 30 miles and most were full.  We really didn't want to be 30-35 miles away from them.  Turned out we got into Twin Fountains.   It is a nice park that we would give a "9".

We met at their place for dinner and had a nice evening.  Kirk took Friday off and we played golf at Quail Creek Country Club.  It is a NICE place.  It is one of my favorite courses anywhere.  We had a competitive round and he edged me out with an 83 to my 85.
But I had my closest shot at a hole-in-one  ever with a 7 iron that was 8 inches from the cup.

In the afternoon we went over to the State Capitol and toured the building.  We hope to see them all one day and have only recently decided to do that.    In the last six months we have seen Florida and Texas and now Oklahoma.
Two things caught our attention:  first the statute on top - the Guardian.  And the fact the capitol dome was only completed in 2002.  The Guardian is over 22 high and weighs almost 6,000 pounds.
This is a 9 foot replica inside the building.  The guardian represents all of the state's 39 Indian tribes and is a symbol for one who guards, protects and preserves.

The original capitol build was finished in 1917.  But funding for the dome was diverted to the war effort.  The project was revitalized in 2001 and the dome was completed at a privately funded cost of $21 million.

Oklahoma was acquired as part of the Louisiana and the result of the Mexican-American War.  It opened for settlers in 1890 and those that established claims before that were known as "Sooners".  It became a state in 1907.
Oil was discovered in the 1850's but it wasn't until the 1920's that it stabilized and the state began to rise in wealth.  Until there were so many oil companies that there was an oil glut before the Great Depression hit.  Then the mid-1930's saw the Dust Bowl era in the midst of record high temperatures and draught during the Great Depression.

Oklahoma was making its way back when the whole country got caught up in supporting World War II.

But the history of Oklahoma and its people is heavily centered on the Indians in the state and their culture throughout that last 300 years.  We saw numerous galleries and paintings and statues representing that side of things.
 Hallways of displays:  Mickey Mantle, Indian Blanket Quilt
 The State emblem on the floor with the inside of the dome directly overhead
 The planner and architect of the dome construction:  Solomon Layton
 More art galleries down hallways and an early version of the state flag
 Important events and Oklahomans:  Will Rogers, Jim Thorpe and Speaker of the House Carl Albert
 The House of Representatives
 Murals in the ceilings and arches
 The Senate Chambers
Details in history are highlighted in the ceilings and oil paintings as well as the corridors and hallways on every floor.

We spent about and hour and a half in the Capitol and walked away with a new understanding of the state, its history and its people.

It was a fun day.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Until next time...


  1. Oklahoma is one of the State Capitals we haven't personally photographed yet. . .great tour. . .

    ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing Blog

    1. They are all so unique. Some similarities but really really different.

  2. The dome and murals are beautiful.

    1. For only being 10-11 years old, they sure have a lot of information. The murals in the dome are matched to a bronze informational plaque below. Lots pointed at Oklahoma's Indian heritage.

  3. Thanks for the tour Randy. Looks like another very nice state capital for us to visit.

    1. We hope to see a lot more and maybe stay an extra day if we need to at places. After only 3 or 4 in the last few months, we have a new reason to go to places we didn't expect to have on the agenda.

  4. How many times have I traveled through Oklahoma City and never stopped to tour the capital?! I've got to put it on our list. I had no idea there was so much to see. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Outside the building they have a large oil derrick that is pumping 24/7. Only capital in the country that does...

  5. Great post. If you are still in OKC, take a boat ride on their canal. The city fathers liked San Antonio so much that they didn't let the lack of a river hold them back. Also, the minor league BB park is neat. Free parking in the Bass Pro across the street.

    1. Great ideas! We will have to put it on our list for next time.

  6. OK is on my list now that I've realized my Cherokee ancestor would have come from there and not NC.