NOTE: This very preliminary blog post was made in September 2008 and was not intended to be completed here. For the complete article about this 1903 Chamber of Commerce book, click here.

First, the administrative “trouble” note. Somehow, I’ve managed to screw up my template — it works fine in Firefox but in IE Explorer the left panel doesn’t appear. I’ve tried to do quick fixes but none have worked.

Soooo … I’m preparing to create a new template altogether, one which will have some of the newer “Blogger” features which are not available in this earlier-style Blogger template, such as expandable articles so that only a small portion is shown if you don’t want the whole article to load initially. My concern in making the transition, though, is that earlier posts may get “lost” in the process. So, before I make that transition, I’m doing something which I should have been doing all along … SAVING copies of existing articles to my computer, just in case I need them for reconstruction after the template change occurs.

This will take a little time, not sure how much, but hopefully just a few days.

ON EDIT, Tuesday September 2, 2008: Ha ha. The joke’s on me! Turns out, the problem wasn’t with my blog’s template, it was with a particular post that sort of “self-fixed” when run in Firefox but did not in IE Explorer! That post (Springlake via Arcadia) has now been fixed so all should be well when the blog runs in IE Explorer. But, since I’ve started my “saving articles and template change” project, I’ll continue with it since it is best to do that, anyway. On further edit (9/6/2008), I’ll go ahead an post the answers since the revised template will be delayed for awhile: Click here for the answers.

NAME THAT BUILDING. While that’s being done, here are a few photos and drawings from a marvelous old “book” — a 1903 Chamber of Commerce book put together to tout the merits of Oklahoma City to those outside the community. Click on any image below for a larger view.

Book Cover — the original cover was probably different


Dean Schirf, Corporate Secretary of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, kindly allowed me to scan any pages from this book that I’d care to. Although the images are rather grainy, they are nonetheless good since they show a number of images from 1903 Oklahoma City days. This book will eventually be the subject of a much larger article — consider this one to be a teaser and a little guessing game.

# 1 – Where was this 1903 panorama taken from?
Hint: The view looks to the southeast


#2 – Where was this race being conducted?


#3 – What is this historic downtown building?


#4 – Another historic building — what is it?


#5 – Yet another historic building — what is it?


#6 – Still another historic building — what is it?


#7 & 8 — Advertisements
The book contained advertisements for local shops, including the frisky Southern Club, not shown here. But here are a pair I thought you might enjoy.



Verrry interesting!


  1. Vantage Point for #1 – Emerson School. This photo was taken from Emerson School at NW 6th & Walker looking southeast over what was a largely residential “downtown” area with the warehouse district in the background. “Downtown” in 1903 was largely focused along Broadway … the further west one went the more residential what is today’s downtown became. According to Vanished Splendor II, the original Emerson was built in 1894 but burned to the ground in 1917 along with all of the records of the Board of Education which were stored there. The current-day Emerson was built at the same location. The annotated pic below shows the location of Couch Drive today although the path was the location of railroad tracks at the time.
  2. Colcord Park. Charles F. Colcord was president of the Colcord Park Corporation, which owned a tract of one hundred and sixty acres in the city devoted to public amusement and recreation, including the baseball park, the race track, Delmar Garden, etc. Colcord Park was part of that area immediately southwest from the corner of Reno and Western.
  3. India Temple.This 1902 building, now with a facade on its exterior, is at the SE corner of the Sandridge (formerly Kerr-McGee) campus. From 1913-1917, it served as the temporary quarters for the Oklahoma Legislature until the State Capitol Building was done. Sandridge hasn’t yet said what it will do with this very historic Oklahoma City building.
  4. St. Anthony’s Hospital. This was the 1st “permanent” St. Anthony’s hospital, at the same location as today. This structure was built in 1899 at 1000 N. Lee, then outside Oklahoma City’s limits.
  5. Culbertson Building. This 1902 building sat on the Broadway “jog” at Grand (now Sheridan), later with the Phillips 66 sign on its top, and many early day photos were taken from its top looking north on Broadway.
  6. Overholser Opera House. This photo shows the building being constructed at 217 W. Grand (now Sheridan) in 1903 a bit west Robinson. Later, this building became the Orpheum Theater, and, last, the Warner, OKC’s 1st Cinerama theater. In the later days, a Beverly’s Chicken-in-the-Rough was immediately east of it, next to which was the Colcord Building.

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