Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tulsa Historical Society

The Tulsa Historical Society is located at 2445 South Peoria Avenue in the former Samuel Travis mansion. Admission is free and the exhibits are excellent. Go there and see for yourself.

Brothers David and Samuel Travis constructed complementary mansions on South Peoria in 1919. The Travis brothers, who had made their fortunes as independent oil producers, hired Noble Flemming to design their residences in what was then considered far south Tulsa. Flemming executed two designs in Revival style, set at the crest of a broad lawn rising to the east from Peoria. The two homes instantly became Tulsa landmarks.

In addition to housing the Garden Center and the Historical Society these beautiful mansions are available for weddings and receptions.

In the front garden of the mansion are life sized sculptures of the Five Moons. The Five Moons are five Native American ballerinas from the state of Oklahoma, who achieved international prominence during 20th century. They are Yvonne Chouteau, Rosella Hightower, Moscelyne Larkin, and sisters Maria Tallchief and Marjorie Tallchief. Five Moons is also the name of a bronze sculpture installation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, depicting the five ballerinas. A good Wikipedia article is HERE.

Currently on exhibit is a retrospective of Oklahoma's 24 governors and their first ladies.

Dresses worn by some of the first ladies are on display.

The state seal of Oklahoma is worked into the waist band of the gown worn by Mrs Keating.

A boot with the state seal and other mementos belonging to Robert S. Kerr who went on the the US senate after he was governor.

A display of artifacts of the Warren G. Skelly Oil Company. Tulsa boasted of being the Oil Capital of the World and Skelly was one of the leading oil men in the early 1900s.

On display are service uniforms and gasoline pumps.

A variety of fishing reels made by Tulsa company Zebco.

A photograph of Tulsa Seidenbach's Department Store. From 1927 to 1963 Seidenbach's was an elegant store at 415 South Main.

A few of the high fashion clothing from Seidenbach's.

With stylish hats to match.

On display are some photographs of native Americans who were in Oklahoma in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

Apache Chief Geronimo driving a 1905 Buick during his confinement at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.


  1. Great post! Thanks for spreading the word about THS. I don't think people know where it is, what it is or that its FREE! I view it as a 3rd diamond in the Woodward Park Setting, along with the Garden Center and the Linneaus Teaching Gardens.

    1. I agree. THS is a jewel alright. If you love Tulsa or just want to know the history don't miss it. There is an update that needs to be made. There is a nominal admission charge now (or unlimited free entrance for members). Since THS is not supported by the city or county a small fee was instituted.

  2. I need to spend some time there. I've only ever been outside the building, never in. Those hats are fantastic!

  3. Bonjour, Bill.

    Vous n'avez pas le temps de vous ennuyer à Tulsa ! C'est une si grande ville qu'elle regorge d'un tas de monuments, d'expositions, etc.
    L'ère du pétrole en a fait une ville très riche... Cela change de "mes vieilles pierres" lol !