Thursday, April 26, 2012

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY: GUTHRIE, OKLAHOMA



By Callie Hutton
Guest Author Callie Hutton

Have you ever been in love with a place? Maybe love is not the right word, but I have a deep fascination for Guthrie, Oklahoma. To prove my love, I will give away one copy of A RUN FOR LOVE and one copy of A WIFE BY CHRISTMAS to two lucky commenters.
Although I was a history major in college in New Jersey, somehow I missed the story of the Oklahoma Land Run. In most of my classes, my professors seemed more interested in bouncing from one war to the next. I guess that’s what happens when you have mostly males teaching history.
A little over four years ago, when we settled in Oklahoma, I took a job in the Archives Division of the Oklahoma State Library. It was there I learned about the Land Run. I researched it, and read everything I could get my hands on. The story of these brave men and women who left places they were familiar with, to race with thousands of others to get a piece of land, captivated me.

Oklahoma Land Run

In my research, I discovered two main cities resulted from the Run. One was Oklahoma City—the present capital of Oklahoma, and the other was Guthrie, which was the Territorial Capital. Once Oklahoma became a state, the capital was moved.
While I researched this amazing piece of Americana, the idea for a romance novel grew. Eventually, I had to find a way to stop the voices in my head, so my fingers hit the keyboard, and the story of Tori and Jesse ensued. Once A RUN FOR LOVE was completed, I decided to write a story about another character in that book, and A WIFE BY CHRISTMAS told the tale of the youngest niece, Ellie.


Before I started A WIFE BY CHRISTMAS, I took the forty minute ride from my house to Guthrie−camera, pen, and paper in hand. I was enthralled. You can see from the pictures that Guthrie has kept a lot of the old buildings. Some of them date back to the year of the Land Run.


On April 22nd, 1889−a bright, sunny day−thousands of men, women and children circled Oklahoma Territory (formerly Unassigned Lands), and waited for the bugles to blow, and the cannons to roar. Precisely at noon, the race began. The land-hungry pioneers raced on horseback, in wagons, on bicycle, and some even on foot. The area was so immense that not too long after the race began, the runners had disappeared. Some never saw another soul until they claimed their land.
Of course, nothing is perfect, and the race had its cheaters−dubbed “Sooners.” These claimants snuck into the territory before the official start of the race. Some uncaught Sooners waited until the homesteaders nearly arrived, and jumped onto their horses and rode until the animals were sweating and out of breath, making it seem as though they had just arrived. Another Sooner was already living there with a plowed garden and onions sprouting several inches high!
Years of lawsuits followed the Run, straightening out titles to land that had been illegally claimed.

Guthrie, Oklahoma after land run 1889

Guthrie started that day with zero population and a tiny train station, and ended with more than ten thousand people living in tents. By the end of the first week, buildings had already been erected, and a thriving town established.

Guthrie retains early aura

Guthrie today has kept its small town flavor. I recently attended the 89er Celebration−the anniversary of the Land Run. Lots of activities were scheduled−a rodeo, chuck wagon feast, old time baseball game, and a parade. People from all over the state descended on Guthrie to honor the men and women of the Land Run. The many antique stores did a booming business.

Guthrie utilizes early buildings

A couple of weeks ago, I typed the words “The End” on the manuscript for A PRESCRIPTION FOR LOVE, the story of the oldest nephew (Michael) in A RUN FOR LOVE. At least two more stories are planned. Writing about Michael, a pharmacist, drew me to the drug store museum in Guthrie. Another trip to that town produced the pictures indicating the early nineteenth century pharmacy was well stocked with medicines, some good, some questionable.

Old-fashioned drug store still in Guthrie

I hope you enjoyed this little bit of history that I find so fascinating, and the pictures showcasing the town one hundred and twenty-three years after horses thundered over the plains, carrying riders full of hope and dreams.
Buy link for A RUN FOR LOVE: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/a-run-for-love/



Buy link for A WIFE BY CHRISTMAS: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/a-wife-by-christmas/
My website: www.calliehutton.com

Readers, remember to leave a comment to take part in the drawing for a free copy of either A RUN FOR LOVE or A WIFE BY CHRISTMAS.

23 comments:

  1. Great post Callie...loved the pictures. And congrats on your books & their success! Loved A Run For Love!

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  2. Love history and like Christine said, Congrats!!! on all the success.
    Neecy

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  3. Thanks for stopping by, ladies. I just love that place, as I'm sure ya'll know by now, lol.

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  4. Terrific post Colleen! I love learning about the setting/history of a story! Brings it to life! Of course I Googled Guthrie OK and explored all the streets on the map and the places mentioned in your stories.

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  5. I love Guthrie!! I lived there for a time - I love the rich historical significance of the beautiful town, and the way that history is kept alive, especially in the historical buildings still there, especially in the downtown area, and the way that history is relived every year in their Christmas celebrations!! Thank You. I will look for your book!!

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  6. Callie, I love your post. I have to confess that I thought the land run was a few years later. I got it confused with OK becoming a state. Now you've made me want to take a trip to Guthrie.

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  7. I love this! I am going to have to visit Guthrie one day!

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  8. Callie--I loved reading about Oklahoma and your books, too. The video is wonderful.
    I am pure Texan, but we did live in Stillwater for three years in the early 70s. My husband attended OSU and got a phd. While there, our son was in 2,3,4 grades, while our daughter was in 5,6,7.
    During the first fall, our son's elementary school had Land Rush Days. The kids dressed up. Our son loved his little cowboy boots and jeans and western shirt, and was thrilled to get to wear them to school. However, they told him he would play the role of a Sooner-uhoh--wrong thing to say. He came home from school so mad--"I didn't want to be a Sooner! I'm a Texan! But that teacher made me be an Okie!" We still laugh about that.
    Much of my husband's family came from Oklahoma, around Mangum.
    Oh, and I laughed when you said history teachers were only interested in wars...because they were men. How true!
    Thanks for a very enjoyable post--and thanks for being our guest today.

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  9. What an interesting job and so good to spark a story.
    Great pictures of the tents. It amazes me that in one day things could change so much. It's a testimony to the will of man to succeed.

    Thanks for the post.

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  10. Loved this post. Fascinating history. We just moved here last month and still exploring--you've made me want to take a trip to Guthrie!

    Toss me in your basket of names. Your books sound soooo good!

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  11. So awesome...lived in Oklahoma most of my life and did not know that. :-) Thanks for the info.

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  12. Fun information about an American historical event that I think was glossed over by many history teachers.

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  13. Thanks for stopping by. The Christmas celebration there is truly memorable. All the shopkeepers, and some of the visitors dress in period clothing. We do that each year (since we discovered it.) Fun.

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  14. Great post, Callie. I think Guthrie is only about a four hour trip from Dallas, so it might make a good summer road trip. I'd love to bring the kids.

    P.S. I'm still waiting to see a picture of you in period clothing.

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  15. I didn't do it this trip. Most likely for the Christmas trip. Thanks for stopping by, Ally. As a history buff, you would love Guthrie.

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  16. Great post, Callie. Very interesting.

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  17. Thanks, Ella. Always good to 'see' you.

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  18. Hi Callie, so nice to meet you today. I love that time in history. Sounds like Guthrie is a fun place to explore. Sure do remember those drugstores and the soda counters. To bad we don't have them around anymore. :(

    Best of luck on a great success with your wonderful stories.

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  19. Thanks, Paisley. It's so good of you to stop by. I remember those drug stores myself.

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  20. love your post Callie as always. Have read A Run for Love and A wife by christmas. Looking forward to the next release from this gifted author.

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  21. Had to pop back in and tell you I've been thinking of your post all day. Even read it to my husband when he came home from work. Guthrie is on our list of cities to see--thanks to your post! And thanks for a great history lesson!

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  22. Great post! I just wrote a story set in Oklahoma, too. Lots of wonderful history there!

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  23. Terrific post Callie. Very interesting. Congradulations on the success of your books!

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