Honey Springs 150th Anniversary, Going Home – Part 4 (Post #413) 11/14/2013

After I finished checking out the 1960’s Series 88 inch, I got the Range Rover back on the road and sorted out my route home.

I wanted to head for Dripping Springs State Park. It is a heavily wooded park with a small but idyllic lake. I knew the trees had recently begun the change and thought I could get a couple of nice pictures. I started out of Rentiesville and headed north on a two lane blacktop N1040 aka North Broadway street. I took it up to what is called County Line Road  aka E1010 road. This road is the border between McIntosh (Wikipedia:History) and Muskogee (Wikipedia:History) counties.

It was a rutted dirt road and I thought it perfect for a “shakedown” of the Range Rover. This is a representative picture of what I drove for a dozen miles or so.

I passed one field after another with cows. I was surprised to see ahead of me was a 1978 Cadillac Seville Grandeur Opera Coupe going slow and easy on the rutted road. I nearly caught them once but felt silly running up on them when all they were doing was taking a slow drive on a nice Sunday afternoon.

The one I saw was actually black.

I stopped and took the picture of the rutted road and let them get ahead of me. I caught them when they were turning into their driveway. Any way you cut it, it was a rare care to see there on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere.

I proceeded on to Council Bluffs. I hoped I could get a carbonated beverage and some fuel there. The beverage I was able to get, the full pumps there were all sacked with plastic bags. I guessed they were out of fuel. I had a quarter of a tank and went on toward Okmulgee.

Across the street was an abandoned building and another down the street. The old buildings in rural Oklahoma always have “that look” to them telling you they were built by people who do not think like we do today.

Native stone for the win

Like the Series 2 88 inch from the previous blog post, these buildings might be too far gone to even minimally preserve.

I turned down Highway 62 and drove on to Okmulgee. My great-grand parents Viola Ardella and Henry Wellington Fisher and Welly’s father came to Beaver Mountain, Oklahoma Territory in 1905 in a covered wagons in 1905 and moved to Okmulgee in 1931. Except for 1944 when they moved to Waco to help with the war effort, lived there until Welly died in 1961. Viola stayed until 1975 when she could no longer take care of herself at age 90. She was the most proper southern woman I ever met. In her last days she would get up at 4:00am to get dressed. She thought it improper for someone to find her in her bed clothes should she die.

Okmulgee is the home of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma. This is their council house built in 1878. It is the center piece of downtown and is a museum today.

Beautiful buildings surround the Council House square.

The Commerce Building, Okmulgee’s Skycraper, was built by the Commerce Investment Company in 1921. It has seen many tenants over time. According to one website it is being renovated. From looking in the windows I could see something had started. I think it would make a really great place to have an apartment.

The picture below is the Orpheum Theater in Okmulgee. It opened in 1919 as Cook’s Theater. It is one of the last of the great old theaters. It is still in operation today. It has a full balcony. When the State of Oklahoma was still segregated the blacks were forced to sit in the balcony. Back in the late 1990’s We took a road trip with the kids and stopped in Okmulgee and watched a movie here. It was grand but you could see it needed a lot of work.
The Warren Theater in Moore, Oklahoma has the grandeur this place originally had back in the day. I wish I could have toured the Orpheum theater this time.

This is the Federal Courthouse. Great architecture. We just don’t build grand buildings like this anymore.

Another former apartment house. The population will not support the refurbishment of these buildings back into apartments. People are moving back to the inner neighborhoods in Oklahoma City. There is a revival going on and buildings like these in the metro are being transformed into apartments for today’s yuppies. I couldn’t be happier about that.

I couldn’t find a station without ethanol so I gauged my chances for Okemah and drove on. I reached Dripping Springs and stopped for a few photos. I think they turned out quite good.

I can’t believe people were actually swimming in the lake.
The water temp was in the low 50’s with the air temp heading south from 65 F.

I plan to camp here next spring and enjoy the quiet park. I gassed up in Okemah and with my energies waning from the weekend, I hoped on the Interstate 40. It was dark by then and I wound up cutting my arrival time by at least an hour.

This is the final part of a four part post.
Part 1.
Part 2.
Part 3.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Rovering.

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