Heritage Tours of Oklahoma


Oklahoma has a long and interesting history, with a strong presence in the industrial heritage of the United States. Everywhere you go around this state, you are given a look at the fierce industrious spirit that has been the hallmark of Oklahoma for generations. This spirit has given rise to a thriving industry surrounding the history and historical landmarks of the area. Visitors to Oklahoma will find that the majority of the historical options here involve the indigenous history of the area and the somewhat antithetical industrial history of the state. This juxtaposition provides a stark reminder of the contrasting lifestyles that helped the United States grow.

Historic Industrial Tours of Oklahoma

Around Oklahoma, there are a lot of opportunities to learn about the industries that have made it big in Oklahoma. A lot of the history of this state is bound to the oil and gas industry, so there are many opportunities here to learn about how the industry developed. Of course, many states rely on the oil and gas industry in terms of refinement, but Oklahoma actually has a long history of both oil exploration and refinement. This is why visitors will find that the bulk of museums and historical locations involving industry around the state will be centered around oil.

The Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association of Oklahoma maintains a very accessible database of historic oil and gas sites around the state. Everything from the first commercial oil well in Oklahoma to the world's first school of petroleum geology can be found on this map. Visitors to the state can visit some of the major oil fields that put Oklahoma on the map while visiting one of many museums along the way. Small museums dot the landscape in between these major fields to help give some insight on how the oil boom affected that specific area.

For visitors who don't have the time to travel to different oil fields for a firsthand look, visiting Oklahoma City could be the best option. Oklahoma City is full of historical monuments and museums dedicated to the famous oilmen and oil companies that made their fortunes here. Granite statues outside famous Seminole Field and the City Hall immortalize some of the major figures in the oil industry here. In Ponca City, the Conoco Oil and Gas Museum provides visitors with an in-depth timeline of the oil industry in the state of Oklahoma.

Famous Places and People

Oklahoma is a unique place to visit for anyone who is interested in architecture. Since many of the cities in the state "sprang up" in a relatively short amount of time due to oil booms, the cities and small towns have a very unique look. Influences from many schools of architecture can be felt throughout the state. This is especially true with the older, more historic buildings that housed some of the state's most famous residents. A lot of work has been done to help preserve these buildings in a manner that keeps them safe and accessible for the public.

The Oklahoma Governor's Mansion is an excellent example of this preservationist policy. This unique building was dedicated in 1928, and features 14,000 square feet of Dutch-Colonial architecture that visitors can wander. The grounds feature impressive landscaping, and the gardens are especially big draws for tourists in the area. The facade of the building was outfitted with Carthage limestone to retain the same look and feel of the state capitol building. Visitors to the mansion will find that the house is an excellent educational tool for those looking to learn about the history of Oklahoma. There are also many antiques and works of art on display here from all periods of Oklahoma's history.

The Fred Drummond Home is another popular historical destination in the state, though it is centered around one man and not an office. Unlike many other homes and historical buildings dedicated to famous oilmen, this home is dedicated to the lasting legacy of the most successful rancher in the history of Oklahoma. After gaining his success in ranching, Drummond branched out into a wide range of industries. The home is an enormous 3-storied Victorian home in Hominy. Regular tours are conducted throughout the grounds to give visitors a first-hand look at the ranching history of Oklahoma.

Find Some Hidden Gems

The state of Oklahoma is full of very proud residents who are always willing to share their history with visitors. It is not uncommon for visitors to find small, out of the way gems of history when they are open to finding them. While much of Oklahoma's history has centered on oil, gas and ranching, there are many intriguing natural and historical sites to visit here as well. In the end, Oklahoma could have much more to offer than some people realize.

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