By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Special Interest | Issue: October 2007
Pictured is the event’s ticket sales team: Janice Anderson and Marmie Apsley (front), Carolyn Cundiff and Dick Zwart (middle), and Dr. Clarence Oliver and Dr. Gary Gerber (back).
“We capture it and preserve it so that past, present and future generations can keep the connection that helps to make sense.” That is the goal that the Broken Arrow Historical Society and Museum continually works toward. Founded in 1975, the nonprofit organization gathers historical items and preserves them in order to give current Broken Arrow residents an idea of what the community was like many years ago. A project has recently been installed to completely transform and improve the organization.
Broken Arrow citizens recently voted in favor of a city bond issue to provide $1.5 million for the construction of the Broken Arrow Historical Society and Museum. Because the organization is currently seeking further financial support, the Inaugural Phantom Run and Walk will be held Saturday, October 27. Eastside Industrial Park, LLC is sponsoring the event, so 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit the museum.
From the onset of the project, the Broken Arrow Historical Society and Museum agreed to be responsible for the interior museum exhibit design. While the $1.5 million in bond money will cover mostly everything outdoors, everything inside has been left up to the historical society itself. Additional funding is currently being sought to complete the interior features of the museum gallery. This includes furniture for the museum, display cases, panels for exhibits, fabrication of the main exhibit gallery and more. The total cost for completing the inside requirements is an estimated $500,000.
The property for the Broken Arrow Historical Society and Museum, located at El Paso and Main, was donated by Arkansas Valley State Bank. With a value of $200,000, this property was once the setting for the Kentucky Colonel Hotel, a prominent landmark in Broken Arrow history. Built in 1903, the stylish hotel later became a rooming house. It was torn down in 1955.
The Broken Arrow Historical Society and Museum is now under construction at Main and El Paso in downtown Broken Arrow.
“Broken Arrow is developing so quickly that many of its residents are totally disconnected from regional and Oklahoma history,” says Gary Gerber, president of the Historical Board of Directors. “One important goal of the museum is to create an identity and a sense of place and history for residents of Broken Arrow and surrounding communities.”
The Phantom Run and Walk offers community residents the opportunity to donate to the Museum Exhibit Fund and participate in the fun event. While many donors will run or walk in the event, many others can simply give their financial support. For those who choose to participate, parking at the Phantom Run and Walk will be at Northeastern State University’s Broken Arrow campus, located on 101st Street at the Creek Turnpike. This will also be the event’s starting point.
The Phantom Run and Walk will take place on the Creek Jogging Trail from the NSU trailhead west to 145th East Avenue. While meandering down the trail, participants can become familiar with the location of historical sites near the path. Taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 27, the event is sure to be fun. Do not miss out on the Halloween costume contest either. Taking place at the NSU parking lot, it will be an opportunity for young and old to get in the Halloween spirit.
Tickets for the event will be $25 for individuals, $35 for couples and $50 for families with up to four members. Each participant will receive an event t-shirt with the logo and map on it, a souvenir poster and a souvenir ticket. Donations made to the Museum Exhibit Fund are 100 percent tax deductible.
For more information about the Phantom Run and Walk or the Broken Historical Society and Museum itself, call (918) 258-2616.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.