Sand Springs history


Ruth Ellen Henry, the programs and public information coordinator for the Sand Springs Cultural and Historical Museum, wrote about an entry I posted a year ago August about the history page on the website. The page was mostly blank, except for a notice about a contest for information to put on the history page, and I put forward a worthwhile idea I hoped someone would undertake -- documenting basketball legend Marques Haynes' memories of growing up in Sand Springs, before his old neighborhood is demolished.

Since last year, the domain has changed hands and now points to a class reunion website. While may not have had anything on its history page, Sand Springs (the real thing, not an attempt at a commercial website) has a dedicated group of citizens who have developed a wonderful history museum in the lovely and historic Charles Page Library at 6 East Broadway downtown. Our family visited the museum a few years ago during one of the city's herb festivals. I particularly enjoyed learning more about the Sand Springs Railroad, which still exists as freight line, but was once also an interurban passenger line, connecting downtown Sand Springs with downtown Tulsa, finishing as a streetcar down Archer Street to Greenwood Avenue. (Passenger service was ended in the '50s because it interfered with the more lucrative freight service.)

In her e-mail she let me know about an interesting upcoming exhibit, and more about the neighborhood of Booker T. Washington school:

It seems ironic that you would be talking about Marques Haynes at this particular time. We are opening an exhibit in our West Gallery on Tuesday, October 12, entitled "And The Crowds Roared: Athletics in Sand Springs" This exhibit features the following Nationally Acclaimed Athletes:

Jerry Adair, former professional baseball player and OSU Hall of Fame athlete

Bennie "The Wizard" Osborn, American Drag-Racing Hall of Fame inductee 2004

Johnnie Mae Young, "The Great Mae Young", WWWF Hall of Fame inductee 2004

Marques O. Haynes, Basketball Great, inducted Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998

Yes, we would love more information on Marques. Vision 2025 is going to do much more along the Keystone Corridor than take Marques Haynes' former high school. Believe me, ALL their former school friends who not only went to school at the Booker T. Washington School, but taught there as well. Ask all the folks at the First Baptist Church and The Centennial Baptist Church who have worshipped there every day of their lives. MUCH PRECIOUS HISTORY exists in that area. In fact, Mr.. Bates, my grandparents came to Sand Springs in 1919 and brought my mother to that area to run a little grocery business in the Sand Springs Hotel that sat right there on South Main. Broadway Baptist Church, now at 10th and Adams and one of the largest churches in Sand Springs started in that hotel.

Charles Page donated that land as a refuge for victims of the Tulsa Race Riot and gave them lumber to build. It is a precious part of our history....but....the people voted for the proposition and in America...the majority rules.

We would love to have your assistance in preserving our history. We will write anything you want and not care one cent about payment. WE HAVE A PRECIOUS STORY TO TELL and we are doing the very best we can on a daily basis to keep the story of Charles Page and his vision for this city growing.

His motto: THINK RIGHT!!!

That says it all.



Very interesting: I had never known that about Charles Page and the riot victims.

I know the museum would appreciate help in documenting the history of this area before it falls to the bulldozer, and before those who remember it in its heyday have passed on. If you have the time to help or have memories or artifacts to preserve, get in touch with the museum. This link will take you to the museum's webpage, where you'll find contact information and hours of operation.

Sand Springs is justifiably proud of its history, and they've done a better job than Tulsa, in many respects, of preserving that history. Kudos and best wishes to the staff and volunteers.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 17, 2004 11:31 PM.

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