Oklahoma History: October 2008 Archives

Nellie returns

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Johnstone Park and its attractions and monuments were an important part of my early childhood years in Bartlesville. One of those monuments was a replica of the Nellie Johnstone No. 1 oil well, the first commercially producing well in Oklahoma. (There's a picture of the old replica in this blog tribute to Bartlesville.) The old replica was wooden, and sitting as it did on the bank of the Caney River, it had to have suffered a great deal of damage over the years.

The old replica was taken down a year or so ago, but a new replica is taking its place, part of Discovery 1, an outdoor exhibit on Oklahoma's petroleum heritage. The new replica will be dedicated a week from Saturday on October 18th at 3:30.

A brief opening ceremony will be climaxed by a "blow out" of water from the 84-foot tall wooden derrick.

The inauguration of the fully operating cable-tool derrick will precede the start of two popular seasonal events for area children being held at nearby Kiddie Park -- the Fall Fun Fest and Spook-A-Rama.

The Fall Fun Fest, organized by the Bartlesville Rotary Club and featuring booths and games, will operate from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Spook-A-Rama, sponsored by Kiddie Park, will be open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The inauguration of the "new Nellie" marks the completion of phase II of the Discovery 1 Park project.

Phase I entailed removing the deteriorated, non-operating derrick replica previously on the site and raising funds to plan and build the new animated re-creation.

The next and final phase of the project calls for constructing a Visitor Center and building a Path of Petroleum Pioneers that will recognize local individuals and enterprises that have made their mark in the energy industry.

Discovery 1 Park, which eventually will cover about five acres, is located at the exact spot where the historic well was drilled more than 110 years ago.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Oklahoma History category from October 2008.

Oklahoma History: June 2008 is the previous archive.

Oklahoma History: November 2008 is the next archive.

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