Tulsa::History: August 2003 Archives

Sand Springs has a history page on its website and nothing on it.

There's nothing here and do you know why?

We're having a Sand Springs History Contest!

Write a report on the history and heritage of Sand Springs, Oklahoma. We will select one report for inclusion in SandSprings.com and give the winner a $50 Amazon.com Gift Certificate!

No deadline is mentioned. Sand Springs has a lot of interesting history and characters to write about. Charles Page, the widows' and orphans' homes, the Sand Springs Railroad, Marques Haynes, William Pogue.

Here's a free idea; a good one, too, I think. I don't have time to pursue it -- perhaps someone else will. Contact Marques Haynes, the Basketball Hall of Famer and Harlem Globetrotter legend. He lives in Dallas, I think; he's in his 70s now. If he's willing, interview him about places he remembers from his childhood in Sand Springs -- his neighborhood, where he lived, went to school, went to church, the stores where his family traded, where he first played basketball, where he went to play with his friends. Ask him to relate memories of everyday life in his childhood -- good and bad alike. He went to segregated schools and grew up in a segregated neighborhood -- what was that like? Then work with the local historical society to determine the locations and find period photos of the places he remembers. Take pictures of those places as they are today. Then put it all together as a photo exhibit, designed to give 21st Century Sandites a sense of everyday life in Sand Springs before World War II, as seen through the eyes of a Sand Springs kid who went on to become world-famous.

The same kind of project could be done for other celebrities who grew up in Tulsa before World War II -- Paul Harvey and Tony Randall are a couple of other examples that come to mind. It's a way to help people imagine what neighborhoods used to be like, before expressways and suburbia and urban renewal.

I've been told that the Keystone Corridor redevelopment project in Proposition 4 of the sales tax vote includes demolition of Marques Haynes' old neighborhood, just across the Keystone Expressway (and across the old MK&T tracks) from downtown Sand Springs. If someone wants to pursue this idea, you'll need to hurry.

UPDATE (17 SEP 2004): Tipped off to the fact that sandsprings.com had changed hands. Evidently it was a commercial site, not affiliated with the city in any way. I've changed the link to point at the Wayback Machine's copy of the page on the date. sandsprings.com now points to a page about a high school reunion.

I learned of this change via an e-mail from Ruth Ellen Henry, the programs and public information coordinator of the Sand Springs Cultural and Historical Museum. If you want to help document the history or can provide information or artifacts about Marques Haynes' old neighborhood or any other aspect of Sand Springs History, I am sure the museum would be happy for the help. That link will take you to the museum's page on the official City of Sand Springs website.

There's more in this entry I just posted.

UPDATE 2015/02/07: John Erling has interviewed Marques Haynes for his Voices of Oklahoma series. Haynes talks about his neighborhood, where he lived. He attended Booker T. Washington School, now demolished, all the way through -- it was the only school in Sand Springs for African-Americans. He also mentions that because he couldn't go to the movie theater in Sand Springs, he and his friends would ride the Sand Springs interurban into Tulsa; the trolley stopped on Greenwood, right across from the Dreamland Theater.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa::History category from August 2003.

Tulsa::History: June 2004 is the next archive.

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