Tulsa History: June 2004 Archives

Growing Up With Tulsa

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Came across this fascinating book online. Written in 1986 by a woman born in Tulsa in 1900, she writes about everyday life as she experienced it -- work, shopping, household chores, travel. It's called Growing Up with Tulsa, by Blanche Opal Kern Schad.

Mrs. Schad's family came to Tulsa in 1894 and built a house in 1898 at Cameron and Frisco -- still standing until knocked down in the '90s for the new county jail. That's the house where Mrs. Schad was born in 1900. (The same year her father was elected alderman.) Later they lived on Standpipe Hill, at Fairview and Detroit. Detroit was the boundary between white and black Tulsa -- black doctors and merchants lived on the east side of the street -- and she had a front-row seat for the 1921 riot. She also mentions another possibility for where the riot victims were buried -- one I had never read before.

She writes about the move from the old high school to the new (now old) Central High, about streetcars and jitneys, movie theatres before they had sound. She lived in what we now call Renaissance Neighborhood and White City. Her husband worked for Mid-Continent Oil (Sunray DX). She took the interurban to visit her sister in Mounds. There's wonderful detail throughout.

[Excerpt removed at Kathie Harrison's request. You'll have to follow the link to read it for yourself.]

Many many thanks to Kathie Harrison for transcribing this and putting it online.

I was disturbed to see this letter in Sunday's Whirled:

I enjoyed reading about Beryl Ford's memorabilia collection in a recent edition.

This is a tremendous asset for Tulsa. Whenever you read any of the books or watch videos about the history of Tulsa, many of the featured photos will say "from the Beryl Ford collection."

I recently learned that Mr. Ford needs to retire and sell all or part of his collection for his living expenses. And now the crusher: so far there is no buyer from Tulsa. Not the city, not a university and not the Tulsa Historical Society.

It looks like the collection might go to the Oklahoma Historical Society in Oklahoma City.

Cannot someone or some group step up and stop this tragedy?

Richard Ryan, Tulsa

Unbelievable. And given the Whirled's tendency to run letters as much as a month after they are submitted, by now Mr. Ford's collection could be in a container ship en route to Buenos Aires, for all we know.

The Beryl Ford collection is impressive, and Tulsans ought to step forward to keep it in Tulsa and make its contents more accessible to the public, perhaps using digital archiving and the Internet. The Tulsa Historical Society seems like a natural match for this task. How about it?

I'd love to buy it, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't afford it, much less the cost of caring for it. But if enough of us go together, maybe we can make it happen.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa History category from June 2004.

Tulsa History: August 2003 is the previous archive.

Tulsa History: July 2004 is the next archive.

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