Southern Trails Historical Tourism and Victorian Architecture
Location Guthrie lies along one of the primary corridors into Texas and Mexico, and is a four-hour drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. The city is in the center of the state, about 32 miles – 51 km – north of Oklahoma City, in the Sandstone Hills region of Oklahoma, known for hills of 250 to 400 feet – 120 m – and oak forests.
Guthrie was established in 1887 on the Southern Kansas Railway; after the April 1889 land run it was designated as the territorial capital when some fifty thousand potential settlers gathered at the edges of the Unassigned Plots in hopes of staking a claim to a plot. In 1907 it became the first state capital of Oklahoma. Within months, Guthrie was developed as a modern brick and stone Queen of the Prairie with municipal water, electricity, mass transit and underground garages for horses and carriages.
The Land Run on April 22, 1889, cannons sounded and tens of thousands of settlers thundered over the prairie on horses, in wagons, and on foot with the goal of owning their own land. Over 10,000 claims were staked that day in the land next to Cottonwood Creek. These “sooners” exploded onto the landscape, forging businesses and a progressive lifestyle. Within hours, wooden structures replaced tents and within months a modern brick and stone city emerged.
Historical Tourism has become a significant industry for the town which includes 2,169 late 19th and early 20th century buildings, 1,400 acres (6 km2) and 400 city blocks. In 1999, the center district of Guthrie was designated a National Historic Landmark in recognition of the city’s importance to state history, as well as its rich Victorian architecture which provides a backdrop for Wild West and territorial-style entertainment, carriage tours, replica trolley cars, specialty shops, and art galleries.
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Liberty and Guthrie Lakes are located south of the city. Its museums include the Oklahoma Territorial Museum, and the Guthrie Scottish Rite Masonic Temple. The city hosts the Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival, which draws 15,000 visitors annually.
The National Finals Steer Roping Rodeo is held in Guthrie
The Pollard Theatre is Oklahoma’s oldest year-round professional theatre company with an emphasis on creative story-telling to illuminate the shared human experience, producing six or more plays and musicals annually, enlisting artists across the United States.