Greater Southwest Historical Museum: Ardmore Oklahoma Museum Tour

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The Greater Southwest Historical Museum is the premier museum of south-central Oklahoma history. Exhibits at the museum have a wide range of focus and utilize many unique artifacts collected from around the area.

Everything from an early electric car to one of the earliest examples of a steam-pumper fire engine can be found here. The largest artifact is the museum building itself. Built in 1935-1936 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) this imposing limestone walled structure was originally used as the local National Guard Armory. In May 2017, the Museum completed construction of its largest addition to date, “Tools of Our Land.” Tools of Our Land features two new 5,000-square-foot buildings, outlining the farming and ranching history of the area.

Other major exhibits are housed in three main wings. To the north, the Transportation and Industry Gallery outlines the early industries of South Central Oklahoma: the railroad, cotton, and oil industries. This wing also includes early carriages, saddles, soapbox derby cars, and a working model of oil field equipment.

The south wing of the Museum includes our “From the Ashes” exhibit, the Fonville Gallery, the Genealogical Library, and our newest exhibit, which outlines items found in the area’s early homes. Some highlights of the wing includes Ardmore’s first fire engine and hand tools used by early farmers.

The west wing features the Military Memorial Museum, dedicated to the preservation of military history from the American Revolution to the Gulf Wars, and honoring our Nation’s veterans.

Two main features of the Military Memorial Museum are its painting from a World War II barrack building from the Ardmore Army Airbase, and its display of uniforms representing the seven uniformed services of the United States. The Military Memorial Museum is likely the only military museum in the nation that features these two items.

This was one of my favorite museums.

Check out my video review of the museum below.

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