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Holiday 2014

Eight Historic Homes of Muskogee Christmas Home Tour Preview

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Green Country Living

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STAFF Publisher editor Advertising Manager ADVERTISING SALES Layout & Design

HOLIDAY 2014

Jeff Parra Jerry Willis Rhonda Overbey Angela Jackson Amanda M. Burleson-Guthrie

Green Country Living is published quarterly by the Muskogee Phoenix. Contents of the magazine are by the Muskogee Phoenix. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior consent of the Muskogee Phoenix. Green Country Living, P.O. Box 1968, Muskogee OK 74402. email jwillis@muskogeephoenix.com - Editorial: (918) 684-2932 email adjackson@muskogeephoenix.com - Advertising and distribution: (918) 684-2813

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he holidays are here again with their hustle and bustle, joy, jostling and juggling. We try to balance time for friends, family, travel and entertaining. And we do it all in addition to our daily obligations. Make sure you slow down enough to enjoy the season.   This can be a time of stress, but it is also a time for celebration and love. It should also be a time for reflection.   How has your year been? Have you marked fresh milestones? Achieved goals? Are you where you hoped to be? What about the year ahead? Have you considered how you want this year to be different, better? What do you want more of? What do you want less of? At Green Country Living, we also take this time to look at the year past, to assess where we have been, and to look to the year ahead. We want great things for you, and we plan to bring great things to you through this magazine.   We take the opportunity at this time each year to thank you, our readers, and to wish you well for the holidays. You are the reason we do what we do.   To those who have made us welcome in your homes, thank you. We could not publish this magazine without your hospitality, your

help and your patience. God bless you.   To our advertisers, we are grateful for your patronage. We trust that the attention we bring to your businesses is as valuable to you as the support you give to our endeavor is to us. We look forward to serving you in the year ahead.   And as editor, I want to thank those whose work makes this magazine possible. Thank you to our writers and columnists such as Valarie Carter, Melony Carey, E.I. Hillin, Jonita Mullins, Leilani Roberts Ott and Cathy Spaulding. Thank you to John Hasler and Mandy Lundy for your photography. Thank you to the management team — Jeff Parra, Ed Choate and Elizabeth Ridenour. Thank you to our advertising team, Rhonda Overbey and Angela Jackson. And thank you to our designer, Amanda M. Burleson-Guthrie. This magazine is better because of what you do.

Happy holidays! Jerry Willis and the staff of Green Country Living magazine.

Angela Jackson Jerry Willis

Jeff Parra

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Amanda M. Burleson-Guthrie HOLIDAY 2014

Rhonda Overbey


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Cover photo by Jerry Willis

contents Historic Houses

on the cover

A look at several Muskogee houses on the National Register of Historic Places.

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The Patterson Home A closer look at the Patterson home, one of several houses on the National Register of Historic Places.

14 The Christmas Home Tour

Eight Historic Homes of Muskogee Christmas Home Tour Preview

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“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” said Leonardo da Vinci, and Susan Randolph has taken that message to heart in her elegant white-on-white approach to Christmas decoration.

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A closer look at the exquisitely decorated home of Susan Randolph.

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Wonderful Wine

Local Artists

A collection of Carolyn Foreman’s “good recipes” from the Thomas-Foreman home.

A selection of spirits that pair well with a holiday feast.

Featuring the art of MaryBeth Nelson.

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The Randolph Home

The Cook’s Pantry

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A look at several houses on the Muskogee Christmas Home Tour

60 Historic Homes of Muskogee The Posey house.


The big yellow house, now owned by Darla Fitzgerald, at 1405 W. Okmulgee Ave., was built in 1904 in a colonial revival architectural style by J. C. Welch, a pioneer merchant in Muskogee.

Houses of History A look at eight historical Muskogee homes Story by Leilani Roberts Ott Photos by Jerry Willis

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The rear view of the A.W. Robb home is framed by a wrought iron fence. 8

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The Col. George A. Murphy house, 1321 W. Okmulgee Ave., was built in 1907 in the mission/Spanish revival architectural style. Murphy was a prominent Muskogee attorney and served on the board of directors for the American National Bank of Muskogee.

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nyone who travels through Muskogee on Okmulgee Avenue is drawn to the grand homes along the way.   Most will notice the threestory stone home owned by Dr. Phil and Mary Ann Couch, 1320 W. Okmulgee Ave., or the big yellow house owned by Darla Fitzgerald, 1405 W. Okmulgee Ave.   The Couch home, known as the Patterson house, and the Fitzgerald home, known as the Welch house, are just two of eight homes in Muskogee on the National Register of Historic Places.   Architectural historians tell Jonita Mullins, local historian and author, that Muskogee has more historic buildings than any town its size in Oklahoma.   “We are only surpassed by the much larger cities of Tulsa and

Oklahoma City,” Mullins said.   Phil Couch said he wishes someone with money from one of those bigger cities could come in and save the Fite house, 443 N. 16th St. It was built to be a governor’s mansion. It was last used as a health clinic and has been for sale for several years. They other homes are occupied and well kept. The smallest home, the Thomas-Foreman home, 1419 W. Okmulgee Ave., is open for tours on weekends.   “Historic homes create a sense of place for a community,” said Treasure McKenzie, president and chief executive officer of Greater Muskogee Area of Chamber of Commerce.   “It represents our past and can create a sense of pride for residents.”   Muskogee is very fortunate to have such wonderful historic building stock, Mullins said.   “These homes represent

our history, our culture, our people and our progress as a community,” Mullins said. “They speak of Muskogee’s significant place in our state’s development. They should be a source of pride for every Muskogeean.”   Historic architecture provides a community with a great economic advantage, she said.   Mullins agreed with McKenzie. It can and does attract tourism and economic development.    “Well-preserved and wellmaintained historic districts contribute to the rich quality of life that businesses desire when considering whether to move a company to a new location or to start something new,” Mullins said.    Statistics show that the baby boomer generation and the millennial generation are seeking quaint old homes in wonderful

old neighborhoods, she said.   “Muskogee has a gold mine of these,” Mullins said. “Let’s just hope that the city doesn’t destroy our wonderful historic fabric by tearing it all down. If you put enough holes in a piece of cloth, eventually the hole will rip apart, and it can never be recovered.”    McKenzie said quality of life is important when recruiting new residents, visitors and potential businesses to Muskogee.    Here’s the list of homes on the National Register of Historic Places: • Thomas - Foreman house, 1419 W. Okmulgee Ave., built in 1898 by John R. Thomas, federal judge from 1897-1901. As a former congressman from Illinois, his influence was responsible for increasing the U.S. Navy from one battleship to that equal of other nations of the day. He became known as


the “Father of the United States Navy.” A daughter, Carolyn, married his law partner, Grant Foreman. They became outstanding authorities on Oklahoma history and the Five Civilized Tribes, collaborating in the publication of 27 books and numerous magazine articles. The Foremans lived the rest of their lives in this house. • J.C. Welch house, 1405 W. Okmulgee Ave., built in 1904 in a colonial revival architectural style by J.C. Welch, a pioneer merchant. His home was credited with being one of the most beautiful and lavishly decorated in Indian Territory. • Dr. F.B. Fite house, 443 N. 16th St., built in 1905 by Fite, a pioneer physician, in the colonial revival architectural style. He served two terms as mayor of Muskogee. Prior to statehood, Fite’s name was one of those considered for Oklahoma’s first governor. In

Above: A. C. Trumbo house, 1321 W. Broadway, was built in 1906 by Trumbo in a prairie school architectural style. The home is a replica of one of Mark Twain’s homes. Trumbo was the son-in-law of A. W. Patterson and both men were pioneer bankers and promoters of Muskogee and early Arkansas River navigation.

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Below: A. W. Robb house, 1321 Boston, was built in 1905 by Robb in the late Victorian architectural style. He was Muskogee’s first merchant and charter member of the First Presbyterian Church in 1875.

Dr. F. B. Fite house, 443 N. 16th St., was built in 1905 by Fite, a pioneer physician, in the colonial revival architectural style. He served two terms as mayor of Muskogee. The home later served as a medical clinic.

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1953, the historic home was converted into a medical facility by two sons, Dr. J. Patton Fite and Dr. E. Halsell Fite. Above: A. W. Robb house, 1321 Boston St., was built in 1905 by Robb in the late Victorian architectural style. He was Muskogee’s first merchant and charter member of the First Presbyterian Church in 1875. His daughter, Jessie, was the first white child born in the Village of Muscogee Indian Territory.

• A.W. Robb house, 1321 Boston St., built in 1905 by Robb in the late Victorian architectural style. He was Muskogee’s first merchant and charter member of the First Presbyterian Church in 1875. His daughter, Jessie, was the first white child born in the Village of Muscogee Indian Territory. • Virgil R. Coss house, 1315 W. Okmulgee Ave., built in 1906 by V.R. Coss, early banker and real estate dealer. In later years, the home was occupied by James A. Egan, mayor of Muskogee, from 1962-68. • A.W. Patterson house, 1320 W. Okmulgee Ave., built in 1906 by Patterson in the Romanesque architectural style.

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He was president of the Bank of Muskogee, Okmulgee Avenue and Second Street, in 1901. He was also an investment broker who owned much property in the area. Patterson and his son-in-law, A.C. Trumbo, were promoters of Muskogee and early Arkansas River navigation. Together, these two men provided the financing for Muskogee’s Convention Hall, scene of the Trans-Mississippi Congress in 1907. This home was later occupied by L.R. Kershaw, who had substantial interests in land, oil and cattle. In 1912, he introduced the breed of Aberdeen-Angus cattle into this area. • A.C. Trumbo house, 1321 W. Broadway, built in 1906 by Trumbo in a prairie school architectural style, is a replica of one of Mark Twain’s homes. Trumbo was the son-in-law

of A.W. Patterson, and both men were pioneer bankers and promoters of Muskogee and early Arkansas River navigation. Together, the two men provided the financing for Muskogee’s Convention Hall, scene of the Trans-Mississippi Congress in 1907. • Col. George A. Murphy house, 1321 W. Okmulgee Ave., built in 1907 in the mission/ Spanish revival architectural style. Murphy, a prominent Muskogee attorney, also served on the board of directors for the American National Bank of Muskogee. Widow Clara contributed funds to help build Murphy Hall, a onetime popular meeting place for organizations and civic clubs.   Sources: www.historichomesmuskogee.com and www. nationalregisterofhistoricplaces. com.  2


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The Patterson House Story by Leilani Roberts Ott

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t was the historical significance of the house at 1320 W. Okmulgee Ave. that drew Dr. Phil Couch to the grand home built in 1906 of limestone from Carthage, Mo.   “Oklahoma doesn’t have a lot of historical significant homes because it was Indian Territory,” he said.   Phil had been in the U.S. Air Force living in Spokane, Wash., when he moved his wife, Mary Ann, and their two daughters, Kelly, then 7, and Katy, then 4, to Muskogee. He was starting a practice at Muskogee Bone and Joint Clinic. That was April

Photos by Jerry Willis 1978.   They lived in a one-bedroom apartment looking all summer for just the right house. They bought the home from Mrs. Sam Caldwell in August 1978. Her husband had died, and as a courtesy, they gave her until Jan. 1, 1979, to move.    The 10,000-square-foot home has only had four owners, Mary Ann Couch said. A.W. Patterson, who was a bank president, built it. There are no known living family members. L.R. Kershaw owned it from 1921 to 1973. He even had cattle in the front yard, Mary Ann said. The Caldwells owned

it from 1973 to 1978, and now the Couches are enjoying the home.   “Phil liked it because it was so substantial, looked solid,” Mary Ann said.   The colorful stained glass windows that reach from the first floor to the second floor are original. That was another drawing point. The couple had big plans on remodeling the house. They wanted to keep its character and keep as much of the original fixtures as possible.   The first thing they did was put pillars under it, because they saw some settling.   The house has a basement that

was a root cellar, a place used to store vegetables or canned goods. The basement is a work in progress. It has a laundry room and a wine cellar, which is Phil’s most recent project. He and a friend built a barrel ceiling of brick pavers and put in rows of wooden racks for wine bottles. A thick wooden door Phil built keeps it secure.   “We robbed ideas out of magazines,” she said.   The third floor was a ballroom. It was a play place for the girls when they were little. The flooring and walls have been redone. The space is used for storage.

A. W. Patterson house, 1320 W. Okmulgee Ave., built in 1906 by Patterson in the romanesque architectural style. He was president of the Bank of Muskogee, Okmulgee Avenue and Second Street, in 1901. Dr. Phil Couch and his wife, Mary Ann, have owned the home since 1978.


The corner room on the second floor is an office and library with a large window overlooking Okmulgee Ave. It was originally a screened sleeping porch.


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In 2000, Phil and Mary Ann lived in their carriage house, affectionately known as “The Pig House.” It is an apartment built over the garage in 1992 after the original garage fell in from the weight of a heavy snowstorm. They saved the original bricks from the garage and used them when the new garage was built.   The extra Carthage limestone or “marble” was used as a back wall to close up the screened-in back porch to add more space to the kitchen. The low ceiling were return to their original height, 12 feet, and the heat and air units redone.   The servant’s stairway was removed, and an opening that mirrored the one in the living room made for easier access to the kitchen.   The kitchen got the biggest facelift with new cabinets, granite countertops, blue and white tile backsplash, and a commercial stainless steel stove.   “He’s the gourmet cook, and I’m practical,” Mary Ann said.   Mary Ann said her daughter, Kelly, told her to pick one thing she loved and build a design around it. Her favorite things are the white tile bunnies on the backsplash framed in blue tiles. The new wood added to frame new doors was matched to the original. Most of the brass doorknobs are original, and new ones are as similar as possible. The floors are oak. Treasures in the room are a Belgium China cabinet from Sam Spacek’s Antiques in Tulsa and an embroidered wall hanging about Girl Scouts made by a Brownie member’s mother. She was thanking Mary Ann for letting the troop, which included Kelly, who was in the first grade, meet in her home when they lived in Spokane.   “This is Couch World Headquarters,” Mary Ann said of their home. “That’s what the girls called it. There have been lots of Girl Scouts through here. It was nothing fancy when the girls were growing up. It was

Left: Mary Ann Couch has done the second floor bathroom in white tile with twin mirrors above matching pedestal sinks. The room was once the nursery.

Below: The living room fireplace is marble with a large wooden mantle. The door to the porch is set with beveled leaded glass.

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Top to Bottom: Dr. Phil Couch and a friend have built a wine cellar in the home’s basement. They installed a barrel ceiling of brick pavers and put in rows of wooden racks for wine bottles. A thick wooden door Phil built keeps it secure. There are four bedrooms on the second floor. The floors are hard pine, and this bedroom has multiple large windows.

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their home to play in.”   Gone is the powder room by the kitchen and a little window where they brought ice in. There were no refrigerators when the house was built.   “We tried so hard to make everything go with the period of the house,” she said.   The ceilings are pressed tin made in Nevada, Mo., just like the original ceilings. They were bought from the factory that was operating when the home was built, Phil said.   The extensive remodeling project was done enough in December 2001 for the Couches to be on the Muskogee Christmas Home Tour benefiting the Kelly B. Todd Cerebral Palsy and NeuroMuscular Center.   The furniture in the home today is mostly the same pieces the couple found when they first started furnishing it. Phil bought five pieces for the dining room, which include a 10-foot table with eight chairs, at an antique auction the same night Mary Ann bought a Duncan Phyfe sofa. It’s her favorite piece of furniture.   “This was before cellphones,” she said. “We were hoping the other one wasn’t coming home with the same furniture. Things had to be in scale with the house.”   That meant large. In the formal dining room, the massive buffet spreads across the wall. An original stained glass centered in it is 8 feet wide. On another wall is a fireplace with the original soft green tiles. Four windows face the front of the house with a window seat.   On the other side of the foyer is the living room with a beveled glass and screened door that leads to the side porch. The arches add to the architectural aura of the home. There are bolts in the stone where a hammock can be hung.   In the foyer is a red and beige rug bought in China on a family


Above: Dr. Phil and Mary Ann Couch say they enjoy entertaining on the large porch on the east side of their home. Right: The front door is framed by and inset with beveled leaded glass. In the foyer is a red and beige rug bought in China on a family trip and shipped home. Below: In remodeling the historic home, the kitchen got the biggest facelift with new cabinets, granite countertops, blue and white tile backsplash, and a commercial stainless steel stove.

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Left: The Couchs have filled their home with interesting art pieces such as this waterfowl scene in the front entry. Below: The formal dining room includes a green-tiled fireplace framed by a pair of seats. An ornate antique cabinet stands alongside it.

trip and shipped home.   “That’s our souvenir,” Mary Ann said and laughed.   On the second floor is Phil’s office/library/communication room, as he calls it. It was originally a sleeping porch with screened wire. The new tin ceiling is framed with gold tin molding pressed in a pattern like that in the kitchen.   “These are the original lighting fixtures,” Phil said. “Anything we could use, we did. You’ll notice there are not very many windows on the west and north. It had the original coalfired boiler and steam heat when we moved in. In the 1950s it was forced air heat.”   The radiators are gone. The updated heating and cooling system in the home fills part of the basement today.   There are four bedrooms upstairs along with the library. A large landing serves as a sitting area. The bathroom between two of the bedrooms was once the nursery. The floors are hard pine, which were covered in carpet. That saved them, he said. That’s why they are in such good shape.    Mary Ann said in the 2001 remodel, a pocket door was discovered between the other two bedrooms. It had been covered with Sheetrock.

  The lights in the home were originally gas and electric. Mary Ann said they didn’t know then if electricity would catch on.   A dressing room was turned into a bathroom. The master bathroom has gold granite counters with matching granite on the walls and showers. That gives the house three baths upstairs and a powder room downstairs.   Wallpaper was artistically added with wooden molding in the bedrooms. Mary Ann said

she had a lot of help from her friends hanging wallpaper and border. Her favorite is an ivory and old gold toile in the living room.   In a postcard Mary Ann has of the home, there was no landscaping. Dogwoods and magnolias have been part of the landscape for a long time. When one dies out, the Couches replace them. The late Duncan Alford, a landscape architect, redid the grounds, leveling it, adding bushes, flowers and black

iron fencing. He lived nearby and spent many hours making it the grand showplace it is today.   “It certainly looks better than it did in the postcard,” she said.   Mary Ann said her daughters tell their spouses and their children, the house did not look like it does now when they were children. Kelly is married to Shawn Allen and lives in Decatur, Ga. Katy, husband Blake Williams and their sons, Tripp, 6, and Gus, 3, live in Snowmass, Colo.  2


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Scene and Be Seen Superhero 5K The second annual Muskogee Super Hero 5K and Fun Run at Honor Heights Park on Sept. 27 was a fundraising run to benefit Joey Fast and family. Fast battles head and spine injuries sustained in a 2000 car accident in Colorado. Runners dressed up as their favorite superhero. Photos by John Hasler

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Scene and Be Seen Papilion Swallowtail Celebration The Papilion in Honor Heights Park’s last big event of 2014 was the Swallowtail Celebration on Sept. 27. The event offered music, food, games, arts and crafts, beautiful gardens and lots of swallowtail butterflies. OG&E donated 200 swallowtails to the Papilion’s Butterfly House. Winners of the Papilion’s first photo contest were also announced. Photos by John Hasler

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Scene and Be Seen Name That Tune Muskogee Rotary Club held its “Name That Tune Challenge” on Oct. 23 at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. The theme of the competition this year was “Peace, Love and Groovy Music,” and many competitors clearly dressed the part. Photos by Mandy Lundy

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Susan Randolph’s living room shimmers with Christmas lights seen from the deck around her pool.

Christmas Home Tour A look at five homes on the Muskogee Christmas Home Tour Story by E.I. Hillin Photos by Jerry Willis

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eth Seim said the Christmas Home Tour offers a chance to bring family together and spread the holiday spirit.   “Every year, we see families coming in to look at the homes,” she said. “It’s one of those events that brings people together.”   Seim, Christmas Home Tour co-chairman, said the 40th annual Christmas Home Tour is sure to impress.    “Each one of the homes has their own uniqueness,” Seim said. “We really let them use their own ability and knowledge.”   With homes boasting everything from modern holiday decor to old-fashioned vintage Christmas delight, there is something for all ages.

  The tour also serves as a fundraiser for the Kelly B. Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuromuscular Center.   “All of the proceeds from the event go to Kelly B. Todd Center,” she said.   The center was founded in 1975 by Beverly and David Todd. The Todd’s son, Kelly B., had cerebral palsy, and the family was unable to find any place in Muskogee to care for him.   Physical therapist Pat Pack began to work with Kelly B. Todd in a small house owned by the Bethany Presbyterian Church in Muskogee. The Kelly B. Todd Center was built in 1977 at the same location.    Pack is the center’s director and pediatric physical therapist. The center provides physical and

Right: Holly Rosser-Miller has a dachshund figure at each place on her dining table, while a sleigh serves as a centerpiece. Green Country Living

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speech therapy to children with motor deficits or developmental delays, free of charge.   Last year, the Christmas Home Tour was able to raise around $15,000 for the Kelly B. Todd Center.   This year, in addition to ticket sales, a drawing for a necklace valued at $1,000 will take place Dec. 8. The necklace is donated by Haley & Loyd Jewelry, something they do each year, Seim said.   One house on the candlelight tour is celebrating its 100-year anniversary. Harmony House has been serving Muskogee delicious treats for 22 years, but the house has been around for much longer.    Owner Beth Stacey said this year will also be special because many of the holiday decorations come from her mother. 

  “My mother passed away not too long ago,” Stacey said. “Her long-time friend is coming from Florida to help decorate.”   Harmony House also will be serving a sample of their sweets to tour guests. Stacey said that will include cookies, cupcakes, and pie tarts.   The theme for the Harmony House will be a vintage Christmas. Stacey said she has a large Santa Claus collection from the 1950s.    “It’s something we have collected over the years,” she said.   Another collection that many past tour guests will be pleased to see again is the Coca-Cola collectibles inside the home of Robin and Kathy Hopkins.   “People love it!” Kathy Hopkins said. “Old or young, it doesn’t matter.”

Left: Tom and Carolyn Baker have a large Christmas tree decorated in their study for the Christmas by Candlelight tour. Below: Jim and Tracy Blair’s home is blanketed by last winter’s snow. Their home will be on the Christmas tour for the first time this year. (Submitted photo)

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The Hopkins began collecting Coca-Cola items 30 years ago and have been collecting nonstop ever since. Today, the home is filled with thousands of collectibles ranging from dishware to the piece that started it all, a 1940s Coke box refrigerator.   For the first time ever, Jim Paul and Tracy Blair will open up their home for the Christmas tour. The house was built in 1969, but after the Blairs purchased it in 2007 they did a total makeover.   “We gutted the home, and rebuilt it,” Tracy Blair said. “It’s pretty exciting for me to show people how hard we worked.”   The holiday focus in the Blair home will be themed Christmas trees. Blair said the family loves

the Oklahoma State Cowboys. In honor of Oklahoma State University, one tree is devoted completely to the orange and black.   Two trees are fully decorated in all things music. Ornaments of instruments and music notes dangle from the tree limbs.   “Music is a big piece of everything we do in our family,” she said.    Seim encourages those who want to attend to purchase their tickets early. Tickets for the day time tours are available at several businesses in Muskogee. The candlelight tour is by invitation only, but Seim said they have never turned anyone away. For those interested, tickets are priced at $25 at the door the day of the event.  2

Top: Ray and Kathy Hopkins’ Coca-Cola collectibles are a big draw, including a large selection of holiday items. Right: The tree in the Rosser-Miller living room is done in silver and gold. Green Country Living

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Clockwise both pages: The tree in the Baker’s living room has lights that change colors in various sequences controlled by an iPhone or iPad app. Beneath the tree is a train set that Tom was given as a child.

A huge Santa promotional display from CocaCola backs a small couch in the Hopkins’ collectibles room.

David and Sharon Ross’ entertainment room is filled with Oklahoma University Christmas decorations and other memorabilia.

This room in David and Sharon Ross’ home displays a girly soft touch to Christmas decor.

The bathroom in the Ross home includes touches of crimson and cream.

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40th annual Christmas Home Tour WHEN: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Dec. 5. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 6 and 7.  WHERE: Christmas By Candlelight Home Tour — Dr. John Tedesco, 3320 N. Country Club Road.  Tom and Carolyn Baker, 3408 River Bend Road. Susan Randolph, 3835 Club View Drive. Harmony House, 208 S. Seventh St. Day home tour — Jim and Tracy Blair, 5940 Rolling Oaks Drive. Robin and Kathy Hopkins, 4104 Eagle Crest Drive.  Pecan Creek Winery - Dr. D.I. Wilkinson and the Rev. Bob Wickizer, 8510 W. Fern Mountain Road.   Mike and Holly Miller, 3009 River Oaks Drive. David and Sharon Ross, 3615 N. Country Club Circle. Lee and Cindy Metzger, 4 Foltz Place.  INFORMATION: (918) 441-6745. TICKETS: Candlelight tour is by invitation only. Day tour tickets cost $10 and are available at Rustic Elegance, 107 W. Broadway; I’m a Basket Case Florist and Gifts, 950 N. York St.; Harmony House, 208 S. Seventh St.; Bella Mea’s, 1601 E. Okmulgee Ave.; Kelly B. Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuromuscular Center, 1111 N. 36th St.; About Hair Beauty Salon, 603 S. York St.; Economy Pharmacy, 3413 W. Okmulgee Ave. and 412 N. York St.; Bebb’s Flowers, 701 W. Broadway; Haley & Loyd Jewelry, 3421 Chandler Road.

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The Randolph Home Story by E.I. Hillin Photos by Jerry Willis

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palette of all white is the holiday decor theme for Susan Randolph’s home. To prepare the house for the Christmas By Candlelight Tour, she enlisted the help of Ann Davis Design.   “It’s a white contemporary Christmas,” Davis said. “We had to think outside the box.”   From Club View Drive you can see the soft glow of the home with five white Christmas trees lining the dining room.     A chandelier with custommade antique blue and aqua crystals catches your eye as you enter the house. Under your feet, a white shag rug covers the pine wood floors, offering a warm welcome.     Built in 2005, the home includes three bedrooms, three and a half baths, a large dining room that opens into a modern kitchen with a wood-covered island, and a closed-in back porch.     John Brooks Walton was the architect for the home. Randolph said the house was built with the intention of giving

Susan Randolph chose an all-white palette to decorate her home for the Christmas by Candlelight Tour.

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an island vibe, inspired by West Indies architecture.   Randolph’s love for scubadiving can be detected in simple details in every room. Coral reef and seashells are on display throughout the home.   A table completely covered in a variety of different types of shells is Randolph’s favorite piece of furniture. She said it was a gift from her parents, created by renowned Tulsa interior designer Charles Faudree before he died.    Randolph said she wanted to have a window view in every room, and that element was beautifully achieved.    “You can’t have an ocean home in Oklahoma,” she said. “I wanted something that felt like outdoor living on the islands.”    From the dining room guests can look through the front windows to view the Country Club Golf Course. Turn around,

and the view changes to a crystal clear swimming pool and small pond in the backyard.   The white holiday theme is extended from the dining room into the kitchen and back porch. White decorations cover vases and furniture. White holiday wreaths cover glass side tables.   “It’s everything needed to look like a snowflake,” Davis said.   Artwork hangs throughout the house by Randolph’s friend, Tulsa artist, Chris Mantle. A reindeer painting done especially for the tour hangs over the fireplace in the back porch area.   “This is where the fun happens,” Randolph said.    Randolph said while inviting guests into her home is fun, the main reason she decided to be listed on the tour was to benefit the Kelly B. Todd Cerebral Palsy and Neuro-muscular Center.  2

Above: Evenly spaced trees glow from each front window of Susan Randolph’s home. Below: A bowl full of crystal globes sits atop a table covered with sea shells. The table is Susan Randolph’s favorite piece of furniture.

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Top to bottom: The sleek, clean decor of the modern kitchen is in keeping with the theme.

A roaring fire and a forest of candles add warmth to the seating area.

Tulsa artist Chris Mantle created the painting that hangs above the fireplace on the screened back porch. The painting was commissioned for the tour.

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Left: A collection of candy canes adds a splash of color to a set of shelves in the kitchen.

Bottom: A baby grand piano holds sway in the corner of the dining area of the main room.

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food & drink

The Cook’s Pantry By Melony Carey

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hen I was 17 I lived down the street from the ThomasForeman Home located at 15th Street and Okmulgee Avenue. It had just opened as a museum under the aegis of the Oklahoma Historical Society, and I was

Holidays at the ThomasForeman Home A collection of ‘good recipes’ Photos by Mandy Lundy totally enthralled with the artifacts collected by Grant and Carolyn Foreman on their trips to Rome, India or Egypt during the great age of travel. Here, photos of Carolyn, dressed in a crisp white high-collared shirt and long black skirt, standing in the Colosseum, or the Foremans riding camels in the Valley of

the Kings, beckoned me to share in their experiences in another time and place. Here, I could step into a Muskogee I had not been born into, but one that had been carefully curated by two exceptional people who witnessed and recorded our most important history firsthand.   The house was built by

Carolyn’s father, Judge John Robert Thomas, who had been appointed federal district judge in Indian Territory by his friend and classmate, President William McKinley. Carolyn married Grant Foreman, an attorney in her father’s office, in 1905, and they resided in the home until their deaths in 1967 and 1953

A Christmas meal of roasted capon, herbed stuffing, creamed corn and Waldorf salad served on Carolyn Foreman’s Royal Doulton china pattern, Old Leeds Sprays.

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respectively. Among their many papers and thousands of books were some of Carolyn Foreman’s recipes, handwritten in a delicate and thoughtful script. An envelope dated 1954 is inscribed with the words “good recipes,” and as any experienced cook knows, this means the very best recipes worth keeping.   Many of Carolyn’s recipes were collected on travels, such as a circa 1915 notecard from the steamship Carpathia on which she noted the types of sophisticated finger sandwiches served during the voyage, like raspberry jam and cream cheese or chicken salad with almonds. But, as with many of us, the

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majority of her recipes centered on holiday cooking and baking. Unfortunately, the Foremans had no children of their own with whom to share these recipes. Rather, we can be their beneficiaries with the following originals and adaptations of Carolyn Foreman’s recipes.

Philadelphia Relish 1 head cabbage, chopped fine 1 red pepper, chopped fine 1 green pepper, chopped fine ½ teaspoon salt ¼ cup brown sugar ½ teaspoon mustard seed ¼ teaspoon celery seed ¼ cup vinegar


food & drink   Chop all the vegetables fine, and then mix in other ingredients. Carolyn Foreman noted she ground hers in the meat grinder to get an extrafine cut. In the 1947 Culinary Arts Institute cookbook, the instructions say to boil the brown sugar, mustard and vinegar together and pour over the chopped vegetables. Serve with roasted meats. Keeps in refrigerator for three days.

Christmas Roasted Capon 1 (4 to 6-pound) capon ½ cup softened butter Salt and black pepper to taste

4 tablespoons basil, chopped 4 tablespoons thyme, chopped 4 tablespoons tarragon, chopped 2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped 3 tablespoons garlic, minced 2 medium onions, quartered 2 sticks of celery, chopped 2 red apples, diced 2 green apples, diced ½ cup white wine 3 cups chicken stock   Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the bird well under cold running water and place in the center of a roasting pan or Dutch oven. Season the bird generously, inside and out, using salt and pepper. In a small bowl, blend softened butter with all

of the chopped herbs and garlic. Rub the herb paste under the breast skin of the bird and over the outer skin, distributing evenly. Any remaining herb paste should be placed in the pan around the base of the bird. Place the giblets in the pan and surround the bird with the diced vegetables and apples. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or the lid of the Dutch oven and roast, covered, for 2 ½ hours. Check for tenderness at 2 hours. The bird will be ready when the legs wiggle freely at the joints. Uncover and allow to brown for approximately 30 minutes. When bird is done, remove from the roasting pan and keep

Grant and Carolyn Foreman were both prominent historians who documented Oklahoma’s early history and vanishing lifestyle of post-Indian Territory.

warm. Make a sauce from the pan drippings by removing as much of the fat as possible from the pan without disturbing the natural drippings. Place the pan over high heat to caramelize the remaining juices, but be careful not to burn. Deglaze the drippings with wine, scraping the pan with a spatula. Add chicken stock, bring to a low boil and reduce to approximately 1 cup. Strain through a fine sieve and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with sliced capon. This sauce is also excellent served over pasta as a side dish to the capon. Source: Chef John Folse.

Creamed Corn 2 10-ounce sacks frozen corn, thawed 1 cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons sugar ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 2 tablespoons butter 1 cup milk 2 tablespoons flour ¼ cup Parmesan or to taste   In a skillet over medium heat, combine the corn, cream, salt, sugar, pepper and butter. Whisk together the milk and flour, and stir into the corn mixture. Cook stirring over medium heat until the mixture is thickened, and corn is cooked through. Remove from heat, and stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted. Serve hot. Source: www.allrecipes. com.

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food & drink

The Foremans did not put up a Christmas tree, placing packages instead on their settee and perhaps enjoying a Christmas cake and coffee.

Herbed Stuffing 1 ¾ cups chicken broth 1 generous dash black pepper  1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped (about ½ cup)  1 small onion, coarsely chopped (about ¼ cup)  3 ounces mushrooms, sliced (about 1 cup)  4 cups herbed seasoned stuffing mix  ½ pound bulk pork sausage, cooked and crumbled    Sauté onion and celery until softened; add sliced mushrooms and continue cooking until limp. Set aside. Heat the broth and black pepper in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Stir in the vegetables, stuffing and cooked sausage; mix lightly.

Waldorf Salad ½ cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts ½ cup celery, thinly sliced ½ cup red seedless grapes, sliced (or a ¼ cup of raisins) 1 sweet apple, cored and chopped 3 tablespoon mayonnaise 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice Salt Pepper Lettuce

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  In a small-sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and the lemon juice. Add ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of fresh ground pepper. Mix the apple, celery, grapes, and walnuts in a medium-sized serving bowl and stir in dressing. Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce.

Coconut Cake ¾ coconut oil, melted 4 large egg yolks, room temperature 6 tablespoons mascarpone cheese, softened ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon reduced fat coconut milk, room temperature 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract 2 ¾ cups cake flour 1 ¼ plus ⅔ cups sugar, divided ¾ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 6 large egg whites 3 cups unsweetened flaked coconut   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with nonstick baking spray with flour. Line bottoms with parchment paper, spray with additional non-stick baking spray. Melt coconut oil in microwave 20 seconds. In a large bowl whisk coconut oil and egg yolks together until combined. Add mascarpone, coconut milk, and vanilla,

whisking to combine. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, 1 ¼ cups sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to egg yolk mixture in thirds, whisking to combine. In a large bowl, beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining ⅔ cup sugar, beating until whites are stiff, but not dry, approximately 5 minutes. Gently fold egg whites into batter in four batches. Divide batter between prepared pans.    Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 20 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then remove to wire rack. Spread coconut frosting

between layers. Top with coconut then spread remaining frosting on top and sides and top with additional coconut.

Coconut Frosting 1 cup butter, softened 1 8-ounce package mascarpone, softened ¼ cup reduced fat coconut milk 1 teaspoon coconut extract 10 cups confectioners sugar   In a large bowl, beat butter, cheese, coconut milk, and extract on medium until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until frosting is fluffy and stiff.   Source: Southern Christmas, December 2014.  2


food & drink

Spirited Holidays Photo by Jerry Willis

Wonderful Wine By Valarie Carter

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he holidays are upon us, and chances are very good that you’ll be entertaining or entertained in the next several weeks. Whether you need the perfect wine or cocktail for serving or a gift

for the host or hostess, I’ve got you covered.   As the host, you’ll want to serve food-friendly wines that pair perfectly with rich foods typically prepared during the holiday season. Perhaps you need suggestions for cocktails and aperitifs to serve before

the main course. The Lillet Cocktail and Ginger Fizz both fit the bill of stimulating but not satiating the appetite. Additionally, I suggest a dessert cocktail, as many guests will enjoy a sweet, spiked concoction in lieu of actual dessert.

  If you are an invitee at one of these winter soirees, you’ll likely need a gift for the party inviter. Don’t let your presence be your present. Choose a food-friendly wine or high-quality spirit as a generous and festive, yet useful holiday gift.

Food-friendly wines to try this season Kung Fu Girl riesling $11

Mer Soleil Reserve chardonnay $24

Chateau Smith cabernet sauvignon $22

Liberty School chardonnay $14

Pinot Project pinot noir $16

Lodi Plungerhead cabernet sauvignon $15

Sparkling

Whiskey

Coffee liqueur

La marca prosecco, $13

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Whiskey

Kahlua

Zonin prosecco $15

Sam Houston Whiskey

Copa De Oro

Roederer Estate brut 30

Gentlemen Jack Whiskey

Tia Maria

Spiced rum

Cognac

Gin

D’Ussé

Bombay Sapphire

Rémi Martin XO

Tanqueray Rangpur

Courvoisier

Hendrick’s

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum Kraken Black Spiced Rum Captain Morgan Private Stock Rum

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food & drink Thick, rich Mexican hot chocolate adds and little spice to the holidays and may quickly become a Christmas favorite.

Grapefruit Lillet Cocktail   Utilizing refreshing, in-season citrus and French-made Lillet, this aperitif cocktail is bright and clean, perfect for stimulating appetites of partygoers. ⅛ wedge of grapefruit 2 ounces Lillet blanc or rosé 4 ounces dry sparkling wine Grapefruit twist   In a high-ball glass, muddle grapefruit with a muddler or, alternatively, a wooden spoon. Top with ice, Lillet, and sparkling wine. Stir gently and garnish with grapefruit twist. 

Ginger Fizz   Slightly spicy and effervescent, this zippy cocktail is sure to get the party started. 2 ounces good-quality gin  1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 4 ounces ginger beer   Fill a rocks glass with ice.  Add gin, lemon juice and top with ginger beer. Stir gently and serve.

Homemade Eggnog   Rich and silky, this homemade eggnog will make you shun the sickly-sweet and artificially flavored variety from the grocery store.     Makes enough for a crowd. Ingredients 8 egg yolks ½ cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons 1 quart whole milk 16 ounces heavy whipping cream 8 ounces whiskey, bourbon,

spiced rum or cognac 1 ½ teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg 8 egg whites Nutmeg for garnish   Directions   Using the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks until lightened in color. Gradually add the ½ cup sugar and continue beating until completely dissolved. Set aside.   In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Whisk about ½ cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. While whisking, gradually add egg mixture to milk mixture. Return pan to heat and cook until mixture reaches 160 degrees. Remove from heat, pour into a stainless steel mixing bowl and stir in liquor of your choice. Place bowl in an ice bath and stir occasionally until mixture is chilled. Place mixture in refrigerator.   In a medium mixing bowl beat egg whites to soft peaks using an electric mixer. With the mixer running gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk egg whites into the chilled mixture. Serve with a fresh grating of nutmeg. 

2 tablespoons brown sugar Pinch of kosher salt 1 rounded teaspoon instant coffee crystals ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper ½ teaspoon good-quality ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon chili powder (make sure to use chili powder that only contains chilies and no cumin or garlic!) 6 cinnamon sticks for stirring 12 ounces good-quality coffee liqueur

  Directions   If using block chocolate, use a sharp knife to break it into smaller pieces. In a saucepan, combine the chocolate, milk, cream, sugar, salt, coffee crystals and ground spices over mediumlow heat. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and milk is very hot. Whisk until frothy. Do not boil. Remove from heat. Add 2 ounces coffee liqueur to each mug. Top with hot chocolate and stir with a cinnamon stick.  2

Mexican hot chocolate   Serves 6 3 ounces Mexican chocolate or bittersweet chocolate — block, chips or paillettes will do 2 ½ cups milk ½ cup heavy whipping cream Green Country Living

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Food & Enterta

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ainment

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art

MaryBeth Nelson Story by E.I. Hillin

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aryBeth Nelson has been painting for 15 years, but she said she has been drawing all her life.   Stepping inside her art studio one might get the feeling he or she is being watched. Wildlife paintings of bears, mountain lions, eagles, and wolves are on display all around.   “One of the first things I wanted to get down was the eyes,” Nelson said. “I think that shows the spirit of whatever you’re doing.”

  At 46, Nelson said she is an eclectic artist when it comes to her styles, mediums, and subjects. She isn’t shy about her informal art education.   “I wasn’t formally trained,” she said. “I do it until it looks right.”   From painting largescale portraits to Christmas ornaments, it’s clear, regardless of her training, Nelson has skill. Splitting time between painting and working at Muskogee’s Five Civilized Tribes Museum, Nelson stays busy.   When it comes to painting,

Below: The wolf’s eyes pierce the viewer in “Alpha 1.”

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she said her focus sometimes shifts with her mood.   “I do what I want, when I want,” Nelson said. “If I get agitated doing one I just move on to the next one.”   Nelson was born in the Pryor Creek area. She graduated from Guthrie High School but said she moved around frequently.   She said her major influences while growing up were Norman Rockwell and trips to the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa.   “I can remember wanting to go up to each piece and put the magnifying glass to it,” Nelson

said.   Another significant influence came into her life many years later.   “When I turned 30, I met a woman who completely changed my life,” Nelson said.   Betty Cramer helped spark Nelson’s creativity. She inspired her and believed in her art. Cramer gave Nelson clay and began to teach her how to sculpt.   “She’s probably the biggest influence and then my dad,” Nelson said. “He’s my biggest fan.”


In 2012, Nelson was invited to Paris as part of the Delegation Amerindienne. She spent eight days there with 13 other Native American artists from the United States as well as Canada who were juried into the show. Nelson said five of her original pieces can be found in a Paris gallery.   “Ga-Li-Quo-Gi,” or “Seven,” is one of Nelson’s most popular paintings. She painted it six years ago. The original is hanging in a Cherokee Nation Casino office in Catoosa, Nelson said.

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Above: “The Magnificent Seven” by MaryBeth Nelson. Below: “Seven Galiquoqi” by MaryBeth Nelson. Above: “Ravenmocker” by MaryBeth Nelson.

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Right: “Southeastern Style Circle” by MaryBeth Nelson.


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Above: MaryBeth Nelson takes an informal approach to her art. She says s

  It signifies each of the Cherokee Clans; bird, wild potato, wolf, deer, long-hair, blue, and pink.   Nelson said some clans are known by other names. The Cherokee clans are matrilineal, or passed down through a person’s mother.   “You go by your mother’s clan,” Nelson said. “You’re raised by her brothers and uncles, because that is the same clan.”   Each of the seven clans represent specific duties of the tribe. Nelson said the Bird clan were the messengers, wild potato clan were the gardeners or farmers, wolf clan were the warriors, deer clan were the hunters, long-hair clan were the peace keepers, blue clan were the keepers of the children’s medicine, and the pink clan were the medicine men.   Her interest in the clans and 58

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Cherokee tradition stems from a thirst for knowledge she has for her culture.   “I didn’t grow up around any of it,” Nelson said.   Another native culture Nelson is fascinated by is the Southeastern mound builders. She said Southeastern symbols find their way in her art frequently.   “These are all symbols that were found in and around the mounds in the southeastern part of the United States,” Nelson said. “I do a lot of those.”   Each symbol requires an exacting focus on detail and symmetry. Nelson said she enjoys having the opportunity to speak with people intrigued by the symbols.   “I think it’s neat because when people look at them they think they’re contemporary,” Nelson said. “They are actually


Photo by Jerry Willis

she works on a piece until it looks right.

ancient.”   Her painting, “Southeastern Silhouette,” recently won third place at SEASAM, or the Southeast Arts Show and Market, in Tishomingo.   Nelson has two sons, both of whom she said are extremely creative. Between doing commissioned paintings and drawing Southeastern symbols for relaxation, Nelson also finds time for two of her biggest fans — John Timothy II, her fiancé, and Mr. Beanz, Nelson’s dog. Mr. Beanz has been known to show up at art shows with Nelson.   “I’m one of those people I always made fun of.”   Nelson and Timothy plan to marry in April. She said Timothy is a big motivation in her life and her art.   “Being with him is like being at home,” she said.  2 Green Country Living

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Historic Homes of

Muskogee

The Posey Home Story by Jonita Mullins

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any of the early homes built in Muskogee were actually farm homes, built some distance from downtown, which didn’t extend much beyond Fourth Street in the days before statehood.   Old insurance maps show that many blocks west of Seventh Street contained only one home with a barn and other outbuildings. Neighbors were few and far between.   At the corner of 12th and Hartford streets stands one of these old farm homes. It was built around 1906, and city directories show almost continuous occupation into the modern era. Like many other homes built in this time period it is in the American Craftsman style. Its most attractive feature is the substantial brick porch columns which gives it a solid, going-to-be-around-for-a-longtime feeling. Otherwise it is a modest, practical home that belies the interesting history associated with it.   This house is first listed in the city directories in 1906 as the home of Alex and Minnie Posey. It is probable that the Poseys built the home for their family. The occupation given for Alex Posey was clerk and interpreter for the Dawes Commission. The title doesn’t begin to tell the importance of the work Posey would do in the few short years that he made Muskogee his home. In Oklahoma history, Posey played a larger-than-life role.   Posey was a leader in the

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Creek Nation and is considered to be one of the greatest Native American poets. He wrote under the pen name Chinnubbie Harjo. He was born near Eufaula in 1873 just after that town developed along the Katy Railroad. He grew up on a farm and attended Bacone College (then called Indian University) in Muskogee.   Posey’s father insisted that he learn to speak English well. This skill would lead to his later employment as an interpreter with the Dawes Commission. Being fluent in both Muscogee and English, he worked to assist his fellow Creeks in the enrollment and allotment process being carried out by the Commission.   Before this job, Posey had served as superintendent of the Creek Orphan School at Wealaka and the Eufaula Creek High School. He also was superintendent of Public Instruction for the entire Creek Nation. For several years, he edited the Indian Journal newspaper in Eufaula.   In 1905, Posey was a delegate to the Sequoyah State Convention held at the Hinton Theater in Muskogee. He was elected secretary of the convention and served on the Constitution Committee. Because he was a gifted writer, Posey was selected to write the Sequoyah Constitution, and he produced a 35,000-word document that later served as the model for the Oklahoma Constitution.   In this capacity, Posey

associated with most of the leaders among the Five Tribes as they worked on forming the State of Sequoyah. It is highly likely many of these men became his friends and would have visited Alex and Minnie in their home on Hartford. Men such as Charles Haskell, Judge John Thomas, and Chief Pleasant Porter might have sat down to dinner with the Posey family to talk politics and debate the approaching statehood.   Minnie Posey was known

to be a convivial hostess and would have set a fine table for her guests. Though the Poseys were not wealthy, they were both well-educated and highly creative individuals. Poetry readings and musical concerts were the entertainment of the day. One can imagine the parlor of the home filled with guests listening to Alex Posey read some of the beautiful poetry he produced.   Perhaps fellow writers, Grant and Carolyn Foreman visited the


Poseys, also. The Foremans were passionately interested in Native American history, and Posey had a wealth of knowledge about the Muscogees and their ancient legends. Grant Foreman might have taken copious notes while the two men talked on the front porch as Carolyn Foreman and Minnie Posey shared tea in the dining room.

  Both Alex and Minnie Posey were educators. Alex Posey had courted his wife while she taught school in Eufaula. It’s likely they would have taken an interest in nearby Henry Kendall College and might have even invited faculty from the school for a meal before a football game on campus. Kendall and Posey’s alma mater, Indian University,

Above: This home on the corner of 12th and Hartford streets was built around 1906 as home to Alex Posey and his wife, Minnie. (Photo by Jerry Willis) Left: Alex Pose was a leader in the Creek Nation, a translator for the Dawes Commission and is considered one of the greatest Native American poets. (Submitted photo courtesy of Five Civilized Tribes Museum)

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were football rivals.   Another former educator and faculty member at Kendall was Alice Robertson. She shared a concern with education for Creek children with the Poseys as she had followed Posey in serving as superintendent of Creek Nation schools. Perhaps Robertson was a guest in their home as well. The chairman of the Dawes Commission, Tams Bixby, along with his wife Clara, might also have paid call at the Posey home.   In 1908, Posey’s occupation was listed as “real estate,” and he had an office in the Barnes Building. In this capacity, he might have made the fortune that many other real estate moguls in Muskogee realized. Sadly though, in that year, Posey met a tragic end when he drowned in the rain-swollen Canadian River.   His widow continued to live on Hartford for a few years with their three children. Then, they moved to the Union Agency building where Minnie Posey operated a tea room on the first floor while she and the children lived on the second floor. This opportunity for the Poseys was a gift from the Creek Nation in recognition of the outstanding contribution Alex Posey had made to his people.   The Hartford house then passed into other hands. The longest occupancy was that of W.E. and Jessie Echenrode. This African American couple lived in the old farmhouse from 1916 to about 1937. His occupation was mail carrier for the post office.   Others have come and gone from the home sitting at 12th and Hartford, an area that still has a rural feel to it. Besides the Poseys, who knows what illustrious guests might have stepped across that substantial front porch and into its rich history.  2

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