Page 29

WHY SO TINY?

Guthrie’s memorial to its original Land Office wasn’t intended to be so small. By the time the city got around to creating a space, in 1974, it was discovered that a long-ago clerk mistakenly recorded the land to be set aside in remembrance as “100 square feet” instead of “100 feet square.” The post office parking lot had been long established, but a resilient elm in the corner nearest the post office inspired organizers. So they measured out 100 square feet around the tree and built a protective curb around its base. There was no room for a historical plaque, so the marker they ordered was installed near the sidewalk to create a refuge 8 feet by 12.5 feet.

At the arch’s dedication, Frazier mused about how interest in local history waxes and wanes over time. In front of the new panel, with the elm as her witness, she said, “My hope is that by having this here, we’re not going to lose the story again. The stories will be told. And not only will they talk about the tree, they will talk about the Land Run, they will talk about the state capital being moved, they will talk about the economic rebirth, they will talk about this amazing — this completely unique downtown.” Covering the dedication, which also featured Guthrie Vice Mayor Ed Wood, The Guthrie News Leader reported that the event was held “in front of an elm tree and a wrought iron fence, which actually – yeah – is a national park.” Sadly, no. As Ron Parker, chief of interpretation for the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, notes, “Only God can make a flower. Only the U.S. Congress can make a national park.” - M.J. ALEX ANDER Editor’s note: Oklahoma is rich with history, lore and fun facts, but some of them aren’t quite factual. In this series, M.J. Alexander hunts for the accuracy – or lack thereof – behind some of our state’s stories.

SEPTEMBER 2018 405 MAGAZINE

27

Profile for 405 Magazine

405 Magazine September 2018  

405 Magazine is the definitive city and lifestyle magazine of central Oklahoma, featuring people, places, events, dining and culture.

405 Magazine September 2018  

405 Magazine is the definitive city and lifestyle magazine of central Oklahoma, featuring people, places, events, dining and culture.

Profile for sliceok
Advertisement