Step through the front door of the
Edmond Historical Society Museum and you immediately enter the community's
history. The museum is housed in the
former Armory of the 179th Infantry, 45th Division of the Oklahoma National
Guard. The historic, native sandstone
building was built in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration. The Museum has been in operation since 1985
and it has been recognized on the National Register of Historic Places since
1991. The Museum's Main Gallery features
permanent collection exhibits depicting the lives of early pioneers and the
history that changed Edmond from a one-horse town to the fast-growing suburb town listed in the top 50 places to live in America today. The Museum also features many seasonal, temporary and traveling exhibits.
Historical resources include the Museum’s collection with over 39,000 artifacts, documents and historic photographs, a non-circulating research library with 5,000 books and documents related to Edmond and Oklahoma, newspaper on microfilm, and volunteers from the Edmond Genealogical Society willing to help visitors with family research.
The Children's Learning Center, located off the Main Gallery, is a unique hands-on learning area inspired by early Edmond. Children’s imaginations come alive in the miniature 1889 town. Children can sell flour in the general store, wear a badge in the sheriff’s office, live inside a teepee, find out what’s in the cupboards in a prairie house, be the engineer at the train station, count the money in the bank vault, deliver mail, plant a vegetable garden, and “touch & learn” about Oklahoma animals.
The Museum also features programming at the1889 Territorial Schoolhouse, two blocks north of the museum. The Schoolhouse, the first built in Oklahoma Territory, is a popular field trip destination for students in 3rd and 4th grade studying Oklahoma History, as well as home school groups. Our resident Schoolmarms lead students in a day in the life of an 1889 student. With preparation before they arrive children are immersed in the life of yesteryear. They dress, eat and learn in the style of 1889. From the moment they enter the historic doors they become a part of history. Educational guides are utilized in the main gallery and are specific to special exhibits and events. We also provide an 1889 Land Run Kit that can be checked out and used by teachers in their classrooms.
Since its opening, the Edmond Historical Society & Museum has been a museum that is dedicated to serving the community by allowing free admission into the galleries for all visitors. Ten years ago our visitors totaled about 4,000 people annually. Last year, the Edmond Historical Society & Museum gladly welcomed over 15,000 visitors through our doors.
The Edmond Historical Society & Museum serves as a resource to families, students, historians, tourists, homeschool children and teachers who want to explore the history of Edmond from Oklahoma Territory days to the present. In our main gallery we offer permanent, temporary and traveling exhibits related to the founding of Edmond during the first Oklahoma Land Run of April 22, 1889. Housed in the Old Edmond Armory, built by the WPA in 1936 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991, we are continuing to upgrade our facility by restoring and uncovering the original windows, adding new LED energy efficient lighting and upgrading our ADA accessibility. In 2016 we renovated and relocated our 5,000 volume Research and Genealogical Library into the main gallery to make it more user friendly and accessible to our visitors. Edmond Genealogical Society members staff the library to help with family research. Our Children's Learning Center continues to be a popular gathering place for the young children and families of our community. Children ages toddlers through early elementary enjoy dressing up and living life in our miniature 1889 town. In September of 2016 we held the Grand Opening of the Rodkey House Event and Education Annex. This 1900's Victorian Painted Lady home built by community leaders Isaac and Catherine Rodkey and owners of the Rodkey Mill, will become a gathering place for private celebrations such as small weddings, receptions, parties, and community meetings. We will also host our annual Victorian Tea in the house beginning in February of 2017 with children's Living History Field Trips and Summer Camp following in Spring and Summer 2017. This fall in the main museum gallery we hosted Homeschool Day and Scout Night with close to 100 in attendance. In 2017 we look forward to hosting another traveling exhibit, The Power of Children, and transforming our gallery to accommodate the set up of three rooms depicting the lives of Ryan White, Ruby Bridges and Anne Frank. A companion exhibit of local documents and artifacts relating to the early days of diversity in Edmond is planned. Our staff consists of five full-time museum professionals and four part-time Resident Teachers who provide programming at the 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse and the Rodkey House, two Work-study students from the local University and two interns. We have two new Board members who began serving in July as well as several new volunteers.
The Edmond Historical Society & Museum’s authentic inter-generational Victorian Tea is a special program, hosted beginning in February 2017 at the 1900's Victorian Rodkey House Event and Education Annex, for ladies ages mature kindergartner and up. During the program, ladies learn the importance of Tea Time in the 1800 and 1900's presented by two living history performers acting as Catherine and Bess Rodkey. Ladies also learn the etiquette, traditions, and history of a traditional Tea, including how tea changed the American culture and how it relates to life in Edmond, Oklahoma Territory. In addition to enjoying polite conversation, attendees savor authentic tea foods, enjoy live chamber music, and take home a tea favor. They learn about prominent women in Edmond's history and about their contributions to our city. To make the experience as realistic as possible, Victorian attire is encouraged. This event brings women and young ladies from all generations together for an unforgettable hands-on experience!
The Edmond Historical Society & Museum’s 1889 Summer Camp program is a wonderful and engaging program for students during the summer. This minimal cost program is set in Edmond’s 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse (the earliest one-room schoolhouse in Oklahoma Territory) and led by a real Schoolmarm. The 1889 Summer Camp allows students to unplug from the digital age and experience life as 1889 students by dressing, eating, learning and playing as if they are living life in 1889.
The Edmond Historical Society & Museum has a long-standing collaborative partnership with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America. Fall Scout Night is scheduled in October. This minimal cost program provides Scouts with sessions on Museum etiquette and handling of artifacts, Edmond and Oklahoma History, activities related to our current exhibits and more and is hosted in the main gallery of the museum. A few of our volunteers who are former scouts will pitch in and help lead many of the sessions. Activities are planned to help scouts toward merit badge requirements. Homeschool Day has a similar format with attendees learning about museum artifacts and their care, participating in activities related to current exhibits, and completing their passport as they visit the different stations. There is a minimal cost for this program that serves ages 5 and up.
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Copyright © 2014 Oklahoma City Community Foundation
1000 N. Broadway Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73102