O U R H I S T O R Y
Guthrie began its life as a dusty prairie stop
along the AT&SF Railroad. On April 22, 1889,
the day of the Land Run, (sometimes referred
to as Harrison's Hoss Race), Guthrie had its first
incarnation as a destination, becoming a city of
10,000 people by nightfall.
Located in the Unassigned Lands of the Indian
Territory, Guthrie had been chosen as a site
for one of the Federal Land Offices where
land seekers were required to file claim to
their parcels. By the evening of April 22, a
tent city already dominated the landscape.
Wooden buildings soon replaced the tents
spreading across the hills along Cottonwood
Creek. Guthrie became one of the largest
cities west of the Mississippi and was quickly
known for its beautiful buildings built of red
brick and native sandstone.
Four months after the run, in August 1889,
The Guthrie City Directory listed the following:
6 banks,16 barbers, 16 blacksmiths,
17 carpenters, 2 cigar manufacturers,
5 newspapers, 7 hardware stores,
15 hotels, 19 pharmacists, 22 lumber
companies, 39 doctors, 40 restaurants,
and an astounding 81 lawyers!
With the passing of the Organic Act in 1890,
Oklahoma became a US Territory and Guthrie
was selected as The Territorial Capital.
Seventeen years later, on November 16, 1907,
Oklahoma was declared a state by then
President Theodore Roosevelt with Guthrie
as the First State Capital.
It was to remain the capital until 1913 when
a vote of the people was set to choose a
permanent location. As the new state
government grew, and other cities grew to
prominence, the political atmosphere became
heated between the governor and the
legislature (D) and Frank Greer (R), editor
of the State Capital Newspaper. As a result
of the squabble, Governor Haskell called
for an early statewide election to decide the
issue. On June 11, 1910 by a majority vote,
Oklahoma City was selected as the capital.
The state government moved south and
Guthrie was left behind. Built as a testament
to Victorian elegance befitting the capital of
a new state, the city still retained its style and
architectural integrity. It stands today as a
National Historic Landmark with dozens of
beautifully restored buildings, perfect
examples of late 19th and early 20th
|Holding down a town lot,
in Guthrie, OT
|Walker & McCoy Signs
Douglas & Clark Lunch
& Grocery, & Elite Bakery
|The first parade celebrating
the anniversary of the
Land Run was in 1911.
Townspeople, farmers and
ranchers were asked to
participate by riding in the
carriages and wagons
that had been used in the
1889 Land Run.
This parade is still held
each year during the
'89er Celebration in April.
History is brought to life each day on Historic
Trolley Tours and in places like the Oklahoma
Territorial Museum, The State Capital
Publishing Museum, and The Oklahoma
Frontier Drugstore Museum.
There are over 2,000 buildings within the
Guthrie Historic District covering 1,400 acres.
Thousands of visitors and history buffs have
experienced the magic of this unique
territorial city. Guthrie truly embodies the
essence of the era and the spirit of Oklahoma.
|Guthrie Leaders holding court
in the tent city,1889
212 West Oklahoma / Guthrie, OK 73044 / 405-282-1947 / 800-299-1889