Explore Historic Photos of Oklahoma City

Devon Tower and city skyline at dusk, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma State, USA
Danita Delimont / Getty Images

You may know a bit about the history of Oklahoma City. But have you seen it?
Turner Publishing recently published a book entitled "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" with amazing images from early OKC put together by Metropolitan Library System reference librarian Larry Johnson. It's the pictorial narrative of Oklahoma City's history, long-forgotten times displayed in stark black and white.
You can pick it up at major OKC book retailers and get a sneak peek at some of these incredible shots in this image gallery.

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Main Street in 1889

Main Street
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

Main Street was a popular place even as early as 1889.

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Main Street in the 1890's

Grocery store
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

Just a few years later, Main Street was even busier, it seems. This photo looks west between Robinson and Harvey.

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Theodore Roosevelt in OKC

Theodore Roosevelt
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

Theodore Roosevelt, a Vice-Presidential candidate at the time, a road in a parade down Main Street in 1900.

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Early OKC Storefronts

Early OKC Storefronts
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

These early Oklahoma City storefronts, of the cookie-cutter variety, were brought in by Henry Overholser and placed along Grand Avenue.

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In the Stands at the Fairgrounds

Fairgrounds
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

Taken around 1905, this photo shows a crowd in the stands at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds.

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A Chuck Wagon Race from the First Oklahoma State Fair.

Chuck Wagon Race
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

You can see photos from the 100th Oklahoma State Fair here on About.com. Well, this is from the very 1st in 1907.

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Lee-Huckins Hotel Fire

Lee-Huckins Hotel
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

Rebuilt, it would serve as a temporary capital, but this photo from 1908 shows the aftermath of a violent blaze that destroyed the Lee-Huckins Hotel in 2 hours.

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Oklahoma Capitol Building Under Construction

Oklahoma Capitol Building
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

This photo, taken by a 4-year-old in 1916, shows the Oklahoma City capitol building under construction.

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Oklahoma City Capitol Oil Well

Oklahoma City Capitol Oil
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

A producing oil well sat in front of the Oklahoma City capitol building for some time, as evidenced by this photo taken in 1939.

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Tornado in Oklahoma City

Tornado in Oklahoma City
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

This tornado struck OKC in 1896, but it was one just a half hour later that destroyed a house and barn in Britton.

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Livestock Exchange Building

Livestock Exchange Building
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

Built in 1910, the Livestock Exchange Building was of great economic importance in the Oklahoma National Stockyards.

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The Importance of Oil to OKC

The Importance of Oil to OKC
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

As you can tell from this aerial photo from 1935 or so, oil was very important to the growth of Oklahoma City.

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The Ramsey Tower

The Ramsey Tower
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

Oil brought money to OKC, and it could be seen in the skyline. The Ramsey Tower was completed in 1931 and was the city's tallest for only a few weeks.

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Oklahoma City's Main Street at the Holidays

main street
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

Taken during the holiday season around 1935, this image is of the north side of Main Street between Harvey and Hudson.

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Main Street Lit Up for the Holiday Seasons

Main Street Lit Up
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

Here's Main Street at the holidays just a little while later. Take in 1949, this shot catches Main at night, east from Walker.

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Oklahoma City's Colcord Building

Oklahoma City's Colcord Building
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

Now a luxury hotel, the Colcord Building was Oklahoma City's 1st skyscraper when it was built in 1910. This photo was taken in 1944.

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The Skirvin Hotel

The Skirvin Hotel
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

Renovated and reopened in 2007, the Skirvin Hotel is a historic landmark. It originally opened in 1911 and is seen here in 1925 after the 3rd wing was added.

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Superior Feed Mill

Superior Feed Mill
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

The elevator for the Superior Feed Mills at 21st and Robinson was built in 1939.

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The First Christian Church

The First Christian Church
From "Historic Photos of Oklahoma City" / Courtesy of Turner Publishing

The First Christian Church building at 10th and Robinson was dedicated in early December of 1911. An amazing building, it still serves as a church today.

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