The Stillwater History Museum partners with the Community Read

Every March, Stillwater becomes abuzz with the community read “One Book, One Community.”  This year’s book “Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” is a great read which connects history, mystery, and the birth of the FBI.  At the Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar, we are pleased to partner with the Stillwater Public Library and the greater Stillwater community for this program. 

This year we have focused on the oil portion of the book, paired with our new exhibit: “The Life of Boom and Bust Oil Towns in Payne County.”  This exhibit will feature several towns in the county whose boom and bust have faded into history.  It will also include towns such as Yale, which have lived on, and it will touch on Cushing which continues to rely on oil today.  Did you know that in 1916, Oklahoma actually produced 30% of the United States’ oil supply? And Quay, a town that now has only 47 residents, once was a bustling oil boom town that surged with life alongside the budding oil industry. The story of the oil industry’s spring to life in Oklahoma is riddled with success and tragedy, booms and busts. “The Life of Boom and Bust Oil Towns in Payne County” will take you every step of the way, from the first spewing oil geyser, to the sudden disappearance of “black gold.”

The exhibit will be on display at the Stillwater History Museum from March 8th – May 31st, then it will be headed to the Yale Public Library for display.

As part of “One Book, One Community,” the museum will also be hosting two book discussions about “Killers of the Flower Moon.” One will be held at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, March 14 and a second will be held at noon on Monday, March 26th.  Both will be held in the Sheerar Auditorium and participants are invited to bring a lunch to the noon discussion.  Desserts and beverages will be served at both.

Keeping with the oil theme of the month, our Children’s Exploration Series program will be “Oil and Water” which will be held on Saturday, March 10th at 2:00 pm at the Stillwater History Museum.  This program will combine history and science as we explore how water, railroads, and oil transformed the land, and children will get to experiment with oil and water.

On Sunday, April 8th, the museum will also be hosting a viewing of the documentary “High Stakes: the Life and Times of E. W. Marland” at 2:00 pm in our auditorium. After the viewing film producers will be available for discussion and questions.  The viewing is free to the public and a great time to view our new exhibit.

We hope you take the time to read the book “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” and participate in many of the community events around Stillwater related to the book. Check out the Stillwater Public Library for more information and a complete calendar of all the exciting programing this March.  To learn more about the Stillwater History Museum programs, visit our website or stop by the museum.

Column originally published in Stillwater Newspress.