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Bristow

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Oklahoma's Woodland Queen

The town of Bristow has several Route 66 Historic sites including the Historic 1926 roadbed, the Bristow Motor Company Building, Bristow Firestone Service Station, Beard Motor Company, Bristow Tire Shop and the Texaco Service Station. There is a lot to see and do in Bristow.

Bristow OK

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About Bristow, Oklahoma

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 810 ft. (247 m). Population: 4,222 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).

Bristow is in Creek County, and its nickname is "Woodland Queen", due to the surrounding area.

Bristow's History

For an early history of the region see Tulsa's History.

It began as a small trading post in the Creek Indian area of the Indian Territory in 1897. The following year the St. Louis and Oklahoma City Railroad (later the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway or Frisco) extended its line from Sapulpa to Oklahoma City and built a stop at the fledgling community.

Bristow Museum at Train Station

Bristow station Museum
Bristow's refurbished old station is a Museum, Bristow, Oklahoma
by

The first post office opened in 1898 and a school was built shortly after. By 1900 there were 626 residents . The following year, the town was officially founded and named Bristow.

When Oklahoma became a state in 1907 it competed with Sapulpa to be designated as County seat, but lost.

Its economy initially focused on the cotton industry (there were several cotton gins in the area, and also farm products. Oil was discovered in 1915 and boosted the economy until the mid 1920s. The town had three oil refineries at that time.

The Name: Bristow

Joseph Little Bristow (1861 - 1944) was the Fourth Assistant Postmaster General at that time, but later he served in the U.S. Senate, as Senator for Kansas from 1909 to 1915.

Route 66 was aligned through Bristow in 1926 by incorporating segments of the pre-existing Ozark Trail, which can still be driven along close to Bristow.

The Mother road brought business to town, the travelers along Route 66 needed to be catered to: garages, auto dealers and service stations were built, and many buildings survive until this day.

As Route 66 became overcrowded in the mid 1950s, the Turnpike was built, from Oklahoma City to Tulsa, and it replaced the old road, bypassing Bristow. Business declined.

Where to Stay

There are several hotels in town and also in nearby towns along Route 66

>> Book your Motels and Hotels in Tulsa or in Hotels in Chandler, close to Bristow

Lodging Near Bristow

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Heading West....

Book your Route 66 hotel now
Book your Hotel along Route 66

>> There is an RV campground in Bristow, and nearby in Sapulpa

Weather in Bristow

Latest Bristow, Oklahoma, weather

Bristow has a temperate climate with occasional thunderstorms, hail and tornados, mostly during summer.

Tornado Risk in Bristow. The town is set insided the "Tornado Alley in Oklahoma and faces about 10 Tornado watches every year.

Read more about: Tornado Risk along Route66.

Average temperature in January is 49.5°F (high) and 24°F (low), that is 9.7 & -4.5°C. The average high and low for July are 95 and 69°F (35 & 21°C).

Rainfall is around 37.2 inches (945 mm) annually with most rain falling during summer and spring (May, June and September.

Snowfall: snow may fall at any time between November and March, and about 9.5 in. (24.1 cm) fall every year.

Route 66 and Bristow Oklahoma
Location of Bristow, Route 66

Getting to Bristow

Along Route 66, heading east, it is 15 miles to Sapulpa and 34 miles to Tulsa, further east are Catoosa and Claremore.

To the west, are Depew, Stroud and, 88 mi. away, Oklahoma City.

Map of Bristow and Route66

in Oklahoma.

Pale Blue: Historic Route 66 alignment; Red line: Interstate highways, where they overlap the old alignment.

  Click to See the Western Oklahoma alignment

Remove or restore State shading
 

Google Maps. Terms. Icons.

Route 66 itinerary to Bristow

Route 66 logo

Route 66 in Oklahoma

Click to read the Full description of Route 66 across Oklahoma.

Below we detail the Old Alignment of Route 66 through Bristow.

Bristow, Oklahoma: Attractions & Sights

Things to Do and See

Bristow Attractions

Bristow has many buildings listed as Historic Places related to Route 66: vintage service stations, auto dealers and garages as well as a Museum housed in the old railway station. Don't miss the historic Route 66 original 1926 roadbed sections near Bristow. Get your Kicks in Bristow.

Historic Route 66 Buildings in Bristow

The Bristow Motor Company Building

Bristow Motor Co. Historic Building

Historic Bristow Motor Co. building, A. Whittall

500 N Main, Bristow, OK.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

The first automotive dealership in Creek County, built in 1923

It is a one-story 1920s Commercial style building constructed in brick and limestone located on a key corner in downtown Bristow. It featured large windows to display the cars it sold now replaced with new aluminum windows.

Other Historic Buildings

There are several other buildings in Bristow, like the Art Deco Dial-Carman Building, the Bristow Floral Company, the Modern Hotel, and the Roland Hotel building which hosted the first radio in the state of Oklahoma

Bristow Firestone Service Station

Firestone Service Station

Historic Firestone Service Station, A. Whittall

321 North Main, Bristow, OK.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

An Art Deco style building that served as a filling station during the heyday of Route 66

One-story L-shaped (85 by 75 feet), with a modern geometric design and four service bays.

Bristow Presbyterian Church

6th and Elm Streets, Bristow

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

The congregation was founded in 1920 and the church was built in 1922. It is a "Pocket cathderal". It has Tiffany stained glass windows.

Beard Motor Company

Beard Motor Co.

Beard Motor Co. A. Whittall

210 East 9th St., Bristow, OK.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

The building housed a car dealership, filling station and repair shop, it opened in 1947.

It was designed in Art Moderne style with curved corners and linear motifs in tiles. Next to it is a 75 foot tower with the words "Chrysler and Plymouth"

Bristow Tire Shop

Bristow Tire Shop

Historic Bristow Tire Shop, A. Whittall

115 West 4th St., Bristow, OK.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Built in Italian Renaissance Revival style, it is a brick building with arched windows, of the mid 1920s.

It has a hipped roof with two massive brick columns supporting the canopy over the pumps. The tin roofing imitates clay tiles.

Texaco Service Station

Texaco Service Station

Texaco Service Station, A. Whittall

201 West 4th., Bristow, OK.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

The 1923 building has been altered after being listed but still maintains some of its original features.

It was an L-shaped one-story building of the Moderne "house with bays" style service station. A canopy supported by steel columns faced W 4th St., covering the service bays.

The Art Moderne style with its streamlined shapes portrayed Texaco brand image as being high-tech.

Bristow Trivia

Gene Autry

Autrey (1907 - 1998) worked as a telegrapher for Frisco Railway at Bristow and also at Sapulpa and Chelsea. It was at Chelsea where he was discovered by Will Rogers and became famous on the radio, TV and movies as a singing cowboy. His career which began in the 1930s and spanned 30 years.

Autrey was the top country-western star of his time, and he played lhis guitar live on the local radio station.

First Radio Station

The very first radio station in the state of Oklahoma operated in Bristow in January 1925, it was KRFU known as "The Voice of Oklahoma". It moved to Tulsa in 1927.

Brick Roads

The town has more brick-paved streets than any other town in Oklahoma

Bristow Historical Society Museum

One Railroad Place, Bristow OK.

Located in the 1923 restored railroad depot , exhibits the history of Bristow. Request the History Tour brochure, listing historical places in the city.

Mon. through Fri. 9 AM - 4 PM. (918) 367-5151

Wake Island War Memorial

Veterans Memorial Dr. and S 369 W. Ave

Just south of the dam on Lake Massena in the 320 acre park west of town. The memorial remembers the brave men who held on to Wake Island until defeated by overpowering Japanese forces just after Pearl Harbour. The civilian POWs were later executed in a despicable war crime by the Japanese troops.

Tours & Itineraries

Nearby Route 66 Towns

Visit the nearby towns of Stroud and Depew to the west, and Kellyville, Sapulpa and Tulsa to the east, with their classic Route 66 landmarks.

Route 66 alignment through Oklahoma

Learn more about alignment of Historic Route-66 through Oklahoma.

The Historic "Original" segments of Route 66 near Bristow

Drive along the original Route 66

We will detail the three sections from east to west, driving from Kellyville to Bristow and then west of Bristow towards Depew.

First Section

Driving west from Kellyville along OK-66 and 0.6 miles after crossing I-44, on the right side of OK-66 is the "Old Highway 66", take it. This is the beginning of the first section of the "Old Road".

It is the original 1926 to 1938 alignment. So take a right and follow the road which takes a wide curve and returns to OK-66 after 1.7 miles. By the way, OK-66 here follows the alignment built in 1938.

The original 1926-38 road crosses towards the south of OK-66 and after 2 miles returns again to meet the more recent OK-66.

Both these segments were paved with Portland concrete in 1926. In those days, the concrete was poured in fifty foot sections, 10 inches thick. Over the years the original concrete has been paved with asphalt.

Click to see the map of this section.

Second Section

Head west along OK-66 and after 0.8 miles, OK-66 curves southwards along the 1965 alignment of Route 66. Keep straight along E 0770 Rd, which is the 1926 to 1965 alignment of Route 66.

Actually this segment was paved with Portland concrete in 1924, that is two years before Route 66 was created. The fact that it was paved was a reason to add it to the new US 66 highway.

At the junction with OK-48, turn left along OK-48 following the old 1926-65 segment and just before reaching OK-66 again head right along S353W Rd., which crosses OK-66 and heads south.

Follow this alignment until you reach the 1935 Warren pony truss bridge across Sand Creek, cross it and return to OK-66.

Click to see the map of this section.

Last Section

Head down Main St. in Bristow southbound (OK-48), cross the tracks and at the junction with OK-16 take a right along Industrial Rd. Follow it until its junction with S 369W Ave., and take a left there.

This is the 1926 to 1928 alignment of Route 66. It was part of the "Ozark Trail" built in the early 1910s, and included in Route 66 when the highway was created in 1926.

At the "T" junction, turn right along Jaycee Ave., and follow it for 2.2 miles until it meets OK-66 again.

The current modern OK-66 was built after 1928, and rectified the older road.

Don't miss the 1913 Pony truss Bridge on Little Deep Fork Creek just before old and new roads meet again.

Click to see the map of this section.

Bridge on Little Deep Fork Creek

Two miles west of Bristow, is the beadstead Warren pony truss, with a wood plank deck. It gets its name because the steel end posts are vertical and they extend down, deep into the river banks like the legs of a bed, furthermore, the two sides of the bridge resemble the head and foot of a bed.

The bridge was built in 1913 as part of the road system planned and improved by the Ozark Trail Association, a private organization that promoted better highways. It became part of the unpaved system in 1915.

The bridge, built in Kansas, was used for 2 years while Route 66 was unpaved (1926-28).

Natural Attractions

National & State Parks

Heyburn Lake Park

It is a reservoir on Polecat Creek just northeast of Bristow. Ideal for fishing, trekking, swimming, boating. Camping is allowed and there is an RV park.

More details: Heyburn Lake U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

See the nearby towns for outdoor recreation there: State Parks near Bristow (in Tulsa)

Sources

Bristow City Website www.cityofbristow.org

Linda D. Wilson Bristow, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org

George H. Shirk, Oklahoma Place Names.

Original artwork by A. Whittall based on Google Street View Imagery.

Photo by Kevin, under its CC BY 2.0 License.

Image Used as per Google Street View Image Api Updated Dec. 31, 2014.

Image by Vítězslav Válka adapted under its CC BY-SA 3.0 CZ License

Map Icons by Nicolas Mollet under its CC BY SA 3.0 License