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Edmond

Oklahoma Flag

"A Place to Grow"

Edmond, , its best sights are the Armory, which houses the Museum, the First School in Oklahoma, from 1889 and several historic buildings (Citizen's Bank, North Tower), and even an original 1895 farmhouse and a blue hippo, and its Liberty Fest on 4th of July. Follow the 1926 - 1954 alignment of Route 66 through Edmond

Edmond OK

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About Edmond, Oklahoma

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 1,204 ft. (367 m). Population: 81,405 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).

Edmond is just 10 miles north of Oklahoma City, in the north central part of Oklahoma County; it is a part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area. Its Motto is: "A Great Place To Grow".

The first public schoolhouse (Aug. 1889) in Oklahoma Territory

Oldest school in Oklahoma, Edmond, OK.
Historic "First" School in the Territory of Oklahoma
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

The area around Edmond has been inhabited for over ten thousand years, as proven by the nearby site at Luther, which dates back to 9,000 BP. The current Native Americans in Oklahoma were relocated there from their original territories in the eastern USA by the American government. The policy at the time was to resettle the natives west of the Mississippi River in the "Indian Territory". Later, in tle late 1880s, pressure to settle the area with European settlers led to a change in policy: the Oklahoma Territory was carved out of the Indian Territory (1890), and surplus land was acquired from the tribes to "open" it for settlement.

The land was settled by means of "Land Runs", where the future homesteaders rushed in to stake out and occupy their lot on a given day and time. It was a race to grab the land and it worked admiraly well.

In the meantime, in 1884, the Southern Kansas Railway Co. was granted permission to build a line from Arkansas City KS into Oklahoma, to Texas, with a North to South course. A team of surveyors along the route stopped at "Mile Marker 103" in 1886 and noted its "good spring", which was a crucial source of water for the steam engines. By late 1886 a station was built there and a water well was dug. The railway officials named the place Edmond on March 28, 1887, and four months later the government approved it.

But the railroad would have to wait until the "Oklahoma Land Run" of 1889 to have a town to serve.

The name, Edmond

Edmond Schuyler Burdick (1858 - 1909) began working for the Southern Kansas Railway as an Attorney in 1884. He continued in the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, as an Agent between 1885 and 1895. The Railway named the town after him.

The town appeared in one single event, the "Run" on April 22, 1889, and the settlers chose the land near the station. The tracks (now BNSF) still pass through the town.

Many streets were named after Railway Men or those of the Seminole Town and Development Co., who platted it. One year later its population was 394.

The territorial legislature created the "normal" school in Edmond in 1890, which later became the University of Central Oklahoma. Its first building, the "Old North Tower" opened in 1893 and is a historical site. The University is one of the towns largest employers.

In 1911, the interurban railroad linked it to the state capital.

Trivia: Edmond's Firsts
  • The first church (St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, dedicated June 24, 1889) in Oklahoma Territory. It stood on the corner of E1st and S. Boulevard. The congregation still exists, but in another location.
  • The first public schoolhouse (Aug. 1889) in Oklahoma Territory, which is a historic monument on 2nd St. between Boulevard and Broadway (See the photo above).

Farming was the original economic base of the community and when Route 66 was aligned through the town in 1926, it brought a growing flow of travelers and prosperity until realigned in 1954 after the completion of two modern expressways on the northeastern part of Oklahoma City.

Oil was discovered in the 1930s and 40s (West Edmond Field), and during the 1950s and 60s the town began to grow as a suburb of neighboring Oklahoma City.

Gory Trivia

The Post Office Massacre took place in Edmond on August 20, 1986. Patrick sherrill, a former postman killed 14 people and wounded six before committing suicide. It was the worst ever postal employee murder-suicide event in the US. (there were others). There is a memorial to the victims in front of the Post Office.

Proud Trivia

Edmond is the home town of Shannon Miller, who is America's most decorated Olympic gymnast with a total of 7 medals. She won 5 during the 1992 Summer Olympics and the other 2 at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

I-35 was named "the Shannon Miller Parkway" in her honour between Memorial Rd. and the Logan - Oklahoma county Line

Where to Stay

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Weather in Edmond

Summers in the central part of Oklahoma are hot and humid. Winters are relatively mild (but snowstorms can happen) and the other seasons are subject to frequent variations. North winds prevail in winter and during summer those from the south and southeast.

The average yearly temperature is about 61.5°F (16.4°C). During winter the mean temperature is 39.2 °F (4 °C), with highs and lows between 48.5°F (9.2°C) and 25.6°F (-3.5°C).

Snow: around 7.9 inches fall every year (20.1 cm), mostly between December and March.

During summer the average temperature is 83.0 °F (28.3 °C) with average highs and lows of 94°F (34.5°C) and 71°F (21.5°C).

The average yearly rainfall is around 36.5 in. (928 mm). And Edmond has some 84 rainy days per year. Most rain falls during summer.

Storms (thunderstorms) are common in spring and also summer; some may come with hail and strong winds, and also tornadoes. Tornadoes can hit at any time.

Tornado risk

Edmond is next to Oklahoma City, whose metro area is one of the most tornado-prone ones in the whole world: about 150 tornados have struk this area since 1890. Some of them were very strong (F5 on the Fujita scale, which is the maximum value).

Edmond is located in the "Tornado Alley and experiences approximately 10 Tornado watches every year.

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
 

Route 66 and Edmond Oklahoma
Location of Edmond, Route 66

Getting to Edmond

Heading east from Edmond down Route 66 are the towns of: Arcadia (9 mi.), Luther (17 mi), Wellston (25 mi.), Warwick (29 mi.) and Chandler (37 mi.)

To the west, are Oklahoma City (11 mi.), Yukon (26 mi.) and El Reno (40 mi.)

Map of Edmond 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 Edmond

Route 66 logo

Route 66 in Oklahoma

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

Below we detail the interesting remains of Historic Edmond alignment of Route 66, Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Edmond, Oklahoma: Attractions & Sights

Things to Do and See

Edmond Attractions

Edmond is well known for the blue hippo, the first shoolhouse in Oklahoma (1889), its 1895 farmhouse. Enjoy its Liberty Fest on July 4th, the armory with its museum and its Y-chapel of song.

Trivia

The Edmond Sun which opened on July 18, 1889, is the state's oldest continuous newspaper dating from Oklahoma Territorial days.[12]

Historic buildings in the town of Edmond

There are several buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places in Edmond, below we describe some of them.

First Public Schoolhouse

124 E 2nd St.., Edmond, OK.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

This is the first public shoolhouse in the Oklahoma Territory opened in August 1889.

See the photo above. It was the last surviving 1889 original structure in Edmond. and the earliest one-room schoolhouse in the State. The School open the first two Saturdays of the month from March to November. 1 PM - 4 PM. Admission is free.

Cross Timbers

The ecological region where Edmond is located is known as "The Cross Timbers", it is a woodland that is a vast "natural hedge" beyond which lie the open prairies. The forest was between 5 and 35 miles wide and was a formidale obstacle for the first explorers: the closely knit trees with tough wood blocked the carts and horse riders.

American author Washington Irving used the expression "Cross Timbers" to define them when he explored the area with the Ellsworth expedition in 1832.

The typical trees are blackjack and post oak.

Head west from the shchool and turn right on Broadway. On the northeast corner, at Main is the Citizens' State Bank:

Citizens' State Bank

Citizens' State Bank

Citizens' State Bank building, Edmond A. Whittall

102 S Broadway and Main, Edmond, OK.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

The building is a typical example of a sandstone construction in the Oklahoma Territory in 1901.

It had a "burglary proof and fireproof" vault.

Head east and then south along S. Boulevard and you will reach the Armory which houses the museum:

Edmond Historical Society & Museum

431 South Boulevard, Edmond OK.

It has exhibitions with over 30,000 artifacts and photographs that span the full history of Edmond: prehistory, settlement during the 1889 Run and more

It is located in the former Armory, a historic site built in 1936.

Tue - Fri: 10 AM - 5 PM, Sat. 1 PM- 4 PM, free admission.

Edmond Armory

Edmond Armory

The Edmond Armory, A. Whittall

431 South Boulevard, Edmond, OK.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

A solid, massive and sturdy building constructed in local red sandstone between 1936 and 37. The Works in Progress Administration (WPA) employed local unemployed labor to boost the economy during the Great Depression.

It was the quarters of the Oklahoma National Guard, 179th Infantry Unit of the 45th Infantry Division.

In 1983 it became part of the Edmond Historical Society and Museum. Notice its resemblance to the Chandler Armory, built by WPA at that time.

One block west, in the same park (Stephenson Park) is the:

American Legion HutAmerican Legion Hut

5th and Littler St.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Built during the Great Depression in local red sandstone by the WPA project that generated work for the unemployed.

It is located in Stephenson Park and was built in 1936-37.

Now head towards the Campus of the University of Central Oklahoma or UCO, in its neighborhood you can visit:

Old North Tower

400 E Hurd, UCO campus

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

This building was constructed in 1892 to house the "normal" school that had been created and funded by the Territorial legislature.

It has a sober and imposing style, a very classic building. (see its location and Google Street View).

Y-Chapel of Song

100 N. University, Campus of the UCO

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Built in 1948; it was almost entirely designed and built by the students, faculty, staff, and friends of the University. Its The stained glass windows reflect the scripture "I am the vine, Ye are the branches."

Head west of UCO, along Wayne and turn on N. Jackson to visit the Kivlehen House:

The Kivlehen House

The Kivlehen House, Edmond

The Kivlehen House, A. Whittall

525 North Jackson, Edmond, OK.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

This classic home was built in 1910 by James D. and Mattie Kivlehen. The two and a half story home has over 2900 square feet (270 m2).

In its day it cost $5,000 (that is roughly $125,000 of nowadays). It was acclaimed as one of Edmond's largest residences, with its two and a half stories.

The other sites are located out of town, but are worth a visit:

Cartmill Farm House

Cartmill Farm House

Cartmill farm house, Edmond A. Whittall

21751 N. McArthur Blvd., Edmond, OK.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Built around 1895 it has 1 1⁄2 stories. It is a frame house built along the "Hall and Parlor" plan. The rear was added in 1930, and the porch was enclosed at that time.

The Cartmill family built it and lived here for over 50 years, and built it. The cylindrical sheet metal granary west of the house was built in 1910. It is the kind of home built by settlers as they moved out of the more primitive Sod Houses.

Other Historic places:
  • Gower Cemetery, Covel Rd. between Douglas and Post Rd.
  • Hopewell Baptist Church, 5801 NW 178th St.
Happy Blue Hippo

The Blue Hippo or "Buddy" a fiberglass kitsch art statue is famous. You can see it at 1129 S Broadway (see its location and Street View).

Events and Fun in Edmond

There are several events and activities to enjoy in Edmond:

Liberty Fest

This is a week-long celebration during Fourth of July which takes place every year and attracts 125,000 visitors.

It has been chosen as one of the top 10 places to be in America on July 4th by CNN and USA Today.

The event includes: the largest parade in the state, car show, concert in the park, kite fest, fireworks, Scholarship Pageant, Road Rally and a Rodeo.

More details at the website: www.libertyfest.org.

Eagle Watch

For nature lovers, the Arcadia Lake Eagle Watch (January), during which you can spot the bald eagles at the lake. Bring warm clothes and binoculars. At the park office there is plenty of information and helpful staff to get you on track for viewing the eagles.

Farmers' Market

The market is located in the downtown Festival Market Place and you can buy locally grown produce during summer.

Tours & Itineraries

Historic Route 66 in Edmond

The current State highway OK-66 follows the alignment of Route 66 from 1926 to 1954 between Arcadia and I-35. This section of 3.1 miles was originally paved in brick, in 1927, between Douglas Blvd. (2.7 mi. west of the town) and Sooner Road (on the west side of the I-35 exchange).

From that point westwards until Fink Park (2.8 mi.), the brick paving predated Route 66, as it had been laid in 1924. At that time the roadbed was part of the state highways OK-7 and OK-4.

From the Park and through Edmond all the way to Oklahoma City, the road had been paved in 1925 with local municipal funding.

The 1926 alignment took a left along Broadway (later US 77) towards Oklahoma City, and left it at Memorial Rd. to head south along Kelley all the way to Grand Blvd. (now I-44).

1954 realignment

In Agust 1954 both highways US 66 and US 77 were moved from their alignment along Broadway and 2nd Street, to the new I-35 (known in those days as Sooner Road.) where US 77 continued northbound and US 66 eastwards.

From I-35 and 2nd St., towards the south, both highways went along I-35 and met the brand-new Northeast Expressway next to the entrance to Turner Turnpike (modern Exchange 138). In those days there was no Killpatrick Turnpike running east to west.

The 1954 route 66 kept south with both I-44 and I-35 in a southwesterly direction until reaching Grand Boulevard (Now I-44) where it turned right, towards the wes, and meeting Kelley, where it linked up with the old 1926 alignment again.

From Kelley and Grand Blvd. it kept west along it until reaching Beverly Dr. (in those days it was named Lincoln Blvd.), where it turned left heading south into the Oklahoma City, towards the State Capitol building.

Natural Attractions

National & State Parks

Lake Arcadia

To the southeast of Edmond, along Route 66.

An ideal place for camping, picnicking and enjoying the lake: swimming, oating and fishing. There are trails for hiking and an eagle watch in January.

Campsites and RV hookups are available. More details at the Lake Edmond website.

Sources

History of the Y Chapel of Song, UCO.

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

Image Used as per Google Street View Image

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