About Weatherford, Oklahoma
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: 1,654 ft (504 m). Population: 10,833 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).
Weatherford is located in southeastern Custer County in western Oklahoma.
Blair's 1892 log cabin, oldest building in Weatherford, Oklahoma
This area has been inhabited for over 10,000 years, and its current Native American population was relocated there after the early 1800s by the U.S. government, when it created the Indian Territory to settle the natives that lived east of the Mississippi River in exchange for their original territories. Reservations were established and the Indians forcibly moved to them.
Cheyennes & Arapahos
The Cheyenne lived near the Great Lakes in Minnesota and moved towards the Great Plains in the 1700s. The Arapaho lived in Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and Canada. Both nations met in the plains and formed an alliance whose territory ranged from Texas to Montana. Despite signing a treaty with the U.S. government (1868) which guaranteed the integrity of their traditional lands, European settlers intruded on their territory. This caused conflict. A second treaty was signed (1867) promising the Arapaho a Reservation in Kansas, but they opted to move with the Cheyenne to a reservation next to Fort Reno.
The Dawes Act of 1887 changed the U.S. government's policy: the natives had to be assimilated. So in 1891 the reservations were dissolved: each tribe member received a 160-acre plot and the surplus tribal land was purchased by the U.S. government for future use.
Cheyenne Arapaho Opening
3.5 million acres of land were opened for settlement by the U.S. government on April 19, 1892. The settlers flocked to the Oklahoma Territory to claim their 160-acre homestead plot. This land had been part of the Arapaho-Cheyenne Reservation.
By the end of the "opening", almost 80% of the land remained unclaimed, and by 1892 only 7,600 people had settled there. The area at that time was going through a terrible drought (1885-1896) and crops failed giving the farmers a very bad time. Furthermore there were no railways to get the produce to the markets.
The post office was built in 1893 on William J. and Lorinda Powell Weatherford's homestead, about 2 miles north of the current townsite. Lorinda was the first postmistress
The town incorporated in 1898 and its population reached 1,017 residents in 1900.
Weatherford, the name
The town was named after a homesteader, William Weatherford who was also the US Territorial Marshal.
The town's economy was based on wheat, maize and cotton farming. The Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad (later part of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway) reached the town in 1898 and linked it to the world.
Weatherford was chosen by what is now Southwestern Oklahoma State University for its campus in 1901 and in 1926 its Main Street was incorporated into U.S. Route 66's alignment. Though the Great Depression hit the farmers, the town recovered and is now fairly industrial. Its airport is named astronaut for Gen. Thomas P. Stafford, a Weatherford native and houses a museum.
Where to Stay
Book your hotel in Weatherford
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Lodging Near Weatherford along Route 66
>> There is a RV campground in Weatherford.
Temperature. The summer (July) average high is around 93°F (34°C) and the average low is 69°F (21°C).
The winter (January) average high is 46°F (8°C) and the low is around 26°F (-3°C).
Rainfall is about 28.6 inches per year (726 mm). May and June are the rainiest months with just over 4 inches each (100 mm).
There are around 88 rainy days per year and thunderstorms are more frequent during spring and summer. They cause hail, strong winds and may provoke tornadoes.
Snow falls during winter and averages about 9.6 inches (24 cm) per year.
Weatherford is located in the "Tornado Alley and experiences about 12 Tornado watches every year.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
Getting to Weatherford
Heading east from Weatherford down Route 66 are the towns of: Hydro (7 miles), Bridgeport (18 miles), Geary (28 mi.), Calumet (40 mi), El Reno (44 mi.), Yukon (58 mi.), Oklahoma City (73 mi.), and Edmond (84 miles).
Map of Route 66 through Weatherford Oklahoma
Display Weatherford Route 66 Map
Click Map will appear below
The map above shows US 66 alignment through Weatherford, the color key For Weatherford only is the following:
(for the other parts of the map, check the color key of the map of the corresponding city)
Pale Blue: Historic Route 66 alignment in town.
Black: marks the 1926-1932 alignment from Bridgeport through Geary and Calumet.
Route 66's alignment in Oklahoma: the Historic Route 66 through Weatherford
Route 66 in Oklahoma
Click to read the Full description of Route 66 across Oklahoma.
Read below for more information on Route 66's alignment in Weatherford.
Route 66 landmarks & attractions
Sights in Weatherford
Main Street was Route 66
Weatherford's Main Street was once US 66. Visit its Space and Air Museum, the historic blacksmith shop and its Armory. Don't miss the oldest building in town, a log cabin from 1892 or the real "turbine blade" from the wind farm.
Some of the most interesting sights in town are described below:
123 West Rainey, Weatherford, OK. (NW corner of W Wade and Choctaw Ave.)
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
A Great Depression building (1935-1938). One block from the now relocated Blacksmith shop, the armory was established in town in 1924. The building to house it would have to wait until the Great Depression when the Works Projects Administration or WPA created work for the local unemployed men and built the armory in 1938. It served also as a community center. Its 45th Infantry Division saw action in World War II.
See its Street View
Stafford Air & Space Museum
3300 Logan Road, (Airport) Weatherford OK.
An aeronautical and space museum with a collection of spacecraft, from a World War V-2 rocket to a Titan II missile and a Saturn V engine.
It is named after Lt. General Thomas P. Stafford, born in Weatherford who was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. He flew four space flights, in the Gemini VI, Gemini IX, Apollo 10, and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Mission.
Mon. to Sat. 9:00 to 5:00 PM and Sun., 1:00 to 5:00 PM. Full details at the website: www.staffordmuseum.com
1600 S. Frontage Rd., Weatherford OK.
A collection of historic artifacts from the 1800s to the 1950s. with original buildings from Route 66: a diner, a one-room schoolhouse and the original 1900s Owl blacksmith shop.
Street View, full details at the website: www.oklahomaheartlandmuseum.com
Owl Blacksmith Shop
Original location: 208 W. Rainey, Weatherford
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
The site was listed in 1983. The single story building was built c. 1909 in wood with a gabled asphalt roof, it was operated by the Cotter family as a blacksmith and metal-working shop.
It has been relocated to the Heartland Museum (above).
Wind Turbine Blade - Heritage Park
Next to the turbines is the memorial in honor of the Custer County soldiers who fought and died in the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
As you drive through Weatherford you will notice the wind turbines that are located next to the highway. They are part of Oklahoma's second-largest wind farm (as of 2008). The turbines generate 147 MW⁄year.
At the Museum you can arrange a tour of the Wind Energy Park
In front of the City Hall, on Heritage Park (522 W Rainey Ave.) is a real turbine blade, 122 feet long (37 m). See its Map and Street View.
SE corner of E. Franklin Ave. and Custer St., just across from the Post Office
Many streets still have their original red-brick paving.
Several blocks of Main Street which after 1926 became Route 66, were paved in brick until the mid-1950s when it was widened to a four-lane thoroughfare.
The log cabin is Weatherford's oldest building, it was built with hand hewn logs by William H. Blair in 1892. He was a bachelor who took part of the Cheyenne-Arapaho land run.
In 1999, it was moved to its current location from its original site above the edge of a canyon west of town, and restored. Blair chose the spot because the ruins of an even older cabin were located there. He later married Francis Amanda Davison and moved to a home in the downtown district. He worked as a freighter carrying merchandise and lumber.
When you visit it, take note of the red brick paving on Custer St.
See its Street View.
Tours & Itineraries
Nearby Route 66 Towns
The Old alignment of Route 66 near Weatherford
West of town, on Route 66 there used to be a drive-in theatre, but it has gone, another vintage site lost forever.
In 1931, the road was paved in Portland concrete from the Caddo County line into Weatherford, and frome there to Clinton.
From 1926 until 1930 it entered Weatherford along E. Davis and then took a left, southwards along Washington.
At Main Street it followed an alignment it would use from 1926 to 1970: it took a right (west) along Main St., headed across Broadway along Main until: (1926 - 1931) 4th St. where it headed out of town, crossed the railway tracks and then went west towards Clinton. Later (after 1931) when it was first paved, it used 7th street, with a wider curve, crossed the tracks and then headed west along the 1926 alignment.
From 1931 until 1971 it headed into town along E. Main, and then followed the other alignment mentioned above.
I-40 opened in 1970 and routed US-66 around town.
West of town: the 1926 road was upgraded to 4-lanes in 1962, and it became I-40's north service road in 1967 when it opened west of Weatherford.
East of town: it was a two-lane road until 1959, when it was widened to 4-lanes (1959-67) they became the eastbound lanes of US 66 and later after the completion of I-40, its north service Road.
Read more about US 66 in Hydro, east of Weatherford.