The Tom Mix Museum.
Many people may not know who Tom Mix was, so I will tell you. Tom Mix was a superstar in the era of silent movies in the United States. He made over 236 movies for the Selig Polyscope Company from 1909 to 1917. Most of them were short 15 minute films. He changed studios in 1917. Working for Fox Studios, he made 85 longer films from 1917 until 1928 when he signed with FBO Studios, which was owned by Joseph P. Kennedy. This studio did not last long because of the stock market crash of 1929. Tom Mix went on making movies for other studios including Fox until his death in 1940.
Even the way he died is like the stuff movies are made of. The story goes that he was driving too fast on a road in Arizona, he went around a curve too fast, a suitcase broke loose and hit him on the head causing him to loose control and run off the road into a ravine. He died on October 12, 1940.
So what does this all have to do with a museum in Dewey Oklahoma?
Well, I’ll tell you. The story goes that he was working at a Dude Ranch in Oklahoma starting in 1905. This is where he learned how to be a “cowboy”. In 1908 he went to Dewey Oklahoma to work as a town marshal in Dewey Oklahoma because the 1908 “tourist season” at the ranch was over. He was also a bartender in the small town. Wife number three and his daughter were born in Dewey.
Dewey is about 45 miles straight north of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The museum was founded in 1968.
Miami, Oklahoma has a very nice stretch of Route 66 running through it. Here are some photos.
This week is not a happy Pik, but it’s a story that needs to be told. Picher Oklahoma is one of America’s most polluted places and includes the small town of Cardin, 2 miles to the southwest. The pollution is due to the mining of lead and zinc. A study in 1996 showed lead poisoning in 34% of the children in Picher.
To add insult to injury, it was hit by an EF4 tornado in 2008. The last class to graduate from the High School was in 2009. There were 11 students graduating.
Picher and Cardin are now ghost towns. These photos tell the story.
These hills are are piles of slag, left overs of the extensive mining.
Abandoned Mining Museum
The Gold Dome in Oklahoma City
While Bricktown in Oklahoma City is not off the beaten path, the painted Buffalo may be Bricktown’s almost hidden gem.
At 32 East Main Street, at the entrance to Bricktown in Oklahoma City, you will find the OK Corrall. What was once a vacant lot is now the place where you can find a small herd of painted buffalo. They were part of a 2007 Centennial Project and originally were spread around the downtown area. The buffalo and lunch in Bricktown is very much worth the road trip. Bricktown has many good restaurants and there is even a Bricktown Water Taxi that meanders thru Bricktown on what I think is a man made canal.
The painted Buffalo are in the upper left part of the map in the following link, at the intersection of Main Street and the railroad tracks. It’s just too bad they are not marked on the map, but I wanted to include this map because of the restaurant guide.