by Chad Williams, Research Division Deputy Director
Hello fellow history fanatics. My name is Chad Williams. I am the Deputy Director of the Research Division. One of our new and exciting projects is to scan the map collection held by the Oklahoma Historical Society. The collection is composed of thousands of maps from Indian Territory and Railroad maps to Town Plats and Oilfield maps. Because of the talent and dedication of our scanning guru Ashley Hendricks, we have scanned and placed online over 800 map images. The coolest part of this project is that we decided to scan the maps at a high resolution. After you allow a minute or so for your computer to open the PDF file, you are free to zoom in and out and see the incredible detail preserved in these historic maps. I guarantee you will love it.
One of the maps (my personal favorite) we discovered while undertaking the project is the map we call “The Raymer Map.” This hand drawn map was crafted by Oklahoman Lester Raymer of Alva. In 1939 the Daughters of the American Revolution, who commissioned the work, donated the map to the Oklahoma Historical Society. On the map Raymer estimated the location of many historic sites, battles, roadways, and exploration routes. Another cool thing about the map is that it was donated along with a painting by Mrs. Louise Fluke. That painting would be used to design the state flag of Oklahoma (below is the description of the two donations).
At a meeting of representatives of the Oklahoma Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution at the Historical Building on May 10, Mrs. Frank Gordon Munson, Alva, state historian of the D. A. R., told members about the celebration being planned to commemorate Coronado’s passing through Oklahoma. On behalf of the state society she presented to the Oklahoma Historical Society the following: A frame containing the Oklahoma state flag painted and described by Mrs. Louise F. Fluke of Ponca City; a historical map of Oklahoma drawn by Lester W. Raymer of Alva, and a frame enclosing the object, creed, pledge, and belief of the National Society of the D. A. R., prepared by Mrs. Fluke.
It has been a challenge and a great honor to preserve, catalog and scan these wonderful maps. But that is what we do here at the History Center (the Mother Ship of Oklahoma History).
P.S. We have reproduced the Raymer Historic Map. It is 24” X 36” and available for $10.00 plus $5.00 shipping and handling (I bought five already for Christmas gifts). Click here for order info. You can also come to the History Center and purchase the map and save the shipping charge. Just walk into the History Center off 23rd and Lincoln Blvd. and ask to see the Research Center.