Historical Marker Program
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Location: on US-81, 1 1/2 miles north of Bison
Coordinates: 36°12'54.1"N 97°53'14.1"W, (36.2150336,-97.8872384)
The springs were a favorite rest stop on the Chisholm Trail on long cattle drives from Texas to Kansas. A pioneer merchant, trader, and explorer, Jesse Chisholm, a Cherokee, established the trail through western Indian Territory before the Civil War. Texas cattlemen used the trail until the late 1880s to move millions of cattle to northern markets. The trail ran from Montague County, Texas, to Abilene, Kansas. Buffalo Springs was an important gathering place for settlers making the land run on April 22, 1889.
Location: on US-81 near Garfield-Kingfisher County line south of Bison
Coordinates: 36°09'51.7"N 97°53'24.3"W, (36.164368,-97.8900864)
Opened by Run, Sept. 16, 1893. On line here, 15,000 waited for carbine signal fired by cavalryman at High Noon. Lt. C. A. Hedekin, commanding Troop A, U.S. Cav. Race for land started from post on knoll half mile west, by wagon, buggy, bicycle, horse and train. IN 60 by 90 mile area, every acre claimed by nightfall. The first settlers reached Enid from here.
Location: North of Enid on Highway 81 on the east side of the road just north of the Highway 45 intersection
Coordinates: 36°27'51.1"N 97°52'23.5"W, (36.4641915,-97.8731928)
Sponsored by: The Jesse Chisholm Trail and Memorial Association
Here passed the old cattle trail, blazed by Jesse Chisolm, which finally stretched for eight hundred miles, from San Antonio, Texas, to Abilene, Kansas, over which cowboys from the pasturelands of the great southwest drove the herds to the railroads. Many tales of the adventure will perhaps remain untold with the passing of those who traveled the trail. To them, this memorial is dedicated, in the year 1945.
Enid High School Observatory
Location: 500 S. Independence, Enid, OK 73701
Coordinates: 36°23'17.9"N 97°53'10.7"W, (36.388302,-97.8862934)
The observatory at Enid High School has been an inspiration to generations of local students. Now called the Dr. Nancy Currie-Gregg Observatory, the roof-top facility was the brainchild of Jim Smeltzer, a young physics teacher. Through his efforts, funding for the observatory was obtained in 1962 through the National Defense Education Act (NDEA), a Cold War-era federal program established in response to the Soviet Union’s launch of the Sputnik I satellite in 1957. The NDEA sought to strengthen science and technological training in America’s schools and ignited what came to be known as the Space Race. With the dome’s construction in 1963 and the installation of an eight-inch telescope in 1965, Enid became the only high school observatory in Oklahoma. Astronomy curriculum created by Smeltzer brought both state and national attention to the district. Through the years, students viewing the night sky from this place have become astronomers, physicists, educators, engineers, researchers, and doctors, among many pursuits. Dr. Currie-Gregg was a NASA Astronaut who flew four times on the Space Shuttle. In 2017 she and her husband, Tim, an EHS alumnus, led the community-wide effort to preserve and modernize this important educational resource.
Location: at northwest corner of Government Springs Park in Enid (DAR)
Coordinates: 36°23'32.9"N 97°52'18.2"W, (36.3924789,-97.8717339)
Sponsored by: Enid Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution
Government Springs was a camping place on the Chisholm Trail used originally by Indians and later by all travelers. See Buffalo Springs.
Horse Watering Trough
Location: at intersection of East Maine Street and South Grand Avenue in Enid (DAR)
Coordinates: 36°23'43.5"N 97°52'42.7"W, (36.3954215,-97.8785324)
Sponsored by: Daughters of the American Revolution
The solid granite trough was originally located in the public square in downtown Enid and was used through the decades as a place to water thirsty horses and later as the center of a children's wading pool.
Location: in City Park in Carrier (DAR)
Coordinates: 36°28'37.6"N 98°01'20.6"W, (36.4771082,-98.0223918)
Sponsored by: Daughters of the American Revolution and Carrier Community Association, 1968
Northwestern Academy opened in 1898 under the auspices of the Congregational Home Missionary Society of Boston, Massachusetts. A three-story building was the prominent structure of the school that was an important educational and religious center for twelve years.
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