July 12, 2018
New Oklahoma National Register Listings
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is pleased to announce the newest National Register of Historic Places listings for Oklahoma. The National Register of Historic Places is our nation’s official list of properties significant in our past.
The All-Black towns of Oklahoma represent a unique chapter in American history. Nowhere else did so many African American men and women come together to create and govern their own communities. Reverend L. W. Thomas arrived in Summit, Okla., in July of 1922 where he envisioned creating a model community, sustained and governed by African Americans. Reverend Thomas’s home located along Oktaha Road in Summit, Muskogee County, is significant for its association with community planning and development for the formation of Summit as well as for its association with Reverend Thomas.
Located at 1–13 NE Sixth St. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, is the Pioneer Telephone Company Warehouse and Garage. The property is significant for its association with developments in communication between 1909 and 1917. The construction of the buildings corresponds to the expansion of telephone technology in the state of Oklahoma as well as the consolidation of telephone exchanges into a centralized location.
The Altus Downtown Historic District is significant for its association with commerce and government in the downtown core of Altus, Jackson County. The area has functioned as the central business district since the town’s founding in 1891. The district is an excellent example of a compact and cohesive commercial core surrounding the county courthouse. The Altus Downtown Historic District illustrates the commercial and governmental development of Altus from a small town in the 19th century into a thriving county seat in the late 20th century.
Listing in the National Register is an honorific designation that provides recognition, limited protection and, in some cases, financial incentives for these important properties. The SHPO identifies, evaluates and nominates properties for this special designation.
The State Historic Preservation Office is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.
Editor’s Note: Photographs to accompany the story can be acquired by contacting the State Historic Preservation Office at 405-522-4478.