Garden Guide

Historic Tulsa artifacts in the Vintage Garden


Skelly Oil Company’s

original building was at Fourth Street and Boulder in the 1920s – these tiles were in the entry to the building. The next building was between Main and Boulder on Fifteenth Street, completed in 1960. The Skelly Mansion is at 21st St. and Madison. W.G. Skelly was known as “Mr. Tulsa.” Skelly was the first company to print the specification on a tag attached to a lubricant can—Tagolene brand. Skelly Stadium, Skelly Drive, and Skelly Elementary School are named for W.G. Skelly and the University of Tulsa’s radio station carries his initials: KWGS.


DSC00450The Tulsa Auto Hotel

was built in the late 1920’s at 515 S. Cincinnati. It was razed in 2005 for surface parking.


IMG_1259The dedication plaque from the 21st

Street Bridge on the East side of Arkansas River was named the 23rd Street Bridge on the West side of the river. Despite the depression, it was begun in 1931. Tulsa needed a second bridge across the Arkansas because of southward growth. It had the 11th Street Bridge, which replaced the original pedestrian-wagon toll bridge and was on Route 66. Notice the title of Chairman of Water and “Sewerage.”


IMG_1258Hillcrest Hospital

began as Morningside Hospital in 1918 under the guidance of Dolly McNulty, RN. It was opened in response to an influenza epidemic after WWI. Hillcrest had a nurses school and residence (according to 1947 article) and was affiliated with the University of Tulsa.

Hillcrest was the site of the first heart surgery ever done in Oklahoma and the first kidney transplant in Tulsa. It serves as a regional burn center for eastern Oklahoma, has a specialized rehab program called the Kaiser Rehabilitation Center (Zink Village), and a Center for 55+ and Center for Women’s Health.


DSC00453The Hunt Building

was built in the art deco style in the 1920s. It was the home of Brown Dunkin Department Store at the southeast corner of Fourth and Main Streets. Brown Dunkin, which evolved into Dillard’s, was one of the largest department stores in the Southwest, occupying six of the floors.


DSC00455Tulsa Banking Company

was established in 1895, next to the Lynch Store. It was a small two story building on the 100 block of Main Street. It was started by Jay Forsythe, brother-in-law B.F. Colley, and son-in-law C.W. Brown, with $10,000 capital. The five story building was built at 2nd and Main in 1905 and changed the name to First National Bank. Later, a 10 story building was built at 4th and Main. Then a 20 story building was built in 1950 at 5th and Boston. The artifacts were saved from the wrecking ball on April 18, 1970 and later placed in the bank tower. Today it is known as Chase Bank and is a 41 story building.


The Five Moons

are 5 Native American Ballerinas who gained worldwide reputations in their artistry. Maria and Marjorie Tallchief were Osage Indians, Rosella Hightower is a Choctaw, Yvonne Chouteau is Cherokee and Moscelyne Larkin is Shawnee.

In 1957 a new Ballet called the Four Moons was written to highlight Maria Tallchief, Hightower, Chouteau, and Larkin.In 1967 Marjorie replaced sister Maria in the role. Hence, The Five Moons.

Yvonne Chouteau of Vinita joined the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo at age 14 and she and her husband later became artists in residence at the University of Oklahoma and developed the school’s dance department. They organized and directed the OKC Civic Ballet for years.

Rosella Hightower of Ardmore performed with the Ballet Russe and became artistic director of the Center de Danse International.

Moscelyne Larkin of Miami, OK joined the Ballet Russe and she with husband Roman Jasinski formed the Tulsa Civic Ballet and School, now Tulsa Ballet, the state’s oldest ballet company.

Maria Tallchief of Fairfax joined the Ballet Russe and married George Balanchine. They created NYC Ballet. She was artistic director of the Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet, then founded Chicago City Ballet.

Marjorie Tallchief of Fairfax was the first American to become a prima ballerina with the Paris Opera Ballet and created new ballet roles in works by her husband George Skibine with the Grand Ballet de Cuevas.


DSC00459The Perryman Steps

were carved in 1893 for George Perryman, by a tramp stonecutter. His daughters mounted horses from those steps to ride side saddle. He had the initials of his son Mose S. Perryman (MSP 1893) carved into the steps. They first stood at 510 S. Main where Bishop’s Restaurant was located and left there when George Perryman sold the land. Lon Stansberry purchased the lot and moved it to three homes, finally to a home at 2405 E. 26th Place before it became the property of Tulsa Historical Society.


DSC00461T. J. Archer Co.

in 1905 was a furniture, coffin, and wagon store owned by Jeff Archer near the Frisco Railroad , facing west on Main Street. He was an enterprising young man whose first products were half a barrel of cider and a box of gingersnaps to sell to railroad workers. His first store in 1882 had wooden sides with a tent top. He later built a larger store. Archer was part Cherokee Indian and married Annie, daughter of George Mowbray. Jeff died 30 days after someone shot a gun in his store and hit a keg of blasting powder, causing an explosion. George Mowbray helped Annie run brick store she built.


DSC00462J.M. and H.C. Hall

established the first non-Indian store in Tulsa as a tent to provide supplies to the railroad in 1882. The Halls built the first store and secured a $10,000 government permit to do business in the Creek Nation. J.M. Hall raised the building to a two story wooden store in 1891. The first church services were held on the steps of the store. The Tulsa Banking Co. conducted business here after the 1897 fire. The first telephone company also had offices in the store. J.M. Hall built a two story brick store in 1902. The stores were on the south side of the Frisco right of way, facing east. Hall was an active civic leader and lived to be in his 90’s.


The Cupola

is from the East Second Library, which was at 2537 E. 2nd Street. R.T. Daniel had donated the land to the city. When the library walls began to buckle, they decided to demolish the library in 1996, and built the new Kendall-Whittier Library. The cupola was first placed on the new library’s grounds, and then donated to the Tulsa Historical Society.


DSC00464The Fountain has an “F”

inscription from the Fichtenberg family. They were the last private owners before the Tulsa Tribune Foundation helped purchase the property for theTulsa Historical Society. The paved area was formerly a tennis court and there was a swimming pool on the grounds.


map with artifacts