— Tulsa's Historic Route 66 —
The Route 66 Historical Village presents an open-air collection of
railroad, transportation, and oil industry artifacts, painstakingly
restored, along with other replica features. To honor the legacy of the
industries that built Tulsa and to provide an interactive learning
experience for visitors, the Southwest Tulsa Chamber of Commerce
initiated a concept development in 2005 for what became the Route
66 Historical Village. Partnering with the City of Tulsa and Tulsa
County for Vision 2025 funds and the Oklahoma Centennial
Commission for a Centennial grant, the Southwest Tulsa Chamber's
partners also included community businesses and dedicated volunteers. This property was acquired, and the site improved for future installations of historic and thematic attractions.
The Red Fork Centennial Derrick was designed, engineered, fabricated,
and erected in 2009; funded by the Oklahoma Centennial Commission
grant symbolizing discovery of oil at Red Fork in 1901. Red Fork
Centennial Oil Derrick was designed from photographs of early steel
rigs in the Glenn Pool field. Rising to a height of 154 feet, at the time,
it was the tallest such derrick in North America.
The steam locomotive engine and its tender, the Meteor/Frisco 4500,
were built in 1942 for the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway (Frisco).
It provided passenger
service between Oklahoma City and St. Louis
via Tulsa until early 1948 when it was demoted to freight service.
It was retired in 1950. In 1954, the engine was donated to the City of
Tulsa for display in Mohawk Park. It was later staged in downtown
Tulsa for careful restoration by railroad and community volunteers.
Town West Sertoma provided essential support during the restoration
efforts. It was moved through downtown Tulsa to the Route 66
Historical Village in 2011 with the assistance of the South Kansas &
Oklahoma Lines (SKOL), the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, and
Tulsa Sapulpa Union Railway.
A tree planted on the east side of the park is a sapling from
the Muscogee-Creek Nation's Council Oak Tree located at
198 W. 18th Street. Both the original tree, listed on the National
Register of Historic Places, and its sapling planted at this site
commemorate the Muscogee Indian Nation, original modern
settlers to this land in 1836.