For their last camp out of the season, the Modern Wagoneer Good Sams Chapter of Oklahoma City toured the Ardmore, Oklahoma area, including Lake Murray. Lake Murray is named for Oklahoma's 9th Governor, Alfalfa Bill Murray. Murray served as Oklahoma's governor from 1931 - 1935, and is said to be one of Oklahoma's most flamboyant governors. For various reasons throughout his tenure as governor, Murray called out the Oklahoma National Guard a total of 47 times and declared martial law over 30 times.
The group met at Hidden Lake RV Park just southwest of Ardmore. Two couples arrived Thursday evening, but Suz and I pulled in on Friday around noon.
Our club lost two couples to death last year, one couple relocated to Washington State, and others pulled out for different reasons. Now, we're down to 5 active couples. Only three couples made this camp out. But even with only three couples attending, the Modern Wagoneers finds ways to enjoy each other's company . . . .
I would not recommend Hidden Lake RV Park for an extended stay. The gravel sites and roads quickly dirty up a clean coach and diesel engine. Moreover, the park is adjacent to I-35 and the traffic noise is annoying.
On Saturday morning after a fine cup of coffee/tea and breakfast pastries, we set off for Tucker Tower, which is situated on the south shore of Lake Murray and was the summer retreat of Governor Murray. Tucker Tower was built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s.
The following pictures are of Susan, Bill & Phyllis Haivala, and Tim & Karen Sechrist, all exploring Tucker Tower . . . .
Note the fireplace, which is double-sided. Steel pipes appear to extend inside the tower bringing heat in from the outside fireplace. A spiral staircase leads to the top of the tower. Suz and I made it to the top, but only Karen, Tim and Bill were brave enough to pull away from the stone wall and look over the side.
Inside the tower is a reptile display which includes snakes native to Oklahoma, like the Copperhead and Cottonmouth . . . .
The view of Lake Murray from atop Tucker Tower . . . .
Susan leads the retreat as we make our way to the parking area and head over to The Greater Southwest Historical Museum of Ardmore.
The museum's exhibits "highlight the history and culture of south central Oklahoma."
Most of Ardmore was devastated by a fire in 1895, which required the town to completely rebuild. Ardmore is situated next to the Healdton Oil Field, reported to be the largest oil field ever produced in Oklahoma. In 1915, Ardmore experienced yet another catastrophe when a railway car filled with casing gas exploded, killing several residents and leveling most of the town once again. The museum has a very good exhibit chronicling both events with large panoramic photographs.
The museum also contains "The Military Memorial Museum," which displays military exhibits dating back to the Civil War.
Suz was proud to see the following plaque commemorating the service of her cousin, Major Charles J. Sykora, who retired as a highly decorated pilot after serving more than 20 years in the United States Air Force and in Vietnam.
It just so happened that we visited the museum during its first annual B-B-Q Cookoff, which was held on the lawn just south of the main building. It seems that Susan runs into someone she knows everywhere we go, and our "social butterfly" spotted and visited with one of her DAR sisters at the B-B-Q.
The Museum is located in Ardmore at 35 Sunset Drive, and the telephone number is (580)226-3857. Admission is free and the hours of operation are Tuesday thru Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Suz and I will soon be departing with Nana and Aunt Sue on our annual fall trip to Branson, then we'll winterize the coach and count the days till March. The only redeeming fact about putting the coach away for winter is that I don't have to travel with Maynard for awhile!