A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Run of '89

El Reno, Oklahoma

At noon on that day there were an estimated 50,000 taking off to claim unassigned land in what now makes up five counties in Oklahoma.   By sundown of that day Oklahoma City and Guthrie had established cities with around 10,000 people.  The building of homes began immediately.  By the second week schools had opened with volunteer teachers paid by the settlers until school districts were established.  Within one month Oklahoma City had five banks and six newspapers.

The scene today...

...and how it was on that day in 1892.

Some people cheated by entering the unoccupied area early and hiding there until the legal time of entry then laid claim to some of the choicest spots.  Naturally legal contests arose from this.  These cheaters were known as "Sooners".  The University of Oklahoma sports teams go by the name "Sooners".
Not saying the Oklahoma college football team are cheaters.

We stayed the night in El Reno.  Two months later an F5 tornado swept through just south of town.  It was 2.6 miles wide, the widest tornado on record in the United States.

When planning our trip through the South I had the choice of going during tornado season or hurricane season.  I selected tornado for they don't last as long and cover a much smaller area than does a hurricane.  Then all that stuff happened in Oklahoma and beyond mere weeks after being there.  I want to go back through the South next year and am now second guessing my logic.  You get more advanced warning with a hurricane.  Oh what to do?


  1. That tornado was devastating, I couldn't believe my eyes how quick such damages can take place. Glad you were away in time. I can't advise you when to go it is a difficult decision.

  2. Difficult call to make. Congrats on the 1001st post.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  3. A tough question but hitting by a tornado must be more seldom then hit by a hurricane because the area is much greater. And with a car easier to avoid.

  4. I vote hurricane season, you can get out of the way in time.

  5. thanks for reminding my brain on what the 'sooners' stood for. amazing way to settle land. i cannot imagine that would go over well, today. stabbings, shootings, mass mayhem...

  6. I think I would choose the hurricane but then who really wants either.


  7. there is a little change in the landscape. If you came to our country it still looks like it did in 1889.

  8. Nice post and shots. Love the old Canteen.


I appreciate my commenters. Thank you. Sometimes you may ask a question which I am all too happy to answer. But if your comment comes in as Betsy-noreply-comment - I cannot reply back. Change you comment settings to include an e-mail address and then bloggers can reply.