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Old 06-04-2014, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
22,360 posts, read 15,874,512 times
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Is it against the law for me to have a margarita with my dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Poteau, because liquor by the drink is against the law there on Sunday?
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:44 PM
 
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Stillwater, I don't know about that; Last I heard, they passed the law where restaurants could serve alcohol anytime. Think that was year before last? I don't drink anymore but I think it's allowed now - just don't quote me on that!
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:25 PM
 
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Here's something else that goes along the same lines.

Poteau's second jail was built in 1913 and used until 1927. After that, it served a few different purposes until the 1970's. Around then, it was basically used for storage until now. Last year, the city was able to clean out the building and we've been working at restoring it ever since then. Now, for the fist time ever, the entire building will be open to the public. It still has it's issues though.

The building, minus a few modifications downstairs, is exactly how it was over 100 years ago when it was first built. The original cells are still in place, along with the names etched on the walls. Through the haunted house, we hope that that will raise enough interest to see the rest of the building restored. It still needs new windows and some roof work, but all it takes is a little hard work, some motivated people, and an interesting bit of trivia to save these old buildings.


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Old 09-25-2014, 07:56 AM
 
Location: OKIE-Ville
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oklahoma_Traveler View Post
In 2013, I took over as director for Poteau Main Street. My job is to revitalize the downtown area, however, there's not a lot of funding to do so. We've made tremendous progress over the last year and I thought I'd share some of the things that we've been doing. It may help out other towns that are a limited budget with ideas and such.

This is how the downtown area looked a year ago:

Attachment 130837

Pretty bleak. This was taken on a Saturday; a day where downtown should have been alive with people. I see this in a lot of small towns across Oklahoma, and it doesn't have to be this way.

Each town has a unique history that can be used for revitalization. It just takes a bit of digging to find.

We learned that Bonnie and Clyde robbed a bank downtown. In fact, this was one of their last hugely successful robberies of their career. Why wasn't this mentioned in the history books?

The first thing we did was to start to highlight this history. It gets people excited; gives them a reason to be proud of their downtown.

We asked a local film company to come downtown to film a reenactment of the robbery:

Attachment 130838

Over 600 people showed up to participate. That helped spread the word; then we started promoting more of our history around town, which further excited people. This really helped get people motivated to do more downtown, however, it had been neglected for so long that nobody knew where to start.

The easiest and most cost effective thing to do is paint. So, we painted:

Attachment 130839Attachment 130840

Once people saw that we were doing things then they started donating. It was a little at a time, but the more people got involved, the more got done:

Attachment 130841Attachment 130842

Business owners saw this and got on board as well:

Attachment 130843 Attachment 130844

It's been just over a year now and we're still going strong. Everything that we've done has been low cost and spread out over time. A lot of people try to go in to things by asking the big businesses for donations, or by asking for grants - that is great, but big businesses give out so much already and grant funding is at an all time low. More than that, neither one of those things is sustainable.

Instead, we've asked the individual for help. We've gone out door-to-door in many cases and asked for $5 here and there; it all adds up. If you get 50 people to donate just $10, that gives plenty of money for paint and supplies. Once people see the change, they're more willing to donate.

Beautification has a huge impact on business. People don't want to shop in a dirty, run down downtown. They want to feel comfortable, they want to feel like they're someplace special. By cleaning up our downtowns then we can help preserve their history as well as generate positive economic growth.

So where are we today? There's still a lot to be done, but these photos show how far we've come in just one year:

Attachment 130845Attachment 130846Attachment 130847Attachment 130848Attachment 130849

Today, we only have three vacant buildings left downtown. On any given Saturday, you can find people out walking the streets and shopping our stores. There are now four restaurants downtown, a large gaming center, one of the biggest museums outside of Ft. Smith, and a whole slew of unique stores.

This week, the city is installing new stop signs. These are the old-fashioned ornate ones that mimic those seen in the 1920's. After that, they're going to work on the sidewalks, and finally the main street.

We have also learned a lot about the history of the town. During the early days, it was an outlaw haven; people such as Belle Starr, the James Gang, and the Younger Gang frequented Poteau. Later, we had Bonnie and Clyde and "Pretty Boy" Floyd. There was also the Oklahoma Immigration Company, the old Indian Territory courthouse, and two railroad depots. It's a fascinating little town, and one that many people don't know about it's rich history.

We are still painting, still cleaning, and still doing all that we can to make our downtown beautiful. We have plans to get all of the old "ghost signs" repainted, we're working on adding trees downtown, we're even helping people get their stores merchandised. This all began with an idea, a desire to make something done, and a lot of hard work.

The bottom line is this: Any town can do this. It takes desire and a group of motivated people who can do the work. A can of paint doesn't cost that much, but it goes a long way. Just keeping the weeds trimmed does wonders. It doesn't take a lot of money, but it does take time. If you keep working at it then you will make a difference. A little progress is still better than no progress.


Love me some LeFlore County!

Great revitalization project; it doesn't hurt that Poteau is the county seat.
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Tulsa, OK
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LeFlore County has a pretty nice jail. My mamma was in there for a couple weeks back in the mid 80s. Seems she passed a school bus when she was leaving the bar.
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:48 PM
 
30 posts, read 49,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okie1962 View Post
LeFlore County has a pretty nice jail. My mamma was in there for a couple weeks back in the mid 80s. Seems she passed a school bus when she was leaving the bar.
If you're talking about the one that used to be on top of the courthouse, that wasn't even close to nice! That one was built in the 1930's and was pretty much run down. They have a new one in the annex.. big screen tv's, leather couches.. not that I would care to be in there anytime soon!
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