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Old 10-21-2019, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
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I've recently seen the Ken Burns documentary on the Dust Bowl and I'm currently reading a book about it. My question is, is there any kind of infrastructure in place to guide any tourists visiting Oklahoma who might be interested in the subject? Are there any museums about the Dust Bowl? (Or, at least, significant sections of museums devoted to the subject?) Are there any monuments or other structures commemorating it? (For example, regarding the famous picture of the father and his two sons heading toward a half-buried house in a dust storm . . . does that house still exist?) If someone came to Oklahoma wanting to learn more about the Dust Bowl or experience its setting first hand, what would you recommend?

(And yes, I now know that other states were also affected by the Dust Bowl. But, fairly or not, it seems like Oklahoma is the one that is most associated with it. That's why I'm asking my questions in this forum.)
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
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The Dust Bowl and the Great Depression that came with it was an unfortunate part of history Oklahomans moved on from and largely forgot about. While it doesn't go near the panhandle, where the Dust Bowl was worst with that famous picture, it would be more enjoyable for the tourist to come enjoy Route 66 by leisurely traveling on it. Famous old landmarks along it still exist, such as the Round Barn. I don't know of any Oklahoma museums that cover the Dust Bowl.

Last edited by StillwaterTownie; 10-21-2019 at 09:31 AM..
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:19 PM
 
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Yes, that is a great documentary. The book is excellent, too.


This link mentions a few museums with Dust Bowl exhibits:


https://www.travelok.com/article_pag...ogy-connection


Also the Cimarron Heritage Center museum in Boise City has a few things about the Dust Bowl. And several miles west of Boise City on the road to Clayton, N.M., part of the landscape around the highway looks like grass-covered dunes which I think might be old dust dunes although I am not certain.



The XIT Museum in Dalhart, TX, is said to have a nice Dust Bowl exhibit. Possibly some of the other little towns in the northern part of the Texas Panhandle might have museums with Dust Bowl exhibits.



Another source of information on museums with Dust Bowl exhibits might be the Oklahoma State Historical Society. Although the Dust Bowl did not officially extend very far east of the Panhandle, in much of the state the dust storms still made the street lights come on in midday, and filtered into houses despite the best efforts of the housewives who had to clean it up.



But please bear in mind that these are modest little museums, and there's not much that can be displayed about the Dust Bowl except old photos such as we've already seen.
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Old 10-24-2019, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bus man View Post
I've recently seen the Ken Burns documentary on the Dust Bowl and I'm currently reading a book about it. My question is, is there any kind of infrastructure in place to guide any tourists visiting Oklahoma who might be interested in the subject? Are there any museums about the Dust Bowl? (Or, at least, significant sections of museums devoted to the subject?) Are there any monuments or other structures commemorating it? (For example, regarding the famous picture of the father and his two sons heading toward a half-buried house in a dust storm . . . does that house still exist?) If someone came to Oklahoma wanting to learn more about the Dust Bowl or experience its setting first hand, what would you recommend?

(And yes, I now know that other states were also affected by the Dust Bowl. But, fairly or not, it seems like Oklahoma is the one that is most associated with it. That's why I'm asking my questions in this forum.)
There are two reasons that Oklahoma is associated most with the Dust Bowl.

1) When the AP writer coined the term "Dust Bowl" his byline came from Guymon, OK. He could have been writing from anywhere on the high plains. But that day he was in Guymon.

2) The book the "Grapes of Wrath" which ironically centers on the Joad's of Sallisaw, OK which was in far eastern Oklahoma.

Oklahoma had a lot of dust but the only part of Oklahoma that got really wrecked was the panhandle and extreme western Oklahoma. Probably 2/3rds of Oklahoma was not part of the generation of the dust but was a recepient of the dust.

Almost every picture of the dust bowl you see is from the panhandle or extreme western Oklahoma. I think the one you were referring to was taken around Boise City which is actually at the western edge of the panhandle.

As Stillie mentioned, I can't think of a "Dust Bowl museum" as such, however the Oklahoma historical society and museum at the OKC capital grounds would be your best bet. If you would be willing to go to the panhandle itself there is a museum at Panhandle State called the "No man's land museum" that has quite a few dust bowl relics.

Just outside of Willow, OK you can see the first "shelter belt" ever planted in the United States.

You actually might have better luck in Amarillo and the Texas panhandle. Dalhart, Tx was also a famous dust bowl town. The XIT museum in Dalhart has some dust bowl exhibits.
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Old 10-25-2019, 03:22 PM
 
Location: SW OK (AZ Native)
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As I write this I am at my in-laws place in Major County, which has just outside of Fairview the Major County historical society and their small museum. There is a very small but interesting display regarding the dust bowl. Apparently it didn't affect this area like the Panhandle although my wife's grandmother did talk about it a lot, in particular the big dust storms that would roll in from the north. It just doesn't seem to have a lot of interest, particularly in the small towns that were affected, as many of them have lost significant populations.
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