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Red Fork / Tulsa's Entertainment Options 1909
(Rebroadcast on January 2, 2002)

January 3, 2001

Historian's Notes

The Red Fork story is interesting, I felt, because at one point the location was a completely separate entity from Tulsa. Now, you never know when you've gone from one to the other. It was at Red Fork that Oklahoma’s role as oil industry leader really began.

Sometimes it’s fun to look through old papers and see what people in the past did for fun and entertainment. That’s exactly what I did for the Entertainment Options segment.

Resources for "Red Fork":

The Angie Debo Papers are held at OSU's Special Collections & University Archives.

Resources for "Tulsa's Entertainment Options 1909":

The Tulsa World and Tribune of January 1909.

Almanac Transcript

Hello, I'm Steven Kite welcoming you to the Oklahoma Audio Almanac where we turn the pages of history to bring you the stories of our state's past.

Red Fork Indian Territory, now part of present day Tulsa, holds a short but honored spot in Oklahoma history. The small settlement of Red Fork began as a railroad depot and cattle shipping station in 1883. The Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad, The KATY Line, opted to place its station at the juncture of two important Indian Territory trails, the first coming in from the southwest through Stroud and Sapulpa and the second trail joining directly from the west. Indian Territory residents had for years used these well known trails to drive their cattle to market in Tulsa. The railroad, by building a station South of Tulsa at the juncture of the trails, was better able to capture the majority of livestock shipping business. This depot and shipment center soon became known as the town as Red Fork. The town would once again make news as the beginning site of the first big Oklahoma oil boom. In 1884 residents of Red Fork learned of the plans to open a post office in the town, and it was on this date in 1884 that much to the delight of citizens, regular mail service began.

Residents of Tulsa in 1913 had quite a selection when it came to finding entertainment in the local theatres. Motion pictures had not completely taken over the venues at this time and patrons had their choice of seeing live or filmed features. A perusal of the Tulsa entertainment scene this week in 1913 would reveal a variety of options. The Idlehour Theater touted its choice of melodic and entrancing music to accompany the film choices of the day. The Bijou Theater presented a full fledged variety show featuring the acts and talents of among others Roe Reaves, the Harris Brothers and Charles Rolofson.

Max Figman was making a one-night-only appearance at the Grand Theater this week. Mr. Figman was a popular stand up comedian of sorts in the early nineteen-hundreds and the management of the Grand theater promised an uproarious show. For his appearance at the Grand, Figman was bringing his own interpretation of the popular theatrical production, The Substitute. As a final option, theater goers might select a drama of sorts. Adelaide Thurston's performance in the production, The Woman's Hour, was bringing standing ovations at Byers Opera House and was described by one patron as, “The kind of play that is satisfying.”

Post Offices, Plays and Productions this week on the Almanac.

I'm Steven Kite.

The Oklahoma Audio Almanac is production of the OSU Library and Oklahoma's Public Radio.

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