Oklahoma’s crown, where Native American culture, Oklahoma history, and America’s land run past come together.
Where history and mystery come together.
Built in 1913 as a salute to electricity, the Electric Park Pavilion is a single-story Beaux-Arts style building. Originally designed as a theater, the Pavilion included a stage where everything from boxing matches to community theater musicals was held. The Pavilion was officially retired and transformed into the Top of Oklahoma Museum in the 1970’s. The building is officially listed in the Oklahoma National Register of Historic Places.
THE MUSEUM OFFERS
- A military room, honoring Oklahoma’s military men and women at a local and state level from World War I to now.
- A Native American room featuring artifacts and artwork from Oklahoma’s diverse Native American population and their culture, including artwork from Kay County artist Alice Souligny as well as portraits from famed photographer William S. Prettyman, who actually served as Mayor for the City of Blackwell
- Displays of one-of-a-kind antique items from Blackwell’s extensive history of shops and local attractions, which served to pave the way for how far we’ve come.
- Various rooms decorated to be period-accurate. These “living” dioramas are filled with antique furniture, books, clothing items, and household devices to reflect life in the early 1900’s on the plains.
- Rare photographs and portraits dating back to the Land Run, including an iconic snapshot of Amelia Earhart accepting the “Key to the City” after a stay in Blackwell just before her mysterious disappearance over the sea.
- Gift items and souvenirs
- Their own Barn Quilt, part of the Top of Oklahoma Barn Quilt Geocache Trail
Blackwell’s Top of Oklahoma Historical Society Museum is open from 10 .am. until 4 p.m. Monday- Saturday.
They can be contacted at (580) 363-0209.
During the spring of 2019, Blackwell City Manager Janet Smith assigned City Engineer Jim Willis the task of inspecting all aspects of the exterior of the historic Top of Oklahoma Historical Society Museum. After gathering information needed for the refurbishing of the building’s dome, roof, parapet walls, and the exterior, the renovation specifications and cost were presented to the Blackwell City Council in December, at a cost of $325,000. The agenda item was approved, and renovations began in January 2020.
The renovation expenses will be provided by the Blackwell Public Trust Capital Improvement Fund and the Blackwell Public Trust private Project Fund. The Private Project Fund holds money that is set aside to directly benefit projects that the city will partner with private entities to accomplish.
Housed in the 1912 Electric Park Pavilion, the Top of Oklahoma Historical Society Museum, founded in the 1970’s, contains items as far back as the 1893 Cherokee Strip Land Run to present day memorabilia. The museum is also an important part of Blackwell’s popular Barn Quilt and Geocache Trail.
With renovations underway, the expected completion date is March 2020. This is the first large-scale renovation of the Museum since the early 90’s when a bond election was approved for approximately $300,000 to make repairs to the building.
This renovation effort coincides with the 65th anniversary of the “Great Plains Tornado Outbreak,” which saw the city of Blackwell devastated by two F5 tornadoes in May 1955. To commemorate the event, the museum will feature a ‘tornado room’ which will display artifacts, information, and photographs of the fateful night.