Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History

The Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History is located in the lower level of the Sheerar Cultural Center, 702 Duncan St. 

In celebration of Black History month, the Stillwater History Museum is hosting a traveling exhibit from the Tulsa Historical Society Museum, “Spirit of Greenwood: a History of Prosperity and Perseverance.”

Following World War I, Tulsa was recognized nationally for its affluent African American community known as the Greenwood District. This thriving business district and surrounding residential area was referred to as “Black Wall Street.”

The four of eight panels of a larger exhibit will be on display through May 30. The second four panels focus on the history of the Tulsa Race massacre and will be available April 1 through July 31.

Also on display through March 31 is “Raising Washington,” four panels that highlight the history of Stillwater’s Washington School. This four-panel pop-up exhibit is also available for display at locations in Payne County. If you would like to host this exhibit, please call the museum to make arrangements.

Stillwater Rotary celebrates

The year-long “Stillwater Rotary: 100+ Years of Service” exhibit provides a brief history of Stillwater Rotary and features the role of local clubs in activities and service projects here and around the world.

Two local Rotary clubs merged membership and operations as of Oct. 1, 2022. Stillwater Rotary, originally chartered in 1921, and Stillwater Frontier Rotary, chartered in 1974, is now known as Stillwater Frontier Rotary and continue the 1921 charter date, making this one of the oldest Rotary clubs in the nation. The newly merged club boasts a membership exceeding 110 Rotarians which will rank in the top three largest Rotary clubs in Oklahoma.

Wreaths, Quilts and Mahjong

Staff have added three displays to the Those Who Served; Those Who Serve exhibit: Wreaths Across America, Quilts of Valor, and the American Legion are all organizations that provide service to military.

And, this quarter’s Stillwater Collects (through March 31) features the mahjong collections of Parry Armbruster and Judy Ringwall. You’ll see Mahjong sets, Mahjong jewelry, decorations, books and more.

Come learn to play when the museum hosts four days of learning and playing. On each of these days, the time from 2-3 p.m. will be spent introducing the game – focusing on basic rules and strategies. From 3-5 p.m., Mahjong groups are invited to bring their sets and play. As we’ll have a limited number of spaces, be sure to reserve your spot by emailing:

Stillwater dance artifacts

And last, but not least, an update on last month’s article about our behind-the-scenes collections work. We discovered two additional artifacts that were – for me – real treasures!

First, a round board game identified as a “Crokinole” game with Robert Cunningham’s and John Hedges’ signatures on the back. John Hedges ran the New York Racket store in town in the early 1900s. A note with the game stated that this was the first game played in the town of Stillwater. I like to think that perhaps it was played by customers of the New York Racket. The game is a bit like carroms but is played using your fingers – not sticks.

The second item discovered is a wood and paper hand-painted fan mounted in an acrylic holder. The fan is not your typical fan in that it was used as a dance card. Each dance for the evening (waltz, polka, quadrille, Berlin, etc.) was listed on a fold of the fan, and beside that was the dance partner’s name for that dance.

At the top of the fan one can read the handwritten name, “Lena Johnson” and the date January 1, 1891. The same signature, “Ernest V. Sheerar’ can be found on dances 1, 2, 17, 19 and 20. There are two pictures attached to the two sides of the acrylic frame – one a man, one a woman. These two are the parents of Leonard Francis (Mike) Sheerar – who helped fund the museum and whose name is part of the Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar. The couple was married in 1891, so this fan is a glimpse into their courtship. What fun!

Trending Video

Recommended for you