Monday, November 7, 2011

Oklahoma Trip

A few months ago we made a pilgrimage to Oklahoma.  It was an amazing trip although way too short.  Initially, my mother wanted to go visit my uncle in New Mexico and was looking for someone to travel with.  I told her I would try to manage it at work since it would be a road trip, but if I was going west, I wanted to stop in Oklahoma to visit my maternal grandmother's family, whom I've never met.  I got the go ahead from work to take two weeks off and we started planning.  Several family members showed an interest in going with us but in the end only three of us would go - Mom, my cousin Linda, and myself.  Then, the New Mexico leg of our trip canceled and we gained four other family members that would meet us in Oklahoma.

If any of you know my Mom, she is a shopaholic!  We spent three and a half days driving to Oklahoma (a 15 hour trip) that should have taken two days of hard driving.  It took us an entire day to drive across Arkansas - but my goodness we did some great antiquing in that state!!

We finally arrived in Oklahoma on Thurs just before noon and went directly to Webbers Falls.  Webbers Falls is where my grandmother (Thelma Tittle) was raised and we knew that her father, William R. Tittle (Bill) owned a store there (actually the store was in Gore, but we didn't know that at the time).

Our first stop was the Webbers Falls Museum which also houses the Webbers Falls Historical Society.  This is a great little society that has done an excellent  job of collecting photos, historical data and other artifacts.  I wish I could have spent a lot more time there. 

My grandfather, Warren Miller, was working for a construction company to build a bridge across the Arkansas River from Webbers Falls to Gore, Oklahoma.  This is how he met my grandmother and, as they say, the rest is history!!  Of course, we had to see that bridge but it had been destroyed many years ago when a new bridge was constructed just north of Webbers Falls.  At least we saw some pictures and saw where it had been.

Next, since we were close by, we went to Gum Springs Cemetery, where my maternal great grandmother, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Buffington Tittle, is buried.  Gum Springs Cemetery is in the area where the lands that were allotted to the Tittle family members is located.

After visiting the cemetery, we headed to our rental house.  It was a good choice, as it was central to the other areas we were to visit while there.  After getting settled into the rental, we went in search of some vittles and ended up (somehow) at a Hard Rock Casino!

On Friday, prior to visiting a cousin in Muskogee, we decided to make a quick trip to the Cherokee Nation Museum.  Making a quick trip to anywhere in this area was difficult as it seemed that everywhere we wanted to visit was at least 45 minutes away! 

After visiting the museum, we met up with my uncle and cousins from Florida and headed to Muskogee to have lunch with Von and her daughter, Carol.  It was a great visit and I got some wonderful genealogical information and family gossip and will definitely be corresponding with Carol to get copies of some pictures they shared with us.

After Muskogee, we had to go back to that casino since it was so much fun the first time! My cousin Warren and I have great  memories sitting outside the casino "people watching" while the others got their gambling fix!!

On Saturday we visited with the descendents of my grandmother's sister, Goldie Tittle Caskey.  What an unbelievable welcome we received from our new-found cousins!  Their hospitality was very gracious  and everyone was especially friendly!

We visited with the oldest member of their family, Paul Caskey, and he had such a wealth of information!  I wish I lived closer.  I would love to spend a lot of time with Paul and record his stories.  He knows so much about the family and his knowledge definitely needs to be written down or recorded to pass down to the family.

After a whirlwind three days, we had to rush back to Tallahassee.  It was such a great trip and one I hope to do again very soon.

In upcoming posts, I'll share more information about our trip and the tidbits of information we were able to unearth.

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