Monday, July 6, 2009

The Lynch Building

The Lynch Brothers were some of Tulsa’s first citizens and entrepreneurs who traveled to Tulsa and settled here in the early 1890s. C.B. Lynch clerked for J.M. Hall a few months then opened his own General Store in 1891 which sat on the northeast corner of Main. There was an ice cream store on the right. Bales of hay are used to support their sign. The men were gathered at the store because a new shipment of barbed wire had arrived (click on photos to enlarge):
Inside the store- note the dishes and groceries:C.B.’s brother Robert built the first stone structure in town, using hand-cut stones quarried in the nearby town of Dawson and hauled by wagon to Tulsa.

The R.E. Lynch General Merchandise store opened in 1893 with Tulsa‘s first street dance being thrown by Mr. Lynch in celebration. Andy Stoke, who was married to the Lynch’s sister, occupied the basement with his ice cream store (see the sign?). The ice cream arrived daily by train. The upstairs portion was used for City Hall meetings and also hosted road shows that came through town. Tulsa Banking Company occupied a separate building that was built right next to the Lynch store (note how the roof and windows change):
Inside the store- this was apprently the place to buy a bucket! Each store carried their own variety of goods. For instance, Jeff Archer's store carried a large supply of lanterns.

The Fire of 1897 burned down almost half of Main Street. Tulsa Banking Company was destroyed, yet the safe survived intact. The Lynch store, on the far left, was spared. The banking business was conducted at Halls Store until the bank was rebuilt on the same lot.
Below you can see (from l to r) the south end of the Lynch/Turner building, the bank building and the fancy Price Gillette Store:C.B. Lynch sold the building to Mr. Turner. He renamed the building and a cash store was opened in it by Mr. Gamble.

Inside the store, 1903:
The Lynch/Turner building had a fascinating life as one of Tulsa's first movie theatres soon after. It was torn down in 1970.

photos courtesy of Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society


Unknown said...

Wonderful photographs and a story to match. I grew up in Wagoner which looked very similar in 1895. The difference is that those same buildings are still standing in Wagoner. The same is true of a lot of early Oklahoma towns.

Mike Ransom said...

Here is a related story from 1882 on my site, using one of the same Beryl Ford photos.