Thursday, March 4, 2010

Standpipe Hill

Some of early Tulsa's most telling photos are, in my opinion, the one's taken from what was known as Standpipe Hill. Located near the OSU Tulsa campus, this was where  a water tower (that supplied brackish, sandy water to the little community of Tulsa) stood. Before that it was called Cherokee Hill.
It was where outlaws looked down through binoculars upon the little town to see if the law was around before coming in. Later, it became a witness to the 1921 Race Massacre. 

You can see the water tower in the background of this photo taken in 1905:

In 1910 these ladies had their photo taken on Standpipe Hill:

It's interesting to see the growth of our fair city.  Most (but not all) of the following were taken from this vantage point.

Note the growth of the city after oil was discovered:

North Cincinnati now cuts right through the middle of the hill, with the street being where the water tower stood.  These photos were taken (by me) on the Eastern half of the hill.  

But, the view is still great from here.


Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Very interesting. I've been up on that same hill. There is a geocache now close to the cross. Still great photographs of the skyline. I loved the old photographs in your post.

Observer said...

I'm wondering in the 1914 photo what that spire in the distance is.That would seem to be too far away to be Holy Family Church, or is it? And those buildings on the left don't show up again in subsequent years.

Anonymous said...

I understand that the top of Standpipe Hill (also had other names that aren't PC today) was levelled off and the dirt used to fill the old "Brick Pit" on the east side of Roosevelt Hunior High School. I think that was in the mid to late '60s, or maybe even early '70s.
- Richard Hamby CHS'60

worker33 said...

I would think the cross was installed there by someone remembering the 1921 Race Riot. As i read the hill was a vantage point for the attack on Mount Zion church.

Joy said...

Love this post! The progression of images is enlightening! I also didn't know its names and am glad to learn them. The comment about geocache (and after looking up what that is) is also very interesting!

turbo said...

Tulsa would have benefited far more than OKC from MAPS. OKC is so ugly from urban sprawl that nothing can repair it. Tulsa is a much prettier city than OKC

turbo said...

It is shame that Tulsa did not pass a urban renewal before OKC Tulsa is prettier, has less urban sprawl and has much more potential. OKC experienced so much white flight in the 1960s-1980s that it is nothing more than empty parking lots.

Anonymous said...

You need to read-up on your history and learn what the cross on Standpipe is for. It is commemorating the worst race riot in American history--June 1st, 1921. Amazing that you live there and don't know this. 300+ innocent black people killed for having nicer "things" than the rest of the population. Look-up "Black Wall Street" on Youtube. Educate yourself. James Taylor

Nancy said...

Mr. Taylor, I suggest you educate yourself a little more as well.

Anonymous said...

Thank you SO much for this montage! I'm so glad I found it. Exactly what I needed to help the Cub Scouts I lead pass off a requirement to look at historical photos of their hometown and compare them to current.



Unknown said...

I recently learned about Standpipe Hill by reading the book, The Burning, by Tim Madigan. It is about the massacre destruction and race riots in 1921. I grew up around Tulsa, had to take Oklahoma history but never heard of Black Wallstreet or the massacre.
This book is amazing if you're interested in learning more.