Duncan, Oklahoma, deemed the “Crape Myrtle Capital” of the state, is also known for its rich western history and growing popularity in the northwest region of Chickasaw Country. Travel back in time and explore the history of this progressive town at some of their most notable museums and historical sites.
Rock Island 905 Railroad Depot Museum
Transportation nerds, go full steam ahead to the Rock Island 905 Railroad Depot Museum. Located in Fuqua Park, this museum features an old Rock Island steam locomotive that could reach top speeds of 100 miles per hour! Climb aboard the train and imagine the bygone era when Duncan was the first scheduled stop of the 905-passenger train. The museum also features a replica of an 1892 train depot with model trains, a dispatcher desk and phones as well as a variety of communication-themed displays. This museum is a great place for train enthusiasts to geek out!
Stephens County Historical Museum
Cure your curiosity with a trip to the Stephens County Historical Museum housed in an old National Guard Armory. The museum was established in 1969 for the purpose of preserving photographs and other artifacts collected throughout Stephens County. Vignettes throughout the museum, filled with authentic antiques, showcase daily life from pioneer days to the modern era. Additionally, visitors will find collections of Native American artifacts, transportation, memorabilia dedicated to Erle P. Halliburton and a Rhythm & Routes Juke Box featuring music and bios of legendary Oklahoma musicians.
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Deemed a Top Western Museum in 2016 by True West Magazine, the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center is a must-see for those who can’t get enough of the Wild West. The museum provides an authentic glimpse into life on the Chisholm Trail through interactive experiences and exhibits.
Visitors can enjoy a 4D experience in their multi-sensory theater or try to rope “Hollywood,” the Longhorn steer from a genuine leather saddle! Guests can create their own brand or play a game of checkers in the Duncan General Store. Art enthusiasts can find an exceptional collection of Western paintings and sculptures in the Garis Gallery of the American West, one of the finest Western art collections west of the Mississippi.
No trip to Duncan is complete without stopping to see the iconic “On the Chisholm Trail” bronze monument, created by Oklahoma sculptor Paul Moore. The 35-foot statue pays tribute to the cowboys who led millions of Longhorn cattle across the state. This enormously impressive work of public art is one of Oklahoma’s most recognizable landmarks. Take a selfie with this legendary statue and don’t forget to tag #VisitChickasaw!
Foreman Prairie House
Duncan is also home to the architecturally significant Foreman Prairie House. The house was built in 1918 by W.T. Foreman, one of Duncan’s most prominent citizens, and is one of the earliest examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Style School of Architecture.
Today, the Foreman Prairie House is often considered “The Crown Jewel” of Duncan serving as a gathering place for the community and hosts educational and entertainment programs.
You won’t be able to explore all Duncan has to offer on an empty stomach so be sure to grab a bite at The Merchant for delicious soups, salads and sandwiches or unwind at Duncan’s new brewery, Kochendorfer Brewing Co.
Don’t keep us waiting, saddle up and ride on over to discover more of Duncan’s western roots!