Just 10 miles north of Duncan, you'll find Marlow, a charming community full of wild, western history.
Marlow folks are famous for their dedication to preserving the outlaw history of the town. This can be seen in the Marlow Area Museum, located inside a cherished antique shop, The Marlow Mercantile. When in Marlow, you can't miss their unique dining, such as Guiseppe's Fine Italian Dining located in the historic 1911 State National Bank Building. Guiseppe's was even featured in our Flavors of Chickasaw Country video series- check it out!
Visit the magical small town of Marlow, Oklahoma! For those who don’t know, Marlow is situated about 10 miles north of Duncan and 30 miles south of Chickasha, in the northwest corner of Stephens County. Speaking by the road map, it is right off U.S. Highway 81 and crossed by State Highway 29, making it an easy route to and fro. Marlow was first settled in the mid 1880s by old west pioneers. The famous Chisholm Trail once crossed through Marlow bringing the founding settlers into the area. Stampeding soon became popular here, hence why the town became known as Outlaw Country. Marlow has quite an extraordinary history, centered around one set of brothers in particular – the Marlows!
THE STORY OF THE MARLOW BROTHERS
When the area was first being settled, the Marlow family came here and found a home on Wildhorse Creek, about a mile out from the Chisholm Trail. They brought with them their five sons: Alfred, George, Charlie, Lewellyn and Boone, who all worked for a large cattle outfit there. At one point, the brothers were unjustly accused of horse thievery and four of them were arrested in 1888 by U.S. deputy marshals, despite a lack of evidence for any wrongdoing. The brothers were later relocated to a prison in Graham, Texas. While being transported to trial on a cold, dark night in January of 1889, they were ambushed by a mob and the brothers, seemingly weaponless, defiantly fought back. At the end of the scuffle, thirteen men laid dead and wounded in the road. Two of the brothers, Alfred and Lewellyn, were killed in the attack while the other two, George and Charles, escaped after cutting off the feet of their dead brothers, of whom they had been chained to for the ride. The brothers were subsequently exonerated for defending their lives against the brutal lynching. Although the family had already moved from the area when the incident occurred, they continue to be immortalized by the community of Marlow and beyond through song, poetry, book and film. Today, the Marlow Area Museum houses an exhibit dedicated to the family featuring items such as the original tombstones of brothers Alfred, Boone and Lewellyn. The exhibit also contains the contract signed by the family giving rights to the 1965 film based on their story, “The Sons of Katie Elder”, starring John Wayne.
Visiting Marlow is a real treat for southern travelers. Aside from its wild western history, it is a charming community best known for its southern hospitality, unique downtown area and superstar sports. Bet you didn’t know that Terry Brown, former NFL star, Joe Dial, former world record pole vaulter and Michael Lightner, NCAA All-American wrestling champion, at some point in time, all called this place home-sweet-home!
Waltzing into downtown Marlow, visitors immediately get a warm, fuzzy feeling of pure bliss. Being far away from the feral forest of concrete reality, you are placed in a panorama of simplicity and slow serenity. With charming mom and pop shops, beautiful historic monuments and several recreational attractions to enjoy, Marlow offers its guests a small wonderland of pure southern delight. When making a trip to Marlow, be sure to hit up some of the hotspots listed below:
The restaurants in Marlow serve up a flavorful array of multi-cultural cuisine. Guiseppe’s Fine Italian Dining is pretty much like 'Little Italy meets Down South, USA'. Located in the historic 1911 State National Bank building, Guiseppe’s offers a rustic, red brick dining atmosphere in an elegant candlelit setting. The menu boasts authentic Italian bakes along with classic dishes like Osso Bucco. Other items featured on the menu are the specialty pizzas, Italian wines and decadent desserts dishes - sure to leave any sweet tooth floating in a dolce heaven. Other delicious options are Big Belly Deli or El Campesino Mexican Restaurant for traditional Tex-Mex fans.
Strolling down Main Street, shoppers will find several attractive storefronts, antique shops and other specialty boutiques to explore. Be sure to stop and shop in The Whisper Trading Co., a snazzy southern boutique featuring bookoos of colorful clothing and western wear or Broadway and Main for the most on-trend clothing, shoes, and accessories. If you’re shopping for the small fries, Baby Glam & Mama Too are unique kid-centric shops offering the latest for trendy tots as well as handcrafted clothing and accessories. For classic collectors, the Marlow Mercantile is a must with shelves upon shelves of cherished antique items and collectibles.
Marlow offers a multitude of outdoor attractions for visitors to enjoy from parks and trails to golf courses and lakes. Taylor Lake, located 9 miles outside of town, has 227 surface acres and 7 miles of shoreline for swimming, boating and fishing as well as numerous cabins and RV sites for camping. RedBud Park is a favorite recreational area for locals and tourists alike. Expanding ten city blocks, the park features a performance stage, a community center, picnic areas, horseshoe pits, a splash pad, as well as the following:
Marlow Outlaw Centennial Monument - A historical granite stone that tells the story of the Marlow brothers
The Outlaw Cave – The original homestead of the Marlow family located on the banks of Wildhorse Creek
RedBud Chapel – The first Catholic Church built in 1904, and a popular venue for wedding ceremonies
The Hideout – A 13,000 square foot state-of-the-art Western style playground
Creekwalk – A half mile walking trail with historical displays, decorative lighting and vibrant landscaping
LET'S CUT TO THE CHASE!
If you have yet to experience the historical magic of this enchanting town, it’s time for you to start planning a little ‘Marlow & Me’ heyday adventure. And, if you really want to get a spirited taste of the town, plan your trip around one of the community events such as the famous Ol’ Fashioned Independence Day Celebration, the Second Chance Trade Days, the Annual Easter Egg Hunt or the Main Street Christmas Parade. For more information about these holiday hooplas, check out the events section below. In the meantime, Outlaw Country will be waiting for you!