Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Red Bricks and Murals in Alva

Part of the fun of visiting a smaller city is just strolling around, getting a feel for the place and absorbing bits of its history.  So one day in October I took my camera and wandered around Alva.  

The last time I'd had a chance to do this, I was a teenager on a used bicycle my grandmother had picked up at an estate sale or auction.  This time, I took the rental car and ventured a little farther.

It was a gorgeous autumn day.  The leaves were beginning to turn.

Alva Town Square

One of the highlights of looking around town has to be seeing the Alva Mural Project.

The middle...
...One side...
...And the other side of "Threshing Time," which commemorates harvest activities.  
"The Run" depicts the 1893 land run that opened up Northwest Oklahoma,
known as the Cherokee Outlet or Cherokee Strip, and the founding of Alva. 
45th Infantry Division Mural
This mural commemorates the World War II POW camps near Alva.

Murals in Alva are on more than just flat walls.

After I looked at murals, I drove around looking at old (and newer) brick buildings.  I think it would have been very interesting to be a brick merchant in the early 1900s in Northwest Oklahoma.  You'd never have lacked for work.

Alva's town square includes the Graceful Arts facility
(nonprofit arts organization), under the green overhang.
This old church was apparently converted to a home.

This is the Cherokee Strip Museum in Alva.

Herod Hall/Administration Building, NWOSU, Alva.
And the Co-Op facility dominates the skyline on the north side of town. 
No red bricks in sight on it from this angle, but it's still fun to see.
Alva has several properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The most recently-listed is the Hotel Bell.

My sentimental favorite old red brick building is the Crowell House at 801 Flynn, now The Vintage Inn Bed and Breakfast.

My grandmother owned this house in the late 1960s through early 1970s.
Here is a link to information on the Hotel Bell from the National Park Service/National Register of Historic Places:


Here's a link to the Preservation Oklahoma website:


This story is one in a series of about the historic red brick house at 801 Flynn in Alva, Oklahoma.  It was built in 1906 (the year before Oklahoma became a state) by local businessman George Crowell.  My grandmother bought it from his descendants in 1968 -- her biggest estate sale purchase ever -- then sold it several years later.   It has changed hands several times since she owned it.

The house is now a bed-and-breakfast inn.  I went back to see it in October 2013.  

All the blog posts I wrote on the visit are collected here:  http://estatesalechronicles.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-historic-house-at-801-flynn-alva.html


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