By ASHLEY WOLSTONCROFT
Henryetta is full of history.
That history was celebrated at the annual Historical Society membership dinner on Saturday evening.
The dinner, catered by Vitters, was hosted in the Henryetta Civic Center. Special guests included the family of Henryetta’s founder, Hugh Henry.
Henryetta Historical Society President Mike Doak opened the dinner with remarks of appreciation.
“On behalf of the Henryetta Historical Society, I want to thank you for your support. Your donations are what allow us to keep our doors open and visitors impressed,” he said. “The most used words when visitors come into the museum are ‘Wow, look at this.’ A couple months ago a guy called me and said he had just left the museum and wanted to let me know that it was one of the best museums he’s been in.”
The museum has seen several repairs over the last year.
“We were able to reroof the museum, repair vandalism and damage to windows, replace the steps and handrails into the museum and purchase exterior security cameras,” Doak said. “Our goals this year are to get rid of the rotten wood all along the exterior of the building, to repaint the exterior, replace the fence by the heat and air unit and get more security cameras installed.”
After the meal, Doak presented 29 pictures of historical sites around the city. Participants competed against one another to see who could guess the significance behind the most sites.
“When I was picking out these sites I said if you go to Greece or Italy they will show you stuff like this and it is just as important to us as it is to those folks,” Doak said.
He showed a picture of a set of stairs that once led to John Taylor Hospital, where the granddaughter of Hugh Henry was born.
“They tore down John Taylor Hospital to build Homeland and they left a set of stairs.”
The next picture was what used to be the Henryetta Episcopal Church.
“What’s historic about these Episcopal churches is that on the back end of these they have three wings. So when you look down at the top of them you have the shape of a cross anytime you see an Episcopal church,” Doak explained. “This one in Henryetta is just like that. You get that cross look.”
Other photos revealed Lake Eufaula, Hugh Henry’s home, Alice Ghostley’s home, an old North Main street sign, rock quarries and several others.
Acting docent Thomas Hudson said becoming a member of the historical society allows the organization to continue teaching others about Henryetta’s history.
“The next step you can take in supporting your historical society is becoming a member,” he said. “There are different membership levels and benefits of being a member; for example, if you are a platinum or gold member you will get a 10 percent discount off items on our online store.”
To sign up for membership or learn more, visit www.henryettamuseum.com.
Look for part two of Henryetta Historical Society happenings in Friday’s newspaper, which will introduce the new student leaders for the upcoming history camp.