No Man's Land Historical Museum – Goodwell, Oklahoma - Atlas Obscura

No Man's Land Historical Museum

On a college campus in the Oklahoma panhandle a museum honors the last piece of the contiguous United States to be classified as No Man's Land. 


How can one not walk into a building with “No Man’s Land Historical Museum” carved in stone above the door?

Founded in the 1930’s, this is not a modern high tech historical museum with digital recreations. The museum was an outgrowth of the Agricultural College that became Oklahoma Panhandle State University and it features objects and images that tell the compelling local history, mostly from the perspective of the settler, although other viewpoints come through as well.

There is a two-headed calf, a horse drawn hearse and other wagons, natural history artifacts, shop and farming tools, and objects key to the history of Oklahoma, especially the area around the museum. However there are other treasures as well, 1907 tax rolls, complete sets of periodicals, and plot maps, all combining to create a repository of very specific knowledge.

Wander through this museum and stumble on the accounts of the dust bowl, discovering what that meant to the people who lived in it and it is hard not to be moved by the difficulty of their life. A hardscrabble existence that even now not exactly with the highest population density in the state.

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August 29, 2014

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