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Bessie, Oklahoma

04 May

Following a weekend, or maybe it was a midweek adventure, CJ and I took the northern route home heading through Oklahoma in search of rural attractions. Oklahoma is full of them. I don’t know if you would find Bessie to be your vacation destination but it sure is a sweet little town to pass through. Unfortunately our time was limited as you can see in the picture below. The sun had already kissed the day goodbye and hours yearned for passing as we made our way home. I have no clue why we stopped here because Bessie sits about a half mile off the main route, US Hwy 183. Grain elevators tower over. I don’t even recall stopping here for a bathroom break.

This picture was taken October 2015. Most of my updates on this blog have one thing in common, railroad. Many of these little towns in rural areas were brought up along the rail. So was Bessie. With somewhere between 150-200 people, agriculture is the principal resource of the community.

In the image below, there is a wall to the right of the building: Bessie School, 1916. Was this the original school building? I’m having difficulty finding information about the building. Perhaps you know. Tell us in the comments below.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 4, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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3 responses to “Bessie, Oklahoma

  1. Brendon Michelena

    June 21, 2021 at 12:28 am

    Nice blog post.❄ 😀 2021-06-21 01h 26min

     
  2. Anonymous

    August 24, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    The Wall next to the building that has the sign saying “1916 Bessie School” is what is left of the second school house that Bessie had. It was a two story building, and that was at the peak of the school. The school was located two blocks North.

    The wall is part of a school and town memorial that was made. You can’t see it in the lighting, but the side of the building has a mural on it. The mural has various scenes from the town’s history.

    The brick wall has bricks with various names and school classes.

    The original school bell is also there as well.

    The building in the picture is the School’s gym. It was various other things early in it’s life, but was used by the school and a basketball court was installed. The basketball court is still there. The bleachers and locker rooms were removed about 20 years ago during a remodel that added a small conference room and kitchen.

    Like many basketball courts from that time, there is also a stage and the building also served as a auditorium.

    It’s known by everyone as “The Gym”. It’s basically a community center now. It serves as a place that people can come together to have birthday parties, reunions, etc.

    The big celebration there each year is the Bessie Pancake and Whole Hog Sausage Supper, which is held on the first Monday in March each year. It’s a week of preparation, as the Fire Department and community come together to make and prepare sausage using a spice recipe handed down from a butcher that used to be in the town.

    The school holds a reunion every three years. October 2021 is the next one.

    The high school closed in the 1940’s, and a third school building was built. It remains 2 blocks North of the Gym. It’s currently the home of “Grannas”. Preparing meals. That school was just an elementary school that went to 8th grade.

    The elementary closed in the early 1970’s, and the school consolidated with Cordell.

     
  3. Anonymous

    August 24, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    Also in that memorial, there are two dark grey granite stones, which are the corner stones of the Bessie Bank.

    The memorial itself sits inside what was the bank. The granite “Bank” sign that was at the top of the building, is part of the brick name memorial wall.

    A banker named Ben Kiehn was killed in a bank robbery, and has a memorial erected by the Oklahoma Bankers Association to him across the street to the North. He was killed in 1928 trying to defend the employees and bank.

    This video isn’t mine, but here’s a good video that shows everything during the day

     

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