The Blue Front Saloon was located at the corner of Grand Avenue and Santa Fe (7 Grand Avenue) in downtown Oklahoma City.
When it was established has yet to be discovered. It was mentioned as a wild locale in a newspaper account dated 1904. It was well known as a part of the rowdy "Hell's Half Acre" of Oklahoma City. Gunplay, gambling, prostitution and crime were rampent. The area had swiftly developed from its founding in 1889 and the town was filled with brick and morter structures within months of its birth. The saloon was described as being fronted by broad windows normally covered by blinds. The image shows an Oklahoma City street scene Easter of 1900 (linked from original source).
In 1904 a holiness school was opened called the Beaulah Holiness School in the area of Becham and Carter counties. 1905 a group called the Fire Baptized Holiness Church, under the direction of J.H. King held a revival in the Lamont area. In that year, a group in Billings held a service where several people were baptized in the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues, and frightened many of the people attending the service!
In 1906 a revival began in far off Los Angeles that would have a direct impact on the life of many in Oklahoma. An African American holiness minister would begin a series of services in an old warehouse that would cross denominational, gender, and race lines in promoting a spiritual experience bringing the Book of Acts alive to a new century. These people sought redemption and experienced signs and wonders akin to the Biblical examples. People from across the nation who had been ardently seeking deeper spiritual experiences when to California to see first hand what was happening there. Some were shocked and left and others were certain that as Amie Simple McPherson would later say, "This is that", this was the experience the prophets had foretold. Those believed spilled out across the land sharing the vital new message of renewal and renewed spirituality.
In 1907 the notorious but now closed saloon was leased by two Holiness ministers and became the Blue Front Saloon Mission. In August of that same year the two men, R.B. Beall and O.C. Wilkins received what was known as the 'baptism of the Holy Spirit' and spoke in other tongues. It then became one of the first pentecostal churches in the central United States. Although no known photo of the saloon has been found, it may have looked like the saloon in Carnegie dated at about 1900. Unidentified photo.
In about 1907-08 it was being pastored by Rev. H.P. Lott. He had been in a revival in Billings, Ok in 1905 when one of the earliest recorded instances of speaking in tongues and the classical Pentecostal experience occurred in Oklahoma. Under Lott's leadership the mission expanded to include a rescue home for 'wayward women'. This was a common outreach by churches and civic groups in a time when girls and women were often seduced and abandoned in a society that was often unforgiving of such falls from a moral high ground. The local prostitution business also sometimes used deceptive means to renew their 'stable' of workers. Young, naive girls coming to the city for the first time were often easy targets to lure into the trade or to assault and coerce into working in one of the houses or, as they were coyly called, 'resorts.'
Some Sources:
McGill, Albert. Satan Came Also. 1955
Paul, Harold. Dan T. Muse: From Printer's Devil to Bishop. 1975



Nearing 1910, there was great fear as a comet was set to pass by the planet in its 75 year journey around the sun. In the past, its passing had been magnificently fearsome, and prophets were sure this would be a terrible and awesome event as well: Halley's Comet.

It also allowed for warped humor to rise to the surface to sell newspapers. A newspaper writer in New York printed a story of horrible and savage ceremonies in a far and exotic location: in Colorado and eventually morphed to have occurred near Aline, Oklahoma.

The exotic drama included a beautiful maiden, human sacrifice, a daring adventuresome Sheriff riding to the rescue, and wild eyed fanatics under the spell of some ancient god as the time of the comet drew near.


There are so many conveniences we take for granted most of the time. Things like walks. In areas where natural rock was sparse or non-existent, how did people create walkways through muddy yards or get from point "A" to point "B" without slogging through ankle deep mud. The answer was revealed from a photo simply identified as having been taken in Guthrie, Oklahoma ca. 1900. The "walk" up to the front porch and around the side of the house was created by lengths of lumber (from the size perhaps as long as 12 feet, 2 inches deep, and perhaps 8 to 12 inches wide in some places). Note the pride of place for the bicycle as well.


Daring Japanese Girl Spy - 1904

In 1904 a story came out of Japan about the 'daring exploits' of a Miss Ando Yoshi. In a dangerous move , and with great personal risk, she stole important war maps held by the Russians in Port Arthur and wearing a disguise stole across the vast Russian countryside to make it to "Peking". The maps outlined defensive positions and plans along the Manchurian boundaries where Russian forces would be moved in an offensive strike. Although a poor girl, she did not wish to become a geisha, so instead worked hard to earn a living making and selling rice cakes. News that a good living could be made in Manchuria - she went there. She sold first to Japanese residents, then to Chinese and then to the Russians. Many suspected after the fact that it had been her glossy black hair and "bright eyes" that "played havoc" with the Russians, who favored her in the selling of rice cakes. This boom in business provided her access, knowledge and opportunity once she learned of the maps and their intent. Source notes indicate the story originated from the "New York Sun".


Several legends exist about the supposed mummified remains of John Wilkes Booth residing for long years in the attic of an Enid store and strange mummies found elsewhere with bizarre features or anomolous surroundings. Sometimes the stories are true underscoring the fact that truth can be the strangest of all.

Occasionally, one hears of strange things have been done to bodies. People preserved and kept in the company board room, or kept on display as a sample of how good the embalming job at XYZ frontier funeral parlor. bad men killed while robbing a bank were often put on display and as late as the 1930's the bodies of Bonnie and Clyde and their henchmen were displayed as stark lessons to any who contemplated fighting the law.
There is a story that one Elmer McCurdy, outlaw, alias Frank Curtis and Frank Davidson. It is said "he was killed during a robbery by a sheriff's posse near Pawhuska, Oklahoma, on October 7, 1911. 66 years later, his mummified body was found in a fun house attraction at the Long Beach, California Nu-Pike amusement park. It was during the filming of an episode of TV's "Six Million Dollar Man," that a technician rearranged what was thought to be a mannequin, only to have one of McCurdy's arms fall off. Elmer is now buried here in 1977, under 2-1/2 yards of concrete. May he rest in peace; even an outlaw deserves that respect.

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