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Rediscovering Bartlesville! Happy #TravelTuesday!


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The following is a piece written by one of our board members. We loved hearing her story and asked her to write something we could share on our website. Enjoy! 

How I Rediscovered Bartlesville – Amy Borg, May 23, 2015

My sisters told me that they would like to spend some time in Bartlesville on their way back to Seattle after living in Luxembourg for 3 years. Of course I said yes, and that I would love to see them. Then they told me they would really like to SEE Bartlesville. Oh my. That was different than hanging around the house, doing 1000-piece puzzles.

So I went to the Chamber and got the recently published Bartlesville Business and Community Guide and started doing my homework. I had been to a number of our local attractions, having been in Leadership Bartlesville in 2013, so I had some idea of where we would go, but I also wanted to take the opportunity to see some new things.

Fast forward to the day of their arrival, and lo and behold, I received the Bartlesville Magazine 2015 Visitor’s Guide in the Sunday Examiner-Enterprise. Perfect! They could read up on some of the activities we would be doing while I was at work their first day here.

Their visit was absolutely wonderful. First, we went on the Frank Lloyd Wright Price Tower tour with 3 other people from Paris and Vancouver. With those people, and my sisters coming from Europe, the tour guide seemed disappointed when I announced that I was from Bartlesville. But I enjoyed the tour as if it were the first time for me. Each docent has a different passion about the building so I always learn something new. She did a fantastic job walking us through the timeline in one of the old apartments, and telling us about Theo Silas and Mary Price’s passion for the building and friendship that continues today.

We walked over to the Bartlesville Community Center to buy Broadway in Bartlesville season tickets, and asked Phil to give us a tour. What a treat so be in that magnificent building when it’s empty and to have Phil share some of the behind-the-scenes stories.

Then we walked around downtown and enjoyed the architecture of the churches and buildings. It’s amazing how different our city looks from the streets when you are walking with the purpose of taking it all in and not just walking from one place to another. We got a tour of the beautiful St. Luke’s Episcopal church from Father Lee and learned how the original church building is still downtown and has been repurposed. Some of the stained glass from that building is preserved in St. Lukes’ chapel.

We then drove all around town, from the airport to Adams Golf Course, discovering a number of neighborhoods and little shops I hadn’t seen before in my 7 years here. It’s amazing what people new to town will see that we don’t see when driving by every day.

I read about the Director’s tour at Frank Phillips’ House. I had never done that before, so I made a reservation and Jim Goss gave us the tour. We were the only ones in the group that morning so it was incredible. We got to go behind the ropes to take a closer look at things and I got to see the basement for the first time. At the end of the tour, my sister commented she has been on dozens of guided tours around Europe during the past 3 years and his tour was better than any of them. He asked her why, and she said that he obviously cares deeply for the house and was able to answer every question we asked.

Next up was the Phillips Museum. It was fun to see what my sisters were interested in. They were really interested in how Frank started Phillips Petroleum. We learned about the importance of the Anna Anderson well, but wanted to know more about it. The Docents were great and not only told us where the well was, but also who Anna Anderson was and why Frank and L.E. named the well after her.

Finally, we went to Woolaroc. We listened to the CD they gave us at the front gate (first time I have done that) on our way to the parking lot. It was a nice introduction to the place. We did the obligatory things you do at Woolaroc and then one of my sisters suggested going on the walking trails. I had never done that before, so off we went. Walking on the trails gave me a whole new perspective and appreciation for Woolaroc. The trails were beautifully maintained and we saw a number of critters along the way, some startling us right off our feet!

Of course we did a number of other things like pester my daughter at her place of work, hang out with friends, and eat at our great restaurants, but what I will remember most was really seeing some of our historic places as if for the first time and the wonderful people we have who care for those places and love to tell others about them.

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