Uniquelahoma & Forgotten Oklahoma Partner Up to Keep Oklahoma’s Unique and Forgotten History Alive
A few years ago, something very cool caught my attention. I had learned of someone who was doing something that was facilitating a subject I am very passionate about. Her name is Amy Hedges, a small-town Oklahoma girl who had an excellent idea. It turns out we shared a passion for sharing our love of history with others. Hedges had the idea to start a Facebook page highlighting Oklahoma’s fading and forgotten history using photographs.
Already a photography-enthusiasts and using photos she had taken of old structures in the state that were well on their way to becoming wholly forgotten and lost to history, she thought that, in some small way, by posting these photos, she could help preserve what would certainly soon be lost to the ravages of time and nature. What would follow would be an influx and then the explosion of others wanting to be part of what she was doing.
“I remember when I got my first 500 likes, I freaked out! Holy cow, there are 500 people who like what I am doing,” Hedges said, referring to her Facebook page, Forgotten Oklahoma, as told to us in her first interview. Uniquelahoma was intrigued, to say the least, at what Hedges was building and the response it had received back then. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview Hedges in those early days and document the beginnings of the history that she was creating. That history preservation plight has continued to take on a life of its own as more people continue getting involved.
Due to the overwhelming response of participation from those who wanted their photo memories posted and Hedges’ lack of resources to get them all published in the beginning, she eventually converted the page to a group so others could be as involved as much as they chose. It worked. That first 500 has grown to over 135,000 members today. She has since opened up a group headquarters that houses several historical items.
In addition, she purchased and is remodeling an old and abandoned home on seven acres which she was only initially photographing for her Forgotten Oklahoma calendar. This project is more than just documenting history; it saves it. Plans are underway to convert into a historic bed & breakfast and wedding venue in Pawnee. Upon seeing the abandoned structure, she immediately knew that someone had to save the vast old sandstone home. She inquired about purchasing it and was able to pick it up from the old house for a song, learning, along the way, that it was built in 1900 by a Civil War veteran who also owned the Pawnee Saloon in those early days.
In Uniquelahoma’s continuing efforts to bring the unique aspects of Oklahoma to its readers and helping in preserving its history, we are proud to announce our partnership with Forgotten Oklahoma. Although remaining separate entities, Hedges and Harmon feel that sharing content and working together to highlight Oklahoma’s unique and historical aspects is a positive step forward in educating, highlighting, and preserving Oklahoma culture, both past, and present.
As such, both entities will be sharing content with the other’s sites to enlighten people from all over about our history and those who are currently making it. Moving forward, Uniquelahoma readers can view many of the photos and information posted in Forgotten Oklahoma on Uniquelahoma.com that its members have collected and published. In turn, members and visitors of Forgotten Oklahoma will have the opportunity to read about what is unique in our state from past and present. We encourage everyone to become involved in these two groups and hope everyone will join us in this partnership and become part of Oklahoma’s most unique historic preservation effort in the state.