As the birthplace of folk legend Woody Guthrie, Okemah has a storied history dating back to early settlements in 1902. Located about 70 miles east of Oklahoma City on Interstate 40, the city itself was named after an Indian Chief of the Creek Nation by railroad developers Perry Rodkey and H.B. Dexter who selected the settlement for town-site at the turn of the 20th century. The city boasts a number of treasured locations from both past and present times, including the historic Pecan Bowl and the Okemah Coffee Company.
Once used as a prisoner of war camp for German soldiers, the “Pecan Bowl” Stadium is an athletic field that was built in 1939 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The construction of the stone structure provided over 21,000 hours of work for laborers and positively impacted the community of Okemah whom at the time struggled through the aftermath of The Great Depression and beginnings of World War II. The stadium is currently the home of the Okemah High School Panthers, and its unique design makes it appealing to filmmakers who have previously scouted the location in consideration of their films.
Local favorite Okemah Coffee Company (pictured above) offers delicious brews amongst a quirky interior which features music memorabilia dedicated to Oklahoma musician and Rhythm + Routes inductee John Fullbright. Serving as a music venue for Fullbright and many other folk and country musicians, this location is a can’t-miss spot during this month’s Woodyfest which has events taking place throughout the city including the historic Crystal Theatre.