Wonder City Wonders Chautauqua

A Chautauqua is an event of living history, where people present their stories as folks from our past. Locust Grove, called the Wonder City when it was first founded in 1912, is full of wonders, and this event will display them.

Come listen and enjoy the stories of Locust Grove’s past, especially as they relate to the waters that shaped us and that we shaped! Free and open to the public. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Nov. 22

6:00-7:30 p.m.

Wonder City Coffee, 118 E. Main

Master of Ceremonies: Bill McCloud

Town Founder O.W. Killam: Jerry Yates

Cherokee Trail of Tears Survivor: Choogie Kingfisher

Murrell Home relative Emily Murrell: Alysha Little

Town Leader Steve Foreman: Stephen Bell (Foreman’s great-grandson)

LG Citizen of the Past: Tammi Bell

Grace Leake Hotel Owner: Emily Beckton

LG Boy Skipping School: Kaden Parker

Music from the 1910’s provided by Canton Little

Marea Breedlove


Roxann Yates
Event Coordinator

Performers & Their Personas

Canton Little is a junior at Locust Grove High School. He is a member of the High School Band and has been tickling the ivories since 6th grade. His favorite type of music to play on piano is jazz and classical.

Alysha Little earned a B.A. in History at Northeastern State University and has worked for the Oklahoma Historical Society. Her favorite areas of study include 19th century American history and fashion history. She is an avid fan of Americanos and highly recommends Wonder City Coffee.

Emily Murrell was the niece of George Murrell who was married to Minerva Ross, the niece of Cherokee Chief John Ross. Emily visited her uncle and aunt in 1850 and left a diary of her experiences in Indian Territory. A copy of the diary resides in the Murrell Home archives in Park Hill, OK.

Bill McCloud is a best-selling poet who teaches history at Rogers State University. His poems are taught in college-preparatory classes, and he was most recently published in Oklahoma Today. Among the fans of his poetry are songwriters Graham Nash and Jimmy Webb.

Emily Beckton enjoys performing arts, cooking and my grandchildren. She has lived outside of Locust Grove for 12 1/2 years. Currently, she is working on a book and living life to the fullest.


More about Water/Ways:

The Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibition dives into water–an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically.

In societies across the globe, water serves as a source of peace and contemplation. Many faiths revere water as a sacred symbol. Authors and artists are inspired by the complex character of water – a substance that is seemingly soft and graceful that is yet a powerful and nearly unstoppable force.

Water also plays a practical role in American society. The availability of water affected settlement and migration patterns. Access to water and control of water resources have long been a central part of political and economic planning. Human creativity and resourcefulness provide new ways of protecting water resources and renewing respect for the natural environment.

If you would like to get involved with this exhibit in any capacity, please contact LGAA President & Water/Ways project director Jennifer Henson, jenniferh@rae-corp.com, 918-530-1902, or Water/Ways site coordinator Shaun Perkins, okiestoryteller@gmail.com, 918-864-9152.


Water/Ways has been made possible in Locust Grove, Oklahoma, by Oklahoma Humanities.

Water/Ways is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

Water/Ways was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (www.amnh.org), and the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul (www.smm.org), in collaboration with Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland; The Field Museum, Chicago; Instituto Sangari, Sao Paulo, Brazil; National Museum of Australia, Canberra; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada; San Diego Natural History Museum; and Science Centre Singapore with PUB Singapore.

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