Great State: Hail and History

SPENCER, OKLAHOMA — One family’s home and castle is one thing. Mary Hammon looks after the collected memories of a whole town.

“If anyone wants to know anything,” she says, “we have it here in books and albums to show what went on in the early 1900’s.”

There are some curious items inside the Spencer Museum.

Inside one glass case rests a gun used to hold up the Spencer State Bank years ago.

West McCoy’s WWII Marine uniform hangs spotless in the corner of a bedroom.

Just out the back door there is a playhouse where Sophie Hendrick’s two daughters and half the other girls in town used to play.

Hammon describes, “That’s when Sophie Hendricks actually live here, but we have stuff from before that too.”

All this stuff might not seem like much to anyone outside this small community but when a late April hail storm hit, volunteers like Mary worried about this house almost before their own.

“You kind of watch out for this place,” remarks a visitor. “Well, I’m here every day,” she responds. “I know what goes on.”

Brandon Meyer from Admiral Roofing and Construction had a look at the holes in the siding.

He told Mary the roof was okay but those holes need attention.

“If you just left this, I suppose water would get in,” says an untrained observer. “It sure would,” replies Meyer.

Community histories often live in places like this, old houses, buildings with leaky roofs and sagging foundations, under constant threat from the extremes of an Oklahoma climate.

This old house is doing pretty well, thanks to its caretakers, and to the rest of a town’s memories that refuse to die.

“We can’t let it go,” says Mary. “We have to keep it going.”

If you’d like to help out with repairs or upkeep to the Spencer Museum please call (405) 771-4561.