Great State: Terlton’s Historic Store

TERLTON, Okla. – The building turned 100 years old in 2013.

The combination lumber store and funeral parlor built by Charles Kibby still stands, and is still open.

The current proprietors of the Terlton Store are John and Latena Herrod.

“It’s enough to keep us busy,” says John. “It keeps her off the streets while I’m out working,” he jokes.

It’s a quiet place, more a bird flyway than a spot on the highway.

But John has his customers who come in to say hi to his dogs and to his stuffed, pet gorilla.

She has a name too, “Bertha,” says John. “It’s one of those things people brought us because they thought it would fit in here.”

There’s a sign that says his store is NOT a Quik Trip.

He says he doesn’t compete with Walmart or Dollar General either.

“There’s something to see wherever you look,” says a visitor.

“Sausage stuffers and…yeah, there is something to see everywhere,” he says while walking around.

Customers buy things here they forgot to get someplace else.

But they also come in occasionally to look at local history.

Curious items crowd for space on the walls. John says, “If it catches my eye and I want to hang it up, I hang it up.”

John has a big collection of arrowheads, and old animal bones.

“Some things are hard to get rid of,” he notes.

There are bottles and books, then there are things from the Herrod family collection also on display.

John points to a huge gum ball machine filled with trinkets and says, “We filled it up. Actually the bottom is full too.”

People bring him things to put on display, and he does.

The Terlton store is slowly turning more museum and less store as the years go by.

“There are a lot of stories to tell,” he says.

A century ago Ira Terl founded this little burg, then went on to infamy as a representative at the State Capitol.

“He actually killed somebody on the capital steps and went to prison at Leavenworth,” says Herrod.

Terlton had its day. It’s lone store still hasn’t gone dark.

The town time capsule is open for business.