On the 100th Anniversary of our National Park system, we offer you the smallest and least known

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GUTHRIE, OKLAHOMA -- This National Park is a hard place to visit but not because of its remote location.

So just to be sure, we got a guide.

"I'm not an official park ranger," says Stacey Frazier. "I'm the 'duly designated' park ranger."

Frazier might not pull down a federal paycheck but maybe she should considering she is the person everyone turns to with questions about what she claims is the United States smallest National Park.

"Let's take a hike," says a first time park visitor.

"Okay," says Frazier gamely.

"Um," she points, "That's the northwest corner and that's the southwest corner. And that's the park."

It's 100 square feet, located behind the Guthrie Post Office, and its story goes back to the original Land Office that occupied this spot in the Land Run of 1889.

Town fathers eventually wanted a nice little memorial to help tell the Land Run story.

In 1907 they had the city clerk draw up a document that set aside a chunk of land for something suitable.

"And we'd like it to be 100 foot square," says Frazier mimicking the original request, "Which is 100 feet deep by 100 feet wide."

Well that idea lost momentum when the state capital moved to Oklahoma City and about the time this elm tree began to provide decent shade.

The elm tree was still just a tree until the 1970's when all of downtown Guthrie became a huge historic district.

Then, Frazier explains, "What they found out was, the city clerk at the time, instead of writing, 'a parcel of land 100 foot square', apparently he wrote, 'a parcel of land 100 square feet'."

20 years later the historic district joined with federal jurisdiction and this little parcel gained new status.

"Because this was already an established historic marker, and because it was on federal property, it transferred directly to the control of the National Parks Department."

It doesn't get a lot of visitors, just enough for Stacey to put on her faux ranger uniform, and to patiently explain to anyone who will listen that Guthrie really does have its own National Park and that it's really easy to explore.

Stacey gives regular walking tours around downtown Guthrie for a program called Guthrie Ghost Walks.

Interest in Guthrie's tiny National Park usually peaks around 89er Days in April and around July 4th.

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