CORDELL, Okla. (KFOR) – Have you ever looked at some of the really old photographs from Oklahoma history, the ones taken at least a hundred years back?
Does anyone else think the reason these people might look so stiff is because they’re freezing cold?
The hypothesis makes more sense when it’s cold outside and when you see the kinds of places our ancestors had to live in.
“I can’t imagine how drafty that would be,” says amateur historian Landon Jones as he stands outside The Rock House.
Case in point: a now-famous house in Cordell, moved to the current location by the Washita County Historical Society more than forty years ago.
Jones can point out the crude workmanship on hand-quarried sandstone dug from a washout south of Dill City in 1892.
“You can still see a lot of the chisel marks where they cut,” he says.
But in the winter, he says this was a really drafty old place.
“I’ve heard stories told about it,” says Jones, “that if you had a glass of water sitting on a table overnight it would be frozen by morning.”
A man named Henry Wood gets credit for building this old rock house.
He and his wife lived in it for more than thirty years before they sold it to Jessie and Sudie Brown.
“It’s a pretty unique structure,” continues Jones. “Just about anybody would know right where it was.”
County historians shored up the old place with cinder blocks on the inside and saved some old furnishings, but even now, it’s still cold in winter.
“Single, rock walls with just some mud stuffed into the cracks for mortar.”
Looking on the bright side, the four-hole luxury outhouse lets us know the residents here never had to worry about frozen pipes.
This place still stands against the winter, frozen in time, as a reminder of those old stories we scoff at from the comfort of present day.
A lot of our history serves up as a cold dish.
For more information, visit the Washita County Museum.