2019-10-09 wcat-old furniture

Furniture from 1895 that belonged to the William McAnally family of Wagoner. JOHN FERGUSON/AMERICAN-TRIBUNE

The history of Wagoner will come alive with a special educational display called “Wagoner…in the beginning 1887 to Statehood” and be part of the newly renovated Wagoner Historical Museum, it was learned recently.

The front part of the museum will be home to the revolving country music display of Jim Halsey for three years through an agreement with the City of Wagoner. The back part will be the history of Wagoner.

The Wagoner history will be coordinated by the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City and the writing of Shirle Williams. Williams wrote the definitive history of the city.

“It’s going to be a beautiful partnership (with the Oklahoma History Center),” said Mayor Albert Jones.

The display will be anything, but boring. The History Center’s experience with large displays and history is well known. The History Center is also coordinating with an education curriculum to be used once the display is up and running.

“The Jim Halsey exhibit will ebb and flow in front (of the museum),” said Jones. “The back (history of Wagoner) will also move in and out.”

A hint about what history might show first concerned one of Wagoner’s most influential families – the William H. McAnally family.

Sometime during the exhibit there will be original McAnally furniture. There will be three pieces of a five piece golden oak living room suite that dates from 1895.

There are other remarkable items that will make an appearance one time or another during the many displays about the city’s history.

Of course the rail road industry that made Wagoner a town will also get its due in the display.

The renovations continue at the museum as a whole new look at what make Wagoner great is taking shape.

The Oklahoma History Conference will come to the Wagoner area in April 2020. The conference will get a tour of the new Historical Museum during the meetings.

The conference will be held at Sequoyah State Park Lodge and will Wagoner will serve as the host city.