Train enthusiasts will absolutely love spending an afternoon exploring the Bristow Historical Museum & Depot, which has as its home a renovated 1923 train depot! If you love the romance of the railway, here’s how to have the best trip possible!
In our effort to highlight all of the best museums in Oklahoma, we spoke with Debbie Corwin, President of the Bristow Historical Society, to share what makes this museum special, why you should visit, and what you need to know before you go.
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Here’s what you need to know before you visit!
Where is the museum located?
1 Rail Road Place, Bristow, OK 74010, United States
What topics does the museum cover?
Early railroad history, early Indian Territory, early oil discovery and all things Bristow!
What is your museum’s claim to fame?
We’re a beautifully renovated 1923 FRISCO Train Depot complete with a caboose and one of only two remaining FRISCO water towers in the nation.
What is your favorite exhibit or artifact in the museum?
Our military display area is especially powerful since it features photos of area soldiers departing for world wars from this depot. We are well aware that most returned home through this same depot – dead or alive. Their memory is constantly with us.
What kinds of special exhibits and events do you host throughout the year?
We host the Bristow Tabouleh Fest on the 2nd Saturday of May each year. This one day festival honors Bristow’s Lebanese heritage and brings in thousands of visitors annually. More information can be found at this website.
Are there guided tours available? What topics do they cover, how does someone sign up, and what languages are they held in?
Our volunteers are happy to show you through the museum or you may go at your own pace. No sign up is necessary unless you are bringing a large group of over 10-15.
How much time should someone plan to spend at the museum?
You can visit the museum in 30-45 minutes. We also have a caboose you can tour outside and have a beautiful picnic area on Depot Plaza if you’d like to stretch your legs and enjoy some sunshine.
What should someone bring with them and what items are not allowed in the museum?
No food or drink is allowed inside.
Is photography allowed inside (without flash)?
How can one purchase tickets and how much do they cost? Can guests use credit cards?
There is no fee for our museum however we do appreciate donations since we are an all- volunteer museum. We can write reciepts for large donations as we are a 501 c3 non profit. 100% of your donation goes back into our museum to maintain the museum and operate our programs.
Does the museum have a bag check or coat room?
What should parents of young children know before visiting the museum? What is there for kids to do?
We simply ask for parents to remind their children that the depot is a museum so they can’t touch the displays. Kids love the displays and our volunteers will cater to specific needs of each visit.
Kids of all ages enjoy going inside the caboose and if your timing is right, you may be here when a real train goes roaring past!
Is the museum accessible?
What’s the coolest item for sale in the gift shop?
Route 66 items sell well but we also have beautiful railroad spikes found deep in the Indian Territory soil near the depot.
What’s the tastiest thing for sale in the cafe or snack stand?
No snacks but we’re 1/2 block from some great restaurants.
What are your normal days and hours of operation?
Friday, Saturday, Monday 10AM -4 PM and Sunday 1-3 PM
What should teachers planning a field trip know before reaching out to you?
We’re used to handling classes. Contact us and we’ll be happy to work with you!
What else should a visitor know before visiting?
This museum is a labor of love and the Bristow community is proud to share it with you!
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Stephanie is a born-and-bred Oklahoma mom and travel expert who has been to over fifty countries. After living in Eastern Europe for four years, she has moved with her family back to Oklahoma to write about her favorite places growing up: Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, & Route 66!