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From geologic uplifts and ancient seas to irrigated farming and Altus Air Force Base, the Museum of the Western Prairie chronicles the history of southwest Oklahoma. Follow the story of the American Indians, frontier soldiers, cowboys, and homesteaders. Trace economic development from assurances that “rain will follow the plow,” to dust, drought, depression, and beyond.
The Museum of the Western Prairie tells the story of southwest Oklahoma from the distant past to the present. The story begins with the Wichita Mountains—the low, granite peaks that formed almost 300 million years ago. At first, the Wichitas towered above the landscape; later, they were islands in an ancient sea. Today the modest hills that remain serve as a connection between every era of southwest Oklahoma history.
In addition to the museum, visitors can see the Criswell half-dugout and a two-story limestone ranch house built by the Eddleman family in 1891.