Back Alley Guthrie ~ Back Alley Arches

One thing I have discovered in observing the back alleys of Guthrie is that this town is full of arches. Not only on the fronts of the buildings, but in the back, as well. And most of them have a double layer of bricks on top emphasizing the beautiful arched doors and windows.

I named this next painting “Back Alley Arches”, because that is what first attracted me to this back alley location.

Back Alley Arches 12″ x 16″ oil on linen

For those who appreciate a little background, my daughter Sage and I went on a back alley discovery adventure last fall. I took photos of sites that intrigued me.

A couple of months ago, I went back to take a look and there was a woman outside working on her potted plants. The place looked adorable…

Massive vines cover a lot of the back alley buildings in the summer, in the winter all the leaves are gone and it looks pretty bare and scrubby.

And here is my preliminary sketch…

Now the painting has to dry for some months and then the linen will be glued to a masonite board and have a coat or two of varnish, before it is framed.

Hope you enjoyed seeing a little view of the progression of this oil painting.

Back Alley Guthrie ~ Endangered Fire Tower

One of my favorite back alley treasures in Guthrie, Oklahoma is this fire tower. I had no idea that it was endangered until I searched for some historical information about it.

Endangered Fire Tower 16″ x 20″ oil on canvas

A news article from The Oklahoman dated 1997 stated…

“The tall narrow structure behind the Guthrie Fire Department’s downtown station, may be the only remaining hose tower in Oklahoma, said Melvena Heisch of the Oklahoma Historical Society.

“At least, we don’t know of any other in the state,” she said.

The tower was placed on the state’s list of Most Endangered Historic Properties because it is no longer used and is in disrepair.

The tower is behind the station at 111 S Second.

It is built of wood which has been covered with tin. And, it’s in danger of being demolished.

When it was built, canvas fire hoses had to be hung up to dry. But when they were replaced by those made of nylon and other materials, the tower no longer was used.”

Here it is 25 years later and the tower is still standing. I’m so glad. 🙂

The Guthrie Fire Tower is also listed on The 2021 List of Oklahoma’s Endangered Places.

This is the perfect pleinair set up… the back of a pick up truck, so comfy and convenient. 🙂 My daughter Tera even brought me some coffee from our favorite Guthrie coffee shop Hoboken, which is only a couple of blocks away.

I hope you enjoy some of the links I’ve shared. The 2021 Most Endangered Places has a nice picture of the tower and more info on the history. You can order coffee from the Hoboken link, and even read the story of the amazing family that started Hoboken and have given so much love to the Guthrie community and beyond… There’s a great video to watch about Hoboken here.

“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” ~ Luke 21:36

Back Alley Guthrie ~ Farquharsan Building

Strange name, isn’t it? Albert O. Farquharsan opened a clothing store in this building in 1907.

This quote from waymarking.com describes the building…

“The 1907 Guthrie City Directory shows Albert O. Farquharson occupying this building as a clothing store, with men’s furnishings, hats and shoes. In the back alley on the west side of the building is a ghost which reads: “Clothing Store / Hats Shoes Tools and Grips”. “

I thought it was interesting that these faded letters on old buildings were called ghosts.

Here is my rendition…

Back Alley ~ Farquharsan Building 20″ x 24″ oil on canvas

A friend of ours dressed up like an old time gentleman for the Victorian Christmas Walk last year, and I thought he was such a fitting addition to the scene. Just imagine back in 1907 walking out of this men’s clothing store outfitted with a new hat, vest, coat, pants, shoes and cane.

Just recently someone painted the letters on this out of the way back alley building. I really am partial to the ghost letters. I’m glad I painted it before the renovation.

Even though the ghost lettering was hard to read, I think they made a mistake when they painted HOUSE instead of STORE.

Curious to know what you all think??? 🙂