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Chisholm Elementary stages 1889 Oklahoma Land Run re-enactment

BY LILLIE-BETH BRINKMAN Modified: April 29, 2009 at 8:39 am •  Published: April 29, 2009
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photo - Edmond’s Chisholm Elementary School third-graders participate in a land run reenactment. PHOTOS BY PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND, THE OKLAHOMAN
Edmond’s Chisholm Elementary School third-graders participate in a land run reenactment. PHOTOS BY PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND, THE OKLAHOMAN
EDMOND — Using family names like Rowdy Wranglers and Oakley Orphans and individual names like Smokin’ Joe and Lassoin’ Luke, Edmond’s Chisholm Elementary School third-graders reenacted the 1889 Oklahoma Land Run.

Following a long-time Oklahoma tradition that many area schools do each year, the Chisholm students were grouped in "families.” They pulled wagons decorated to look like the covered wagons that horses pulled across the Oklahoma state line 120 years ago.

There were Sooners who darted across the line early, only to be "arrested” by waiting sheriffs, a "claims office” for students to file their claims and an 1885 Columbia High Rail bicycle ridden by Bob Gerling of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Gerling said the museum doesn’t know who rode a bicycle like that to claim his land in the original Land Run nor what happened to him, but early photos depict the rider.

"It’s kind of an interesting aspect of the Land Run that a crazy guy would ride a bike like that over empty fields and grounds,” Gerling said.

Most of the students quickly found wooden stakes to claim their land and have a picnic lunch. Some of them, however, had trouble because their wagons were too heavy to pull.