Living in Tulsa, Oklahoma put us smack dab on the Mother Road, Route 66, with all there is to explore. I found out about this cute little town about an hour from us and thought it would be fun to explore Chelsea, Oklahoma on Route 66. What a fun day we had.
Explore Chelsea Oklahoma on Route 66
A Little History
Founded in 1881 as a stop on the railroad, which was then “Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory”, Chelsea has relied on farming, ranching and oil production. I honestly never realized that Oklahoma had so much oil in its history. Chelsea produced oil from 1890 until shortly after 1916. In its history, the population has only been over 2000 one time when the censes was taken. The last censes had the population at 1,964 people. There are three structures on the National Register of Historic Places within the town, which is what drew us to explore Chelsea Oklahoma on Route 66.
Chelsea Pedestrian Tunnel
In the middle of town, you can take a walk under Route 66, by walking through the pedestrian tunnel. In the tunnel you will find some really great murals of the sites in Chelsea.
Take a marker because there is also a wall to sign, although somehow I didn’t get a picture of it.
Pryor Creek Bridge
One of the structures on the National Register of Historic Places is the Pryor Creek Bridge. Built in 1926, this bridge is just off of Route 66, but only by a minute. I love old bridges and this one is so scenic, with all the green around it. You can find a historic marker and also a sign detailing the significant things to see in Chelsea, so this is really a good place to start your time in Chelsea.
Like most small towns, Chelsea has a Main Street and it has the most interesting buildings and a section of red bricks on the road. Of course, I had to stop and take a few pictures.
Isn’t this a great clock?
Built in 1912-1913, the Hogue House is Oklahoma’s first Sears kit home and the only surviving Honor Built home. Not only is it still surviving, it has remained unaltered over the years and is still occupied, apparently by someone with a fancy car. If you don’t know about Sears kit homes, look them up. They are pretty interesting.
J.B. Milam Home
Built in 1909 by J.B. Milam, this historic home is also still occupied. J.B. Milam was the first Principle Chief of the Cherokee Nation, under both Franklin D Roosevelt and Harry S Truman. He was Cherokee from his mother’s side and while being born in Italy, Texas, was also born into her clan, the Long Hair Clan and received social status from them. He was pretty interesting and you can read more about this here.
Memorial Methodist Church
Established in the 1880, the Memorial Methodist Church is still in operation today. Isn’t it pretty? I tried to do some research on it and only found out that there are 2 employees and some membership information. It’s located at 441 W 6th Street.
First Oil Well in Oklahoma
The first oil well in Oklahoma sits about 5 miles southwest of Chelsea. Established in 1889, it was the first well of many to be drilled in the Chelsea area. If you happen to look up the first oil well in Oklahoma, you may get a different answer than this particular well. It seems there are some others claiming that title too.
Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park
A few miles outside of Chelsea, but still within Chelsea limits is Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park, which boasts the world’s largest concrete totem pole. There are some other pieces of art and totem poles in the park too and it’s free to enter. It was pretty interesting to visit.
As you can see, there are quite a few things to explore in Chelsea, Oklahoma on Route 66. We had a fun morning before moving on to the Belvidere Mansion in Claremont. Do you enjoy exploring small towns? I really do.
Route 66 is my dream roadtrip to take! I love small towns like Chelsea, they seem to hold so much history and the downtowns are so quaint. I love how part of the road is brick.
The murals on the tunnelwalls, the bridge and the oil wells speak of the past so implicitly. I like the watch tower too. I get a Winden like setup all through. 😋 just the perfect setting altogether. Chelsea is a name I have been acquainted to. Thanks to Chelsea F. C. But the place itself is sure to grow on you.
We really enjoyed seeing Chelsea. You are right, small towns really are quaint. The history is fun to explore.
I love the little part of history you added to it. This looks like an interesting place to visit for a few hours for sure. I’ve never heard of it before but you’ve peaked my interest.
It really is a cute little town. It was fun to see the different things that make it noteworthy.
What a cute little town! I had never heard about the Sears kit homes–I looked it up and got sucked in!! How weird. Chelsea is a fun find!
Chelsea Oklahoma seems to be a town with a really old world charm. The pictures of the murals in the tunnel had my attention riveted, they look so beautiful. The totem pole park is another unique attraction which looks really interesting.
This looks like a lovely stop along this section of Route 66. Plenty of historic charm and a few interesting stories to tell. Chelsea sounds like a great find.
These are such interesting highlights! I was already impressed by the artwork in the Pedestrian tunnel, but then to see the first Sears home and first oil wells–so cool! One of these days I’m going to do a road trip down iconic Route 66. Thanks for highlighting these attractions, which I’ll definitely add to my itinerary!
I had no knowledge that Oklahoma was home to oil production industry. Route 66 is definitely talked about. The town doesn’t look like it is inhabitated by many people as mentioned by you. I love the white mandsion. It looks so American.
It is definitely an American town. Such a lovely, quaint place in history. We loved our visit.
Route 66 was my dream trip when i went on a 2 months long road-trip in the US. Loved every bit of it. So much history and culture on the route. Your post brought back my old memories. I loved Chelsea Oklahoma and its historic buildings.
I’m so glad you got to take a trip on Route 66. That is so fun and yes, historical. You can learn a lot. I haven’t seen every bit of it, but the majority. I’m glad we took the time.
Wow! I hadn’t ever heard of a Sears kit home, so I did look it up. Fascinating! And boy, there were many types, too, so lots of variety. I enjoyed the Route 66 trip, thanks!
Those kit homes are really a neat concept and apparently sturdy as there are still quite a few standing around the country. You probably know that though. Route 66 was a fun trip to take, although we kind of broke it up a little bit.