Stillwater (Pawnee: Kiicawiʾuusiʾit, Kstiíriwara) is a city in north-central Oklahoma at the intersection of US-177 and State Highway 51. It is the county seat of Payne County, Oklahoma, United States. As of 2012, the city population was estimated to be 46,560, making it the tenth largest city in Oklahoma. Stillwater is the principal city of the Stillwater Micropolitan Statistical Area which had a population of 78,399 according to the 2012 census estimate. Stillwater was part of the first Oklahoma Land Run held April 22, 1889, when theUnassigned Lands were opened for settlement and became the core of the new Oklahoma Territory. The city charter was adopted on August 24 later that year. Stillwater is home toOklahoma State University, a branch of Northern Oklahoma College, Meridian Technology Center, and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.
Stillwater has a diverse economy with a foundation in aerospace, agribusiness, biotechnology,optoelectronics, printing and publishing, and software and standard manufacturing. The city operates under a council-mayor government system. The city's largest employer is Oklahoma State University. It was one of the 100 top places to live in 2010, according to CNN Money Magazine.
Downtown Stillwater (2009)
|Nickname(s): Cowboy Country, Stilly|
|Motto: "Where Oklahoma Began!", "Home of Red Dirt Music"|
Location within Payne County and Oklahoma
Stillwater has been served by the Stillwater Public Library since 1922. In 1990, Stillwater voters passed a $4.98 million bond issue for the construction of a new public library at 1107 S. Duck. TheStillwater Public Library provides a core collections of more than 100,000 volumes and includes books, audio books, music CDs, DVDs, videos magazines and newspapers as well as technological services. The library is active in the community, holding events and programs, including free computer classes, children's storytimes, and scholarly databases with information on a variety of topics.
The Edmon Low Library at Oklahoma State University houses approximately 3 million volumes, 190,000 government documents, 70,000 electronic and print serials. Stillwater campus branch libraries include the Architecture Library, Curriculum Materials Library, Veterinary Medicine Library, Electronic Publishing Center and the Library Annex. It is a federal depository library.
Stillwater is known as the home of red dirt music, a mixture of folk, country, blues and rock, and its hometown heroes Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, the Red Dirt Rangers,The Great Divide, No Justice, Jenny Labow, the Jason Savory Band, and the grandfather of red dirt,Bob Childers.
Eskimo Joe's has celebrated its anniversary in July for more than 35 years. It was voted “Best College Post-Game Hangout” by Sporting News, ranked #3 in "The Perfect 10 College Sports Bars" by Sports Illustrated and named in Playboy.com's “Top 10 College Sports Bars.” Joe's shirts have been spotted all around the globe.
Located on The Strip on Washington Street, Willie's Saloon has been a Stillwater tradition since 1974. It is known for being the venue where country music's Garth Brooks began his career after being spotted there by Dallas entertainment attorney, Rod Phelps.
Stillwater hosts several performing arts series, including performances at the City of Stillwater Community Center, the Town and Gown Community Theater and OSU’s Allied Arts held in the Seretean Center on the OSU-Stillwater campus.
Stillwater is served by several voluntary organizations dedicated to providing entertainment and cultural experiences: the Stillwater Community Singers, the Stillwater Community Band and Stillwater Jazz.
Stillwater is home to a number of annual festivals and community events held throughout the year. Residents also benefit from the many events and activities hosted by Oklahoma State University.
Spring kicks off with the Stillwater Public Education Foundation's A Taste of Stillwater, a fundraiser held each March. Other events include the Stillwater Elks BBQ Blaze-a-thon, Tumbleweed Calf Fry and Oklahoma Special Olympics’ Annual Summer Games. For years, Stillwater has played host to the Special Olympics Oklahoma in May when thousands of athletes and hundreds of volunteers gather for three days of competition and Olympic-style ceremonies. This is the largest amateur sporting event in Oklahoma, and the largest Special Olympics event in the U.S.[ Also held in the spring is the Stillwater Home Builders Association's Home and Garden Show,and the Remember the 10 Run.The Stillwater Arts Festival is now in its third decade. The festival is a two-day juried art show held in April features live, local entertainment, artist demonstrations and children’s activities.
In summer there is the Krazy Daze Shopping Extravaganza and the Payne County Fair.For Independence Day, Stillwater hosts the annual Boomer Blast fireworks show at Boomer Lake Park.The Stillwater Farmers' Market is held April through October on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The fall season begins Collegefest,OSU Student Government Association's Lights on Stillwater, a trade-show style event held on the OSU Library lawn where students learn about local restaurants, shops and services,and the Downtown Stillwater Car Show.the annual Downtown Stillwater Halloween Festival is held the Tuesday before Halloween and includes a costume contest.
Since 1920, Oklahoma State has welcomed alumni to “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration”. Each year more than 70,000 alumni and friends return to campus and participate in a parade. For more than twenty years, the Eskimo Joe's Juke Joint Jog 5K and Fun Run has been held in the fall to benefit the Stillwater Area United Way.
Winter is celebrated with the Festival of Lights, Downtown Christmas Parade and the Madrigal Dinner Concert on the OSU campus.
The Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of Stillwater. The museum features exhibits about Stillwater and Payne County, including the first land run that opened Oklahoma Territory for settlement in 1889. The Museum is undergoing a renovation of its exhibit gallery in 2012 to move from the previous design of decades based Permanent exhibits to exhibits focused on significant themes in Stillwater's history. The Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History alsoffers a variety of temporary exhibits and programs that change on an annual basis.
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum is also located in Stillwater. It is dedicated to preserving the heritage of the sport, celebrating achievements, and encouraging young athletes in the sport.[
The Washington Irving Trail and Museum, located in a rural setting, celebrates the heritage of Payne County. Famed American writer Washington Irving camped nearby in 1832. In 1861 the first battle of the American Civil War in Indian Territory took place northeast of the museum, near Yale, and in 1893 the Doolin-Dalton gang battles U.S. Marshals at nearby Ingalls. In 1925 the Billy McGinty/Otto Gray Cowboy Band, of Ripley, became the first cowboy band in the nation to play over the radio. The museum also features Boomer leader David L. Payne.
The OSU Gardiner Art Gallery is a part of the OSU College of Arts and Sciences Art Department. Exhibits, which are open to the public, vary from student and faculty exhibits to national show.
Oklahoma Botanical Garden and Arboretum covers more than 100 acres (0.40 km2) with thousands of species of flowers, shrubs, grasses and trees. It features specialized gardens like butterfly and organic gardens, turf and nursery research centers and a Centennial Grove. It also has a 4.5 acres (1.8 ha) studio garden where OETA's show "Oklahoma Gardening" is filmed. The facility, located west of Stillwater on State Highway 51, also has a Japanese Tea Ceremony Garden.
The Oklahoma WONDERtorium is a children's museum that provides outreach programs and takes hands-on, play-to-learn encounters and activities to elementary classrooms, preschools and child care centers.
David L. Payne Memorial Monument, located in Boomer Lake Park, honors Captain David L. Payne, known for efforts during the 1880s to open unassigned lands for settlement. In 1995, his body was exhumed and moved from Wellington, Kan., to this site. Payne County, Oklahoma, is named for him.
International Friendship Garden is located at the City of Stillwater Community Center and was built in 1997 by the Kameoka Landscape Gardeners Association to celebrate the program’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration. The gardeners purchased and shipped 22 tons of materials, tools and supplies to Stillwater, and over a two-week period they constructed a traditional Japanese garden. They also built a small tea garden at the Oklahoma Botanical Garden at Oklahoma State University. The International Friendship Garden was dedicated Sunday, July 26, 1998, with a delegation from Kameoka in attendance.
The Stillwater Public Library dedicated a bronze statue of Oklahoma historian/author Angie Debo on November 18, 2010. Created by local artist Phyllis Mantik, the statue depicts a young Debo sitting on a rock with several books by her side. Mantik chose to depict the historian as a young woman to illustrate that at an early age she chose the life of a scholar rather than what was expected of a woman of her time. To highlight Debo's importance to Oklahoma's Native American Tribes, the base of the statue is surrounded by the seals of Oklahoma's 38 federally recognized Native American Tribes.
Stillwater is home to the Original Hideaway Pizza, which is also Oklahoma's oldest pizzeria.
The following Stillwater sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:
The City of Stillwater Parks and Recreation Department manages more than 5,000 acres (20 km2) of parkland, including five ball complexes, ten tennis courts, two disc golf courses, four lakes, one swimming pool, 14 playgrounds, one skate and bmx bike ramp, special services centers, including the Multi Arts Center, Senior Activity Center, Community Center, Armory Gymnasium and Lakeside Golf Course.
Lake McMurtry, owned by the City of Stillwater, offers hiking and mountain-bike trails, back-to-nature camping and well-stocked reserves for fishing. Its convenience store and bait shop are open seasonal hours.
Stillwater is served by a number of paved and unpaved bicycle and walking trails for non-motorized forms of transit. The Kameoka Trail Corridor includes a three-mile (5 km) loop around Boomer Lake and additional disconnected segments throughout the city.The corridor begins north at Park View Estates and runs along West Boomer Creek toward Airport Road and Boomer Lake Park, circles the lake and cuts south to Stillwater High School, crosses McElroy and continues to Hall of Fame between Main and Perkins and crosses through Hoyt Grove Park.
Other multi-use trails include an asphalt trail through Couch Park, a dirt nature trail around Sanborn Lake, bike and pedestrian trails at Lake McMurtry, and a one-mile (1.6 km) gravel screenings loop at the Oklahoma Technology & Research Park.
Several golf courses are located in Stillwater.