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Woodland Gym

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Built: 1947 1961 | Abandoned: 1968
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Jennifer BurtonLeslie FlamingMichael Schwarz

In 1941 the Woodland School House was gutted by a fire that began at around ten in the morning on December 4th. The entire almost brand new native rock structure was ravaged by the flames, luckily no one was hurt. The entire interior of the building was lost, cause of the fire was said to be from the flue, coal and wood were used to heat the school. Only about $500 of furnishings and books could be salvaged from the building. Eventually a new complex would start to be constructed across the street.

As of 1942 the Woodland School still had no gymnasium, but around the 1947-48 school year their dreams would come true. Woodland was known for its basketball team, the Woodland Warriors were always a skilled group of athletes that even took home the Class C Basketball State Championship in 1959. “I went to school there in 67-68 and lived on the grounds, my dad was a bus driver and janitor. Many many great memories in that old gym, basketball was our life” said Brenda Gentry Burton. “We played them (Woodland) in basketball when I was a junior in 1965. They had a guard with a killer cross-over dribble. Our coach loved it the following week when we all tried to copy it at practice” said a former competitor Tommy Cariker.

New Woodland High School Ca. 1962

In June of 1961, bids would be received by the Woodland Independent School District No. 4 for the construction of a high school building. The high school housed grades 9-12th and was complete and ready for use the next year, the entire construction of the building costing $70,000. The high school had six classrooms, two restrooms, two dressing rooms for the basketball teams and an office for the administration. The architects of the building were Flood & Collins and Nelson Construction Co. was the contractor.

In the sixties, the local governments had been striving to consolidate hundreds of rural schools. It wasn’t feasible to keep funding all of these rural schools with declining populations and enrollments. It was decided that the school was going to close and the kids would go to another nearby school at the end of the 1967-68 school year. A trucking company used the building for a period of time years ago.

Article by AOK Photojournalist Emily Cowan.

Gallery Below




Bibliography

“13 Mar 1942, 16 – The Daily Oklahoman at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/447949476/?terms=woodland%20gym&match=1.

“15 Aug 1957, 1 – The Davis News at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/595807840/?terms=woodland%20school&match=1.

“15 Mar 1962, 1 – The Davis News at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/700575027/?terms=woodland%20school&match=1.

“29 Jun 1961, 7 – The Davis News at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/602842183/?terms=woodland%20school&match=1.

“4 Apr 1957, 1 – The Davis News at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/595805200/?terms=woodland%20school&match=1.

“4 Dec 1941, 1 – The Deaf Oklahoman at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/607748425/?terms=woodland%20school&match=1.

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Emily Cowan

Emily was brought into the Abandoned OK Team in December of 2019. “I’m not gonna lie I fangirled a bit. My first published post I was ecstatic, I felt like I finally had the right audience for my work. The opportunities that came with it made me love the website even more. I remember my first interview with a couple at Waukomis Christian Church. They had bought and restored the 1897 church and insisted on keeping the original sanctuary despite being advised on moving it. We talked with them for at least a good 40 minutes about the church, the abandoned Waukomis Middle School beside it, and the towns other disappearing buildings. They even rang the bell for us that has sat in the bell-tower for the last 120 something years ago. We could tell they were just as passionate about preserving Oklahoma’s dwindling history as we were. When interviewing people and hearing the first-hand stories and recollections of a place and seeing how a person connects to a building, it forms a connection between not only you and that person but yourself and that building.”

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Alex Green
Alex Green
1 month ago

Where exactly is the building?

Michael Schwarz
Admin
Reply to  Alex Green
1 month ago

I’m sorry Alex, we cannot disclose that information.

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