Introduction to Stillwater, Oklahoma
The Oklahoma city of Stillwater, county seat of Payne County, is located in north central Oklahoma, 70 miles west of Tulsa and 65 miles northeast of the state capital of Oklahoma City. The city is home to Oklahoma State University.
Founded in 1889 and incorporated in 1899, Stillwater is located in the heart of a region whose vast agricultural land is used mainly to produce wheat and whose fertile pasture land has long supported a thriving cattle-breeding industry. Very much a college town, Stillwater over time has expanded its economic base to include other industries such as manufacturing and advanced technology. The city today is known as an academic and cultural center, as students and staff of Oklahoma State University together comprise about half of the city's population.
Arts and Culture in Stillwater
Stillwater holds many annual events which attract people from all over the region. These include the Boomer Blast 4th of July Celebration, the Stillwater Home Builders Association Home and Garden Show, the Fine Art & Music Festival, the Tumbleweed Calf Fry, the Oklahoma Special Olympics State Games, and the Payne County Free Fair. Some of the major attractions of the area include the following:
- Oklahoma Botanical Garden and Arboretum
- Jim Thorpe Museum
- Pawnee Bill's Ranch and State Museum
- OSU Museum of Natural and Cultural History
- Sheerar Cultural and Heritage Center
- Gardiner Art Gallery
- The Washington Irving Trail Museum
- Stillwater Airport Memorial Museum
- Payne County Courthouse
- Stillwater Opera House
Oklahoma State University has a long tradition of strong athletic programs. The Oklahoma State Cowboys (Cowgirls) compete in the NCAA's Division I-A as a member of the Big 12 Conference's South division. Oklahoma State boasts over 45 national titles, the fourth-highest total in the county. These national titles have come in wrestling (the Cowboy wrestling program is one of the most successful in all of college sports), golf, basketball, baseball, and cross country.
Stillwater is the proud home of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, whose museum honors amateur and Olympic wrestling champions. Featured at this site are sculptures, photographs, banners, trophies, plaques, medals, uniforms, and other memorabilia celebrating the accomplishments of famous wrestlers and teams of the past.
For professional sports, fans can look towards nearby Oklahoma City or Tulsa to catch some action. Oklahoma City shares its only major league franchise with the city of New Orleans. The New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets of the National Basketball Association play a portion of their home schedule in the city. Also in Oklahoma City are the Redhawks, a Minor League Baseball Triple-A franchise affiliated with the Texas Rangers. Hockey fans can watch the Oklahoma City Blazers, a team in the Central Hockey League (CHL). The city of Tulsa is home to the Drillers, a Minor League Baseball Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Tulsa is also home to the Tulsa Talons of the Arena Football 2 (AF2) league.