The Route 66 town of Kellyville, Okla., recently added a commemorative, 30-foot-tall oil derrick next to Route 66 that was donated nearly a decade ago, according to the Sapulpa Daily Herald.
The Kelleyville Heritage Days Foundation plans to eventually place an LED sign on the derrick to tell travelers about upcoming events. A pump jack also was added next to the derrick.
The derrick and pump jack are a nod to Kellyville’s oil history; oil and gas were discovered in the area in 1915, and it led to a boom and the eventual building of a refinery, now long gone.
Erecting the derrick was bittersweet, however:
Garie Henderson, a resident of Kellyville gave the town a oil derrick to be used as a landmark. That was almost nine years ago and since then they have been shopping around to find the perfect spot.
An area right adjacent to K-V Grille opened up and was finalized for the resting place of the derrick.
In December, Henderson passed away from his battle with cancer. Foundation members all say was a tragic lost. The Heritage Days Foundation were hoping to get in place before the passing, but time was not favorable to them. Henderson, Jr., however took it upon himself and with the help of Mike Bennett, president of the Heritage Days Foundation , and the town pressed forward with the sole purpose of getting it up.
The group also will add lighting to the displays. A dedication ceremony is tentatively planned for Aug. 24.
That’s not the only commemorative oil derrick on Route 66. A much bigger one, the Red Fork Centennial Derrick, may be found in southwest Tulsa.
UPDATE 8/29/2013: The city dedicated the commemorative oil derrick over the weekend. Apparently Henderson was persuaded to deed the derrick and other oil-related equipment with a recipe for coconut cobbler, according to the Sapulpa Daily Herald.
After months of trying to please the man’s palette, Eloise Staiger perfected a recipe that Henderson judged delicious. His sweet tooth satisfied Henderson relented and signed over the oil field equipment to the Heritage Foundation non-profit.
“He really wanted that coconut creme cobbler. She (Staiger) came up with the recipe he liked. It took many many trials and errors,” said Mike Bennett Heritage Days chairman.
(Image of installation of the Kellyville oil derrick from the Kellyville Heritage Days Foundation)