Rock Island Railroad Depot
311 East Main 

In February, 1935, the women of the Anadarko Philomathic Club wished to exhibit old and valuable articles pertaining to the pioneers and the Indians. Thus was born the Anadarko Philomathic Museum. It began with a single display case in the city library (also started by the club) which was located on the third floor in the City Hall at First and Main.

The next year, a room across the hall from the library was provided by the city, prepared

Heritage Museum

by the club women, and formally opened as the Anadarko Philomathic Museum on August 6, 1936.  Articles were added as years went by, and it became a place of great interest to natives and tourists. In 1966, when the fire station had moved from the old city hall, the rooms used by the firemen were provided for the first expansion. Mrs. Leon Carver, curator,

Mrs. John K. Taylor, Philomathic Club president, and Mrs. Gilbert Haslam, led members in redecorating, restoring, and moving articles into the new rooms. But still the club women dreamed of a larger, ground level facility.

In 1975, after many years of searching for a new location, the club women and other interested citizens, especially Mr. and Mrs. Leo Cade, began a determined effort to obtain the old Rock Island Passenger Station. It was no longer being used although the freight agent still had an office there. Mr. Cade was in constant contact with the Rock Island offices in Chicago about the possibility of acquiring the depot for the museum. Finally, arrangements were made with the railroad officials, and the City Council signed a lease agreement and allowed $8,000 for the project. With the help of State Senator Don Baldwin and other state legislators, $10,000 was included in an Oklahoma Historical Society appropriation which was granted to the museum when the funding committee raised "matching funds" from local citizens.

Curator at this time was Mrs. James Broyles. Mrs. A.C. Roberson and Mrs. Robert Stephens were co-chairmen of the Renovation Committee. During the entire project, the two started their "workday" at 7:30 a.m. and stayed with the professional workers till the end of their day at 5:30 p.m. They, along with other club women, and people from all sections of the community, spent hours of volunteer time working on all the large and small tasks that needed to be done to clean, renovate and make the building suitable for a museum. Mrs. B.W. Hammert III, club president in 1976, helped coordinate and lead the club to the completion of the project and the BIG moving day. It took several days to move, even with the help of husbands, children, Campfire Girls, Boy Scouts and many interested citizens with trucks and/or strong arms. It was a very challenging, busy, hot, but fun time. Dedication ceremonies were held on August 1, 1976, as part of Anadarko's 75th Anniversary celebration.

In 1979, an opening was made from the main room into the baggage room to add a grocery store and a pioneer doctor's office. Gifts from Mrs. Leo Cade (daughter of pioneer Dr. WW. Kerley) and Dr. and Mrs. A.C. Roberson helped furnish the doctor's office and waiting room. 

That single display case in 1935 was the beginning of what is now recognized as one of Oklahoma's finest museums of general and pioneer history. 

The museum is located at 311 E Main Street and admission is free to the public.  Some of the items displayed at the museum include railroad memorabilia, photographs of early Anadarko settlers, historic Native American relics, Civil War documents, and old military uniforms.


Open Tuesday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Sunday, Monday and Legal holidays.
Located close to downtown

Free Admission!