Oklahoma Program Brings New Hope To Downtown Seminole
Seminole, Oklahoma - Some of Oklahoma's small towns are slowly losing their once-vibrant downtown districts, but one community is on the verge of bringing theirs back.
Seminole, Oklahoma used to be packed with cars. businesses, and shoppers. Don Pinkerton remembers those days like yesterday. He's owned the Esquire Barber and Style Shop since 1986.
"It just had lots and lots of businesses," Pinkerton said. "We had three theatres that I can remember."
Pinkerton knows those days are long gone, but Seminole's downtown is getting a chance to remake itself with help from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce's Main Street program. The program provides training, resources, and technical assistance for communities committed to revitalizing their downtown business districts.
Dillon Robinson was one of the group that applied for the program.
"It started with a small group of people who I was fortunate enough to be a part of," said Robinson. "I got to sit down at the computer and really help put the application all together."
Robinson's one of a small group of college graduates that grew up here and are committed to staying in Seminole. Robinson joined his mother's real estate business. Jack Cadenhead joined his father's law practice.
"I always felt like I, in a way, owe my community something," said Jack Cadenhead. "'Because they made me who I am."
The barber chairs in Pinkerton's barbershop are older than Dillon Robinson and Jack Cadenhead combined, but that doesn't seem to bother him. He senses a new energy in Seminole's younger generation of business owners.
"Most of 'em wanna go off to a big city somewhere or outta state," said Pinkerton. "I think it's good."
"There's been great support about it, everything is taking the right step for our community," Robinson said. "Everybody wants to see it grow, everybody wants to see us prosper."