State Capital Publishing Museum Closes in Guthrie
By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9
GUTHRIE, Oklahoma -- It was a backdrop to Oklahoma's centennial celebration, but one of the latest victims in the tough economy is an historical landmark in Guthrie.
It's heartbreaking news for those who have such a long time connection with the museum that once used to be the biggest printing press west of the Mississippi. Right in the heart of downtown Guthrie sits a landmark that holds over 100 years of history.
Nathan Turner lives for it. It's his passion and the museum is his home away from home.
For the last few weeks, the museum director is undertaking the mothball process of packing and boxing away historical treasures since the State Capital Publishing Museum was forced to close its doors for good in August.
"There's a piece of Oklahoma history that will be told in Guthrie," said Turner. "You feel like you're moving away from a home that you've been in for a number of years, so it's really sad."
The museum's closing is a sad reality that's bringing an end to the traditional Christmas festivities that often lights up the landmark and former state Capitol. All that's left are empty shelves, covered antiques and preserved memoirs.
"We also have gotten to the point where the water and the gas will be turned off," Turner said. "We're leaving the electricity on for the security system and for our periodic inspections of the building."
The closed building is the latest sign of a sour economy and other museums are facing similar fates. The museum is a piece of history that'll soon be history in itself.
"There are other museums across the country that have been doing this for several years, actually," said Turner. "We always look at Oklahoma being 18 months behind the curve. This is not the first time the museum has ever closed; it's just the first time it's happened in Guthrie."