Twelve tall bronze lamps stood in the Senate Chamber of the state Capitol after it was built in 1917. There is no record of when the lamps were removed, but one returned to its original home by a Norman man almost a century later.
About 40 years ago, Coy Green purchased a tall floor lamp for $25 at an Oklahoma City swap meet. After that day, the lamp stood in his barn until he noticed a 1918 photograph of the chamber in a newspaper article printed last summer. The article with the photograph was about a discovery a Senate staffer had made while working in the Capitol building's attic. The staff member had found 11 antique wall sconces that once hung in the Senate chamber. Green recognized the floor lamps in the photograph and realized he had one to match.
"When I saw the picture, I knew it was a Senate lamp," Green said when he and his wife, Debbie, returned the lamp last July. "We were very happy, and it's good to be able to do this; it needs to be home."
Chair of the Capitol Preservation Commission, Trait Thompson, said they are grateful to have the lamp back in the Senate chamber.
"This beautiful piece is a direct tie to the history of the State Capitol," said Thompson. "It serves to remind us of those who blazed the trail to create our wonderful state over 100 years ago."
On Tuesday, Senate Floor Leader Mike Schulz pointed the lamp out to Senate members and told the story of its return to the chamber by the Greens.
"It is in unbelievable condition for the life that it's been through," said Schulz. "If you see something that you think might be of historical significance, bring it up and we'll find out."
If you believe you may have an original piece from the Senate Chamber, contact Thompson or Senate Chief of Staff Randy Dowell at 405-524-0126.