The Greater Southwest Historical Museum, situated at 35 Sunset Drive, Ardmore, Oklahoma, showcases the history and culture of South-Central Oklahoma. It has two wings, namely, the Military Memorial Museum and the Carter County Genealogical Society.
The museum is housed in the former Oklahoma National Guard Armory. The historic sandstone building was built in 1936 by the Works Projects Administration (WPA). It was one of 52 armories built in the 1930s.
Within these historic walls, the museum tells the fascinating story of human settlement in South-Central Oklahoma through its more than 150,000 artifacts. The exhibition reveals the region’s history through music, historic fashions, toys, early business, tools, and other displays.
One interesting area in the museum is the pioneer life exhibits. These include the Eaves-Brady Cabin and the 700 Ranch House.The Eaves-Brady Cabin, which was built in 1895, is one of the few remaining 19th-century cabins in Oklahoma.
The Ranch House, a replica of the first dwelling in the Ardmore area in the early 1870s, is now used to host a variety of educational programs.
It also displays the photographs taken during the period between 1917 and 1950. The newest addition, “From the Ashes," tells two remarkable stories from Ardmore’s past.
An annex of the museum, the Military Memorial Museum contains armed services memorabilia from the American Revolution through Operation Desert Storm. The museum, located in the west wing of the main museum, displays artifacts, documents, photographs, uniforms, weapons, knives, models, medals, and a great deal of personal memorabilia from veterans all over the United States.
The Carter County Genealogical Society houses a research library containing more than 5,000 books, periodicals, and microfilm. Within the society, the genealogical computer center houses local, regional, state, and national level records for visitors to explore their family tree.
In addition, the museum serves as an educational institution providing a variety of educational programs for groups of all ages.