Downtown Claremore On Way To Becoming National Historic District
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma - There's a lot of history in downtown Claremore, and soon, that history will be nationally recognized when it’s designated a National Historic District.
Once that happens, business and building owners will reap the benefits.
Sisters Emily Friend and Maude Clemons were looking for a little piece of history to take home with them Friday. Emily's actually from Houston, but she comes just for the shopping.
"I love coming up here to Claremore to shop at the antique stores. I come up to see my sister and drag her out and make her take me," she said.
Jessica Jackson, executive director of Claremore Main Street, said there's history to be found all over downtown Claremore.
Jackson and a group of volunteers spent hours gathering research to earn a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, which unanimously approved the district's nomination.
Those familiar with Claremore can probably guess some of the building's histories - radium water bath houses, Route 66 auto shops, and a bookstore that was once a boarding house.
"The Ward Boarding House, on the end, was a boarding house for people who got off the trains," Jackson said.
The designation will no doubt mean more tourism.
Maude Clemons said, "It'll bring more people in to shop, which helps Claremore."
"Yeah, it'll help bring in some business,” Claremore resident David Russell said. 'Cause, you already got a little bit of Route 66 going on, now, they can pull off to the side and do a little shopping in the center of town - give it a little breath."
And building owners will get huge tax breaks and credits if they keep their buildings looking historic.
Jackson said, "Just knowing the whole thing's a district, they'll get to feel that history just walking through."
The next step in the process is to get approval from the National Parks Service. That should happen sometime this fall.