MIAMI — The Dobson Museum is gearing up for its favorite holiday with its first collectible Christmas ornament and annual Christmas open house.
The metal, baseball-sized ornament features the colored logo of the Ottawa County Historical Society, which was designed by a local famous artist.
“Charles Banks Wilson designed our logo,” said Dobson Museum director Jordan Boyd. “It’s on all of our letterheads, website and this is the first time it has ever been in full color.”
It is now available for $10 at the Dobson Museum gift shop and is open during regular business hours from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
The logo represents the history of Ottawa County. Miss Nellie Dobson, the last remaining Dobson, passed away in 1968. The Dobson Memorial Center was created by her will. One of her last requests was to have her home be a memorial to her family and allow her property to be a place to preserve Ottawa County history.
The ornament helps preserve the history of the county with several symbols significant to the area.
In the background of the ornament are designated areas symbolizing the Nine Tribes; the wagon wheel represents the pioneers and the settlers who moved west; the pickaxe represents the mining industry; the animal skull stands for farmers and ranchers; the tepee symbolizes the Indian Tribes.
Members of the Gift Shop Committee-Nancy Gee, Charlene Lingo and Boyd-discussed and voted on the ornament design.
“We’ve been talking about making an ornament for a while and it was just narrowing down the options,” Boyd said. “We’ve already sold several.”
The Gift Shop Committee said they are excited to have the ornament available to the public, especially in time for the holidays.
“I’m very pleased with the quality,” Gee said. “I was surprised how great it turned out.”
“I’m real happy with the ornaments,” Lingo said. “I think we did good, Nancy.”
Gee is hand-writing letters to place with the ornaments explaining the symbolism behind the logo.
Boyd said collecting Christmas ornaments is a popular hobby for travelers and a tradition in his family.
“Our family always adds a new Christmas ornament to the tree every year of places we’ve been,” Boyd said.
The gift shop also has other new items including a photographic book of Picher, a publication on the Jefferson Highway and Route 66 magnets and keychains.
“The book on Picher is more of a picture book, but it also has history on the tornado and the mines,” Boyd said. “It’s a University of Oklahoma Press book. We also several books on Route 66 that have come out in the last year.”
Christmas Open House
The Ottawa County Historical Society will host its Annual Christmas Open House from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 4 at the S.B. Dobson Family Home at 106 A Street SW in Miami.
The home will be decorated for the Christmas season and refreshments will be served in Miss Nellie's Kitchen. The house will be open for guests and tours, as well as the Dobson Museum next door.
The volunteers and Boyd help decorate the house using thousands of bulbs, displaying a nativity scene and setting up the Dobson Christmas tree.
“Christmas is the Dobson’s favorite holiday,” Boyd said. “Miss Nellie, being part of the Garden Club and Historical Society, she always loved to entertain. She wanted to be left as a memorial to her family, and I think the Historical Society has done a great job with that.”
The Dobson Home, built in 1915-1916, is an extension of the museum and features the original Dobson family furniture. The house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Ottawa County Historical Society was organized in 1960 during a meeting at the Hotel Miami. Original board members represented all Ottawa County Communities. The society’s effort to preserve the past for future generations still exists today.
Today, volunteers man the museum known as the Dobson Memorial Center with operational costs and expenses paid by the Dobson Trust per Miss Nellie’s Will.
The artifacts are owned by the Ottawa County Historical Society and highlight past Ottawa County life, mining, military, Native Americans, famous residents and industry including a permanent B.F. Goodrich exhibit.
Boyd said they are currently working on future projects to be implemented over the next few years. New upcoming exhibits include a British Flyers display for its military section downstairs and an exhibit on Ottawa County musicians. The museum is also working on a special exhibit for 2018 in honor of Charles Banks Wilson’s 100th birthday.
“We are also pulling smaller exhibits together to highlight all of the towns in Ottawa County,” Boyd said. “We haven’t made any final decisions yet, but we’re researching some traveling exhibits for the future.”
If you or your organization would like to tour the museum or host an event at the house, please contact Boyd at 918-542-5388 or firstname.lastname@example.org.