Texoma Treasures: Woodman Circle Home - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Texoma Treasures: Woodman Circle Home

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  BACK IN SEPTEMBER, THE WOODMEN CIRCLE HOME WAS OPENED TO THE PUBLIC FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DECADES.  EARLIER THAT MONTH,  I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO GET AN EXCLUSIVE TOUR OF THE OLD GROUNDS.
     IT WAS THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS ANYONE WAS **ALLOWED IN THE HOME...ALTHOUGH TRESPASSERS HAD USED THE BUILDING FOR SHELTER...OR AN ART CANVAS FOR SEVERAL YEARS.
      I ALSO GOT A CHANCE TO TALK WITH FOLKS CONNECTED TO THE HOME...AND FEEL THEIR EXCITEMENT ABOUT THE REOPENING.
     
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[OC: STD]
[Length:4:00]
[Tape#:0000]
[CG:8001\Tammy McNew-Blanton\MUSEUM VOLUNTEER] [:19 - :25]
[CG:8001\Linda Robertson\FORMER EMPLOYEE] [:33 - :39]
[CG:8001\Kathy Flynn\MUSEUM VOLUNTEER] [1:09 - 1:14]
[CG:8001\Linda Robertson\FORMER EMPLOYEE] [1:27 - 1:35]
[CG:8001\Katy Blakey\REPORTING] [2:09 - 2:20]
<    MAJESTIC, YET LONELY...
     THE OLD WOODMEN CIRCLE HOME SITS ON THE HIGHEST HILL IN SHERMAN --
     WATCHING LIFE SLOWLY RETURN TO THE PROPERTY.

(nats)

     PULLING WEEDS FROM IT'S STATELY STEPS, A GROUP OF DEDICATED WOMEN PREPARE TO OPEN THE GROUNDS TO HUNDREDS OF CURIOUS TEXOMANS.


(Tammy McNew-Blanton) "People are really excited. Especially anyone that's over 40 (laughs) and remembers all the good times here..."

     THE **GOOD TIMES --  ONCE HELD INSIDE IT'S WALLS -- *ALMOST FORGOTTEN.
     EXCEPT, IN THE MINDS OF A FEW.

(Linda Robertson)  I had my graduation party here. I had my wedding reception here...

     LINDA ROBERTSON IS THE LAST SURVIVING EMPLOYEE FROM THE WOODMEN CIRLCE HOME.

(Linda Robertson) You know when this place started getting old, I thought it's a shame that people don't know what it really is. It really needs to be known for, it's got a lot of history and it was for women!

     BUILT DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION, THE HOME WAS FOUNDED BY THE SUPREME FOREST WOODMEN'S CIRCLE - THE WOMAN'S AUXILARY TO THE WOODMEN OF THE WORLD FRATERNAL ORGANIZATION.
     RAISING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS - DURING TIME TIMES -- WOMEN FOUNDED THE HOME..
     THEN SUPPLIED CARE TO AGING WINDOWS, THEIR CHILDREN AND ORPHANS.

     A MOVEMENT -- AHEAD-OF-IT'S TIME.

(Kathy Flynn)..The early founders of the Woodman Circle were forward-thinking women.//So I think it started as women reaching out for other women and the idea was truly novel and I think it took off from coast to coast."

     FINANCIAL STRAINS FORCED IT'S DOORS SHUT.
     PUTTING AN END TO FORTY-YEARS OF SERVICE WITHIN THE COMMUNITY.
     SINCE THEN, THE HOME HAS BECOME BETTER **KNOWN FOR IT'S BRIEF TIES TO A QUESTIONABLE CHURCH, AND VANDALISM.

(Linda Robertson) A lot of people see this place and think, 'what is it?' Is it haunted? Is it a cult's home? No, it's not. It was beautiful, beautiful.

(Nats - "Right now we are in the West Wing.

     VOLUNTEERS GAVE KTEN AN UN-PRECEDENTED TOUR INSIDE...

 It was built because there were so many orphans and widows that they couldn't house them in the main structure.)

     TIME HAS FADED THE PAINT.
     GRAFFITTI COVERS THE WALL.
     AND THE UNIQUE FIXTURES AND MODELINGS HAVE DECAYED OR BEEN STOLEN.
     YET THE ALLURE, REMAINS.
    
(Kathy Flynn) This little space is the only space that joins the original structure and the annex. It doesn't look like much now, but there were beautiful bookcases that were inset into these walls.

(Standup) We are standing in the formal ballroom. This is where parties, etc would have been held. Despite the crumbling bricks and decaying walls, you still get a sense of how magnificient this building was in it's time.

(Kathy Flynn) This they called the reading nook. And this is one of my favorite pictures. You can look down here into what originally was a carport. When they clear the roads and the grass you will be able to tell. This was a driveway and the school bus would drive right up here, under this portache and the children would come down and get on the bus without getting wet.

     OLD PICTURES HELP FILL IN THE DETAILS...
     A BEAUTIFUL BLUE GUEST ROOM..
     A SUNROOM PERFECT FOR VIEWING THE SHERMAN SKY...

(Nats - Everytime you turn the corner, you go 'Oh this is my favorite!' No, this is my favorite!

     AND HOME MOVIES -- **JUST DISCOVERED -- SHOW DAY-TO-DAY LIFE...
     SINGING CAROLS IN THE PARLOR...
     WORKING ON THE FARM...AND TAKING TRIPS TO TOWN...

(Tammy) To me it has always been a neat place, and to me just like bygone times. And you wonder will those times every come back?

     VOLUNTEERS WILL SCRAMBLE TO CLEAR THE GROUNDS AND ROPE OF AREAS DEEMED UNSAFE, ANTICIPATING LARGE CROWDS FOR SATURDAY'S VIEWING...

(Kathy) I am hopeful, by the time we do this, it will raise more awareness about the museum and this place./If you don't capture the history of those stories while those people are alive, it's gone forever.

     OPTIMISTIC, THE HOME'S DARKEST DAYS HAVE PAST...

(Linday) "I've seen this home in it's glory. I've seen it shut down. I've seen it worse than it is now. And I see it as it is now. I'm the happiest person in the world. I'm so excited. It's going to be history again."

     AND, HOPING SOME OF THE HOMES' SECRETS MAY BE UNLOCKED...
     BEFORE THE DOORS ARE SHUT AGAIN.

     REPORTING IN SHERMAN, KATY BLAKEY, KTEN NEWS.>

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     FOR MORE ON THE WOODMEN CIRCLE HOME...VISIT OUR WEBSITE...KTEN.COM.
     THERE YOU CAN FIND PICTURES AND VIDEOS OF PAST AND PRESENT.