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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Johnstown in Cambria County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Oklahoma House

 
 
Oklahoma House Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 7, 2009
1. Oklahoma House Marker
Inscription.

Used as temporary housing for survivors of the 1889 flood

 
Location. 40° 19.675′ N, 78° 55.247′ W. Marker is in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in Cambria County. Marker is at the intersection of Walnut Street and Washington Street, on the left when traveling south on Walnut Street. Click for map. Marker and house are on the grounds of the Johnstown Flood Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 304 Washington Street, Johnstown PA 15901, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cambria Library (a few steps from this marker); Walnut Street Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Cambria Iron Company Office (within shouting distance of this marker); Morley's Dog (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); 1936 Greater Johnstown Flood Victims (about 800 feet away); Market Square (about 800 feet away); World War II Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Grand Army of the Republic Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Johnstown.
 
Also see . . .  Johnstown Flood Museum. (Submitted on March 26, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Additional comments.
Oklahoma House and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 7, 2009
2. Oklahoma House and Marker
1. Text of Information Sign, Picture 5.

"A family living in the Oklahoma house around 1900. The house, located on an alley in the Moxham neighborhood, as it loked just before it was moved to the Flood Museum. In the days that followed the 1889 Flood, survivors sought shelter in any structure for miles around. Some fashioned crude tents from blankets or built lean-tos of doors and planks dragged from the wreckage. Among the first temporary houses erected to meet this need were some 310 "Oklahoma Houses" that were distributed by the Housing Distribution Committee of the Johnstown Flood Finance Committee. Originally manufactured for homesteaders in the Oklahoma Territory, these Oklahoma houses were a very early example of prefabricated housing that was manufactured in Chicago. Hughes & Hoover Co. of Huntington, Pennsylvania erected the Oklahoma houses in Johnstown during July and August of 1889. The one-and a half story temporary houses came in two sizes - 16-by-24 feet and 10-by20 feet. In some cases, families combined one large and one small Oklahoma. The Oklahomas were provided with furnishings. The small houses were poorly suited for Johnstown's climate, and few owners found them satisfactory. A reporter from the Harrisburgh Telegraph, after examining one of the small Oklahomas, described it as having "...about as many points of architectural beauty as the coal shed
Oklahoma House Interior image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, August 22, 2014
3. Oklahoma House Interior
behind the country school house... It is not as warm as an "A" tent and not half as roomy." To survivors who had seen their houses shatter into pieces, the Oklahomas were at least some kind of house. The destitute families were glad to get a furnished house without spending a cent.

The Oklahoma houses are significant in two respects: they document the living conditions of average Johnstown residents in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, and they represent one of the first examples of ready-made housing in the United States."
    — Submitted September 10, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.

 
Categories. Charity & Public WorkDisastersMan-Made Features
 
Oklahoma House Interior image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, August 22, 2014
4. Oklahoma House Interior
Oklahoma House Information SIgn with Pictures image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, August 22, 2014
5. Oklahoma House Information SIgn with Pictures
This sign is inside the house. Admission fee required.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 315 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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