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By Melyn Johnson
Hobart, Oklahoma, sits in the southwestern part of the state about 40 miles south of Clinton. In fact, that little drive from Clinton to Hobart is a jaunt that you should experience. This Highway 183 trip off the major highways goes into small town America. Ah, relax and let’s go.
While driving through Cordell, go a few blocks west and drive around the courthouse square. The Washita County Courthouse is spectacular.
Back on Highway 183, going south for about 20 miles, you see another gorgeous square, around the Kiowa County Courthouse this time, which also claims to be the oldest operating courthouse in Oklahoma. On the courthouse grounds is a statue of Chief Lone Wolf, carved from the remaining trunk of a large elm tree approximately 70 years ago by chainsaw carver Clayton Coss. Enough on the great architecture points, let’s explore.
Located on the Kiowa County Courthouse Square is a beautiful portrayal of Kiowa County history on a 50’ x 60’ tile mosaic, the largest mosaic tile project in the United States. You can get an audio presentation about the tile project at Levine’s across the street.
How about a few fantastic antique stores? They’re here and they’re worth visiting. There on the downtown, if you love antiques check out Now and Then, RaineDay, The Sand Plum, and Landers Ink Mini Mall.
For the museum lover, you are in sweet clover. The General Tommy Franks Museum is new and interesting. The museum's theme of leadership, patriotism, and service is shared through many unique items, one-of-a-kind pieces, top secret videos, and by the life lessons learned by General Tommy Franks, a native of Hobart. Located at 507 S. Main, admission is free.
The Kiowa County Historical Society Museum is located in the Rock Island Railroad Depot, build in 1909. This museum houses many of the typical pioneering artifacts from the early 1900s. Admission is free and it is located across the street from the General Franks Museum at 518 S. Main.
When you get hungry, you have plenty of excellent choices in Hobart. Breakfast and lunch at the Kozy Diner at 214 S. Main is small town America at its best with the café near the square, lunch specials, and a breakfast that your mama would be proud of. You can also have Chinese buffet in the China King at 413 S Washington, excellent Mexican food at Nuevo-Leon on 118 N Broadway where they have a buffet on Wednesday and Sunday, barbecue at Roys out on the Highway, or enjoy the Main Street Grill at 219 S Main.
If you decide to stay overnight, there are two wonderful bed and breakfasts. The Hanna House is at 201 N Main and this 1929 house has seven guest bedrooms. Peggy Maloro is the gracious host who makes a wonderful breakfast with the best coffee on earth. Visit at www.hannahouse.net.
The Deer Ridge Bed and Breakfast is in a beautifully bricked home at 129 S. Broadway. This charming 1930s home has four bedrooms for you to make your choice from. Take a look at www.DeerRidgeBunkhous.com.
You can always learn more about these Hobart destinations, and others, by going to www.TravelOK.com.