The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Oklahoma Historical society is pleased to announce that Wide Open for Preservation: Oklahoma’s 23rd Annual Statewide Preservation Conference will be held June 8-10 in Guymon.

To register, just go to The deadline for receiving the reduced conference registration fee is June 1. 


The more than forty speakers will address Preservation in the Wide Open Spaces, Old is the New Green, and the Local Preservation Environment. In addition to Oklahoma preservation leaders and professionals are several special guest speakers from across the nation who will contribute their expertise and perspectives on these topics.


J. Paul Loether, Chief, National Historic Landmarks/National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, Washington, D.C. will deliver the Plenary Session presentation on Friday afternoon, June 10. In "Historic Landscapes and 21st Century Windmills," he will discuss landscapes as historic properties, the importance of historic setting, and the challenges in balancing our needs for alternative energy sources and protection of

historic places.   His national perspective will help guide Oklahoma's

preservation community as we focus on this complex new issue.


Ken Culp, III, Principal Specialist for Volunteerism, Department of 4-H Youth Development, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky is back by popular demand. As with his sessions during Oklahoma’s 2009 statewide preservation conference, participants are in for a special treat on Wednesday afternoon, June 8. You will laugh, learn, and laugh some more during Culp’s two workshop sessions. Main Street organizations, preservation nonprofits, and others will not want to miss “Volunteer Recruitment & Retention: Increasing Volunteer Efforts” or “Diagnosing Volunteer Burnout: Treatment for a Cure.”


The fascinating history of the Oklahoma Panhandle and the Great Plains is represented in archeological sites, buildings, and landscapes. In the conference track Preservation in the Wide Open Spaces participants will learn about some of these important places and their preservation.


Donald Blakeslee, Archeologist, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas will speak about his work to determine where Coronado crossed Oklahoma.

Faye Gaines, Chairman, Preservation Committee, Santa Fe Trail Association, Springer, New Mexico, and Jeff Trotman, Kansas Director, Santa Fe Trail Association, Ulysses, Kansas, will discuss the history of the Santa Fe Trail and efforts to protect and interpret it and its related resources.


Suzzanne Kelley, President of Preservation North Dakota, and Tom Isern, Professor of History and University Distinguished Professor, North Dakota State University will share the history of the Hutmacher Farmstead and the extraordinary preservation work taking place there. Isern is a specialist in the history of the Great Plains and a long-time activist in state

preservation efforts.   He and Kelley, leads study tours and restoration

expeditions to the historic farmstead and other earth-building sites in North Dakota. 


Jim Steely, Senior Historical Consultant, SWCA Environmental Consultants, Phoenix, Arizona, is a recognized scholar on the Civilian Conservation Corps, and he will speak about CCC projects in the Texas Panhandle.


Richard B. Wright, Associate Professor of Art History, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Fine and Performing Arts, Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas, will talk about the architectural significance of the Texas County Courthouse (located in Guymon).


Historic preservation equals sustainability, and there is no doubt that historic preservation was “green” before “green” was cool. In Old is the New Green, you will hear Antonio Aguilar, Architect, Technical Preservation Services, National Park Service, Washington, D.C., who reviews proposed rehabilitation projects from Oklahoma for the federal tax credits, will discuss the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and how they relate to the "green" movement. Then, Philip Thomason, Thomason & Associates, Preservation Planners, Nashville, Tennessee, will discuss his work as a consultant to the City of Oklahoma City as they revise their local historic district design guidelines to more clearly reflect how preservation equals sustainability.


If you want to learn more about how to build and strengthen local historic preservation and heritage tourism programs, then you should plan to attend sessions in the track entitled The Local Preservation Environment. Special guest speakers on this topic include Dolores Mosser, immediate past president of the Texas Plains Trail Association who will talk about several rehabilitation projects in the Texas Panhandle and about the regions participation in the highly successful Texas Heritage Trails Program. Dan Corson, Intergovernmental Services Director, State Historic Preservation Office, Colorado Historical Society, Denver, Colorado, will discuss local historic preservation initiatives through Colorado's Certified Local Governments Program (CLG). Elmer J. Martinez, Community Development Director, City of Las Vegas, Las Vegas, New Mexico, will share his city's experiences in developing their historic preservation program and their participation as a New Mexico CLG.


Special events include tours to Santa Fe Trail Landmarks and the Black Mesa/Kenton Area; a visit to No Man’s Land Museum and Panhandle State University's Art Department with Raku Firing demonstration; and a short drive to the historic Norwegian community of Oslo, Texas, featuring its historic church and traditional food. A Mexican Quinceanera Luncheon, Preservation Oklahoma, Inc.’s annual meeting and luncheon and the SHPO's annual awards banquet will also be featured.


Conference cosponsors include the State Historic Preservation Office, Oklahoma Historical Society; Oklahoma Main Street Center, Oklahoma Department of Commerce; Preservation Oklahoma, Inc.; Oklahoma Sustainability Network; Main Street Guymon; City of Guymon, Convention and Tourism; Guymon Chamber of Commerce; Pioneer Showcase; and Guymon Chapter, No Man’s Land Historical Society.


If you may have questions, contact Melvena Heisch, Deputy SHPO, at

405/522-4484 or or Melyn Johnson, Main Street Guymon

(580/338-6246 or Follow conference developments at or see the conference blog at




Michael Dean

Public Relations Director

Oklahoma Historical Society

800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive

Oklahoma City, OK  73105-7917

(405) 522-5241