Working in a building as old as The Campbell Hotel, you can’t help thinking about the past. Wander down a corridor, listen to the sound of your too-modern shoes passing over 85-year-old hardwood floors, run your fingers over the textured surface of walls constructed when your grandmother was a little girl, and the history you yawned at in eleventh grade suddenly becomes something real and tangible that wraps itself around you and fills your mind with a thousand questions and your imagination with ten thousand possible answers.
Who slept in this room? A soldier? A salesman? A saint? A scoundrel? How did the air feel as it passed through the now-sealed transoms in the days before air conditioning? What songs drifted from the radio? What kinds of clothing would have been in a traveler’s suitcase? What were people discussing over coffee as they read the morning paper in the days before television and Twitter and twenty-four-hour news cycles?
The Campbell Hotel was built in 1927. Its walls hold thousands of stories. We’ll never know most of them, but with a little research, maybe we can provide enough fodder for your imagination to fill in the blanks.
Let’s begin at the beginning.
In 1927, U.S. Highway 66 was in its infancy, having been commissioned the previous November. The Mississippi River overflowed its banks that spring, causing $400 million in damage and 246 deaths. That summer, Italian anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed. Also in 1927, Charles Lindbergh made his famous flight across the Atlantic in the Spirit of St. Louis; Philo Farnsworth transmitted the first electronic television image; The Jazz Singer premiered in October, ushering in the era of “talkies”; singer Patti Page was born in Claremore; axe murder suspect Lizzie Borden died; and the first Volvo rolled off the line.
If you’d turned on a radio in 1927, you likely would have heard Gertrude Lawrence’s version of this well-loved Gershwin tune, performed here by Ella Fitzgerald:
Ready for an up-close-and-personal encounter with 1927? Book a room at The Campbell Hotel and spend an evening surrounded by history and elegance. To reserve your room, call (918) 744-5500 or visit www.thecampbellhotel.com.