Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Bartlesville is a peaceful and charming Midwest town located among the magnificent outdoors. It was named for Jacob Bartles, the tradesman who first settled along the Caney River in the late 1800s. Today, Bartlesville is well recognized for being the home of Phillips Petroleum Company, one of the major oil companies in the United States.

Geography Of Bartlesville

Bartlesville Oklahoma
A nature preserve in Bartlesville Oklahoma.

On the Caney River, Bartlesville is the county seat of Washington County in northeastern Oklahoma. The Caney River runs through downtown Bartlesville, separating it from the east side. Due to above-average rainfall, the river overflowed in October 1986. For many days, the city was divided in two, and the flood caused significant property damage. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.1 square miles, of which 21.1 square miles is land and 0.04 square miles is water.

Brief History Of Bartlesville

Oil, one of Oklahoma's most valuable natural resources, contributed to some of Bartlesville's early success. The first commercial oil well in Oklahoma was drilled in 1897 near the frontier town of Bartlesville, located in the Indian Territory. Oil entrepreneurs flocked to the region during the following years, and exploration erupted in a whirlwind of spectacular success and failure. The discovery of oil and increased population led to the establishment of the state in 1907. Oklahoma became the nation's biggest producer of oil the same year, a position it retained during the turbulent years of expansion that followed. In 1903, Frank Phillips, an ambitious salesman from Iowa, came to Bartlesville to explore business opportunities in the local oil fields. He returned permanently with his family two years later. Following a spate of failures that nearly forced him to quit the business, a series of eighty-one consecutive successful oil wells ensured prosperity and played a vital part in the growth of the American oil industry.

Climate Of Bartlesville

Bartlesville has had both very hot summer temperatures of 115 °F and extremely frigid winter temperatures of - 28 °Despite this record of extremes, the climate in Bartlesville is classified as humid subtropical. The city has relatively warm winters and hot summers, with the bulk of precipitation occurring between April and June. Tornadoes are possible in Bartlesville because it is located in Tornado Alley. 

Population And Economy Of Bartlesville

Bartlesville, Oklahoma
View of downtown Bartlesville. Image credit: Justin Cozart from Dallas, TX, USA, via Wikimedia Commons

According to the most recent US Census estimates, the population of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, is 35,481. The population was 35,794 according to the official US Census in 2010, which shows that the city's population is now falling at a -0.62% yearly pace, and it has declined by -0.87%. By the number of employments, the most popular industries in Bartlesville, OK are Health Care & Social Assistance, Manufacturing, and Retail Trade. The city has an exceptionally high number of Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction jobs when compared to other cities. Bartlesville is well-known for its economic achievements. Phillips Petroleum Co., established by Bartlesville oilman Frank Phillips, was one of the world's largest oil businesses.

Attractions In Bartlesville

Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve

Originally established as the ranch hideaway of famous oilman Frank Phillips, it is now a major wildlife preserve covering 3,700 acres. Over 30 species of natural and exotic wildlife reside inside it, including bison, water buffaloes, and longhorn cattle, which visitors may encounter as they drive through.

Price Tower

The historic Price Tower, designed by the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is his only completed skyscraper. The tower's unusual style and design make it a must-see architectural masterpiece that gives you the sensation of flying into the sky. Visitors may learn about the tower and its history by taking a guided tour, which is available at certain times. The Price Tower Arts Center on the 16th floor includes constantly changing exhibits on a variety of topics such as modern art, furniture, and design.

Bartlesville Area History Museum

This little yet intriguing museum depicts the history of Bartlesville. This museum, housed on the top floor of Bartlesville City Hall, takes visitors on a journey through the city's history, from its humble origins as a frontier hamlet to its most current iteration. Visitors may see exhibits on the region's American Indian tribes, the history of the oil boom, and other important historical sites.

Frank Phillips Home

The Neo-Classical design of the building still preserves its original furniture, providing a picture of how the wealthy and famous lived back then. Visitors may join one of the regular tours of the mansion, which takes them through the three stories and include information about the Philips family, the architecture of the house, and, of course, the history of Bartlesville. When they take the Director's Tour, guests get to see parts of the house that are not generally open to the public. They may also visit the Interpretive Center, which has a small museum with displays on the family's history as well as a gift store.

Kiddie Park

This charming children's amusement park is a popular attraction in the area. This amusement park is ideal for children under the age of 12. It offers modest fair rides for a very low fee. A small roller coaster, small aircraft, trucks, bumper cars, a carousel, and other fun rides are offered. There's even a railway that circles the park for the youngsters to ride.

Johnstone Park

Johnstone Park, the city's oldest park, is a woodland area bounded on one side by the horseshoe bend of the Caney River. Visitors may enjoy the stunning surroundings by strolling through the woods or along the river. They can also enjoy the park's various facilities, which include a skate park, a playground, outdoor fitness zones, a picnic area, and covered pavilions.

Bartlesville may be a small city, but it is diverse, with a rich history in business and arts. Those planning on visiting the United States should totally have Bartlesville on their agenda.

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