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Exhibit comes to Jefferson County

WAURIKA, OK (KSWO) -  Jefferson County celebrated 150 years on the Chisholm Trail with the opening of a Smithsonian exhibit at the Rock Island Depot in Waurika 

The "The Way We Worked" exhibit, which highlights the history of America, Oklahoma and the county, will  travel across the nation and will only be in five cities across Oklahoma.

For their part. Jefferson County residents said they were proud Waurika was among the chosen.

"My dream was to come back home,” Jerry Wallace said. “This is the only place I want to be."

Wallace first came to Jefferson County in the 1950's and, and as a part of the exhibit, he and many others reached out and spoke on how things used to be.

"We had the only stock yard in southern Oklahoma from Fort Worth on north,” Wallace said. “So people would drive their cattle 100 miles to get to Addington to ship them on the rail there."

The Jefferson County exhibit is just one of three parts making up one large exhibit that also includes information on Oklahoma and America.

 "The Story of the Boot" is included in the Jefferson County exhibit, and is it's written by locals who talk about how they came to the county.

Oklahoma Humanities was behind the state portion of the exhibit, providing information about Oklahoma's industries and history.

Meanwhile, the Smithsonian part of the exhibit talks about work in America and how it changed over the years, from the age some Americans held their first job to the types of jobs they held.

It also illustrates the need for certain jobs that came with time, such as public servants, as well as jobs that no longer exist. It also showed how advances in technology impacted work-life in America and how we work. 

Project manager Monica Bartling said the exhibit  allowed the county to look at history and honor those who made Jefferson County what it is today.

"I think it really has the great potential to impact a lot of school children who might not get to go to Washington D.C. to look at the different museum that is a part of this Smithsonian,” Bartling said. “I mean you look around and it truly is like walking into the history museum.” 

The free exhibit will be open Monday through Saturday until September 8th.

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