"Where the west remains"

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Smithsonian Institution's

"Crossroads: Change in Rural America."  Exhibit in 2022

The City of Pawnee will host national exhibit in 2022


PAWNEE, OK. January 18. 2021- Oklahoma Humanities in cooperation with The Smithsonian Institution has chosen Pawnee, Okla. as home for a new exhibit “Crossroads: Change in Rural America”. “Crossroads” will tour the state from September 2021 through June 2022.  Along with Pawnee, there will be five other stops in Oklahoma including Tishomingo, Ft. Gibson, Nowata, Woodward and Boley.

According to Pawnee Chamber of Commerce manager Joyce Freeman, Pawnee will share its unique history and culture featuring themes of rural identity, community, land, perseverance and managing change.  Complementary programs and events will be held in town coinciding with the Smithsonian exhibit. Many of our community organizations have expressed a willingness to be involved in every aspect.


Mrs. Freeman was quoted as saying “We are going to rely on volunteers to make this one of the biggest events ever held in Pawnee’s rich 127-year history.  We are looking forward to working with various community groups and individuals during this once in a life time opportunity.”  If you would like to volunteer to help with the exhibit, please contact the Chamber office at 918-762-2108.

“Crossroads” will tour Oklahoma from September 2021 through June 2022 and will be in Pawnee April and May of 2022.  Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum has graciously volunteered to host this exhibit.

Ronnie Brown, Manager of the Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum, said “We are thrilled to be one of only 6 sites hosting this wonderful event as it tours our great state.  Pawnee and its surrounding communities are in for a very special treat.  Hats off to the Pawnee Chamber of Commerce and other co-sponsors, along with the support from team leaders Joyce Freeman and Pam Ferguson, for helping Pawnee and the Ranch Site’s being selected.  I can’t wait for this Smithsonian quality exhibit to arrive and fill Pawnee Bill’s historic big barn with its unique wonderful displays.”

“Crossroads: Change in Rural America” has been made possible in Pawnee by Oklahoma Humanities.  It is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities councils nationwide.  Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

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“Crossroads:  Change in Rural America”
Museum on Main Street

    As most of you have heard, Pawnee was selected to host the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street Crossroads exhibit.  This traveling exhibit has been organized by The Smithsonian Institute and is brought to you by the Oklahoma Humanities Council and the Pawnee Community Chamber of Commerce.  The exhibit will be held in the big barn at Pawnee Bill Ranch from March 26 to May 7.  It will be here before we know it!     Several complementary programs and entertainment will be going on in town during that time also, and we need your help!  Of course, we will have a parade, but it will be a little different than most.  We would like parade entrants to represent our town through the years.  We can highlight different modes of transportation – horse and buggy, wagons, old cars (anything pre-1970).  We can have a marching band.  Help us think of other appropriate entries!

    We are looking for volunteers.  We need docents (training will be provided); we need helpers for our complementary programs; and we need your input.  If you would like to volunteer or if you have ideas for activities to coincide with the exhibit, please contact Joyce Freeman at the Chamber of Commerce.  Pawnee has always pitched in to help on our special events, and we know this extra special event will be no different!  

    At the Smithsonian exhibit, we will have a section that is just about Pawnee.  If you have pictures of our town through the years, especially the early days, please let us borrow them. We will scan them and return them to you. Also, if you or one of your relatives was an early day resident of Pawnee and would like to share your story, let us know.  We would love to interview people who can tell us what life was like in those days.  This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our little town, and we want to make a positive impression on everyone who visits.  

    Please contact the Pawnee Community Chamber of Commerce for information and to sign up to be part of this exciting event in the spring of 2022!! (918)-762-2108.