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Crossroads of America

Sapulpa has had its share of ups and downs but remains a thriving small-town community that offers a getaway for anyone looking to take a unique and satisfying day trip.

Article
Michele Chiappetta
Photos
Rob Harmon
Posted
December 28, 2019

Approximately 15 miles southwest of Tulsa, in an area some folks have called the “Crossroads of America” where I-44 and Oklahoma highways 75, 66 and 97 meet, is a charming spot called Sapulpa. In the 1930s, Sapulpa’s Frankoma Pottery set the town even more firmly in the Oklahoma history books, creating some of the world’s most distinct sculptures and dinnerware, which is still sought after by collectors today.

Named after a Native American from the Lower Creek Tribe, Sapulpa became a thriving city when neighboring Glenpool emerged as the world’s leader in oil and natural gas. Since then, Sapulpa has had its share of ups and downs but remains a thriving community. The town’s main street section, located on Dewey Avenue, has some of the most interesting antique shops, collector stores and candy shops in Green Country. Sapulpa’s parks are surprisingly scenic, as well as enjoyable for children.

Although it is the county seat of Creek County, part of the city also falls within Tulsa County, making it connected to the larger metropolis. Yet it’s removed from Tulsa proper just enough to offer a nice little getaway for anyone looking to take a unique and satisfying day trip. Colorful murals, painted on the sides of the quaint, classic main street buildings, give visitors a feeling of Americana you don’t find just everywhere. Happy, helpful, friendly business owners welcome customers to their stores with smiles and greetings only found in small-town U.S.A.

Sapulpa Historical Museum
100 E. Lee Ave. | Sapulpa

In the late 1960s, the Sapulpa Historical Society began preserving the history of Sapulpa and the surrounding area with its museum on the bottom floor of a YWCA building. These days, the museum’s collection spans four buildings, literally an entire block. Exhibits tell the many stories associated with this town, going back to the 1800s, the days of the blacksmith, the Frisco railroad, and Indian Territory Oklahoma. A full museum tour, guided by docents, takes around one hour. The Sapulpa Fire Museum, as well as the Waite Phillips-Barnsdall Filling Station Museum, which commemorates the days of the full-service gas station, are also well worth your time during a visit to Sapulpa.

Gigi's Gourmet Popcorn
12 E. Dewey Ave. | Sapulpa

There aren’t too many places anymore like this cute little store. A stop at Gigi’s will make you feel like a kid in a candy shop — because Gigi is a throwback to the days when penny or nickel candy jars lit up a child’s eyes with delight. When was the last time you indulged yourself with a handful of candy? The selection is impressive, featuring favorites like cherry sours that give you that twinge at the back of your throat, chocolate malt balls twice as big as usual, gummy peach rings bursting with juicy peach flavor, an entire wall full of both classic and unique Pez dispensers, and more. Plus, there’s homemade fudge (buy four big chunks and get two free) and handmade flavored popcorns all done in-house. Do not visit Sapulpa without stopping here.

The Purple Rabbit Emporium and Art
16 E. Dewey Ave. | Sapulpa

Whether it’s porcelain dolls you’re searching for or gently used cowboy boots, this downtown Sapulpa gem is worth your time. So many antique shops are unorganized, lacking enough helpful staff and featuring surprisingly high prices, even for items that have been sitting there for a long time. This place is just the opposite. The friendly staff is quick to answer questions, and from the clean, organized way the shop is set up, it’s obvious the management knows how to make the shopping experience fun and affordable. Take a look around this store; you’ll see something for everyone. And by the way, a fresh pot of coffee is generally on the menu and free to visitors coming in from the cold, looking to browse.

Heritage Park
23 N. Poplar St. | Sapulpa

This gorgeous park is small, but so much fun for the kiddos. Swings, slides, indoor bathrooms, and play areas appropriate for all ages are packed into this cute little play park. Tall, castle-like structures make it fun to explore and get lost in playtime. And there are places for parents to sit and relax as they watch their children have a good time. With the entire surface of the park’s ground covered in rubber safety material, trips and falls are easy to recover from. In its 15th year, this child’s park still looks as new as the day hundreds of Creek County residents built it. Designed by a renowned New York playground architect firm, this labor of love has yielded an activity-laden area that every child in the 918 should have a chance to play in at some point.

Gone But Not Forgotten
108 E. Dewey Ave. | Sapulpa

Just when you thought the vinyl album resurgence was over, places like the collector and memorabilia shop Gone But Not Forgotten keep the craze going. For those who remember the days when Elvis was king or for any serious sports collector, this store is fantastic and well worth the trip to Sapulpa. Take a step into this magical time machine and find yourself a Life Magazine from the days when Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were a thing. Snag a Patsy Cline or Elvis Costello vinyl record, and take it home to play it on that record player you got over the holidays. Vintage concert posters, autographed sports memorabilia, and more are all waiting to find their new home.  

Dewey Street Market
209 E. Dewey Ave. | Sapulpa

An antique lover’s dream, this store is filled with numerous unique vendor booths, every one of them packed with loads of items in excellent condition and appealing prices. On any given visit, expect to find gorgeous wood furniture, one-of-a-kind knickknacks, local and international art, vintage silverware, well-preserved dishes, sports cards, 1950s magazines, and so much more. From retro and vintage kitsch to designer shoes or purses, the quality goods you’ll find at this store will make you come back to Sapulpa again and again. Locals and frequent travelers along the historic Route 66 certainly make this a regular stop.