In 1870, the United State Land Office contracted with a professional engineer to survey much of Oklahoma territory. Abner E. Norman, a young surveyor, became chairman and leader of the central survey area in Indian territory. The surveyor's crew burned the words "Norman's Camp" into an elm tree near a watering hole to taunt their younger supervisor. When the "Sooners" (those who headed west before the official Land Run date, April 22, 1889) and the other settlers in the heart of Oklahoma, they kept the name "Norman." Today, the county seat of Cleveland County is the third largest city in the state.
While other Oklahoma towns were battling to be the capitol, Norman's Mayor, T.R. Wagoner, directed a bill through the Territorial Legislature to become home of the state's first institution of higher learning. In 1890, Norman was chosen as the location for the University of Oklahoma (OU), today recognized nationally for it athletic and academic excellence.
Norman is also home tothe nationally renowned Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of National History. Plus, Norman is rich in Oklahoma history and boasts homes and sites that have stood since the turn of the century. Norman recognizes the cultural and economical importance of art offering art centers, galleries, and performances that are among their most visited attractions.
Early May is the time to visit Noble for the Rose Rock Festival and to stop in the Timberlake Rose Rock Museum to see the legendary rose rock found only in Oklahoma.
Explore Cleveland County
This gracious Queen Anne style house, built in 1900, was purchased by the city of Norman in 1971. Focusing on the history of Cleveland County from the Land Run of 1889 to Statehood in 1907, the house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.Norman, OK Museums
OU ranks No. 1 per capita in the nation among all comprehensive public universities in National Merit Scholars. This year, one out of every 15 freshmen entering OU direct from high school is a National Scholar. The 1999-00 freshmen class includes 10 National Scholars, including 134Norman, OK Colleges
The Timberlake Rose Rock Museum showcases the official rock of Oklahoma, a reddish-brown sand-barite stone that is naurally formed into a rose. Indian lore states that the rose rock was God's gift to the Cherokee for their long journey on the Trail of Tears. Braves' blood and the maidens'Noble, OK Museums
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its unique architectural style and its historic association with Native American fine art and culture, the Jacobson House is located in the former residence of Oscar B. Jacobson built in 1917. The center was opened in 1987Norman, OK Arts
Located in a city park known as "Legacy Trail," the north side of the depot is now the home of the Norman Arts and Humanities Council. Grounds can be used for special events and currently display public art sculptures of bronze and wood produced by Oklahoma artists. On theNorman, OK Arts