According to Greek mythology, the Phoenix is a creature that is reborn from its ashes. The Ferguson House is the Refuge’s Phoenix. After a long, somewhat arduous, 6-year journey, The Friends of the Wichitas is very proud that the reconstruction of The Ferguson House has finally begun.
If you are not familiar with the story we plan to have a stone, similar to the one in front of the Boulder Cabin, inscribed with the following information. In 1927 Ben and Margaret Ferguson with the help of 2 of their 10 children, built this cobblestone home. The Ferguson’s raised cattle, grew hay and garden vegetables along with a small fruit orchard to sustain the family. In 1930 with the help of his oldest sons, Ben built a small gas station and store from which they sold vegetables and fruit when in season. This structure still stands in front of the home.
In 1937, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge ended all grazing rights. Then in 1942, Ft. Sill exercised Eminent Domain and took the house from the Fergusons along with their 120 acres to extend their artillery range.
In 1957, the Ferguson House became part of the Refuge as it is today. In 1981 the Ferguson House was listed on the National Register for Historic Places. The home is an excellent example of local architecture using available cobblestone materials and was a symbol of the ranching industry which was important to the development of Oklahoma. Below is a recent picture of the house. Weather permitting, we hope to have the construction finished by the first of the year.
Photo & Article by Jim Meyer