Then & Now Downtown

Business still thrives in the original city center.The roots of Edmond are still strong in the city's hub.Downtown businesses and events keep city spirit strong.

Since the earliest days of Edmond's history, the downtown area has served as a business hub for the city's growing population. Many people lived near and traveled through Edmond long before it was a city on a map. But its more documented history began in 1887 when railroad developers created a rail stop and gave it the name, Edmond. At that time, Edmond was still wilderness. The soon-to-be-city consisted of only the railroad station, a water well and tank, a pump house, a coal barn, the telegrapher's shack and an outhouse.

Within three days after the famous land run of 1889, downtown Edmond blossomed. The first businesses were set up in tents and crude wood buildings along "Broad Street" and "Two Street." These early businesses included a grocery store, a lumberyard, the first bank, a flour mill, a livery stable and the first post office. Throughout the next century, the city would see periods of growth and stagnation as well as progress and development that largely followed the politics and economics of the times. As the city grew, the downtown area kept pace, paving streets and renewing old building structures as the businesses changed and grew.

Today, downtown Edmond serves as a reminder that fine meals and products can still be obtained, along with great service and an Oklahoma smile. The area hosts more than fifty businesses, including restaurants and retail stores and the long-standing Edmond Sun newspaper. Downtown also keeps the spirit of Edmond alive with an array of events year round, including the Arts Festival, Farmers' Market and the holiday Parade of Lights.

For more information about Edmond's history, visit the Edmond Historical Society at www.edmondhistory.org. For more information about downtown Edmond today, visit the Downtown Edmond Business Association at
www.downtownedmondok.com.

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