In 1870, Abner E. Norman was appointed chairman an leader of the central survey area of the Oklahoma territory by the United States Land Office. His crew burned the words "Norman's Camp" into an elm tree near a watering hole as a taunt to Norman. As the Sooners and other settlers came to the area, they took the name Norman from the tree as the name of their city.
Norman was built around the Santa Fe Railroad, and had a headquarters, passenger depot, and a freight station. The depot expanded quickly in its first few years, however, the last expansion was in 1909.
Due to the business that the railroad brought, Norman expanded. During a period of discussions of where Oklahoma's capitol should be placed, T.R. Waggoner, mayor of Norman, sent a bill through territorial legislature in order to make Norman have the first institution of higher learning. By 1890, the University of Oklahoma was being built through county bonds to construct the buildings and the residents donating forty acres of land for the campus site. David Ross Boyd became the first president of the University of Oklahoma and the University had 100 students in 1895.
These days, Norman is still expanding with the University also taking in more and more students. There is a music scene in the area, and a good amount of interesting things occurring on campus.
According to the Census 2000, the total population of Norman is 95,694 people making Norman the third largest city in Oklahoma.
Places of Interest:
407 W. Boyd
Cleveland County Historical Museum
Official residence of the president of the University of Oklahoma. It's located rather close to campus corner.
Built in 1899, it is a prime example of Late Victorian Queen Anne architecture. It can be toured and is availible for rent.
The Crucible Foundry
A gallery of bronze sculptures that is open to the public.
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
410 W. Boyd
Jacobson House Native Art Center
One of the State's prime art collections. In its permanent collection are paintings by Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir.
Originally built in 1917, it aims to preserve Native American fine art and culture. It is open to the public.
Lake Thunderbird is a popular camping site, sailing, and fishing. Also contained are Little River Zoo and the Thunderbird Stables.
Little River Zoo
A 55-acre zoo that boasts over 400 animals. Availible for touring for a fee and one would be able to pet some of the animals.
Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
The nation's largest university-based museum. It has tours, and is open to the public for a fee.
Santa Fe Depot
Jones and Commanche
Originally constructed in 1909, this was a stop for the Santa Fe line. It is still used as a passenger depot.
101 E. Main
University of Oklahoma Bizell Library
Originally constructed in 1929, this theatre originally had films shown. These days it's used for live theatre, operas, concerts, ballets, and more.
The main university library and contains such rare works as Charles Dickens's first editions, and a Galileo first edition with handwritten corrections by Galileo himself.
NewsOk.com - http://www.newsok.com/
Norman Convention & Visitors Bureau - http://www.ncvb.org/index.asp
Oklahoma Department of Commerce - http://www.odoc.state.ok.us/index.html