Fireworks on the Mound

The Fourth of July was a special time on the Mound in the fifties. A fireworks display would be placed on top of the Mound by the Frank Phillips Men’s Club of Bartlesville that lasted approximately 40 minutes to an hour. Front page newspaper announcements in the Examiner Enterprise from 1956 and 1957 invited the general public to attend.

Fireworks on the Mound

I remember my parents taking me and sis to several Mound Fourth of July shows. Cars were parked up and down Highway 123 on both sides of the highway. We jumped out of the car and would sit in chairs that dad took out of the trunk. With wide eyes, we watched Niagara Falls, Battle in the Sky, Giant Flying Saucers, Multi-colored Comets, the Spiderweb, Serpents and Stars, Whistling Tracers, Thunder and the Stars, Rocket Showers, and other aerial flash salutes along with star shells and rockets. In 1957, there were also two ground aerial displays consisting of the Phillips 66 Shield and the American Flag, both in full color. Also, preceding the fireworks a band concert directed by George Baum of Tulsa was presented. Every year would always be exciting, and I’m not sure why they quit using the Mound for the fireworks show, but I would guess it was a fire hazard because of the grass and vegetation. These shows were so flashy and colorful that I have never forgotten them, and most likely never will!

Fireworks on the Mound

Skating at the Mound in a tent


Roller skating was very popular in Bartlesville beginning with the Coliseum Roof Garden located downtown Bartlesville. Their grand open was December 4, 1908. Thereafter, every decade had at least one popular skating venue.

Moonlite Roller Rink
Moonlite Roller RInk at the Mound

The Moonlight Roller Rink (spelled 2 different ways in their ads) opened for business at the Mound in a large tent. The grand open took place on Saturday, March 7, 1953, however, it didn’t last long. A huge snow and sleet storm blew in on April 19, 1953, and the skating rink tent became coated with ice and was destroyed.

Moonlight Roller Rink
Moonlight Roller Rink at the Mound

As a result, there were never any other skating rinks at the Mound, and downtown brick buildings were the preferred venues for skating rinks since that time.

Also, on a side note, in this same storm nearly 100 head of yearling cattle brought in three days earlier from South Texas to feed on Oklahoma’s bluestem pastures were trampled and frozen to death during the storm!

~WILDCAT WANDERINGS~  I remember when we went to school at Central Junior High School in Bartlesville, Oklahoma circa 1963-1965. The most important part of my life was the skating rink! I remember going with sis Linda Spears, and meeting up with Sue Smith, Barbara Cornelius, Nettie Rickman, Carty Thornbrugh, Donna Thornbrugh, and so many more!!! I think most people have a skating rink in their pre-teen years, and it is a special memory!

Kat in tree at Mound
Kat in tree at Mound


Bartlesvillia presents: The Mound


Many a month has come and gone Since I wandered from my home In those Oklahoma hills where I was born. Many a page of life has turned, Many a lesson I have learned; Well, I feel like in those hills I still belong.

‘Way down yonder in the Indian Nation Ridin’ my pony on the reservation, In those Oklahoma hills where I was born. Now, ‘way down yonder in the Indian Nation, A cowboy’s life is my occupation, In those Oklahoma hills where I was born.

But as I sit here today, Many miles I am away From a place I rode my pony through the draw, While the oak and blackjack trees Kiss the playful prairie breeze, In those Oklahoma hills where I was born.

Now as I turn life a page To the land of the great Osage In those Oklahoma hills where I was born, While the black oil it rolls and flows And the snow-white cotton grows In those Oklahoma hills where I was born.

The Mound is a hill that is located on the Washington County/Osage County line in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The online dictionary defines a mound as a natural elevation, such as a small hill. The Mound stands 866 feet tall. It ranks as the 513th highest mountain in Oklahoma, and 58,997th highest mountain in the United States.  (Google:  Peakery)  Since February 8, 1955, the City of Bartlesville has had a water tank on top of the Mound. In 2010 the older double water tanks were replaced with a decorative water tank that lights up at night.  This blog will cover the history of the Mound with the subjects:

  • Airdome
  • Circus
  • Skating Rink
  • Grand Ole Opry show
  • Pioneer businesses around the Mound
  • Human Interest Stories
  • Fireworks shows
  • Sunset Country Club
  • Agape Mission
  • Airports
  • Historical periods
  • Gunner, the Caney River Hound Dawg runs the Mound
  • KAKC Radio and Zesto

“The county seat of Washington County, Bartlesville was Oklahoma’s first oil boomtown and a leading energy center of the twentieth century. Located in west-central Washington County, the city lies near the Washington-Osage county line, forty-seven miles north of Tulsa, and is crossed by U.S. Highways 60 and 75, State Highway 123, the South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad, and the Caney River. In 2000 Bartlesville covered a land area of 21.105 square miles and had 34,748 residents, making it Washington County’s largest and most populous community.”  (Google, Oklahoma Historical Society)

Gunner Runs the Mound
Gunner Runs the Mound