100 year-old newspapers found in historic Downtown Ardmore building

An Ardmore history buff found century-old newspapers after prying up the floorboards of her...
An Ardmore history buff found century-old newspapers after prying up the floorboards of her historic downtown Ardmore building.(KXII)
Updated: Jul. 27, 2021 at 6:15 PM CDT
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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - An Ardmore history buff found century-old newspapers after prying up the floorboards of her historic Downtown Ardmore building.

Theresa Cadwallader bought the building with her brother earlier this year.

“For people that are history buffs like myself, like my brother, these are invaluable,” Cadwallader said. “You can’t replicate them, they’re 100 years old, they’re just beautiful. Even in the worst conditions.”

Cadwallader and her brother are renovating the historic building together to create a haunted house.

“We thought, ‘What a great way to bring the community together and breathe some light into this part of town,’ which has some historic value,” Cadwallader said.

In the process of making the building safer, they came across old newspapers.

“Course production had to stop,” Cadwallader said. “I had to come in very gently and start pulling back the boards. This was just a gold mine for us because we love history so much. So it was a pretty exciting day.”

Most of the papers were damaged and rotting, but several were in well-enough shape to still read. Cadwallader said she was excited to see some of the papers were more than 100 years old.

“Especially to see the dates and how old they are from 1917 and 1918, really in the heart of world war one,” Cadwallader said. “All of [the big] articles in the newspaper are specifically related to the war. And then sprinkled in there is some local news of Ardmore. So it’s pretty exciting to take a step back and maybe learn something from history.”

One local story reports the shooting death of a Lone Grove boy in front of a crowd at the Ringling road Depot.

Cadwallader said one of the most historically important stories that she’s seen so far breaks news of German ships making their way to the U. S. waters.

“I thought it was fascinating,” Cadwallader said. “The German U-boats actually shot and torpedoed the passenger boat [S. S. Carolina] that was traveling from San Juan to New York.”

The German boats also shot military transports that day in an attack sometimes referred to as Black Sunday.

“The bombing of these ships in our own waters happened on June the 2nd,” Cadwallader said. “And it was made public on June 3rd through the newspapers. So it was really kind of speed to market, if you will, with the newspapers getting that kind of news out to people.”

Cadwallader said she wants the newspapers to be somewhere anyone can see them.

“I think what we’ll do next is find a way to preserve these the best that we can,” Cadwallader said. “Put them in the local museum; I think it’s a rich part of this community’s history and we wanna make sure that we preserve that and give that back to people so they can enjoy it.”

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