E A S T   G U T H R I E
WPA - West Guthrie
Construction on
Highland Hall in Guthrie's
Highland Park was begun
in 1938 with the majority
of work to be provided
by 60-150 youths under
the supervision of the
National Youth
Administration, NYA).

It was to be completed in
two years using stone
from the park itself.
The construction ran long and ran out of stone to complete the project with the available
material from the park. Additional stone was found 13 miles north of Guthrie but it had to be
quarried at its source and transported into Guthrie. Funds were also a problem. In 1940 the
structure was still without a roof, needed electrical wiring and fixtures. The City of Guthrie had
no help available until the next fiscal year so the Guthrie Chamber of Commerce stepped up to
the plate and raised the $250 - $500 to complete the building.
Plans for building a stadium
costing $22,500 in Guthrie were
added to a bond election in 1935.
The City of Guthrie partnered with
the WPA bringing in another
$36,000 to build the stadium
providing seating for 4,000. It
included Bermada grass football
and baseball fields and a drainage
system designed to empty the
fields within two hours after heavy
rains. It was completed in 1936
The Stadium was named for Lawrence Jelsma, a leader in Guthrie and proponent for the
project.  He passed away in 1934 but his memory lives on as Jelsma Stadium is still used
today by the Guthrie Schools and was renovated in 2005 for $3,000,000. It is known as one
of the best high school stadiums in the country and is called "The Rock" for it's 30 foot
stone wall on it's north side facing Harrison Avenue.
The Logan County Court House was built in 1907 but repairs were made during the New
Deal by the WPA. It was used in part to distribute relief supplies to those who qualified.
Clothing, household goods and mattresses were available to residents and a first aid
course for WPA timekeepers and foremen was held in the District Courtroom. The
building is still in use today and is one of Guthrie's most impressive historic buildings.
Among other historic events to take place at  the Carnegie Library in Guthrie,
the WPA funded a Library Bindery project that was to employ 11 women and 2
men during the great Depression. They were tasked with binding books for 10
months at the cost of $3,900. The WPA also partially surveyed historical records
of Logan County and this was completed in the 1970's through additional grand
The WPA enabled communities to improve
and update many utilitarian services. In
Guthrie, crews leveled roads, added
drainage and sewers and paved and
resurfaced roads. 113 city streets were
paved as a part of WPA road resurfacing
efforts. A new water filtration system,
extension of the waterworks and sewer
projects employed 30 men. They also
changed the course of Cottonwood Creek
to relieve flooding on the west side of town.
Guthrie was selected as one of 23 towns in Oklahoma to obtain a WPA funded
Armory building. It cost $47,663 and was built at no cost to the City of Guthrie
other than the land itself. The 30,000 square feet of stone was stone was quarried
just west of the Armory.
The building on the north side contained the drill hall with a stage and dressings
rooms above the basement rifle range. The south side of the building was for
administrative offices and included office, garage,kitchen, showers, locker and
supply room.
The Guthrie Armory was listed on the National
Register of Historic Places in 1994 and serves
various capacities today for the City of Guthrie.