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Boley Historic District
Antioch Baptist Church, Boley OK.jpg
Antioch Baptist Church, Boley NHLD
Boley Historic District is located in Oklahoma
Boley Historic District
Location in Oklahoma
Boley Historic District is located in the United States
Boley Historic District
Location in the United States
Location Boley, Oklahoma
Built 1903 (1903)
NRHP reference No. 75001568
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 15, 1975
Designated NHLD May 15, 1975

The Boley Historic District (BHD), in Boley, Oklahoma is the original business area of an all-black town founded in 1903. The town of Boley prospered from the time of its incorporation until the onset of the Great Depression. According to the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, Boley became the largest and best-known of all the All-Black Towns. African-Americans migrated from other states to escape the Jim Crow Laws that promoted discrimination against them. However, falling farm prices starting in the late 1920s, caused many agricultural workers to move elsewhere in the county, and Boley began to decline.

BHD was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1975.

It is roughly bounded by Seward Avenue, Walnut and Cedar Streets, and the southern city limits of Boley. The site of the historic district covers 34.5 acres (14.0 ha). The district includes 14 buildings or other structures, all built between 1903 and 1921, which are considered supporting structures.

Contributing Resources for Boley Historic District
Name Year Built Comments
Antioch Baptist Church 1905 Reconstructed on same site in 1929. See picture above.
Oliver Building 1910 Originally a grocery and feed store. Now serves as Masonic Lodge
Watson Building 1915 (lower part)
1920 (upper part)
Lower part was a grocery store. Upper part was a hotel. Now the whole building is the American Legion Hotel.
Cozine Building 1910 Originally a grocery, but later became a pool hall.
T. L. Wood Building   Originally a dry goods store. Converted into Boley City Hall.
Masonic Hall 1915 Originally a 3-story building, but later the top 2 floors were removed. Has since become the Boley Post Office.
Farmers and Merchants Bank Building 1920 Operated as Farmers and Merchants Bank. After a 1932 robbery by the Pretty Boy Floyd gang, it reorganized as Farmers State Bank, operating in same building until 1962. Then became a warehouse.
Turner's Pharmacy Building 1910 Opened as a pharmacy. Was vacant at the time of NRHP application.
T. M. Haynes Building 1909 Originally a mercantile establishment on the first floor; second floor contained both a telephone office and a rooming house. Subsequently, the building was occupied by the M. W. Lee Manufacturing Company.
Boley Bank and Trust Building 1906-1907 Two-story building originally housed a bank, which was replaced by a cafe on the lower floor and living quarters on the upper floor.
Frame Church Building 1904 Originally the first church and school in Boley, shared by Baptist and Methodist congregations. Later housed the Christian Church at the time of NRHP application.
Tieul Clothing Store Building 1921 Building has remained a clothing store until time of NRHP application.
Utility Plant Site   Originally, a building housed a coal-fired steam generator that provided electricity for lighting in the town. The destroyed building also housed the jail and a garage for the town fire truck.
Water Tower 1921 Elevated 80 feet (24 m) standard silver-painted steel tower on four legs was still standing, but no longer in service at the time of NRHP application.

More recent construction in Boley has had little or no effect on the historic character of the BHD. According to the NRHP application, "It is still considered by many of the town's senior residents to be as much the same as before."

A group of photographic images attached to the NRHP inventory document have been published on the web. These were taken in 1974, and show that time has not been kind to the buildings and structures that still remain. Many appear to be abandoned or neglected and in various stages of decay.

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