Western Trail Historical Society Board members Doug Gardiner (left) and Gary McLaughlin and Michelle McKenzie (right) display one of the photographs from the George M. Long Collection at the Museum of the Western Prairie that depicts a scene from the silent movie The Daughter of Dawn that was filmed in the Wichita Mountains in 1919/20. The starring actress pictured is Esther LeBarre and the actor is White Parker, the son of Comanche chief, Quanah Parker. The story is part legend and part fiction and includes all the major aspects of Indian life that form today’s image of the old days, including a buffalo hunt, dancing, a brawl, and, of course, a love story involving a test of courage. The Oklahoma Historical Society is restoring a copy of this movie and Dr. Bob Blackburn, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, will screen excerpts and provide background information about the acquisition and restoration of the film at the WTHS Annual Meeting on Thursday, April 26, at 7 p.m., at the old Plaza Theater (now the home of the Altus Christian Fellowship) on the west side of the square in Altus. This program will include brief reports on the society’s activities over the last year and an election of new board members.
The Annual Meeting is an opportunity to renew memberships in the Western Trail Historical Society. Membership provides free admission to the museum, a 10% discount in the Museum Gift Shop, and advance notice of all historical society and museum activities. Membership dues allow WTHS to host events such as the Grand Reopening, list local historical sites on the National Register of Historic Places, mark the Western Trail, provide educational programming, and support the museum. The program is free and open to the public.