In Memory of those who perished in the Babbs Fire
On Dec. 24, 1924
At a Christmas tree celebration
Thirty six persons lost their Lives
Hobart Rose Cemetery
Twenty small headstones with names and dates of victims:
"Information in this article was gathered from a variety of sources; Oklahoma Historical Society, Hobart Democrat Chief, Daily Oklahoman, and articles of interviews of some survivors."
"In the fall of 1902, the school house was built on the southwest corner of the land owned by Edward E. Christain. It was a one room building 18 x 24 feet and all 8 grades were taught there. J. T. West hauled native stone for the foundation. In 1910 the building was enlarged to accommadate Sunday School meetings and community gatherings."
"On Christmas Eve 1924, the teacher, Mrs. Florence Terry Hill, greeted her pupils and parents as they arrived at the schoolhouse for the Christmas program. The school looked good. It was freshly painted (with paint incorporating turpentine thinner). New steel grates had been installed over the windows to prevent any more breakage as had occurred in the recent windstorm. The tree was trimmed with red and green tallow candles, giving a warmth to the room that contrasted with the cold night and light snow outdoors."
The Babbs Switch Story—Darleen Bailey Beard
Babbs Switch, Oklahoma was a real town, and a thriving community until a fire in its one-room schoolhouse claimed the lives of thirty-six people on Christmas Eve, 1924. Based on this true story that made national headlines, Bailey Beard’s novel is also filled with warmth and humor, and told in the sparkling voice of a spunky, irreverent heroine. The author is a frequent speaker to young people, and lives in Norman with her two children, Spencer and Karalee. [Amazon Preview]
"Hobart - Short Grass Playhouse/ Fire Dept. - Reports of seeing a man with his face half burned has been seen, and of a painting in the Short Grass playhouse of a girl has been painted over several times and it keeps coming back. There are a lot of other stories about this place."