Dinosaurs once roamed the flattened, wind-swept prairies where the metropolitan community of Oklahoma City now sprawls across 625 square miles of America's heartland. Coronado crossed the prairie looking for the "City of Gold." The Five Civilized Tribes - Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole - lived upon the land. Yet, on a single day in April 1889, the history of Oklahoma City was irrevocably written. President Rutherford B. Hayes opened the area to white settlement and a tent city of nearly 10,000 inhabitants was raised on the prairie floor. Oklahoma City was incorporated in 1890. Bethany was incorporated shortly after in 1910.
While Bethany enjoys Oklahoma City amenities, it also possesses tremendous attractions of its own. Lake Overholser borders Bethany's western border and is a recreational jewel. With more than seven miles of shoreline, the lake is a popular location for picnics, boating, hiking trails and fishing. The Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge begins at the northern end of Lake Overholser and stretches for several hundred acres along the winding path of the North Canadian River. Acquired by Lee Stinchcomb in the 1889 Land Run, the wildlife refuge provides a protective habitat for countless species of plant and animal life. Another popular attraction is the Iceland Sports Center, home of the Oklahoma City Figure Skating Club, Inc.
Oklahoma City area visitors and residents enjoy world-class performances of Ballet Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra at the Civic Center Music Hall. The National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center, Oklahoma City Art Museum, and the Kirkpatrick Center, which houses seven museums including the Air Space Museum, are also popular local venues. Major employers in the Oklahoma City area are Southwestern Bell, Tinker Air Force Base and the FAA Aeronautical Center.
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