Saturday, June 21, 2008

Local Landmark

The Sand Springs Home was built by Charles Page, an Oilman, in 1906 and originally consisted of one large house for orphans. The orignal house has since been demolished, and been replaced by a bigger, much nicer home. In addition to the main house there are several large group homes that each house 4 or 5 kids and houseparents. Just to the east of where the group homes stand are two sections of duplexes named the Widows Colony, or "the colony". These duplexes are occupied by woman, unmarried/divorced/widowed, with two or more children. There are fairly strict rules that have to be followed if you want to live in the colony, like no alcohol is allowed on the premises, no overnight male visitors, you have to work at least part time and you have to prove that your children are enrolled in and regularly attending school. There are housekeeping standards that have to be met and you have to keep your small lawn mowed raked and trimmed. In the summer you are required to water your lawn every day.

They're allowed to place so many restrictions on their residents because the organization does not now, nor has it ever, taken any local, state, or federal funds. It has always operated on the money, land, and real estate that Charles Page donated for the cause.

The rules are worth it, in exchange for their compliance a woman with two or more children can live there rent-free until her youngest child is 18 years old. The colony pays all utilities too, electric, natural gas, water, trash, it's all included in the rent (which, like I said is $0). In addition to that there are several playgrounds, a swimming pool, a beautiful community center, and they operate a summer camp, each child gets to go to sleep-away camp for a week every summer that they live in the colony...FREE. That in and of itself is priceless, gives the kids a vacation...and the moms too.

OK, that was a long story, and probably way more than you wanted to know. I am just so proud that my community has such a place and I had to share the story.

You might have noticed the plaque on the end of the sign. Here's what it says:

1 comment:

Buck said...

The Sand Springs Home IS quite the place, and unusual, to boot. I've heard of shelters and such, but not about a permanent community for single moms. Good on Mr. Page. He was well and truly ahead of his time.