IBEW Local 1141 is at it again, giving back to their community in Oklahoma, but this time they are shedding a little light on a piece of history.

The building that was once the Apache Town Bank was built in 1901, made of rock brought in by horse and buggy. In 1971, rather than allow the historic building to be torn to the ground, the Historical Society of Apache turned the building into a museum, paying homage to the town, its residents, and deep roots. Everything from typewriters to old phones and even an old rocker are now on display in the museum, every piece coming from the town of Apache.

But with old buildings come a few problems, and new electrical work was one of them. In comes IBEW Local 1141, who rewired the old building while maintaining the integrity of the building.

Thank you, IBEW Local 1141, for showing once again that being an IBEW brother or sister means going above and beyond the call of duty.

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Transcript – Oklahoma Historic Museum

Mary Joyce Swanda – Secretary and Treasurer, Apache Historical Society

“My goodness, I could not imagine Apache without this building on the corner. To think that buildings are being torn all around us and what if we lose this building. We haven’t. We work hard for this building.”

Dewayne Wilcox – Business Manager, IBEW Local 1141

“I grew up here, it meant something personally to be involved. Some of our members grew up here too and they got on board. We supplied a new service upgrade to a building that was in historical status and a risky status.”

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Hour Power, I’m Erica McClaugherty here in Apache, Oklahoma. I’m in the oldest building in this city. Built in 1901 and kept in it’s original form.

The Apache Historical Society has worked very hard to not only keep this building from being torn down but also make it functional and in came Local 1141 to keep this museum alive.

Built with rock brought in by horse and buggy in 1901, this building served as the Apache Town Bank for many years, but when it started to deteriorate, like many buildings do, a non-profit organization called the Historical Society of Apache was formed to keep the building from being torn down. The society turned the building into a museum in 1971, full of artifacts from its local community of Apache.

Roy Young – Vice President, Historical Society Museum

“Because we are a non profit organization we have no funding from the city, no funding from the state. No funding from anywhere except private donations and an occasional grant we have always worked on a shoestring.”

With the small funds they did have, they were able to buy a few necessary electrical components. But they needed more as well as the labor the make it happen.

Roy Young – Vice President, Historical Society Museum

“We had an opportunity to look into the electrical things we needed and we were very fortunate to have some local electricians like Dewayne and Kent that said yes we will step up and do our part because this building is our community too.”

Dewayne Wilcox – Business Manager, IBEW Local 1141

“The historical society bought a new 42 circuit panel, board for the interior and we‘ve furnished them with a 200 amp meter base service riser on the outside of the building. We brought them up to code, installed new circuit breaker box and meter base on the outside.”

But installing new equipment on a building that was built in 1901 was not an easy task.

Dewayne Wilcox – Business Manager, IBEW Local 1141

“It presented challenges to maintain the integrity of the building. As far as hole drilling and such like that we tried to maintain the history of the building and not disturb anything that didn’t need disturbing.”

This museum, a very precious gem to the community with layers and layers of history, continues to be the focal point of the town.

A museum full of things like old phones, radios, appliances, typewriters, and so much more, each piece meaning something to this town.

Mary Joyce Swanda – Secretary and Treasurer, Apache Historical Society

“See that baby chair. It belonged to my neighbor across the street when he was a baby. Doctor O’Conner and his wife was a great influence on my life and she donated Charlie’s chair.

Roy Young – Vice President, Historical Society Museum

“It would have to be the photograph collection because those are the true images of the founders, the pioneers, the settlers who established this community and whose descendants kept this going.”

Local 1141 has been proud to be a part of the museum as well as other volunteers projects in the area.

Kevin Moore – Journeyman, IBEW Local 1141

“I believe as far as our local and volunteering anytime you can give back and show your craftsmanship we are always up against the fence being union so anytime you can better yourself and let the community know we are an organization that gives back it’s good for all of us.”

Kent McCay – Journeyman, IBEW Local 1141

“It puts a good message out to people and might even get people interested in joining. Keep giving to your community and helping out your fellow people.”

Kevin Moore – Journeyman, IBEW Local 1141

“I always to give back is fulfilling anytime you can help out a community or project it’s always the most fulfilling thing you can do. To be able to share your trade for people that need it. It’s always a good feeling.”

Kent McCay – Journeyman, IBEW Local 1141

“If you got the time you can get it done. You just gotta get started.”

Mary Joyce Swanda – Secretary and Treasurer, Apache Historical Society

“Don’t let your buildings going to ruin in your town. The buildings are just torn down and they regret it that their historical buildings are gone. They appreciate us because they have lost theirs. Or that makes them really want to save theirs.”

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Erica McClaugherty

Erica McClaugherty joined the IBEW Hour Power team in 2015 and has been traveling around the United States and Canada ever since, bringing the stories of hard working IBEW brothers and sisters to life.

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