Most of the attractions in Guthrie merely ask for donations, but by and large the greatest portions are free of charge. Even parking in the historic center is free, quite unlike the case in downtown Oklahoma City. Just get here early enough to find a spot and walk the historic district on foot. Depending on the hour, there is generally little risk of walking right into the middle of the street to get that key snapshot.
One of the true marks of authenticity in this city of authentic structures is the building material in the ceilings. Modern offices and almost anything constructed after 1960 has the gypsum tiles in the ceiling, all resting comfortably in a metal framework. Look at the ceilings in Guthrie. As often as not you'll see the delicately-textured ceiling tiles. Though not of an elegant design, the creme or pink-colored plates still certify the genuine original.
This is one of Oklahoma's most heavily touristed areas, and from a glimpse down the main drags it is easy to see why. After mentally blocking out the parked cars, the pavements and the streetlights from Harrison, Oklahoma and Division Streets, one can easily imagine a posse or a gunfight or even a land speculator in the midst of a dusty street between authentic Old West buildings. We owe a great deal to the Guthrieites for preserving this unique perspective (now a national landmark along with Alcatraz and the Brooklyn Bridge). To keep it clean and beautiful, please observe the signs.
At the turn of the century, obviously the only viable modes of transportation within town were the foot or the horse. Today, Guthrie continues the practice of carriage rides, though like other businesses it shuts down for the major holidays and also 89er Day (April 22). This (not so) handsome couple just got married.
Guthrie at 10,000 souls is either a small city or a large town. Given that most of its buildings scarcely top two stories, it feels like a town, and towns in America are scarcely towns unless they boast a local water tower. Though persons not familiar with the United States will not quite understand this, towns are almost universally identified by their water towers.
For the rest of the country, time-honored holidays include the Fourth of July, Christmas Day and Thanksgiving, and New Year's Day. Guthrie celebrates all of these likewise, and many tourist services shut down for the day. It should be noted that 89er Day (April 22) likewise shuts down normal operations, when Guthrie comes alive to relive its roots.
Most of Guthrie strives to preserve its streets, its appearances and its manners in the same snapshot in which they appeared in 1910 (or earlier). Take the Model T used to service clocks in town under the appellation Time Wise.