The city's historical society and museum resides in the Dickson Building across from the old Opera House. This meek unimposing structure was built as far back as 1900, and like most frontier buildings in present-day Oklahoma has been taken over by a dentist, a lawyer, a tile & abstract company, or a historical association. Like the Opera House (er, furniture store), hours tend to be a little disregarded. You might arrive in mid-morning and still find this tiny museum closed and unoccupied.
It's typical for most small towns in America (especially the Midwest and Plains states) to have a main street filled with frontier facades. By no means is it common though for a rural outpost like Tecumseh to boast its own Opera House. No longer functioning as a recital hall however, the Opera House is by far the tallest structure on the main drag, thus perhaps making it the crown jewel of the city's historic past. There is no such thing as a tour of the great hall, but when the furniture store is open (the building's present occupants), you can see traces of its history by pretending to shop in the present.
The atmosphere of this small but bustling cafe is authentic American. . .paintings dramatize Native America by famed local painter Enoch Kelly Haney adorn the walls. Otherwise the tables are filled with white gentry, typically middled-aged or above, but in flannel print shirts for the men and rural dress for the women. Chairs and tables are built of wood, and the general frame of wood make for the most cozy interior. At one table where the "regulars" site (i.e. the town's "old men") you'll find a sign hanging overhead that reads "WORLD PROBLEMS SOLVED RIGHT HERE." These pundits however will welcome newcomers and familiar faces alike before returning their attention to their summit.
Favorite Dish: From the kitchen you can expect anything from fresh omelettes to bacon-wrapped sirloin, all at reasonable "town" prices (i.e. my omelette was a dollar less in cost that the said bacon-wrapped sirloin). Pancakes here are the size of trash-can lids, yet sausage links tend to be smaller than coin purses. Dishes tend to be a little greasy, smacking (literally) of my past VT forum discussion about what defines "country cooking."
Tecumseh is located just south of Shawnee.
Nine miles south of I-40.
Tecumseh's closest airport is 6 miles away. Their runway is 5,000 feet long and can handle jet traffic up to a 737. Charter and other services are available on the Shawnee Airport field. Oklahoma City is only 42 miles from Tecumseh. Rent a car while anywhere in Oklahoma if you fly in.
Favorite thing: This section of town (so familiar to towns across the Midwest) is not as striking as other examples in Oklahoma or elsewhere. Dates of construction appear on no facades. Early painted advertisements detailing the original occupants appear in faded tones in few places, most notably over the entrance to the old Opera House. Old banks have been converted to new banks or exercise gyms or other ongoing concerns, much destroying the historic context of their outward appearance. However, a trip to Tecumseh without viewing its old Main Street is to miss half the town's mystique.
Click this link and read some of the history and stories submited about Tecumseh. They are pretty interesting. The link should open in a new window.
City of Tecumseh General Information