GUTHRIE STREET RAILWAY
Before Guthrie was a year old, civic
leaders were looking towards a system
of street railways. It was not until May 26,
1905, however that a street railway system
came into operation in the city.
June 8, 1889, the Council of East Guthrie
granted a franchise by ordinance, to J.H.
Hamilton of the Hamilton-Rankin Company
to operate an electric railway system in the
city. Financial difficulties stopped the
project before it could get started.
Nothing further was done on obtaining a
street railway until June 30, 1903 when
John W. Shartel and A.H. Classen, of
Oklahoma City, and a consortium,
negotiated a franchise with the city
for a proposed line of six miles of track.
Several delays were encountered, but
eventually the line was built and opened
with the 1905 celebration.
The streetcars met with enthusiastic
support from the public, providing
economical and convenient transportation
within the city of Guthrie. Usage declined
however with the coming of the
automobiles and by 1929, the service
was no longer operating.
The trolley system lay dormant until a
new vision by Guthrie citizens brought
it back to life.
FIRST CAPITAL TROLLEY
During the mid-twentieth century
Guthrie experienced a restful period
when the need for public transportation
was at a minimum and though several
taxi companies came and went the
thought of a trolley was not in the
minds of the citizens.
In 1988, however a serious, pro-active
revitalization was to take place that
would stimulate commerce, tourism,
and the downtown businesses that
had suffered the lack-luster successes
that befall many small towns. The trigger
for this revitalization was the realization
that Guthrie contained a wealth of
spectacular nineteenth and early
twentieth century architecture.
A hand-full of preservation minded
citizens took it upon themselves to
try to recover the grand facades and
exterior beauty of Oklahoma's First
Capital. The successful effort to restore
these buildings resulted in a huge
revitalization of the city and the creation
of the Tourism Industry that is
the single most economically valuable
asset of Guthrie today. In addition, the
downtown area became a viable
neighborhood for residents who chose
to make their homes in the towers and
multi-level buildings, thus taking the
restorations well above the street level.
Another natural step in this process
was to restore public transportation
for the city and at that point, The Logan
County Historical Society re-instituted
the long abandoned trolley system, and
began to do business beginning in
November of 1988. The First Capital
Trolley Co. started with only two trolleys
and today boasts 53 vehicles of varied
sizes and purposes and employs 57
The charming green trolleys can be
seen all over the Guthrie Historic
District and the First Capital Trolley
buses and vans provide a valuable
and convenient public service that
most towns the size of Guthrie only
dream of achieving.
When The First Capital Trolley came into being in 1988, Guthrie
elementary school children were given a chance to name the trolleys.
Miss Waggoner's fifth grade came up with" Ringer The Dinger", while
Miss Hicks first graders chose "Cappy The Clanger"
The original names have since been abandoned for a more practical
system. Though the heart of the First Capital Trolley evokes the past,
the Twenty-first century "Ringer" is now #90 and "Cappy" is simply
known as #89. Time marches on!
311 AIRPORT ROAD
GUTHRIE OK, 73044
PO BOX: 1512
GUTHRIE. OK 73044
Monday - Saturday:
6am - 10pm