The 89er Trail

Posted in: Events


“The 89er Trail”

At the sound of a bugle, Oklahoma City was settled in a land run on April 22, 1889. One of the most colorful stories in the history of the American west is all but invisible in today’s thriving downtown area. The purpose of the ‘89er Trail is to tell the story of the Run of ’89 as it happened in downtown Oklahoma City, to bring the excitement of that first year to life, and to inform visitors and residents, transplants and natives, of the early history of Oklahoma City, by seeing, on the ground, where important events in the birth of our city actually took place. The ‘89er Trail project consists of 28 historical markers telling many of the stories of those events. The story of the ‘89er Trail project will be told by Bob Blackburn, the Executive Director of the Oklahoma History Center and Chuck Wiggin, Project Sponsor and Historian.


Bob L. Blackburn, a native Oklahoman, has served as Executive Director of the Oklahoma Historical Society since 1999. He joined the OHS in 1980 as editor of The Chronicles of Oklahoma and became deputy director for agency operations in 1990. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Oklahoma State University. Bob published several articles and his first book while still in graduate school, and has since written or co-authored 18 books and numerous articles, journal entries, and screen plays. He is a steady source of historical information to the media, and he has appeared numerous times on the History Channel.

He was instrumental in planning and building the Oklahoma History Center, a 215,000 square foot museum and research center with a budget of $61 million. Bob has served on numerous national and regional boards and committees, including the Western History Association, the Oklahoma Association of Professional Historians, the American Institute of Architects, and Leadership Oklahoma City. His hobbies are reading, running, carpentry, landscaping, and golf.

Bob is married to former State Representative Debbie Blackburn and they have one son, Beau, who is a professional Photographer in Colorado.

Chuck Wiggin has managed the design, development, construction, leasing, sale,
acquisition, financing and operation of many large commercial real estate projects, predominantly in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Boston. He founded Wiggin Properties in 1981 and serves as its President and Chief Executive Officer.

Wiggin began his business career with Spaulding and Slye in 1973 as a project manager in its home office in Boston. As Senior Vice President of Development, he managed the firm’s development activities in suburban Boston and later, as Southwest Regional Manager, its development, construction, brokerage and management activities in Oklahoma City.

Wiggin was founder of Oklahoma City’s Commercial Real Estate Council, a chapter president of NAIOP, a founding sponsor of the Oklahoma Council of the Urban Land Institute, and an alumnus of Leadership Oklahoma City and Leadership Oklahoma. He is also a director of InterBank, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the Oklahoma Philharmonic Affiliated Fund, the Friends of the Oklahoma History Center, the Downtown OKC Business Improvement District, and Downtown OKC Inc. He is active in numerous other civic and cultural organizations, recently serving as President of the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City, and Chairman of the Rotary Club 29 Foundation.

A graduate of Harvard College, Wiggin has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a JD from Harvard Law School, and has served as a regional director of the Harvard Alumni Association, and as Oklahoma’s Honorary Consul for the Federal Republic of Germany.

Chair of the Day

Although most people know Estela Hernandez for her role in Oklahoma politics, serving as Vice President of Engagement for the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs and Vice Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, real estate has always been in her blood. Estela and her husband have owned a local construction company since 2003. This experience has given Estela a creative eye and a love for architecture and design. She holds a BA in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business.

Estela’s life story was featured in Family Metro Magazine, “Real Moms of the Metro”. Due to her professional and civic accomplishments, she has received multiple awards, serves on various boards, and is a former Commissioner on the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women. Estela has been married for 16 years and is the mother of 3 children.

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