By Don Lowe
Being completely and fully engaged with its surrounding area of Grove, Oklahoma, while joining for wide-ranging events and promotions is and always has been a major priority for Har-Ber Village Museum.
Har-Ber Village Executive Director Nicole Reynolds says, “We have a wonderful relationship with the city of Grove, Oklahoma, and try to participate as much as possible in any events hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Tourism Bureau.
“We try to maintain involvement by helping and supporting with parades and Grove Public Schools. We host a lot of things for the community and the city. We have a café onsite, venue rentals for the community to host an event, 2.5 miles of free-to-the-public walking trails and an educational facility for area students on a field trip.”
This is a significant partnership, and Reynolds says, “As one of the oldest established businesses and tourist attractions in Grove, we are one of the leaders in the tourism industry.
“We are also a selling point for relocation, education facilities, nonprofits, volunteer opportunities, hosting for the Leadership Grove classes, Newcomer’s Club presentations and so much more.
“Grove has been an absolute joy to be a part of for me. I get to be an advocate for our beautiful town.
“Whether that’s to answer questions about tourism, educate youth about the pioneer era, run workshops for heritage skills for adults, advocate about why we are a wonderful town, the industry we have to offer, our great school system and an eclectic variety of small businesses, I’m blessed to be a part of it.
“We are not only a lake community, but we are also a family community. We offer a wide range of things for a family to come here and see.
“There are things here for all ages. Even with being a lake community, we have that feel of being small-town America.”
Along with all those coming to visit for a short time, Reynolds believes that to live and work here is special. “This community is a small town with the right mix of industry to help keep the economy in a great place for its residents.
“As a small business owner, you are given the help and guidance to grow and succeed here. We have a beautiful landscape that gives you the ability to feel like you are on vacation without leaving home.
“As a vacation hotspot and being a lake town, we provide a person a place to visit that’s not on the water. It’s Grove’s little slice of the Ozark landscape in our own backyard.
“We give visitors the opportunity to see what life was like in the area in the late 1800s, as 90% of our collection is from Northeast Oklahoma and surrounding states (Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri). We advocate youth and pass history down to them. Last year, we had 9,000 students visit from four states. That, to me, is a win.”
See more photos in the February 2023 print issue or on our digital edition
Har-Ber Village Fast Facts
Where: 4404 W. 20th St., Grove, OK 74344
Email: [email protected]
Hours: Seasonal/open the second Saturday in March through the first Saturday in November (Thursday-Monday from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday)
Established: September 1, 1968
Founded By: Harvey & Bernice Jones of Springdale, Arkansas, who also founded Jones Truck Lines (JTL)
Nonprofit: Har-Ber Village Museum is a nonprofit run by a private foundation called The Har-Ber Village Foundation