A history

Sooner Park, with land stretching across 53 acres, is home to a variety of festivals and recreational facilities enjoyed by the community. The park was developed in 1956 on land donated by local legends H.C. and Mary Lou Price.

In 1959, the Bartlesville Junior Chamber of Commerce began a study on a municipal golf course. Four years later, on Dec. 1, 1963, the first golfers teed off at the newly opened Sooner Park Golf Course. The 18-hole course was dedicated on July 4, 1964, under the name Adams Municipal Golf Course, paying homage to former Phillips Petroleum executive Kenneth Stanley “Boots” Adams. Adams was the single largest contributor to the golf project, donating $165,000 of the course’s $604,000 price point. The park also includes a miniature golf course – Sooner Junior Miniature Golf – which was built in the late 1960s.

One of the park’s most notable features is the Sooner Park Play Tower, designed by architect Bruce Goff and presented in 1964 as a gift from H.C. Price to the children of Bartlesville. The one-of-a-kind observation tower, which stands 50 feet tall, had been closed for more than 20 years as a result of deterioration. Thanks to numerous local and nationwide donors, the tower was restored and presented again to the public in 2014.

Another noteworthy structure, the Richard Johnson Bandshell, sits near the entrance of the park and is used for concerts and other local events.

In September 1976, a fund drive began to develop a swimming pool at the park. With a total estimated cost of $230,000, the project consisted of an Olympic-sized swimming pool with diving boards, restroom and shower facilities, sun bathing area, and a large wading pool for toddlers. Today, the pool also includes a large splash pad play area.

Fun Facts

  • Adams Municipal Golf Course was originally called Sooner Golf Club, hence the miniature course’s name “Sooner Junior.”
  • H.C. Price, who donated the land for the park, commissioned architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design a corporate headquarters for his pipeline construction business, H.C. Price Company. The building, which formerly housed the headquarters, is known today as the Price Tower Arts Center.
  • Sooner Park plays host to the city’s largest craft and music festival – Sunfest – each year.

Park Amenities