PAWNEE – Once forgotten buildings are receiving memorable makeovers thanks to a photographer who decided to document abandoned and forgotten places in Oklahoma.
“I had started posting some of my pictures on Instagram that I would take on my phone, and then it kind of went from there,” Amy Hedges said.
Hedges is a photographer with a love of history. Her pictures of abandoned buildings would become “Forgotten Oklahoma,” a now booming social media site.
Forgotten Oklahoma has grown to more than 75,000 followers on the original Facebook group and an additional nearly 25,000 joined a second fan page.
“I remember when I got to my first 500 ‘likes’ and I freaked out,” Hedges said. “I was like what is going on, I can’t believe so many people liked this. I never in my wildest dreams did I expect to get to 75,000 followers.”
These days, Forgotten Oklahoma is not just online. Hedges purchased and is renovating a building in Pawnee that was severely damaged in the 2016 earthquake. The building was originally a bank, but now houses a tag agency and the Forgotten Oklahoma world headquarters.
Having a physical location has helped Forgotten Oklahoma grow and provides a place for fans to visit.
“It has really been amazing,” Hedges said.
Hedges said her family and the entire community of Pawnee have been supportive of her mission to save history not just with photographs, but with the blood, sweat, and tears required to bring back a crumbling piece of history.
Anyone can join the effort to document Forgotten Oklahoma. If you are not able to take pictures you can support the mission by purchasing copies of your favorite photographs. You can find out more information by visiting the Forgotten Oklahoma Facebook page.