Imagine coming from Dallas, Texas. Drive about 120 miles on Route 81 and cross the Red River bridge into Oklahoma. Just past the muddy banks on your right, you will see the Riverstar Casino, owned by the Chickasaw Nation. The first settlement after the river is Terral, next you reach the small town of Ryan. Population 816 in 2010, trending down.
Laura Thorn lives in Ryan and she likes living here. Whether Laura’s life’s work of collecting meaningful objects will be preserved after her death is written in the stars above the prairie. She named her empire the “The Parlor”. You find it behind a narrow storefront on Main Street. In the elongated space was Ryan’s funeral home many years ago, beforehand a furniture shop. “The Parlor” is painted in curved letters on the left store window. The window on the right has been bricked up. It is adorned with the tin wheel of a decorative windmill, like you can see it in the front yards of many homes here in the south of Oklahoma and way into Texas.
Read more about The Parlor and what it has to do with a Chamber of Wonders.