The Holmberg House was built as a private residence in 1914 by Professor Fredrik Holmberg and his wife, Signey. This year marks our Centennial Year! Watch for special events, celebrations and educational tours this year!
Professor Holmberg was the first Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of Fine Arts. Dean Holmberg strongly believed that fine arts education was needed, not only at the University of Oklahoma, but throughout Oklahoma. He performed throughout the state always encouraging the local youth to consider OU after graduation. He continued performing and promoting the University until his death in 1936 but, in the beginning, it is recorded that he had his doubts about the University and the State.
Lynette Lobban, Sooner Magazine, vol. 25, number 4, summer 2005 wrote:
“When Fredrik Holmberg got off the train in Norman, Oklahoma, from Lindsborg, Kansas, in 1903, he looked around for the tallest buildings he could find and headed toward them. Not until he stopped and talked to someone on the "campus" did Holmberg realize he had mistaken the mental hospital for the University of Oklahoma. Clutching his violin under one arm, he walked a mile and a half back through town in a storm of red dust before finding the real campus, which he said later
was not nearly as impressive as the first.
Discouraged by the barren plain and ready to catch the next train north, Holmberg instead kept his appointment with David Ross Boyd. The OU president "had a way of giving one an optimistic outlook," Holmberg wrote, and after their initial encounter, the music professor from Bethany College decided to stay. Within his first six weeks, he organized a men’s glee club, a women’s glee club, an oratorio chorus, a band and an orchestra. For the next 30 years, Holmberg never stopped
working for the University and its students.”
Dean Holmberg was honored in 1938 when the Fine Arts Building at the University of Oklahoma was renamed as Holmberg Hall. Holmberg Hall still stands on the OU campus and is within easy walking distance of Holmberg House.
The Holmberg House:
The Holmberg family lived in the craftsman style residence until the early 40’s when the residence was purchased by Leota and Sam Hale. The Hale family lived in the house until 1993 when the residence was bought and renovated by Richard Divelbis and his wife, Jo Meacham, as a bed & breakfast. The Holmberg House was featured in Country Inns Bed & Breakfast Magazine in August, 1996, and in The Official Guide to American Historic Inns. It was most recently featured in Norman magazine May/June 2012 Volume 1, Issue 6 edition. Since its establishment, the Holmberg House Bed & Breakfast has been a mainstay on the corner of Boyd and DeBarr, allowing its welcoming gardens and distinctive architecture to host many travelers in its effortless elegance of simplicity of form, local natural materials, visibility of handicraft and workmanship.
Join us at Holmberg House Bed & Breakfast and experience the history first hand!
For more on Holmberg Hall & Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center click HERE.