The Babbs Switch StoryDarleen Bailey Beard
The Babbs Switch Story is a historical fiction children's book about an incident that happened in 1924 in the once-thriving community of Babbs Switch, Oklahoma. Most of its citizenry had turned out in a blizzard to attend the annual Christmas tree celebration where a knocked-over candle set the tree ablaze. As screams filled the schoolhouse, kerosene lamps "exploded into shooting fireballs."
When the chaos was over thirty-six people had perished. As a result, nationwide laws were enacted restricting the use of candles on Christmas trees and requiring public schools to have unobstructed windows and multiple doors that swing outward. All that currently exists of Babbs Switch, Oklahoma, just south of Hobart, is a large granite marker that reflects the tragedy of December 24, 1924.