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Ghost Town USA’s

Guide to the Ghost Towns of

OKLAHOMA

“The Sooner State

 

 

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Dust in the Wind - A Guide to American Ghost Towns

 

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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for Oklahoma

Oklahoma is part of the Great Plains, and squats in the heart of the country, slightly south of the geographic center of the United States. The plains of Oklahoma were once the home for the Osage, Kiowa, Apache and Comanche. Then in 1803, the Louisiana Purchase turned the area over to the United States. Not much was done there, as the territory was protected by the federal government as a homeland for the Native Americans.  In the 1830s, the "Five Civilized Tribes" of Native Americans were forced from their homelands in the Georgia, Florida, and Carolina region, and forced to walk to what became known as Indian Territory.

 

After the Civil War ended, cattle became big business in Texas, and many cattle trails reached out to the north towards the railroads in Kansas. The Chisholm Trail was only one of the many cattle trails that wound their way through the Indian Territory between 1866 and 1889. The excellent grazing in the future state was noted by the cattlemen, and they clamored for land to be opened up for them.

 

The land remained closed to non-natives, until 1885, when Congress allowed the president to begin negotiations with some of the native nations to allow white settlement. On April 22, 1889, the first land run began. Thousands of folks had lined up waiting for the cannon blast, and their chance to get some free land. By the end of the day, hours-old Oklahoma City had a population of nearly 10,000 people. Other sections of land were opened on September 21, 1891, April 19, 1892, September 19, 1893, and finally on May 23, 1895, the last major land run occurred.  These runs were followed by the federal government’s splitting Indian Territory, which created Oklahoma Territory on March 2, 1890. Additional land was opened for settlement, and on November 16, 1907, Oklahoma Territory and the remains of Indian Territory joined together, becoming the 46th state - Oklahoma.

 

Oklahoma's ghost towns were created by a multitude of economies. But agriculture, cattle, railroad construction, and oil were the biggest contributors to the many hundreds of lost towns that lie scattered across the Great Plains in Oklahoma. A few towns are listed below. 

 

PLEASE NOTE: 

Where photos are indicated thusly (PHOTO!), please use your browser’s “BACK” button to return to this page.  More photos will be added over time.

 

THE GHOSTS

 

AGAWAM

Grady Co.

On the Union Pacific Railroad, east of US 81, and eight miles north of Rush Springs.

ANTIOCH

Garvin Co.

On SH 74, seven miles south of Maysville, seven miles north of Elmore City.

ARTHUR

Stephens Co.

On SH 7, four miles west of Velma and 16 miles east-southeast of Duncan.

BIG CANYON

Murray Co.

Four miles south of Dougherty.  In 1904 it was founded as Crusher, the name changed in 1911 to Arbuckle, and in 1922 to Big Canyon.

BOGGY DEPOT

(1ST SITE)

Atoka Co.

15 miles west of Atoka and 2.5 miles north of "modern" Boggy Depot.

BRIDGEPORT

Caddo Co.

This class D ghost town is located along the South Canadian River just north of I-40, just west of EXIT 101 (US 281), 21 miles east of Weatherford.

CENTERVILLE

Kiowa Co.

I don’t have a lot of history of this place, but we visited in April 1975. (Info & photos coming soon)

CLEMSCOTT

Carter Co.

An oil camp in the Healdton Oil Field. On SH 53, two miles east of the junction with SH 76, at a point seven miles south of Ratliff City.

COX CITY

Grady Co.

An oil camp established in 1927, 16 miles southeast of Rush Springs.

CONDITVILLE

Stephens Co.

At the junction of SH 76/29, in the northeast corner of the county.

DEER CREEK

Grant Co.

Today, silence reigns in Deer Creek, another slowly fading class D agricultural town in America's Heartland.  It is located 13 miles south of the Oklahoma-Kansas state line, ten miles west of I-35 and 13.5 miles west of Blackwell, 1.8 miles east of the junction of SH 11/74.  A few buildings line SH 11, but the bulk of the town lies about 0.3 miles south of the highway. 

See our DEER CREEK page for additional details and photos.

ERIN SPRINGS

Garvin Co.

Two miles south of Lindsay, south of the Washita River.  It is the site of the Murray-Lindsay Mansion.

FORT ARBUCKLE (TOWN)

Garvin Co.

Shown on a 1938 map on SH 7, five miles west of I-35 and eight miles west of Davis.

FORT ARBUCKLE (FORT)

Murray Co.

1851-1869 military post ruins located seven miles west of Davis on private property.

FOSS

Washita Co.

Thirteen miles west of Clinton, and just north of I-40 at EXIT 53, on the northern county line.  Sec 1 & 2, T11N, R19W... class D

See our FOSS page for additional details.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

GAS CITY

Stephens Co.

Shown on the 1938 map west of Empire City and just east of the county line, north of Corum.

GENE AUTRY

Carter Co.

Located a mile south of SH 53 at a point seven miles east of Springer. It was first called Lou in 1883, then Dresden later that year.  In 1887 the name changed to Berwyn, and in 1942 to Gene Autry.

HOXBAR

Carter Co.

At or near Lake Murray, in the southeastern part of the county.  It is shown on a 1938 map, before the lake was filled.

HUNTVILLE

Kingfisher Co.

Ten miles southwest of Kingfisher. Class A

MEERS

Comanche Co.

This class D gold mining camp is located in the Wichita Mountains, 15 miles northwest of Lawton. Moved from the original site of the mines.

OIL CITY

Carter Co.

A Healdton Oil Field camp on SH 76, five miles north of Healdton.

OMEGA

Kingfisher Co.

It and nearby Alpha were "twin" towns, named after the 1st and last Greek alphabet letters. This class D town is still shown on current maps just east of the county line, and a couple miles north of State Highway 3, due west of Kingfisher.

PARR

Grady Co.

Founded in 1883, this lost town is six miles east of Rush Springs. It relocated to the railroad in 1893, and the new site was called Rush Springs. Class A

PAVILION

Murray Co.

A trading post/spa located at a spring south of Sulphur. In 1902, the facility relocated to where Sulphur is now. In Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

PICHER

Ottawa Co.

This former zinc mining town in the northeastern corner was declared a superfund site and has been abandoned and the Federal Government has purchased the properties and evicted all occupants.

 

For other recently departed ghost towns, visit our ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST page.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

SMACKOVER

Kay Co.

Class A oil boom shanty town which started in February 1923, just south of the Salt Fork River, south of Tonkawa. In June 1923, the town washed away.

Texola

Beckham Co.

Located just east of the Texas/Oklahoma state line and less than a mile south of I-40, this one-time Route 66 class D stopover is no longer active.  Here the ghosts are more populous than living people, and the empty building, and ruins reflect on memories from 80-some years ago.

 

See our Texola page for more details

WHITE BEAD

Garvin Co.

Seven miles west of Pauls Valley, along the ATSF Railroad, on the south side of the Washita River.

WOODFORD

Carter Co.

A mile north of SH 53 at a point seven miles west of I-35, at a point 11 miles north of Ardmore.

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

There are over 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America. Gary B. Speck Publications is trying to capture as many of these historical locations as possible and is currently in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called The Ghost Town Guru's Guide to the Ghost Towns of *** ™.  These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.

 

For more information on the ghost towns of OKLAHOMA, contact us at Ghost Town USA.

 

E-mailers, PLEASE NOTE:  Due to the tremendous amount of viruses, worms and “spam,” out there, I no longer open or respond to any e-mails with unsolicited attachments, OR messages on the subject lines with “Hey”, “Hi”, “Need help”, “Help Please”, “???”, or blank subject lines, etc.  If you do send E-mail asking for information, or sharing information, PLEASE indicate the appropriate location AND state name, or other topic on the “subject” line.   

 

 

Thank you, and we'll see you out on the Ghost Town Trail!

IMPORTANT NOTE

 

These listings and historical vignettes of ghost towns, near-ghost towns and other historical sites in OKLAHOMA as shown above are for informational purposes only, and should NOT be construed to grant permission to trespass, metal detect, relic or treasure hunt at any of the listed sites.

 

If the reader of this guide is a metal detector user and plans to use this guide to locate sites for metal detecting or relic hunting, it is the READER'S responsibility to obtain written permission from the legal property owners. Please be advised, that any state or nationally owned sites will probably be off-limits to metal detector use. Also be aware of any federal, state or local laws restricting the same.   ALWAYS respect the rights of the landowners. 

 

When you are exploring the ghost towns of OKLAHOMA, please abide by the

Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics.

 

 

Also visit: Ghost Town USA’s

 

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THIS PAGE

FIRST POSTED:  January 2000

LAST UPDATED: September 01, 2014

 

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