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UER Forum > Archived US: South > Ghost town, one room school houses, abandoned graveyards, and other random stuff (Viewed 1945 times)
dwtaylor999 


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Ghost town, one room school houses, abandoned graveyards, and other random stuff
< on 2/12/2011 7:13 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I'm digging through my pics from the last year or two and thought I would post up a sampling. Not exactly urban exploration, in fact, about as far from urban as you can get. This is all within a 30 minute drive from where I live in North Central Oklahoma.

1. The old steam laundry in Pawnee, OK built in 1911. The building is currently unused except for storage. It appears the roof is leaking, so it won't be long.


2. Blackburn OK. Once a thriving community on the Arkansas river, it is now essentially a ghost town. These are a few of my pics, but if you're interested, check out abandonedok.com for a detailed expose of the town. There are still some remnants of the old main street. This is the old gas station and an abandoned shell next door.



The old Blackburn school, built in 1905.


3. On to another ghost town, Skedee, OK. Named for the Skidi branch of the Pawnee nation, it was a thriving community when the oil flowed. Legend has it that the largest concentration of early Packards in the country was here, and was the reason the town square was large, so these huge cars would have room. Little is left of the town, though the old square remains, including the statue erected by Colonel (his actual first name) Walters who made his fortune bartering oil leases. He paid an artist from Kansas to design and built the statue. General consensus at the time was that it was horrible. Opinion hasn't changed much. The best description I've heard was that it looked like it was made out of playdough and then painted with gold paint. I'll let you judge.


4. The old Skedee high school, built in 1924 and closed in the early 1960's. The town kept it up for years, but finally the remnants of the population where unable to maintain it. The roof is leaking badly and it is not long for this world.






The remnants of the old mercantile buildings off the square and an old station that fueled those packards.



5. This is the old Grayhorse Indian school, near the ghost town of Grayhorse, originally a trading station with the Osage nation. It was built by the WPA in 1939 from local field stone and quarried sandstone. This school also closed in the 1960s. The basic structure is still solid, though the roof gave way years ago. The playground equipment is even still there. Nobody remembers who planted the roses. Note the same architect as designed the Skedee school.






6. This stately old bridge was originally on what is now OK state highway 20. Once on the main road, the highway was redesigned decades ago, leaving this cool old bridge essentially sitting nowhere.




7. This is the remnants of the Spring Creek school, built in 1908. It surprised me that the original wooden structure had survived. It was replaced in the 1920s by a brick structure just down the road, which also lies abandoned.





8. This is a structure just east of the ghost town of Maramec, OK, which was named for the civil war iron clad. I can't find any info on it, but it's cool none the less.


9. This is the old Osage district 5 school and is all that remains of the town of Osage. Osage was bypassed by the railroad, which chose instead to route their line through Skedee. Most of the people eventually migrated away, leaving the town abandoned. I was approached by a gentleman while photographing the site who in a very polite way asked me what the hell I was doing on his property. After I explained I was just taking pictures, he gave me a little history. Originally there was a wooden school on the location, but a fire started in the chimney during school and his grandfather had jumped on his horse to ride for help, but the towns people where unable to save it. They decided to build a proper school that would stand the test of time and fire. It appears they succeeded as it has survived them all.




10. This is a structure just north of the town of Ralston, OK. I've gotten conflicting views on whether it was a school or a church. I'm leaning toward the church theory, as the original town cemetery is just across the highway. It supposedly predates the town, which was established in 1894.



11. This is the remnants of Lela, OK. Originally a US Cavalry stop, it grew into a small community and a major transportation hub with the arrival of the railroad. This old grain elevator and an old cemetery are about all that remain. I find it interesting that the railway marker for LELA still stands.


12. Jumps Roller Inn in Fairfax, OK. It was comprised of an eatery, wooden roller skating rink slash dance hall, and a motel. Once famous for it's steaks and entertainment (acts such as Bob Wills played there), it's a pale shadow of its former glory. The old roller rink and most the motel burned down about 4 years ago. Unfortunately, I never got any pictures of the old rink, which was stupid.


Among Fairfax's other attractions is the old Tallchief mansion. It was the ancestral home of Maria and Marjorie Tallchief, some of Americas first Prima Ballerinas. This once beautiful home has fallen to neglect and vandalism.


And if you're in the area, check out the tallgrass prairie. It contains the largest herd of free ranging Bison on the planet, if you can find them.


13. The old Ice House in Ralston OK. Yes, believe it or not, before refrigerators, people had ice boxes, which was essentially an insulated cooler. The ice man would deliver ice to your house and you placed it in the ice box to keep your perishables cold.


14. The old Sante Fe train station in Perry OK, the home of Ditch Witch. One of the few towns around that managed to not destroy their old stations.


15. The old bath house in Pawnee, OK. Also built by the WPA, it was abandoned the left to sit for decades. It was refurbished and is now again in use.


16. Hopewell OK was a small community of 50 or so people. I went looking for it in hopes of finding some remnants of the old school, but nothing remained, or at least nothing identifiable. However, I did stumble across an old abandoned cemetery, and I do mean abandoned, like machete and flamethrower abandoned. Some further research found that it was actually called the Bethel cemetery, and from the sketchy records, it appears there where at least 50 people buried there. I did snap a few shots of the stones I could reach without the black berry vines stripping me to the bone.



17. Enterprise school. There where four Enterprise schools, North, Central, South and East. I guess West got left out. This is Enterprise North, a one room school house built in 1921. Originally the old highway 20 ran right in front of it, but like the old bridge, it now sits on a dirt road to nowhere.



I'm tired of posting, and I'm sure you're tired of reading, so enough for this session. Enjoy.
[last edit 2/12/2011 2:19 PM by dwtaylor999 - edited 1 times]

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Re: Ghost town, one room school houses, abandoned graveyards, and other random stuff
<Reply # 1 on 2/12/2011 11:17 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Really good stuff man. I have checked out a couple of ghost towns here in TX, and will continue to do more. I like that you found all of the history of these places. Would like some more on the inside pics too.

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Re: Ghost town, one room school houses, abandoned graveyards, and other random stuff
<Reply # 2 on 2/12/2011 1:45 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
good stuff


Chief Baconrind?

dwtaylor999 


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Re: Ghost town, one room school houses, abandoned graveyards, and other random stuff
<Reply # 3 on 2/12/2011 2:05 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by 2Xplorations
good stuff


Chief Baconrind?


He was the principal chief of the Osage nation in the very early 1900s. I'm not sure about the name, but I do know that many of the Native American names were difficult to pronounce, so many Native American where given or chose a name, which became their "official" name. Native Americans chose these names based off how the name sounded, not understanding what it meant. It would be like you picking a name from a Swahili word that sounded cool but actually meant "toilet" in Swahili. Regardless of his name, he played an important role for the tribe and many of his actions accounted for the tribes wealth during the oil boom.


I've gotten the enjoyable task of working today to make up for the snow days. I'll get some more posted this evening, including some interior stuff.

Ruins, the fate of all cities.
dwtaylor999 


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Re: Ghost town, one room school houses, abandoned graveyards, and other random stuff
<Reply # 4 on 2/13/2011 8:36 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
continuing on...

Some additional pics of the Grayhorse school.


The side entrance with access to the main hall and gymnasium/auditorium.


The old gymnasium/auditorium combo. You can see the stage at the far end. The old goals are still hanging.


The main hallway.


Old crank windows above the doors for ventilation.


Old pump out the west entrance. It appears running water was added later. That old mower looks like a mankiller.


Where the old WPA plaque was mounted, long since removed.


The restroom.



The east entrance up close.


View from the playground.



Some additional pics of Skedee.

The school was a classic rural design. A central auditorium/gymnasium with classrooms at the corners with a stage on one side of the auditorium. Some interior shots of the old school.

The childrens names are still on the chairs


Some exciting reading here. I could feel myself dozing off just standing next to these old books.


The barbarians.


George is still keeping an eye on the place.


The old gymnasium/auditorium.


The old stage with its curtain. You can see the SGS (Skedee Grade School) moniker at the top.


An old trophy shelf.


View from the playground.


A couple of more shots of the infamous statue.



A few more of the Spring Creek School.




The old plaster and lathe, without the plaster.


A bit of the old window trim and bead board remains.



It appears someone liked the old hand pump to took a torch to it.


The old ever present cellar. Everyone of these old school houses I've found had a cellar. It is Oklahoma after all. Most times, it's all that remains.


I offer as evidence, the remnants of the old fairview school near the ghost town of Masham, OK. All that remains is some foundation stones and the old cellar.




In many of these small communities, the school served multiple purposes, such as church services, funeral services, community meetings and celebrations, weddings, etc.

On to a few more new items.

The small town of Ralston has an interesting history with its bridges and the Arkansas river. On one side this bridge is Osage county, based loosely on the area covered by the Osage nation. Access to the river and a viable crossing point where important things in the 1890's. There have been many bridges here due to the early flooding of the Arkansas. Those days are in the past as the river was damned in several locations. Ralston prospered because of its close proximity to the Osage nation, trading primarily in alcohol. Originally, crossing used ferries, then walking bridges, wagon bridges, and finally bridges capable of automotive traffic. Nature sometimes sped up the process.

An old photo of a ferry crossing at Ralston.


This was the "famous fish bridge", primarily designed for pedestrian traffic and the occasional horse, it was extremely popular as a fishing point, especially when the sand bass where running. It was destroyed by a flood.


This was a larger and more sturdy structure, but it to succumbed to the river. This picture was taken shortly before it was destroyed. Notice the high water almost engulfing it in the photo and the idiots standing on it.


After the flood.


This was yet another iteration, always getting larger. The concrete remains of this one can still be seen if you know where to look.


This is the current Arkansas river bridge at Ralston, built in 1935. It has withstood the river, but not time. It is scheduled for demolition and replacement sometime in 2012. A classic steel truss bridge, I'm sure it will be replaced with a nice boring concrete structure.


This was the First National Bank building in Ralston, built in 1902. It was a federally charted bank and was like all national banks at the time, allowed to print their own money. This was before big brother FED existed, and it was an early experiment to try and ensure an adequate money supply. Essentially, the banks put up a deposit and where allowed to issue bank notes up to 90 percent of their deposit. Many of these banks, including this one, failed during the Great Depression, and these bank issued notes are highly prized by collectors.


According the legend, when the bank was on the verge of failure, the bank president grabbed all the remaining cash, about $10,000 or so, a fortune in those days, and took off. They finally caught up to him in Chicago and he was later sentenced to a lengthy term in prison, where he died. The money was never recoverd. His wife continued to live in Ralston, seemingly in comfort until she passed away years later. She always claimed no knowledge of the money or its whereabouts. This is an interior shot of the old bank with the bank president.


This is an image of a First National Bank of Ralston bank note. The last published sale price for one was in 1999, and it went for just under six grand. In the last decade, only one of the Ralston notes has been up for auction, and its sale price was not disclosed. To date, there are only six known remaining notes from this bank.


The old bank building set vacant for decades, but was purchased by a local bank and refurbished back to its former glory about 10 years ago. It is still an active branch. The building was constructed from locally quarried sandstone with the redstone imported from a quarry in Kansas. I really wish I could have taken some photos before the renovation, but that was before it was really a hobby.


A few other items that I'm still working on in Ralston.

The old Hardware store and Opera House.




The old jail.


The old church.


The old Odd Fellows Building.


The old service station.


No hobo's are crack heads where I'm prospecting, but I do meet up with some interesting characters and other hazards.





Off to bed!




















[last edit 2/13/2011 8:49 AM by dwtaylor999 - edited 2 times]

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Re: Ghost town, one room school houses, abandoned graveyards, and other random stuff
<Reply # 5 on 2/13/2011 5:09 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
EXCELLENT posts,thanks for sharing! Would love to see more sometime.

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Re: Ghost town, one room school houses, abandoned graveyards, and other random stuff
<Reply # 6 on 2/14/2011 6:17 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
All very nice and very interesting too. You've found a ton of great stuff; thanks for sharing it here!

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Re: Ghost town, one room school houses, abandoned graveyards, and other random stuff
<Reply # 7 on 2/14/2011 6:49 PM >
Posted on Forum: Infiltration Forums
 
It was nice to see those trophies still in the case. I figured those would have been stolen a long time ago.
I like these photos, they remind me of home. (Kansas)

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Re: Ghost town, one room school houses, abandoned graveyards, and other random stuff
<Reply # 8 on 2/14/2011 9:42 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Enjoyed the history lesson. Great stuff, keep up the great work.

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Re: Ghost town, one room school houses, abandoned graveyards, and other random stuff
<Reply # 9 on 2/15/2011 7:35 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Awesome pics and history. Thanks for sharing. And i agree about the trophies. That's a pretty cool place considering all that was still in there.

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Re: Ghost town, one room school houses, abandoned graveyards, and other random stuff
<Reply # 10 on 2/17/2011 5:09 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
AMAZING pics! You folks make me so happy!

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Re: Ghost town, one room school houses, abandoned graveyards, and other random stuff
<Reply # 11 on 6/13/2011 2:22 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Wow!

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[last edit 6/13/2011 2:22 AM by 812 scumbag - edited 1 times]

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Re: Ghost town, one room school houses, abandoned graveyards, and other random stuff
<Reply # 12 on 6/13/2011 2:35 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Outstanding set and enlightening history! Good research.

People sure did have some strange names...

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UER Forum > Archived US: South > Ghost town, one room school houses, abandoned graveyards, and other random stuff (Viewed 1945 times)



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