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EXPLORE A GHOST TOWN A


re you interested in history and want to get outside for the sum- mer? Exploring Oklahoma ghost towns may be a good option.


There are hundreds of old towns that no longer ex-


ist in Oklahoma. Some are nothing more than a spot on a map, while at other towns you can see remnants of old buildings, sidewalks and even a few businesses or houses still in use. Oklahoma wasn’t fully settled until the late 1800s. Many towns sprang out of the prairies to service nearby farmers and ranchers. As roads and transportation improved, some of these smaller towns dis- appeared, yet their remains can sometimes still be found. The best reference to fi nd these last vestiges of rural towns is “Ghost


Towns of Oklahoma” written by John Morris and published by the University of Oklahoma Press. It provides detailed history on ghost towns all across Oklahoma, along with pictures and location informa- tion. He describes how they were established, the activities surrounding the town, and why the towns faded away. This excellent historical re- cord provides readers with interesting information about each town and how to fi nd remnants of the town today. Although written in 1978, most of the information is accurate today. Keep a copy in your car and the next time you run across an Oklahoma ghost town, read the book


Abandoned homes like this one near Perkins, Okla., dot the Oklahoma countryside.


to learn more of the history of the town. The book was written before GPS technology was available, so the author used township and range coordinates. This can spot the location within one square mile. Writer James Pratt translated the township and range coordinates from Ghost Towns of Oklahoma into GPS waypoints in Google Maps. Visit this site to view a map of the ghost towns, and download a .KML fi le for use in a variety of GPS units to navigate to each town: https://goo.gl/BUKZki


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