ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Fascinating and Unusual Photographs from Oklahoma

Updated on December 12, 2017
Urbane Chaos profile image

Eric Standridge is a freelance writer with an interest in history. His main focus is writing about Oklahoma.

Since the dawn of Oklahoma, people have traveled all across the state in order to photograph both the natural and man made wonders that the state has to offer.

These photographs below represent only a tiny portion of the unusual and fascinating places in Oklahoma. There are thousands of photographs of popular attractions and places throughout Oklahoma, however, those "hidden gems" throughout the state seem to have been rarely documented.

In this article, it is the authors intent to highlight a couple of these places and to explain a little of the history behind them. In addition, the author urges you to get out and explore your world; to take time to search out and discover these "hidden gems" that are all around us.

Photographs from Outside Chelsea, Oklahoma

There is a lot of speculation about this old building, and many of the old stories are simply not true. One of the most popular stories was that this was an old Indian school built in the late 1800's. This legend has finally been laid to rest...

This building was built in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration and served the community around Chelsea for many years. It had a large gabled roof. The windows, that reached to the eaves, had a green sheet metal inserts to protect against the elements. In the 1970s, a large additional structure was attached to the back of the building. Still standing in 1985, this building was 79' wide by 67' long and was used during this time as a private residence. Shortly afterwards, the building burnt down and has never been rebuilt.

Old truck outside the Waller School
Old truck outside the Waller School

Photograph from Hollister, Oklahoma

This wall is all that remains of a large school house. While the bricks from this building were recycled, somehow the pillars were overlooked and still remain standing. Hollister, Oklahoma, (population 60)

Photograph from McAlester, Oklahoma

McAlester is a place full of hidden treasures. Usually, when people think of McAlester, they think of places such as the Aldridge Hotel and the Masonic Lodge - all in South McAlester; however, not many take the time to visit "Old McAlester" on the north side. This is where J.J. McAlester formed the first town before the railroads came through.

North McAlester is full of places to visit. Some of these places include: J. J. McAlester Mansion, Old Town Historic District, Tannehill Family Heirlooms & Gun Museum, etc. - there's a lot going on in this area.

This horse-riding-prisoner statue was found in North McAlester, towards the end of the old business district.

Photograph from Picher, Oklahoma

During the early 1900s, Picher, Oklahoma was a thriving mining town. Hundreds of people flocked there to work in the mines. The town was shut off from the rest of the world in 2009 by the U.S. Government. A century of unrestricted subsurface excavation dangerously undermined most of Picher's town buildings and left giant piles of toxic lead-contaminated mine tailings (known as chat) heaped throughout the area. Today, all that is left is crumbling ruins.

Photograph from the Wichita Mountains

In our history classes, we all learned that Oklahoma was once part of the Louisiana Territory.. but, few people realize the significance of that.

The Louisiana Territory was once an administrative district of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1764 to 1803. During this time, Spanish explorers roamed throughout the region. Many were missionaries, others were explorers, and still more were out to find riches in gold.

During the late 1700's, the Wichita Mountains was teeming with these early prospectors. It is unknown when gold veins were first discovered there, but the tales of riches in the area was enough to lure a great number of prospectors into the area.

In a route that followed the Red River, the Spaniards would travel from the old world, up the Mississippi, down the Red River, and cross the country until they reached the Wichita Mountains. As more people arrived, small colonies were set up to support the gold mining activities in the area. Although virtually no trace of these colonies still exist, interviews of early settlers recall seeing "ancient" ruins of these miners from yesterday. Legend says that there was once a thriving own in the Wichitas. This town was circled by wood stockades to help protect against Indian attacks. Inside, there were numerous buildings, including a large Spanish fort. In fact, pieces of chain mail, rusted Spanish handcuffs, and even what appeared to be a rusted halberd lance has been found in the surrounding areas.

The image pictured here is a reproduction of a Spanish arrasta. A heavy log was attached in the middle and at the other end mules were used to swing the log around the rock frame of the arresta. As the log swung around the circle, it would grind the rocks together. As the rocks were ground, the Spaniards would search for gold in the resulting flakes. Most often, they came up empty-handed, but occasionally a small nugget or two could be found.

By the time of the mini-gold rush in the Wichita's started in the late 1870's, very little still remained of these old mining camps.

Satallite Views of Oklahoma

Sometimes, the most fascinating views of Oklahoma can only be seen from the sky. These images below were taken from Google Earth and show some of the more unusual aerial wonders that can be seen in Oklahoma.

Admiral Twin, Tulsa Oklahoma
Admiral Twin, Tulsa Oklahoma
The U.S.S. Batfish in Muskogee, Oklahoma
The U.S.S. Batfish in Muskogee, Oklahoma
Chisholm Trail Park, Yukon, Oklahoma
Chisholm Trail Park, Yukon, Oklahoma

© 2012 Eric Standridge


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      4 years ago from North Central Florida

      Taking a look at historical places in our state is such a lovely way to share those treasures with those of us who have not visited there. I am so intrigued by historical places so found this a real pleasure to read.

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

    • profile image

      Jon Kirk Edwards 

      7 years ago

      Born in Oklahoma City. Grew up in Muskogee and lived in Vinita, Bartlesville and Tulsa at different times of course. Traveled some in other areas but never with the time to enjoy so many of the historical sites and learn the history..This is really nice..Thank you to all who make it possible for us to view and read the bits of history. Hats of to Mr. Okie Traveler.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)