Picher, OK — 2011

04 Aug

Bulldozing started in February. Most of the weathered vacant homes are gone.  Lots lay empty with nothing more than cracked cement driveways, beat up mailboxes, and some weeds swaying along the road.  Tractors can be heard chugging along in the distance on lonely streets.  The chat piles remain. 

This town’s story won’t be rewritten here.  These are some links you may connect to for a brief story of Picher.  PBS                   LA Times
Last summer I found this ghost town while driving toward Baxter Springs and Galena, Kansas.  It was an odd feeling driving on the main street through town.  Rather surreal.  Perhaps it was the ticking of time that kept me from stopping to learn more of this unforgotten place that some refuse to leave. 

The phamacy remains.  In fact, the pharmacy opens at 11.  I know this because I drove around the block at 10:50 a.m. and observed 4 or 5 cars sitting on the north parking lot occupied by locals.  I came around one more time and it was just a few minutes before the hour and several were getting out of their cars and walking toward the door where the “Closed” sign had been flipped around.  

The Mining museum remains.  Perhaps it always will. 

The ball park is nothing more than a field of overgrown trees and weeds, fence posts leaning and the old scoreboard full of memories hidden by nature’s constant change. 

I did not return in time to explore the area.  This is all that I recorded that warm morning of July 26, 2011.  A track hoe turned onto West A Street while I watched a paper cup bounce along the pavement by the wind. 


Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Black and White, Oklahoma, Photography


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4 responses to “Picher, OK — 2011

  1. Krista

    August 5, 2011 at 2:03 am

    This is both sad and wonderful. I love the pictures you captured and wish I knew the stories behind this place.

  2. Bobby

    August 5, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Rather Desolate. What attracts you to these places? I like desolate beaches but this is different.

  3. lowandslow

    August 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    As you know all too well, there are dead or dying small rural towns everywhere. An entire way of life will some day only be remembered in dusty old books and/or, thankfully, in photos like yours. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  4. Les

    August 6, 2011 at 6:30 am

    There is something hauntingly attractive about places like this, but then you know that.


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