The Places Before the Places

Sometimes people can assume that because they have always known of an area being a certain way, it had no existence before that time.  It was vague, foggy, and a blank canvas before some magic time of development.  The huge sprawling town? Why there was nothing here but waving grass, right?

Anyone who has driven through Oklahoma City has crossed "Council" heading west out of town or into two from the west.  Nice name, has a ring to it doesn't it?   People never realize that it refers to a special portion of land from a time decades before major settlement arrived in runs or land lotteries.

"Council Grove was described as - "The area included all of Bethany south of N.W. 42nd Street and extended southward to a half mile south of N.W. 10th Street and from Council Road eastward for about three miles. It was soon deemed practical to move a sawmill from Darlington (near Fort Reno) to near the present N.W. 10th Street Bridge. (Doug Dawgz Blog)

 In the 1850's until the outbreak of the Civil War, trader Jesse Chisholm and various Native groups would meet at this historic council grounds for business (Stan Hoig. Cowtown Wichita. University of New Mexico Press, 2007, pg.47). On some old maps it is identified as the "Timber Res." and the "Timber Military Reservation". It was part of the "Unassigned Lands."

In a similar vein, Oklahoma City, "born grown" in the 1889 land run, actually replaced a supply depot called Oklahoma Station.

A survey of an old 1920's atlas of the states reveals the names of many a small town that disappeared with time: Morgan, Erwin, Silver City, Moral, Cereal, etc.   Some, never even made it to ghost town status and others were simply swallowed whole leaving evidence of their presence only in street names, depot designations, or housing developments.

No comments:

I Write Like...

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

Expanded and Revised Edition

Expanded and Revised Edition
Coming Soon!