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Thread: Ghost (?) Towns of Cimarron County, OK

  1. #1
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    Question Ghost (?) Towns of Cimarron County, OK

    Hi all,

    Glad to meet you.

    Yes, I'm a newbie. And I'm French, which probably explains my poor English.

    As strange as it seems, I have a real, old passion for the American West, its history, and its culture.

    I come to the US every 3-4 years, just to visit those remote western states Europeans normally never visit: Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, places like that.

    In August 1988, as I was travelling through the Wild West, I discovered Cimarron County, in the extreme West of the Oklahoma Panhandle, and I felt like I had found my second 'homeland'. Yes. Cimarron County, Oklahoma. Can you believe it?...

    I don't mean to bother you with a long, detailed story, so I'll simply say that people there turned out to be extremely friendly and hospitable, and also that I simply fell in love with the local landscapes, especially the wild, peaceful, gorgeous Kenton / Black Mesa area, in the northwestern corner of the county. I spent two unforgettable weeks there, before returning to France.

    I explored the area again in the early and mid-90s, then I decided the time had come to visit other places in the US... But I never forgot Cimarron County - and I'm firmly determined to explore it again, hopefully in 1 or 2 years.

    Many years ago I started a research on the history of the Oklahoma Panhandle. Now I intend to concentrate my research on the ghost towns of Cimarron County: Bakke (aka Esbon), Benola (aka Keota), Bertrand, Bruyere, Burton (aka Burton Jct.), Castaneda, Conrad Jct., Dee, Delfin, Delya, Doby, Felt, Gallienas, Garlington (aka Jurgensen), Garrett, Golf, Gresham, Griggs, Harmer Jct., Hidalgo, Hopkins, Hurley, Kimball, Ludlam, Marella, McCullough Jct., Metcalf, Mexhoma, Midwell, Mineral (aka Mineral City), Minnetonka, Myrna, Nieto Jct., Okshuskey, Pulis, Railey, Ramsey, Regnier, Sampsel, Sturgis, Tepee, Usna, Varney (Verne?), Wheeless, Wilkins, Willowbar.

    Thanks to usghosttowns.com, I know when these communities approximately appeared and 'died', but I'd like to know more (much more!) about them, and I thought that maybe you could help me.

    First of all, I'd like to know what these towns look like today. I'd like to know which of them are really 'dead', which of them are still 'alive', inhabited, or simply visible. I also would like to know their exact or approximate location, and how to reach them. Any info about their history would also be much appreciated.

    I guess my request is unusual, and I know I probably expect too much. But who knows? Maybe one of you knows Cimarron County like the back of his/her hand, and would be kind enough to give me some info.

    Anyway, thanks a lot for taking the time to read this long message

  2. #2
    old judge's Avatar
    old judge is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Default panhandle ghost towns

    Looks like slim pickin's Frenchie. My first step would be to look at each purported town on topozone and terraserver. Some of them will be findable and some info you desire can be gleaned. OLD JUDGE IN NORMAN, OKLAHOMA, HOME OF THE SOONERS.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Golf

    Golf was located about 7 miles E of Keyes, named for the Golf Creek. Post office from June 22, 1907 -- closed August 31, 1910.
    My great grandfather, Dr. W. McKay Dougan, died there in 1908 and was buried in Texhoma.
    I plan to look up Golf when I return in OK; I hope in May of 2007. I was born in Beaver County at Gate.

  4. #4
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    Default Willowbar

    Willowbar was the name of Keyes from 1906 to 1926.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I stumbled across this forum while researching some ghost towns in Cimarron County.

    Like the original poster, Cimarron County is one of my favorite places to travel. I have many fond memories of hiking Black Mesa *before* it was open to the general public, as well as viewing Monument Rock.

    John W. Morris' Ghost Towns of Oklahoma is a great place to start. The late Dr. Morris was geography professor at the University of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Panhandle was one of his pet research areas. In 1960, Morris and Arthur H. Doerr, another OU geography professor at the time, published an article on the Oklahoma Panhandle in The Geographical Review (journal). Although I've never been able to find it, one of the retired geography professors at the University of Central Oklahoma (Jimmy Rodgers) started research on the Black Mesa area, working under Dr. Morris, but I heard that the UCO professor quit his Ph.D. Dr. Gary Gress, of Norman, completed his doctoral dissertation on the School Lands of Oklahoma, focusing on Cimarron County. He's an instructor at OU.

    Other sources of information include the Chronicles of Oklahoma (Oklahoma Historical Society). Anything by Carl Coke Rister, Wardell (forget his first name), and Donald Green should be in the ballpark. There's a Panhandle Museum in Goodwell, Oklahoma, which has some historical information, as well as one in Boise City. Local Kenton residents, Mrs. Bonnie Heppard (served as postmistress for many years) and a local rancher might be able to give more information. I forget the rancher's name, but his son runs the Black Mesa Bed and Breakfast, which incidentally is a GREAT place to stay. j c

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