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Searching for abandoned places in Oklahoma? You’re in the right place. Below are 22 of my favorite abandoned places across the state!
Abandoned Places In Oklahoma
1. Meridian Community Church
Meridian takes its name from the Indian Meridian that runs through it. The Meridian Right-of-way and Townsite Company laid out the townsite in 1902, and numerous residences were built quickly.
The Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad passed through town in 1902. Much of the downtown was destroyed in a fire in 1908. When the town experienced a modest economic boom in 1920, grocery stores, cafes, music parlors, blacksmith shops, and businesses were established.
The abandoned church quietly decays. The windows are boarded and the structure is sealed but the grass around the church is still mowed by a caretaker.
2. Picher Ghost Town
As the Tri-State district grew, lead and zinc ore was found on Harry Crawfish’s claim in 1913, and mining commenced. Picher, named for O. S. Picher, the proprietor of Picher Lead Company, sprung up overnight around the new workings. Picher came into being in 1918, and by 1920, it had a population of 9,726 people. Peak population was 14,252 in 1926, followed by a slow fall owing to a reduction in mining activities, leaving Picher with just 2,553 persons in 1960.
The city had 1,640 people, 621 households, and 417 families left according to the 2000 census. The city of Picher was formally dis-incorporated by the state of Oklahoma on September 1, 2009, and its official functions stopped on that day. The population fell from 1,640 at the time of the 2000 census to 20 at the time of the 2010 census.
Picher, a former city in Ottawa County, is now a ghost town. Decades of unrestrained underground mining endangered the majority of Picher’s town structures and left massive amounts of toxic metal-contaminated mine tailings piled around the area.
3. Computer Factory Outlet
It’s like a time capsule from the personal computer sector in the early 2000s. Dell and Gateway boxes are pressed up against the window, turning yellow in the sunlight. Beige PC towers stand in ragged heaps. The shop is a treasure mine of gadgets and supplies from the early 2000s.
This computer business in Norman, Oklahoma looks to have been seized as a result of losing a case in the early 2000s owing to an uncertain financial transaction. A 2007 court action involving the business and its owner is a tangled jumble of accusations and counterclaims between the owner and a hedge firm that gave them money in 2001.
It appears to be a property in limbo. Those [PC] towers are lost in time, trapped in it. Of all the abandoned places in Oklahoma Computer Factory Outlet makes me feel the most nostalgic. While the days of dial-up and LAN parties are over, I’d still love to see this place preserved as an ode to simpler times.
4. Abundant Life Building
Constructed in 1958 amid the midcentury modernist, futuristic architectural movement, it was created as the global headquarters for Oral Roberts Ministries, which at the time was a massive televangelist organization with millions of followers worldwide.
A large, windowless, seven-story concrete block sitting idle in south downtown Tulsa is regarded one of the most unusual and interesting buildings in Tulsa.
It has been idle, boarded up, and closed to the public since the mid-1970s. While there has been some debate of repairing this relic in order for it to experience a greater abundance of life.
5. Historic Route 66 Gas Station
The building’s age is unknown, however based on its architecture and initial use, it was most likely built about 1920. Times were tough for small companies in the early 1930s, during the height of the Great Depression, especially in rural farming villages like Arcadia. So when a guy drove by for a fill-up and handed the owner a set of currency plates, the owner saw dollar signs—or, more precisely, 10-dollar signs.
They began producing $10 notes in the rear of the station, handing them off to unsuspecting customers and even spending a few on their way about town. The ploy didn’t endure, and when the owner was spotted attempting to pass a bill, the game was over. The plates were finally discovered, and the petrol station was forced to close.
It had degraded over the years to the point that it was reduced to stone pillars and brick walls, with some sympathetic graffiti within.
6. Texola Ghost Town
Texola is a town in Beckham County, Oklahoma, that is located in the United States. The population was 36 at the time of the 2010 census.
The town of Texola was founded in the early 1900s and was claimed by both Oklahoma and Texas, giving it several names such as Texokla and Texoma. Beckham County claimed it after statehood in 1907, and the community prospered for many years.
Texola had a population of 106 people in 1980. Texola has lost over 58 percent of its population by the time the next census was taken in 1990, leaving only 45 individuals in the town. The Dust Bowl and the introduction of the neighboring I-40 caused a demographic drop in Texola.
This ghost town has many cool abandoned structures left in town like Magnolia Service Station, and Tumbleweed Grill & Country Store.
7. One Room Jail
The structure, which was built out of cinder blocks towards the end of the 1800s, is only one room with an iron barred door. The inside also has an iron-barred window and exhibits on infamous criminals.
Outside, there is a randomly built tombstone-style memorial honoring the 1938 graduating high school class. Texola is a little, mostly uninhabited ghost town on the Oklahoma-Texas border. The Texola One Room Jail is a bizarre roadside attraction along Route 66.
The majority of the town has been abandoned, and the little jail, which has not been used in decades, is now a roadside attraction.
8. Gandini’s Circus
Gandini’s Circus was in business from the early 1900s through the mid-1930s. The circus visited various states and spent the winter in Edmond. In 1943, a man called Howard Suesz purchased Gandini’s Circus’s surviving assets and utilised them to establish the Clyde Bros.
Circus, an indoor circus that performed in stadiums and arenas and did a lot of work for the Shriners. Suesz founded the Hagen Bros. Circus in 1949 as an outdoor alternative to Clyde Bros., which was a more typical tent performance. Clyde Bros. and Hagen Bros., both utilized the Edmond property as a winter camp.
The entire place has a pretty spooky vibe about it. On the property, there have been several stories of ghost sightings. The land is private, but the rusting gate at the end of the driveway allows you to see some of it.
9. Hopewell Heritage Foundation
The church was built in the 1950s in what was then rural Oklahoma, just outside of Edmond. The Hopewell Heritage Foundation, Inc. was founded in February 2003 with the objective of preserving every resource that God has entrusted to its guardianship, with a special goal of rehabilitating the edifice formerly known as Hopewell Baptist Church, affectionately known as the “Tepee Church.”
The Foundation’s aim was to historically restore Goff’s sentinel on the prairie as a continuous gift to Oklahoma and others, commemorating the effort and grit that created Hopewell Baptist Church as well as Bruce Goff’s distinctive architectural design.
The church was abandoned in the 1980s owing to maintenance concerns, and the congregation relocated to a less visually appealing edifice next door. However, they continued to strive to address the church’s leaks and structural difficulties, and in 2014, the Hopewell Baptist Church received a new roof, with more improvements planned thanks to funding provided by a private donor.
Despite this funding, the church’s fate remains unclear, and still stands as of the more interesting abandoned places in Oklahoma you can explore.
10. Skedee Ghost Town
Skedee is a community in Pawnee County, Oklahoma, located in the United States. Skedee was known as “Lemert,” a name derived from the Lemert family, the area landowners.
Agriculture has always been the backbone of Skedee’s economy. Local farmers farmed animals, and cotton was their main source of income. By 1909, the community had four churches, a public school, and a bank.
The rural village was supported by a feed mill, a grain elevator, and a cotton gin. Residents were supplied by a fuel station, cotton, grain, and produce firm, and flour and feed company in the 1940s and 1950s.
The population was 51 at the time of the 2010 census, a 50% decrease from 102 at the time of the 2000 census. The Bond of Friendship monument is one of the most notable structures that still exist in the heart of town.
11. Sleepy Hollow Restaurant
The beginnings of Sleepy Hollow may be traced back to 1946, when the Hilltop Restaurant debuted in Eula Erixon’s house. Sleepy Hollow, amid the forested suburbs north of the State Capitol, has long been famed for its fried chicken.
A traveler said that he was urged to try the steaks, but with so many wonderful steakhouses in OKC and so few restaurants that serve genuinely amazing fried chicken, he has stayed with what he believe is Sleepy Hollow’s claim to fame. The restaurant was foreclosed on in 1993, and the Erixons’ firm went bankrupt.
The property was to be auctioned off on June 11, 2012 but still remains in rough shape.
12. Clearview Ghost Town
Clearview being located eight miles southeast of Okemah in Okfuskee County, is one of more than fifty All-Black communities in Oklahoma, and one of just thirteen currently in existence. The community was established in 1903 along the Fort Smith and Western Railroad tracks.
To recruit settlers and publicise the colony, J. A. Roper, Lemuel Jackson, and John Grayson platted the town site and founded the Lincoln Townsite Company. The village had a two-story hotel and a print business by 1904. Clearview inhabitants benefited from a brick school building and two churches from the beginning.
Clearview had only 47 residents according to the 1990 census. The community still sponsored an annual rodeo and had 56 residents at the turn of the 21st century. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there were 48 people residing there.
While there are a lot of abandoned places in Oklahoma, Clearview is one of the most authentic ghost towns with many surviving homes and businesses.
13. Hollister School Ruins
Hollister is located in Oklahoma Highway 54, ten miles southeast of Frederick in Tillman County. The communities of Isadora and Parton were firmly developed by 1907. On February 1, 1909, a post office was created. Businesses and churches were quick to purchase lots.
A Reeves steam engine relocated eighteen structures from Parton, and numerous new brick buildings were built. Parton’s two wells were used to supply water. Local school districts merged, and a brick structure was constructed in 1922. Ball clubs, 4-H teams, music groups, and other organizations all performed admirably.
The high school closed in 1963, while the elementary school closed in 1968. A town board system of governance was established, which lasted until the twenty-first century.
Hollister had a post office, a Baptist church, and two grain elevators that serviced area farmers. The town has 50 residents according to the 2010 census. While there are certainly more exciting abandoned places in Oklahoma, the Hollister School ruins are still a unique place to explore.
14. Gold Belle Mine And Milling Co
The Gold Bell Cyanide Mill, located one and one-half miles south and one-fourth mile east of Wildman, was built by Wildman and Williams. Around 1900, the Gold Belle Mining and Milling Company was established. They built a 50-ton cyanide mill to treat ore from the Gold Bell mine and other nearby mines.
A 1/4 mile overhead tramway was used to convey the ore to the mill. No ore was ever processed, and the owners salted the mine to get rid of it and the mill. A muzzle-loaded shotgun was used to inject gold dust into the mine’s walls. The stock was then sold in the mine for one dollar per share, as reported. It is reported that 270,000 shares were sold.
The water cooling tower’s towering concrete stairs and base may still be seen on the west side of US Highway 183, south of Roosevelt. While there are more exciting abandoned places in Oklahoma, history buffs might enjoy digging through the ruins to find what’s left behind.
15. Concho School
Both the Arapaho and Cheyenne boarding schools were dissolved in 1908, and the government sold the properties. In 1909, the Darlington Agency was likewise dissolved and transferred to Concho. In 1909, the new Concho Boarding School opened its doors.
It went back to farming and self-sufficiency. Concho Boarding School had a total of 133 boys and 117 girls in 1932. During the Dust Bowl, however, the school faltered. There were 362 dust storms in the nearby region between 1933 and 1937, along with tornadoes and flash flooding.
The Concho School Indian school is one of my personal favorite abandoned places in Oklahoma. From its unique art to sheer size, there’s something for all explorers at this location.
The school was closed after the graduation ceremonies on May 14, 1982, due to government funding cuts and falling enrolment. Despite the fact that parents and the tribe fought the closure and secured an injunction to prevent it, the school was permanently shuttered at the conclusion of the 1983 academic year.
16. Squaw Drive-In Theater
On September 11, 1948, “There Goes My Heart” by Fredric March premiered. The Squaw Drive-In, located west of El Reno on historic Route 66, was operated by Video Independent Theaters Inc. by 1955. The theatre is made of solid cinder blocks and has withstood the test of time.
The screen is small, as opposed to the widescreen format used by most other Oklahoma drive-in cinemas. The concession booth is still hidden behind the screen, surrounded by lush grass. Martin Theatres took control in 1983, and it closed about 1985.
Today not much is left of the drive-in. Explorers can still find the old screens and some ruins of the old concession stands and office buildings.
17. Fort El Reno Officer’s Quarters
Fort Reno is a former US Army cavalry station located west of El Reno, Oklahoma. It is named for General Jesse L. Reno, who died during the American Civil War in the Battle of South Mountain. Fort Reno originated in July 1874 as a temporary garrison near the Darlington Agency, which required protection from an Indian rebellion that eventually led to the Red River War.
The Historic Fort Reno Grounds feature 25 historic structures as well as the Post Cemetery, which is located one mile west of the Old Quadrangle or Parade Grounds. The initial focus of building stability and repair is on structures next to or near the Parade Grounds. In 1970, Fort Reno was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today Fort Reno and its surrounding buildings are preserved and available for explorers to tour. Fort Reno is one of the few abandoned places in Oklahoma that is legal to explore.
18. Miller Brothers 101 Ranch
Before statehood, the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch was a 110,000-acre (45,000 ha) cattle ranch in Oklahoma’s Indian Territory in the vicinity of modern-day Ponca City.
Col. George Washington Miller established the 101 Ranch in 1893, and after his death, the ranch was passed down to his three sons, Zack, Joe, and George. While Zack concentrated on the ranch’s oil production and George on its finances, Joe created the 101 Real Wild West Show and began traveling in 1906. Lucile Mulhall, Buffalo Bill, Geronimo, and Bill Picket performed in the show. Tom Mix and Buck Jones’ careers were aided by the program.
In 1975, a small piece of the ranch land was recognized as a National Historic Landmark. The 101 Ranch home and the majority of the other structures were demolished. The 101 Ranch shop stood until September 22, 1987, when it was destroyed by an unknown cause fire. Today, just a few of the 101 Ranch structures remain intact.
19. Afton Motel
The community of Afton is located on the southern end of Route 66’s 1926 alignment known as the “Ribbon Road,” which has a tiny nine-foot-wide highway. The name Afton is derived from the name of a river in Ayrshire, Scotland, known as “River Afton” or “Afton Water.”
It was popularized in a poem by Robert Burns (1759 -1796), which led to the naming of various American cities after Afton. John Foley developed the seven-unit Avon Motel on Afton’s west side in 1936. The cottages were divided by carports. Only three of the original seven cottages are still standing, and they are in shambles. This is one of the people’s favorite Route 66 hotel ruins. The hotel was operating until at least 1960.
The Afton Motel is one of the more iconic abandoned places in Oklahoma because of its proximity to Route 66. If you’re nearby be sure to check it out, and if you’re planning your Route 66 trip make sure don’t pass up the Afton.
20. Centralia Ghost Town
Not to be confused with Centralia, PA, Centralia in Oklahoma is a ghost town that was first incorporated in 1898. The town prospered briefly in the early 1900s before failing completely around 1915. A series of fires was largely responsible for the town’s failure along with the proposed railroad being canceled.
After the second fire destroyed close to one-third of the town in 1917, many people left for good. By 1980 only 43 residents were recorded by census takers. In 2010 only eight residents remained.
You can find various wooden structures rotting as well as several overgrown and decaying abandoned buildings scattered throughout Centralia.
21. Fallis Ghost Town
Fallis was established in 1892, immediately south of an Indian hamlet on the western boundary of the Iowa Reservation. The village was founded on the western fringe of the Iowa Reservation and was originally called Mission. The name was changed to Fallis in 1894 in honor of its principal developer and first postmaster, Judge
William H. Fallis. Fallis was a busy small hamlet with stores, hotels, banks, lumber yards, and other enterprises, as well as a city hall in the early 1900s. During this time, the population might have reached 400. Fallis was the home of some well-known authors and poets.
Following the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and the demise of the railroad, the population had dropped to just 105 persons by 1950 and much of the town was destroyed by fire in 1960. Fallis, on the other hand, still has a volunteer fire station and a community center which was completed in 1999.
22. Boynton Ghost Town
Boynton, Oklahoma was once a thriving town bustling with activity. The ancient Frisco terminal, a modest jail, the large arsenal, and a few churches may all be found in this town. It used to be an African Masonic town.
Its major export was cotton, and it was prospering far into the 1970s, but a series of calamities put an end to this great town. First, the employments were relocated to Muskogee, Okmulgee, and Tulsa. Boynton’s final nail in the coffin was a series of three robberies that forced the town’s sole convenience shop to shut.
On the main street, there are several lovely structures. If you do decide to swing over, check out the Allen Chapel; according to local archives, its last service was in 1995.
Go out and explore!
That concludes our list of abandoned places in Oklahoma, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and find some places for yourself. There are plenty of places I kept off this list so get out there and explore.