Tag Archives: ghost town

Wandering Iris Tuesday Pik – Picher, Oklahoma

This week is not a happy Pik, but it’s a story that needs to be told.  Picher Oklahoma is one of America’s most polluted places and includes the small town of Cardin, 2 miles to the southwest.  The pollution is due to the mining of lead and zinc.  A study in 1996 showed lead poisoning in 34% of the children in Picher.

To add insult to injury, it was hit by an EF4 tornado in 2008.  The last class to graduate from the High School was in 2009.  There were 11 students graduating.

Picher and Cardin are now ghost towns.  These photos tell the story.

 

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These hills are are piles of slag, left overs of the extensive mining.

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A Forgotten Piece of History in the Middle of No-Wheresville, Missouri

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Spencer, Missouri.  A long forgotten tiny town along an equally forgotten section of the great Mother Road, Route 66.  Here lies a piece of Route 66 that even most Missourians don’t know about.  This piece of Route 66 is barely over a mile long and is bypassed by State Route 96.

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 We found Spencer, MO early one Saturday morning when we were out for what we call our sunrise coffee drive.  We took pictures, peeked in windows and then researched it’s history after we got home.

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 We didn’t find very much information.  A post office was set there sometime around the end of the Civil War.  The population was never very much, and before Route 66 was built it was pretty much a ghost town.  When Route 66 was built through Spencer the town came alive again.  A man named Sydney Casey bought the land that the town sat on around 1925 and built a gas station.  It did a pretty good business and soon a café, store and barber shop were also opened.

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 With opening of Interstate 44 several miles to the south of Spencer the town fell into a decline and became a ghost town again.  Not too many years ago the Ryan family from Kansas purchased the land from Kent Casey, the grandson of Sydney.

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 The Ryans have put a lot of time into their project of restoring the one building that is left.

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 Spencer lies about 20 miles west of Springfield, Missouri, very close to I-44.  The easiest way to get there is to get on I-44 at Springfield and head west to the Avilla/Hwy 96 exit.  Travel west on 96 about 3 miles, turn left on County Road N.  Turn right at the first road you see, the bridge is Route 66.