Monday, March 23, 2009

Lake Eufaula, OK

Since I have been in Eufaula now for a couple of weeks and will probably be here for at least a few more days, I decided to write about the area. Of course it is in Oklahoma, but it is located in the southeast corner. Lake Eufaula is the largest lake in Oklahoma contained completely inside the state. The lake was created by placing a dam on the Canadian River, 27 miles upstream from where it flows into the Arkansas River. Three rivers in Oklahoma feed this lake, the North and South Canadian Rivers as well as the Deep Fork River. It also has some historical significance as the home of Belle Starr, one the west's notorious female outlaws. The Younger-James gang was also reputed to have one of their hideouts in an area just below where the dam now resides. South of here in Wilberton, OK, is Robbers Cave State Park where there is more evidence of the James Gang hanging out in this area of Oklahoma during his bandit years.

My parents bought a lot on Lake Eufaula when I was only 12 (don't ask how many years ago that was because I'm not telling). Of course it was fully wooded then and since then there has
been a succession of trailer homes prior to this final modular home being placed on the property. In 1994 my parents moved from Oklahoma City to Eufaula after my dad announced he was tired of maintaining 2 homes.

They also have a boat dock on the water, even though they do not have a lake front lot. They say the Corp of Engineers, who own the lake, no longer allow more docks to be added to the existing number, so for anyone who has one, it is a prized possession.

But this is one reason I'm not particularly fond of this lake. It is so large that even a mild wind can bring whitecaps, but when the wind is strong, which is often in Oklahoma, then you have waves like those above.

Here is the main boat dock and marina in town.

Main Street Eufaula, OK. Like many other rural towns it has its share of closed storefronts.

Eufaula claims many famous people, including the Creek poet, Alexander Posey. The town started to develop following the arrival of the Katy Railroad in 1872. But the area was popular with the Creek Indians for many years prior. It has long been a gathering place for the Creeks, holding many Pow Wows and Indian Conferences.

It also boasts as to being the home of many famous OU football players. Several have gone on to play, at least for a season, in the professional football leagues, while J.C. Watts, Jr., became a republican senator for the state of Oklahoma.

Not too far from my parents is a COE recreation area. On my way I noticed the sign for an Indian church, the Tuskegee Indian Baptist Church.

As you can see, this church has been around a long time, but I believe the church I photographed is not the original building. There were several older buildings near the current church.

This is Mill Creek Recreation Area. There were several RV sites right on the water. There is also a boat ramp and a nice area to kayak.

A close up of one of the RV sites. And of course if you hold a Golden Age/Access pass it is 1/2 off the daily fee of $7. Can't beat a bargain like that for a waterfront site.

So you don't miss the turn off.


Diana said...

Looks like a really nice area, and Mill Creek looks like somewhere I'd like to go. We miss you! Hurry back soon.

Barbara and Ron said...

Interesting place. I think they missed one of their famous natives - what about the charming Lady Nomad? I hope your mother is doing better.