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Ghost Town of Picher, Oklahoma 

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  #1  
Old 10-03-2013, 11:21 PM
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Ghost Town of Picher, Oklahoma

In my travels recently, I came across (rather, I specifically hunted down, since I love this stuff ) the ghost town of Picher, Oklahoma. It had only been abandoned in recent years due to the results of lead and zinc mining and the inadvertent lead contamination that occurred as a result. A double whammy occurred when, in 2008, an F4 tornado wiped the southern half of the city off the map. I'll let Wikipedia fill in a few details that I currently feel too lazy to type up myself:

Quote:
Picher is a ghost town and former city in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, United States. Formerly a major national center of lead and zinc mining at the heart of the Tri-State Mining District, over a century of unrestricted subsurface excavation dangerously undermined most of Picher's town buildings and left giant piles of toxic metal-contaminated mine tailings (known as chat) heaped throughout the area. The discovery of the cave-in risks, groundwater contamination and health effects associated with the chat piles and subsurface shafts—particularly an alarming 1996 study which showed lead poisoning in 34% of the children in Picher[4]—eventually prompted a mandatory evacuation and buyout (via eminent domain) of the entire township by the Environmental Protection Agency and the incorporation of the town (along with the similarly contaminated satellite towns of Treece and Cardin) into the Tar Creek Superfund site.
A 2006 Army Corps of Engineers study showed 86% of Picher's buildings (including the town school) were badly undermined and subject to collapse at any time.[5] A F4 tornado which destroyed or damaged 150 homes in May 2008 accelerated the exodus. The town ceased official operations on September 1, 2009 and the population plummeted from 1,640 at the 2000 census to just 20 at the 2010 census. As of January 2011, only six homes and one business remain, their owners having refused to leave at any price; the rest of the town's buildings (excepting designated historical structures) are scheduled to be demolished by the end of the year.
Picher is among a small number of locations in the world (such as Gilman, Colorado and Wittenoom, Western Australia) to be evacuated and declared uninhabitable due to environmental and health damage caused by the mines the town once serviced.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picher,_Oklahoma

Most of the structures pictured in 2008 and found on the Wikipedia page were no longer there. Anyhow, here are some pics. Enjoy!

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Old 10-03-2013, 11:44 PM
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Re: Ghost Town of Picher, Oklahoma

That is so neat! For some reason looking at those pictures made me really sad.

Did you go "dumpster diving" and rummage the leftover stuff in the houses?

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Old 10-04-2013, 06:43 AM
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Re: Ghost Town of Picher, Oklahoma

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Originally Posted by amyy View Post
That is so neat! For some reason looking at those pictures made me really sad.

Did you go "dumpster diving" and rummage the leftover stuff in the houses?
The only house that I found anything in was that first house with the doll. The other houses had been emptied out. In that first house, I made sure not to disturb anything, since there was mold all over the place......even though I wanted to rummage really badly.

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Old 10-04-2013, 08:12 AM
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Re: Ghost Town of Picher, Oklahoma

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Originally Posted by Cumulonimbus View Post
The only house that I found anything in was that first house with the doll. The other houses had been emptied out. In that first house, I made sure not to disturb anything, since there was mold all over the place......even though I wanted to rummage really badly.
I would have gotten a stick and gone at it. I wouldnt have been able to resist!

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Old 10-04-2013, 01:32 PM
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Re: Ghost Town of Picher, Oklahoma

Looks like it could have made an interesting set in a Breaking Bad storyline.

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Old 10-05-2013, 12:29 AM
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Re: Ghost Town of Picher, Oklahoma

Thanks for posting

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Old 10-05-2013, 02:35 PM
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Re: Ghost Town of Picher, Oklahoma

This picture says it all and is quite sad:


Very good collection, thank you

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Old 10-05-2013, 03:35 PM
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Re: Ghost Town of Picher, Oklahoma

If anyone is interested I have some prime real estate for sale in beautiful downtown Picher, Oklahoma.

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Old 10-06-2013, 11:03 AM
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Re: Ghost Town of Picher, Oklahoma

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Originally Posted by blancadon View Post
If anyone is interested I have some prime real estate for sale in beautiful downtown Picher, Oklahoma.
Should be an easy sale. I hear lead is good for strong bones or something.

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Old 10-06-2013, 12:06 PM
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Re: Ghost Town of Picher, Oklahoma

Quote:
The town had more than 14,000 residents in the 1920s
Great set of images and really shows how this once florishing town turned into a few small remaining buildings.

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