Picher, OK. 3/10/01
Last edited by friscomike; 02-24-2006 at 03:31 PM.
It is scheduled to be demolished within the next two weeks.
Thank you for the post. Do you know if the pending demolition is the result of tornado damage or Superfund work?
I just talked by phone to the author of book Tri-State Traction, Edward A. Conrad. He is also grateful for the update. His Heartland Publishing Company, P.O. Box 160, Blue Springs, MO 64013-0160, has published several books of interest to rail fans.
This book covers "The Interurban Trolleys of Southwest Missouri, Southeast Kansas and Northeast Oklahoma". The referenced book is a great history of the tri-state mineral district and the traction railroads that serviced the region.
There is extensive coverage of the area including the Northeast Oklahoma Railroad (NEO), which had a long time connection with and was eventually purchased by the Frisco. It includes many maps, photos, equipment rosters, etc. One of the most valuable chapters is "What's Left - Remnants from a Bygone Era" that includes detailed maps, photos and driving directions.
The Picher depot is located at the corner of US 69 (a/k/a Connell Street) and C Street and has been used as part of the local Church of the Nazarene. The NEO "fish hook" line between Cardin and Douthat, OK passed on the south side and the original SWM line ended on the north side.
If anyone is in the area, current photos would be appreciated before we loose another piece of our history.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by mark; 11-02-2009 at 05:47 PM.
Mark and the group,
No tornado damage, just part of the general cleanup going on. Several houses have be demolished, with the newer ones being moved. Several have been relocated to "New Picher", which is southeast of Quapaw. Ironically, this area is also on top of old mines near the Lincolnville townsite! Very strange to say the least. Most of the tornado damage was in the south part of town, where most of the new homes were.
Thanks to Bill Collins and Bob King a couple of pieces of the old depot will be saved. They got permission to remove a couple of the white roof brackets and they have been donated to the Heartlands railroad museum in Carona, Kansas. Not sure what we will do with them right away but we will keep them dry and safe and may use them on a future project.
Would it be possible for others to get brackets? It would be worth a trip up there to have a few. A couple might look nice in my layout room, or on the back patio.
"hanging out on the Bentonvile Branch"
Not sure, the building may be gone now. They were supposed to tear it down this week. Bob and Bill had to remove them and they said it was much harder than they first thought. The brackets are fairly large.
The station is still there intact as of today (Friday Nov. 6,2009). The man to contact is Bob Bailey at Twin Bridges Company Salvage. Their current office in Picher is at the corner of Connell and "A" street, across from the drive in restaurant. He is in and out all the time and hard to find, but there are some other folks who man the office when he's not there usually. As John stated they are heavy and a real pain to get off--lag bolts inside and out, at least one is concealed behind the inside wall. A hard hat is a good idea, along with some stout help.
I wonder why they would tear it down? Looks like it would have made a nice museum to hold FRISCO MEMORIES. And a nice sized lay-out. Is it in too poor of shape to make use of, or has it fallen victim to greed and development?
The entire town is being abandoned. The Federal Govt. is buying it out due to Lead and Zinc contamination. They are going to do the same with Treece Kansas which is just across the state line.
Update from Picher, OK. May 31, 2010
Indeed the old NEO depot has been demolished. I was able to find the foundation, but that's all that remains.
Does anyone have a picture of this depot during the NEO/Frisco days?
Frisco Central Division
Today's New York Times has a photo essay about Treece and Picher.
The parts that aren't visibly scarred by mining look like pleasant places to live, but pervasive pollution and subsidence of abandoned mines reportedly make it quite hazardous to one's health. There's one stubborn couple apparently still living there. I guess I can admire their stubbornness, but at the same time be very glad that they don't appear to have any children, given the nasty effects of lead pollution on young brains and bodies.