Fade Into You: Tulsa's Absorption Of The Small Place

tulsa ghost towns

In his Tulsa Tribune article, "Some Tulsa County Towns Are Only Faded Memories," Jim Downing pointed out that before Tulsa County was the City of Tulsa and everything else, the city was just a small part of everything else. Initally, the everything else consisted of small places that provided goods and that were spaced at convenient distances , allowing those travelling by team and wagon to make the roundtrip during daylight hours. Later, settlements sprang up along the railroad line as it expanded. Over time, many of these places ceased to exist, at least officially. 

Downing, the well-used resource Oklahoma Place Names by George H. Shirk , and Kent Ruth's Oklahoma Travel Handbook  (though they don't always agree) tell us about a few of these Tulsa places including: Alsuma, Buehler, Carbondale, Dawson, Fry, Garnett, Howard,  Lost City, Lynn Lane, Posey, Weer, and Wealaka. 

Alsuma: Before it was Alsuma, it was called Welcome and Trovillion. It was the site of a smelter plant, was named for John Alsuma, and had a post office from 1906 to 1926. 

Buehler:   Buehler's post office was established in 1905 and was named for Charles Buehler, a local oil producer. In 1907, the Sperry post office moved to this location. 

Carbondale: Carbondale was named for the town in southern Illinois , had a post office for 18 months, and was to include a big industrial complex. A public subscription campaign sold shares in a carbon black plant that burned down before it began production. 

Dawson: Located west of Sheridan Road along the Frisco railroad, Dawson was once a thriving place and had a post office from 1895 to 1949. 

Fry:  Fry served the trading area north of Bixby when, according to Downing, the only way to ford the Arkansas River was by the Shellenbarger boys' ferry. It had a post office from 1896 to 1909. It was named for Robert Fry, an early resident.

Garnett: Garnett was just off Garnett Road and Pine Street, east of the airport. 

Howard:  Howard was an African-American community east of Tulsa along the Katy railroad. 

Lost City:  Lost City was never a city but was a geological outcrop and a "state of mind" on Avery Drive, west of Chandler Park.

Lynn Lane:  Lynn Lane was a settlement at Lynn Lane and 11th Street. It was named by Mrs. Lela W. Hodges after she read East Lynne.

Posey:  Located just north of 151st Street and west of Harvard, Posey had a post office from 1895 to 1898. The Poseys were members of a large Creek family. 

Wealaka:  Located between Bixby and Leonard, Wealaka was home to a Creek mission school. It had a post office from 1880 to 1910. 

Weer:  Weer was named for John E. Weer, a gin owner. Weer had a post office from 1894 to 1906. 


Tulsa Tribune 1977-07-27

Oklahoma Place Names by George H. Shirk

Oklahoma Travel Handbook by Kent Ruth

Further Reading: 

A History of Tulsa Annexation

Vertical File:  Annexation - City of Tulsa

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