Top 3 Places to Buy Homegrown Watermelons in the Lawton Area
Watermelons - they’re sweet, enticing, and you usually get them from late spring until early fall. You can see them in the stores as early as March, but in order to get the best homegrown watermelons from the Lawton area fruit stands, you will have to wait until late summer.
Recently, I set out to find melons that were ready for the taking. To do this I needed to go no further than a 36 mile stretch of US Highway 81 from Duncan to north of Rush Springs. As I started this trek, I came across three fruit stands that have been around for many years. There were several others that were mobile and more than likely were set up just for the festival of this last weekend.
The three stands that I spoke with have been selling on the side of the road for various amounts of time ranging from 20 years to over 75 years. That may seem like a long time to just sell melons, but it is a lifestyle they don’t wish to trade.
Check out the list of the top 3 places to buy homegrown watermelon's in the Lawton Area:
First stop is Dorian’s - located half way between Marlow and Rush Springs. Growing up dad used to load us up in the car on a hot summer night and drive up to what he called “Midway Fruit Stand.” This is where I remember Mr. Coffee slicing up a melon and serving it on a wooden plate. Sweet and juicy and at the young age we were messy.
This stand has been in business since 1957. Several family members have run it since the Coffee’s started it. And the location has moved from the original stand to the opposite side of the road. In addition to selling the melon’s and other fresh vegetables, they still sell Dorian’s canned goods. Chow Chow, Jams, preserves, Apple Butter and salsa. And yes, they still sell melons by the slice.
The biggest selling melon? Black Diamond followed by Royal Sweet. Cantaloupes and melons are all grown on site and picked at just the precise moment to ensure it is sweet and tasty.
Continuing north, on the west side of Rush Springs, Tumbleson’s Fruit stand (a part of Washita Packing) is open. They have been open over 20 years and they say even without a name on the building, people say, “we got our melon’s at the big building with the green roof.” I had not even noticed the green roof until they mentioned it.
They also sell canned goods in addition to the fruits and vegetables. I did find honey and sorghum which I did not see anywhere else along the way. The bestselling melon here is also the Black Diamond followed by Royal Sweet and yellow meat.
A few short miles up the road is one of the longest standing traditional fruit stands. Ruby’s Melons has been around since the mid 1930’s. Same spot, just a few different locations within the property. Every year they sell hundreds of pounds of melons to travelers along US 81. Bobby, (Ruby’s youngest son) said “mom would be out there selling them sunup to sundown.” It finally got her down when ODOT told her she could not have her melon wagons so close to the highway anymore. Within a couple of weeks after ODOT’s decision, Ruby passed away. Now Bobby and his wife run the stand from the beginning of June through about the third week in September.
The melon’s that sell the best at Rub’s include Black Diamond and Royal Sweet. He also mentioned big sellers in the past included Legacy and Desert Kings.