Have You Ever Heard of This Toxic Oklahoma Ghost Town?
I was looking up different ghost towns and scary places to visit this Halloween in Oklahoma and stumbled across a documentary on YouTube about a town that's abandoned and even worse than that, the town is toxic, literally. Before today I had never heard of this place, it's a really crazy and heartbreaking story.
The now-empty town of Picher, OK. is located in the far Northeast corner of the state in Ottawa, County.
It was once a mining town that was a part of the Zink and Lead Tri-State Ming District that was in operation from the mid-1800s to the late 1960s. Due to over mining and improper technics the entire town became toxic. Mining ceased back in 1967 and the town slowed died and in 2009 it was officially dis-incorporated.
The town has areas that are completely filled with chat or mine tails that contain dangerous amounts of Lead, Zinc, and other metals. This poisoned the land and water making Picher unfit for humans and animals alike. It's one of the few places in the U.S. that has been declared uninhabitable because of the damage done by mining and contaminants. Hit play on the video below to learn more about Picher, OK.
Back in the early to mid-1900s the Picher, OK. mines provided close to 50% of all the lead and other metals needed by the U.S. Military during WWI and going into WWII. Most of the ammo and other munitions used during the wars had Picher metals. Picher was the most productive Zinc and Lead mine in the Tri-State Mining District. But it came at a great cost and ended up destroying the city in the end.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has listed Picher, OK. as the most toxic and dangerous city in the U.S. There are a few people who still live there, around 20 total. A few houses remain and one business that's still open in the town. The rest has either fallen down or has been demolished.
Cleanup efforts have been ongoing and continue to this day. The damage that was done due to mining was catastrophic and the entire area will be uninhabitable pretty much forever even with the cleanup and removal of toxic materials. This is one Oklahoma ghost town that you really don't want to visit.