15 Apr

There are many interesting facts about Oklahoma, but one place that stands out in the state’s history is the sad tale of the town of Picher in the northeast. A census done in 1920 recorded a population of 9,676 residents; in 2019, it was 0. For over 100 years, Picher was a central hub for mining lead and zinc. The town was prosperous and looked like all other developing towns. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much control over where giant piles of toxic metal-contaminated gravel ore were left. Over time, inhabitants, including children who played in the contaminated material, began to suffer from lead poisoning. A decision was made for the entire town to evacuate. The streets, buildings, schools, and shops all stand as a desolate reminder of the impact of environmental damage.

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