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Ghost Town Essay #3 - Picher, Oklahoma

Ghost Town Essay #3 - Picher, Oklahoma

About the show

Playing tracks by

Witxes, Ravcan, Svartsinn, Triangular Ascension, Stars of the Lid and more.

Situated in the northeast corner of Oklahoma, the Ottawa County town of Picher was once a mining community of 14,000 strong. If anyone in the US Armed Forces fired a bullet at the enemy during either world war, chances are good that the lead in that bullet was mined in Picher. But that was a long time ago.

Today, the scant remains of Picher sit at the heart of the Tar Creek Superfund site, one of the most toxic areas in America. Extensive lead and zinc mining over decades has created numerous sinkholes that have swallowed entire homes; huge piles of mine waste throughout the town have contaminated the soil and groundwater with heavy metals; and an EF4 tornado ravaged a large chunk of Picher in 2008, killing eight people and injuring many others. Today, less than 20 people inhabit what's left of Picher.

The field recordings of Picher and the accompanying photo were taken by yours truly at the ghost town in early March of 2014 during a rainstorm. As always, thank you for listening.