Latitude / Longitude:
34° 26′ 43″ N, 95° 44′ 8″ W
Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Jumbo is an unincorporated community in western Pushmataha County, Oklahoma, 10 miles north of Miller.
A United States Post Office was established for Jumbo, Indian Territory on November 8, 1906. The post office took its name from the Jumbo Asphalt Company, a prominent local employer. Prior to Oklahoma’s statehood, Jumbo was located in Jack’s Fork County of the Choctaw Nation, in the Indian Territory. Jumbo was blessed by abundant natural resources, including asphalt. Hugh W. Adams (ca. 1836-1905), one of the original pioneers of Antlers, Oklahoma, and a prospector, located the asphalt vein at Jumbo. The Jumbo Asphalt Company established mining operations there and, by 1904, the community was known as Jumbo Mines. By 1905 the company was mining up to eight tons of asphalt per day, which it shipped to Moyers, Oklahoma via a dedicated tram line. The line stretched from Jumbo south through the Impson Valley, rounding the foot of Parker Mountain into Moyers, where it connected with the railhead at the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway.
Despite improvements in the local roadways, Jumbo remains physically isolated from other communities in Pushmataha and Atoka counties. This is ironic, as the four-lane Indian Nation Turnpike was built through Impson Valley, passing just to the east of the community, and opened in 1970. It features no interchange for Jumbo, however, causing local residents to venture to Daisy on the north to enter or exit the turnpike.
By 1906, Jumbo Mines was home to at least 40 families. This remained the case through recent decades, when the countryside around Jumbo emptied due to lack of economic opportunities and its churches, school, and post office closed. Jumbo is located in the picturesque Impson Valley. Buck Creek and Box Springs mountains frame the eastern side of its valley, and Long Mountain frames the western side. In recent years the territory to the west of Jumbo has been incorporated into McGee Creek State Park, particularly the area of Wildcat and Bugaboo canyons.