Wildman, a ghost town situated in Kiowa County, Oklahoma, is a relic of a bygone era when mining was a dominant industry in the region. The town was established in the early 1900s and was home to a cyanide mill and gold processing plant that served as the backbone of the local economy. Despite its short-lived existence, Wildman was a hard and tough mining town that left an indelible mark on the surrounding landscape.
Today, Wildman is a fascinating destination for history buffs and curious travelers interested in exploring the remnants of a once-thriving mining town. The town is located on the northwest corner of Tom Steed Lake and is easily accessible by car.
Although the town has been abandoned for decades, visitors can still see the remains of the cyanide mill and gold processing plant, which are a testament to the ingenuity and determination of the early pioneers who established Wildman.
In this article, we will explore the history of Wildman, the attractions that remain, and offer tips for visiting and staying safe while exploring this fascinating ghost town.
- Wildman was a ghost town in Kiowa County, Oklahoma, established in the early 1900s as a major gold mining town.
- The town had a cyanide mill and gold processing plant that served as the backbone of the local economy.
- Wildman’s impact on the local economy was significant during its heyday, but it started to decline in 1901, and by 1904, the post office was closed.
- The remains of the old cyanide mill and gold processing plant are a popular attraction in Wildman, and visitors can climb on the foundation and up the cooling tower of the cyanide mill.
Location and History
Despite its hard and tough mining history, Wildman is now a peaceful ghost town with a cyanide mill that attracts visitors who are interested in its past. Wildman is located off U.S.183 on the N.W. corner of Tom Steed Lake, south of Roosevelt OK and north of Mountain Park OK.
The town was established in 1901 and had a post office from May 3, 1901, to Nov 15, 1904. The Otter Creek Miner was the local newspaper during this time. Wildman was a mining town that relied on the production of gold. The town’s owners used a 12 gauge shotgun and some gold dust to sell the mine and plant, as the Feds opened up the Wichita Mountains to mineral mining in 1901.
Wildman’s impact on the local economy was significant during its heyday, as it was a major gold mining town. However, the town started to decline in 1901, and by 1904, the post office was closed. Despite the decline, stories and legends surrounding the town still persist.
There is a rumor of a Boothill cemetery nearby, but it has not been found yet. Visitors to Wildman can climb on the foundation and up the cooling tower of the cyanide mill, but they should be careful not to fall in. Wildman is near train tracks and a boat ramp, and it can be seen from the highway.
Remains and Attractions
Visitors to the Wildman ghost town can explore the remains of the old cyanide mill and gold processing plant. The foundation and cooling tower are still standing and accessible for climbing. The ruins offer a glimpse into the town’s hard and tough mining past.
Exploring the Wildman ruins holds a historical significance for those interested in the town’s past. Climbing up the cooling tower and foundation provides an opportunity to witness the remnants of the gold processing plant, which was in operation until the early 1900s. The town’s history includes rumors of a nearby Boothill cemetery, although it has not yet been found.
The site’s proximity to a train track and boat ramp adds to its charm and accessibility.
Visiting Tips and Safety
To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Wildman, it is recommended to wear appropriate footwear with good grip and to bring insect repellent due to the hot and humid climate.
The remains of the old cyanide mill and gold processing plant are a popular attraction in Wildman, and visitors are allowed to climb on the foundation and up the cooling tower. However, it is important to exercise caution and climb safely to avoid any accidents.
In addition to climbing safely, visitors should also be aware of mosquitoes in the area. Mosquitoes are particularly active during the summer months, and can be a nuisance for those unprepared.
Bringing insect repellent and wearing long sleeves and pants can help to avoid mosquito bites and make the visit more comfortable.
Overall, with proper precautions and awareness, visiting Wildman can be a memorable and enjoyable experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of mining was performed in Wildman and how did it contribute to the town’s growth?
Mining in Wildman included gold mining and cyanide processing. Its economic impact is reflected in the town’s growth as a hard mining town. However, the town started to fall when the Feds opened up the Wichita Mountains to mineral mining.
Are there any rumors or legends surrounding the town or its inhabitants?
Local folklore surrounds Wildman, with rumors of a Boothill cemetery and supernatural occurrences. These stories add to the mystique of the once hard mining town that fell when the Feds opened up the Wichita Mtns to mineral mining.
Was there any notable event or disaster that led to the town’s abandonment?
The abandonment of Wildman cannot be attributed to a specific event or disaster. However, the environmental impact of the cyanide mill and potential cyanide spill may have contributed to the town’s decline, as well as the opening of the Wichita Mountains to mineral mining.
Have any efforts been made to preserve or restore the remaining structures in Wildman?
Efforts to preserve or restore the remaining structures in Wildman have not been documented. However, given its historical significance, future plans for the town may include restoration and preservation projects.
Are there any notable individuals or groups associated with the town’s history?
Notable figures associated with Wildman’s history are not documented. However, the Kiowa County Historical Society has been involved in preserving the area’s history and organizing tours. No other organizations have been reported to be involved.