In addition to the Tulsa Metropolitan Area and the major cities and towns of northeast Oklahoma, there are many communities that are merely census-designated places or unincorporated communities. Some are just whistle stops along the railroad or places where there used to be post offices. Many of these places are found on the Rand McNally Road Atlas and on the AAA map. Others can only be found by Googling the place or going to specific sites such as Wikipedia or ePodunk.com. Sometimes the only identifying thing left of the original settlement is the school, or a church, or another landmark.
These little places are important not only historically and to the people who live there, but also because of their practical importance. Oilmen, landmen and ranchers know these places well because of their economic importance. The rest of us know them because we hear the names when the tornadoes come. That's how I learned that I lived in Sequoyah. There actually is a community there northeast of Claremore, although the place is known primarily by it's school.
My fascination with little places in northeast Oklahoma got started when we first moved to Tulsa in 1984. I kept a horse at a barn in Bixby and a man who worked there had a daughter who played on Preston's 6 on 6 girls' basketball team. They were ranked and they were good. The gymnasia we visited reminded me of the ones found in the movie Hoosiers. We then started following the Jenks girls' team (again because the sister of one of the kids in the barn was a really good defender); and so I became familiar with many of the bigger schools around. Later when we lived in Claremore's Sequoyah school district and we began following our local football team we found many towns by just following the lights in the sky on Friday nights. That was fun.
In fact I highly recommend following sports as a way to see what a community is like. Here in Oklahoma almost everyone follows the local teams in some way or fashion. I watch the people and the cheerleaders. You will always have an opportunity to see someone you have not seen in a while: someone from your church or that you used to work with or just someone who lives near you that you never met before. Otherwise you have to wait till there's a grass fire, a wreck on the road, or somebody's cow gets out. Or you can hang out at the local ball fields on a quiet summer evening. Watch the people. Observe their manners and listen to their speech. Visit the local doughnut shops and convenience stores. Figure out where you will be comfortable living.
Another great way to visit fun places in Oklahoma is to go to local rodeos and horse shows. Its fun to know where to find trail rides, team penning, and play days. Following special events in towns such as Will Rogers Days in Claremore or Rooster Days in Broken Arrow will also help you to get acquainted with Oklahoma communities.
The easiest way to become familiar with Oklahoma places is by listening to the radio and the television during storms. Although I live in Broken Arrow, you can be sure that I know where Oneta, Oak Grove, and New Tulsa are located. For those of you who have never visited Oklahoma, our storm tracking capabilities in Tulsa are among the most sophisticated in the world. You can be certain that there is no need to worry about tornadoes. The weather service and the media give ETA's (estimated time of arrival) of major storms right down to the minute the storm (wall cloud, funnel, rotation, or twister) will hit your street. The maps on the TV show every square mile around. While it's probably not true that the tornadoes aim for trailer parks, they sure do like to follow the turnpike.
While I have not been able to create a page for every place, please call me if you are interested in buying or selling real estate anywhere in northeast Oklahoma.