"specializing in the beautifully abandoned, neglected, and forgotten parts of Oklahoma."
Photography by Jesse Edgar
The abandoned bank of Wapanucka
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While driving to Durant, Oklahoma I happened to drive through a tiny little town in the south west part of the state. A "blink and you'll miss it" type of town. A "population of 400" type of town.
This town was called Wapanucka, Oklahoma.
Wapanucka isn't just a made up funny sounding name either. It actually means "Eastern Land People" in reference to the Delaware Indians who settled there first in 1851.
Wapanucka was founded in 1856. Had a population of around 200. It actually expanded rapidly between 1902 and 1907 up to 980. This is due to traffic from railroads being built. This traffic resulted in a newspaper, the Wapanucka Press, a hotel, five general stores, a blacksmith, a dentist, two doctors, a livery, two cotton gins, the Indian Territory Cotton Products Company,and 2 Wapanucka banks.
One of which you see here.
Wapanucka reached a census high 1,038 people in 1920 but then the cotton industry came in and had a devastating impact on the community. Dropping the population to under 500.
Because of its bustling past the town of Wapanucka, Oklahoma has been entered into the historic registry of Oklahoma. When you drive through the town you don't see much but you can't help but get a feeling that it used to be so much more.