Cities and Counties » Foothills » Okmulgee
Okmulgee, one of America's most uncommon places, is a city rich in history. In the late 1800's, Okmulgee (a Creek word meaning bubbling water) sprang up around the Creek Council House, the tribal house of government for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. From there, trading posts, banks, and mercantile businesses were established in what would become Okmulgee's downtown area.
In the early part of the 20th Century, the discovery of oil created a boom to Okmulgee's economy. At one time, Okmulgee had more millionaires per capita than any other place in the nation. In the late 1910s and early 1920s, much of downtown's largest buildings were erected. Vaudeville houses, ornate churches and a seven-story office building showcased the downtown, and most of these buildings are still in use. The Orpheum, an Art Deco movie theater opened in the early 1920s, is still in operation today.
Okmulgee became known for its oil and oilmen. Magnificent oil mansions remain in Okmulgee, many now restored and renovated for a new generation of residents.
A recent revitalization of the downtown area has restored the early day atmosphere of downtown as the heart of the community. Quaint shops, a variety of eating establishments, a renovated Creek Council House, new loft apartments in the upper floors of the magnificent buildings, and colorful murals, provide visitors with a truly delightful experience.
Okmulgee is also home to OSUIT, the technical branch of Oklahoma State University. The school recently purchased and renovated Okmulgee's first Post Office building and adjacent apartment building, and remodeled it into unique downtown student housing. The Grand Old Post Office (GOPO) is now home to between 70 and 75 OSUIT students.
Green Country Technology Center, a Career Tech educational facility, and College of the Muscogee Nation are also at home in Okmulgee.
Okmulgee offers two lakes west of town. Lake Okmulgee is a recreational lake offering boating and skiing, swimming, fishing, camping, picnicing, and hiking. Dripping Springs Lake is aimed at sportsmen, and is Oklahoma's first trophy bass lake.
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