Sunday, December 29, 2013

Out and About: Old Boggy Depot

While returning home from Texas recently, my Mom and I took a side trip to Boggy Depot State Park, about 12 miles west of Atoka, Oklahoma. Although the park contains the Boggy Depot Cemetery and the site of what was once the town of Boggy Depot, it is a park for camping and picnicking. 

There is essentially no trace now of what was once the vibrant community of Boggy Station. Established in the late 1830s, the town became an important trade center and was on the road between Fort Smith and Fort Washita. According to Roscoe P. and Margaret Conkling, “By the year 1858, Old Boggy Depot had become the largest and most important settlement on the Butterfield [Overland Mail] route between Fort Smith and Sherman, Texas. The little town now comprised a number of substantial residences, a church and a school, several stores and warehouses, a hotel and livery, a blacksmith shop, a brick kiln and a grist mill” (The Butterfield Overland Mail, 1857-1869, vol. 1, p. 269). During the war years, Boggy Depot became an important Confederate supply center. In the 1870s, Boggy Depot became a ghost town when the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad built its line to the east, and this drew commerce away from the old town and to the railroad. Consult Muriel H. Wright’s 1927 article about Old Boggy Depot in the Chronicles of Oklahoma for further information. Here is a small selection of photographs taken last week at Boggy Depot State Park; for other recent photographs see the Civil WarAlbum.

Site of John Kingsbury’s house:

John P. Kingsbury’s grave site:

Old family plot:

Open area that includes part of the old town site:

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