Medicine Park is a town in Comanche County, Oklahoma, United States, situated in the Wichita Mountains near the entrance to the 60,000-acre (240 km2) Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. Medicine Park has a long history as a vintage cobblestone resort town. Medicine Park is located near the city of Lawton and Fort Sill. It is an exurb, part of the Lawton Metropolitan Statistical Area. Many of the original structures are constructed of naturally formed cobblestones—these red granite cobblestones are unique to the Wichita Mountains. The population was 382 at the2010 census.
Medicine Park, Oklahoma Park, Oklahoma
|Nickname(s): "America's Cobblestone Community"|
Location of Medicine Park, Oklahoma
Elmer Thomas, the founder of Medicine Park, served in the Oklahoma State Senate from 1907 to 1920, was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1923 to 1927 and a United States senator from 1927 until 1951.
In the early 1960s, Rex and Ruby “Grandma” Leath purchased from the Texas Land Company the building that was originally constructed as The Outside Inn in 1910 and later called The Grand Hotel. They renamed it The Old Plantation Restaurant. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The restaurant was known for its burgers, catfish, huge sirloin steaks, and rolls. Rex could always be found behind the bar or in the kitchen, Grandma at someone's table telling her tall tales, promoting Medicine Park or giving out her recipe for hot rolls. She constituted a “one-woman Chamber of Commerce.”
In the late 1960s, the need for improving and expanding the utilities infrastructure became apparent to the residents. The town was officially incorporated as “The Town of Medicine Park” in 1969. Edward A. Hilliary, Jr., was elected as chairman (mayor) and served as such for twelve years. Early members of the town council included: Jack Laughter, R. C. “Chuck” Gardener, and Roy Brown, followed by Rex Leath, “Doc” Dodson and A. P. Tuck, who served as police commissioner. Hilliary worked to secure the first water and sewer systems for Medicine Park. He owned the Medicine Park Propane and Medicine Park Telephone companies. He partnered with Edna Hennessee to develop the Big Rock Mountain Estates.
David and Candace McCoy helped jump start the rebirth of Medicine Park through construction and renovation of businesses and residential houses as well as donations of land and time. In 1995, The Riverside Café, closed for many years, was purchased by the McCoys. The couple reopened a restored facility in 1996.
Restoration of structures in town began in the late 1990s when a few historic cobblestone cabins were restored by McCoy Development Company, Charley Wright, the Hennessee family and a few others. Cobblestone Court (a commercial grouping of shops) and the restoration and new construction of numerous cabins and homes on both sides of Medicine Creek, were accomplished through the efforts of McCoy Development Company.
Medicine Park Telephone Company provides service, including DSL, to the town and the surrounding area. The company is in the process of an FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) project in Granite Ridge. Medicine Park will be one of the few communities in Oklahoma with FTTH.
|Cultural depictions of Medicine Park, Oklahoma|