Picher Oklahoma is a sad story.
Once a bustling town of close to 20,000 people, Picher was the center of lead and zinc production in the United States. As the mines began to close, less reputable mining companies took over the hard rock mines and removed many of the underground supports. This cause surface subsidence that badly undermined the town. Most of the town had to be bulldozed.
Then it was discovered that the large piles of waste rock from mines - called "chat piles" were releasing lead dust to the atmosphere and the lead dust caused the children of Picher to have high levels in lead in their bodies.
Attempts were made at remediation, the federal government paved the streets of Picher to no avail. The lead dust remained high and contaminated the local water.
Eventually the EPA and the State of Oklahoma bought out most of the residents of Picher and E-4 Tornado chased out the rest.
Picher became a ghost town. It is now known as the most toxic place in America
My family owned Carlin Hardware on Connell Street in Picher.
|Carlin Hardware approximately 2005- The middle brown building|
|The Picher Gorilla - It used to be in front of the High School|
|A Gorilla in front of one of the only occupied houses.|
|My Families Hardware Store|
|The other part of it|
|What once was|