Moving to Oklahoma can be a big change for anyone, but for many that know their history, it can be a big concern. This is especially true for anyone moving to the town of Picher, Oklahoma.
During World War II, Picher was a bustling mining town producing zinc, lead, and iron ore. However, after years and years of such mining, there were leftover piles of waste that were actually contaminated with lead and other heavy metals that can cause serious health concerns.
In the early 1980s, Picher was declared a Superfund site. By 2000, the population of Picher dwindled to just over 1,800. It was once more than 20,000 which means that many people moved away over the years.
In 2006, the Army Corps conducted tests that determined that Picher’s old mines were about to collapse. In response the Federal Government bought out the rest of the area’s homes and helped many residents and businesses relocate from the area.
Today, Picher is a ghost town. So, if you were hoping to move there, you won’t be able to! Though the city government disbanded formally in 2009 and the remaining commercial buildings were demolished in January of 2011, people still live in the surrounding areas. However, the median home value in most of these areas is just over $73,000.
In fact, some areas just outside Picher, many town officials are asking to be bought out as well. So, we want to hear from you – are you moving out of the area? Do you know anyone that has?