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Indian Territory Treasure Hunters Club
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Old Town Taken Out By The COE

Washunga Oklahoma was taken out by the Corps of Engineers with the building of Kaw Lake. The Kaw Tribe Agency was located there from 1880 to 1892 and the Kaw Indian boarding school was there for an extended time. The town itself had a post office from 1902 to 1918. The ITTHC had 3 outings to the area in the early 1980’s. For a period the COE had camping areas in the area of the residential area of Washunga. Some of the town is under water even at normal lake level. In addition there was a horse race track with grandstands and paddock area with stables. At the South end of the track area was the carnival/medicine show grounds. Once the COE camping area was closed the area went back to the wild. Last time I was through the area it could not be detected.

Here are a few photos related to the school and agency area. The first two are of the school in the early days of use and the next one of a group of Kaw boys who were attending the school in the late 1800’s with their bows & arrows. The last one of the school in 1962 as the COE were clearing the area in the building of Kaw Lake. And the Kaw Tribal Council House in 1969. There are maps & aerials below, just keep scrolling down.

A couple of articles from area newspapers about the burning and rebuilding of the school from 1906.

A 1910 ownership plat of the Washunga area and a plat of the town of Washunga. You can see in both plats that the U.S. Government had ownership of the SW¼ of Section 25 T27N R4E the area where the Kaw agency and school buildings were located.

A couple of extracts from the 1928 USGS 15’ Quadrangle Map which shows the horse race track & grandstands.

Here is a 1938 SCS aerial of Washunga. The broad, white, J mark was made on the aerial, who knows for what reason. But you can still see the Northwest turn of the horse race track. Also the amount of houses & out buildings and the Kaw agency & school buildings.

And finally a Google Earth image of Washunga in November 2014. A slight trace of the horse race track can be made out and also much of the street pattern. If the area is ever cleared in would be good detecting again. But with the grass, weeds, & brush growth there is also unbelieveable amounts of cockleburs.