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Former Picher residents reminisce about town now dissolved - KOAM TV 7

Former Picher residents reminisce about town now dissolved

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Many come home for the holidays but for those who once lived in Picher and Cardin Oklahoma, the towns are officially no more.  

Reports say a final order of involuntary dissolution has been signed by the District Judge Robert Reavis.

A town of 14- thousand people at one time - now home to just a handful.

Lisa Lamar spent her childhood in Picher, Oklahoma while her father worked for the local mining company. 

Lamar says her dad knew the digging would be trouble for the town years down the line. 

"He always said, someday, I don't know when if it will be in my life time that's going to be problematic and something must be done," said Lamar. 

It did turn out to be problematic for Picher.

 Chat piles and mine waste resulted in lead contamination making Picher- Cardin the nations most expensive and longest superfund cleanup project, and eventually led to a government buyout. 

Lamar's now a resident in Joplin and grew up with a different view of Picher, she says it was a tight-knit community with a sense of pride. 

"Everyone kind of knowing everyone business but that was kind of good because people looked out for one another and that's a quality rarely seen these days" said Lamar.  

The news of an involuntary dissolution weighs heavy on the heart of others who also grew up in Picher. 

For Susan Murphy a 1991 graduate of Picher High School, losing the town is like losing its old high school.

Murphy says, "It makes me feel really sad because it's hard to take my kids back there and say this is what I did, you know,  this use to be here, this use to be an arcade things like that." 

Many other businesses and homes disappeared during the May 10th, 2008 tornado. 

"My special memories are at the old high school before they torn it down because my siblings went there my parents went there it was very special," said Murphy.   

 "It's heartbreaking now to drive through there because there nothing to really connect other than what you carry in your heart there's nothing physically or tangible to touch its just gone," Lamar said.  

Both hold on to memorabilia from their high school days to  remember, reflect, and remind them of the town they once called home. 

"I'm a chat rat at heart and I love Picher and I love the people and I miss them so much," says Lamar. 

 

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