Saturday, July 18, 2020

Pine Valley and the Oklahoma & Rich Mountain Railroad

The Oklahoma & Rich Mountain Railroad ran from Page, OK to Pine Valley, OK, presently known as Muse. Operations began in 1926 along the 17 mile route. (Right-of-Way)

O&RM RR 205, Unknown Photographer via Pinterest
While almost exclusively a logging railroad owned by the Pine Valley Lumber Company, a subsidiary of the Dierks Lumber & Coal Company, it was nonetheless a common carrier, and did have passenger service along its route, connecting passengers to the rest of the US rail network via its connection to the Kansas City Southern Railway at Page.

A.W. Goke and C.A. Hollopeter. 1931. Soil survey of LeFlore County, Oklahoma [map] via Texas Transportation Archive.

At the end of the line was Pine Valley, a town built by the company, encompassing a significant investment, but also reaching a population of roughly 1,500 during the profitable years of the company.

Oklahoma & Rich Mountain Railroads third motor bus #1 at Pine Valley, Oklahoma in 1937. Image via Pinterest
As the railroad depended almost exclusively on lumber, once forests were depleted around Pine Valley, the main traffic on the line dried up. Thus in 1941, the railroad was abandoned, and Pine Valley became a ghost town not much later.

Further Reading: Ghost Towns of Oklahoma (Amazon)

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