Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Bridge to Far?

Sometimes in life there seems to be places that just seem to have bad energy circle them. Place’s that just seem to have a history of almost being a cross roads in life for bad things to happen. The stretch of cold steel that makes up the Rock Island rail road in-between Dover and Kingfisher Oklahoma is just such a place. It’s had its fair share of troubled times. Everything from having its trains robbed to its trains washed away. I’ll begin with the train that was robbed.

On April 3, 1895, the Doolin Gang along with the most of the “Wild Bunch” gang boarded the Rock Island train near Dover, Oklahoma. Their goal that ill fated day was to empty the safe aboard the trains baggage/mail car that contained $50,000 of army payroll. The safe proved to be a bit more of a challenge than the gang would have imagined so they set their sights on robbing the express car passengers of cash and jewelry. As the train neared the bridge just south of Dover the gang prepared for their departure as it crossed the Cimarron River. They let out with over confidence and leaving a almost taunting trail for the law to follow. Within two hours, Chief Deputy Marshal Chris Madsen arrived at the robbery scene with six deputy marshals. They gave chase to the notorious outlaws, tracking them west then back across the river north. About two o’clock that afternoon, the posse caught up with them at a camp near Ames “Tulsa Jack” Blake was killed and “Little Bill” Raidler was seriously wounded, losing several fingers. Bill Doolin, Red Buck, Bitter Creek Newcomb, Charlie Pierce and Dick Yeager escaped, riding their separate ways to safety. The loot was never recovered. Does it still lay somewhere in hiding between Ames and the bridge? The bridge holds more than just a starting point of a outlaw trail, it is also the deadly end to a ill fated train.

On a dark and dreary rainy September night in 1906, the Cimarron river began to swell. It soon became a roaring river of death and carnage as it carried debris down river, creating extreme pressures against the train bridge between Kingfisher and Dover. As the Rock Island train No. 12 northbound, crossed the river, the bridge collapsed. The engine tender, baggage/mail car, smoker and day coach all where immediately thrown into the violent waters of the river. The baggage car sank for an instant. The smoker half floated, with one end above water, the couplings between it and the day coach broke, and, submerged, it was carried down the river at least 400 yards. The baggage/mail car was seen a little further down river at a smaller bridge crossing before it caused that bridge to collapse as well. Due to high waters and quick sand none of the train’s contents or the train its self where recovered. Many of the passengers perished in the crash so it is anyone’s guess what may have been in the baggage/mail car.

This bridge as well as the stretch of train track it connects across the Cimarron has a checkered past. It could hold the beginning of the treasures of your future. As a matter of fact I believe that this is such a great search area I almost didn’t write this for you to read. I was going to keep it for my own searches, but in the end you the reader are more important to me. Please if you do go looking though remember that this area could hold your end as well. There could be hidden dangers of quick sand and quickly rising waters. Maybe even a few modern day outlaws waiting for someone to come along. What I can tell you that if you live in Oklahoma this bridge is not “to far”.

1 comment:

gooner said...

Bill Doolin, Outlaw, Oklahoma Territory. Author: Col. Bailey C. Haines. Bill Raidler, Little Bill,
captured, Moore Ranch, 18 miles S.E. of Elgin, KS., on Mission Creek. His cellmate was the famous poet Henry O. and his early release was due to a condition described as Locomotor Ataxia. I found a broken Ball jar replete with broken glass lid and rusted remnant of wire bail at a spot where you could back-mark to learn how to hide things. -bill wade-