New from Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series is Muskogee by local author Roger Bell. This pictorial history boasts more than 200 vintage images, giving readers a unique opportunity to reconnect with the history that shaped their community.
On New Year's Day in 1872, a Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (Katy) track crew reached a point just a few miles south of the confluence of the Arkansas, Grand, and Verdigris Rivers in Indian Territory and established a depot it called Muscogee Station. A ragtag settlement quickly developed nearby, and the name was eventually changed to Muskogee.
By the turn of the century, Muskogee became the center of political and commercial activity in the territory. Nicknamed the "Queen City of the Southwest," Muskogee was a boom town and expectations were high that the city would develop into a large metropolitan area. However, by the 1920s, after the oil boom in nearby Tulsa, Muskogee's growth waned and it became a working-class Oklahoma town.
The city was thrust into the national limelight in the 1960s by country music star Merle Haggard and his song "Okie from Muskogee," which described Muskogee as "a place where even squares can have a ball." An ethnically diverse community, Muskogee has a rich history of developing artists, musicians, politicians, and entrepreneurs.
Author Roger Bell is a local historian and longtime supporter of Muskogee's Three Rivers Museum, he has served as the museum's chairman for the past 16 years. Highlights of the museum's extensive photographic collection were selected by him for inclusion in this book to create a visual journey back in time. Bell, who is a banker by profession, lives in Muskogee with his wife, Tammy and their two children.
Muskogee is available at the Three Rivers Museum and Armstrong Banks in Muskogee, independent and online retailers as well as Arcadia Publishing. Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States, whose mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America's people and places. You can visit Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com.