Donnelly: But back to this phrase: "Worse than a Wewoka switch. And with railroads? He's the museum's director. Wewoka is a city of about people in Seminole County in the eastern part of the state. And it used to be a railroad town. The Rock Island Line bought the railroad that runs through here at the turn of the century. Donnelly: Ellwanger says Rock Island built a new Wewoka train depot. And it built what are called switching tracks. Ellwanger: There were tracks on either side of the depot that would run for a half mile in each direction.
And this is where train cars would be unloaded. Which originally was perfectly fine. It was, you know, Wewoka was a very quiet, sleepy town, a couple of thousand people. Donnelly: But then people flooded into Wewoka during the oil boom in the s. And all of those people needed stuff: stuff to build homes, stuff to build oil derricks. Ellwanger: Wewoka's switching station was the largest such system between Oklahoma City and Little Rock.
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So there were millions and millions of tons of things coming into this switching station. Ellwanger: You know, if you were waiting to drill a well, you needed your equipment right then and there. And somewhere in hundreds of cars on the side tracks would be what you were looking for.
Donnelly: So someone coined a phrase: "caught in a Wewoka switch. It meant you were in a bad situation or a tight spot. Ellwanger: This became such a problem for the railroad that Rock Island had a stamp made up that said "Search Wewoka Switch. Donnelly: So there were lots of valuable things coming in and out of Wewoka. And sometimes, nobody knew where it was.
Frank Baker says Uncle Carl's stories made it sound like there might have been some shady dealings. Baker: Sometimes things were legitimately lost in Wewoka. Other times, people were making some money off things just kind of disappearing down in the railroad yards there. And I got the feeling that it was a well-known secret among railroad guys, you know, in the area that if you would be a little bit of a facilitator you'd get a bit of a kickback.
Ellwanger: There are stories--of course, there's always somebody that's industrious--that you could probably grease the skids a little if you maybe shared a little bit of cash with perhaps the engineers, some of the railroad men. If you knew approximately when your train was coming in, your railroad car, they'd keep a lookout for it.
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Services in Wewoka, Oklahoma. Wewoka Highlights.
Below excerpted from review of Come, Wewoka & Diary of Medicine Flower: One of the greatest tragedies of our American History, and of the history of our world. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Edward C. Patterson has been writing novels, short fiction, Come, Wewoka & Diary of Medicine Flower Kindle Edition. by.
Source: Wikipedia. Wewoka Attractions.
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