Books and Brochures

A close reading of books covering the history of the National Park System will uncover the conspicuous absence of Platt National Park. Often overlooked, the history and legacy of Platt National Park provide powerful lessons regarding the evolution of the American system of National Parks. This history continues under the park's current name, Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

An old book cover in green. Words "Platt National Park" and "Oklahoma"
Platt National Park
National Park Service (Undated)

This guide book was put out by the National Park Service sometime in the 1930s, though the exact year is unclear. It appears to have been published while the Civilian Conservation Corps was working in the park. The bison pasture has been relocated from its original location, the original roads are gone, but part of Perimeter Road has yet to be constructed. Although marked on the map, the golf course was no longer maintained during this time period.
An old guidebook cover with a black and white image of a waterfall and the words "Platt National Park Oklahoma"
Platt National Park
National Park Service (1939)

A short overview of the park. Most of the trees in the park that are now mature were newly planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps at the time these photos were taken.
An old guidebook cover with a black and white image of a waterfall and the words "Platt National Park Oklahoma"
Platt National Park
National Park Service (1941)

A brief guide to the park. Very similar to the 1939 brochure.
Book cover image with trees

Platt National Park—Environment and Ecology
Ballard M. Barker and William Carl Jameson (1975)

Written and published one year before the park would be redesignated Chickasaw National Recreation Area, this book expertly summarizes the natural resources of Platt National Park, and captures the end of an era.

General Management Plan
National Park Service (1979)

The first general management plan for the newly established Chickasaw National Recreation Area, a combination of the former Platt National Park and Arbuckle Recreation Area, with some new land additions.

The Great Health Giving Mecca and Summer Resort: Platt National Park, The Early Years
Douglas C. McChristian (2003)

This study examines the early history of Platt National Park [the present-day Platt Historic District in Chickasaw National Recreation Area].

Document cover

Cultural Landscape Report—Platt Historic District
Heidi Hohmann and Katarzyna Grala (2004)

The Cultural Landscape Report documents the physical evolution of the Platt district’s cultural landscape and provide a base of information to develop a preservation treatment plan.

report cover

An Ethnohistory of the Relationship between the Community of Sulphur, Oklahoma and Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Jacilee Wray and Alexa Roberts. (2004)

This study focuses on the values attached to the park and its resources by members of the traditionally associated community of Sulphur, Oklahoma.


For Further Reading:

  • Brown, Opal Hartsell. City of Many Facets. Oklahoma City: Western Heritage Books, 1981.
  • Boeger, Palmer. Oklahoma Oasis: from Platt National Park to Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Muskogee, Okla.: Western Heritage Books, 1987.
  • Henderson, J. Neil. Spa in the Dust Bowl: Oklahoma’s Hidden Paradise in The Culture of Oklahoma. Howard F. Stein and Robert F. Hill, Editors. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993.
  • Littleheart, Oleta (A. Abbott). The Lure of Indian Country and A Romance of its Resort. Sulphur, OK: A. Abbott, 1908.
  • Mackintosh, Barry. The National Parks: Shaping the System. Washington, D.C.: Harpers Ferry Center, National Park Service, U.S. Deptartment of the Interior, 2005.
  • Wray, Jacilee and Alexa Roberts. In Praise of Platt—Or, What is a 'Real' National Park? George Wright Forum, 15:1 (1998), pages 68-78.

Last updated: March 20, 2022

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