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The Picher area became the most productive lead-zinc mining field in the Tri-State district, producing over billion worth of ore between 19.
More than fifty percent of the lead and zinc metal used during World War I were produced by the Picher district.
At its peak more than 14,000 miners worked the mines and another 4,000 worked in mining services.
Many workers commuted by an extensive trolley system from as far away as Joplin and Carthage, Missouri.
In 1913, as the Tri-State district expanded, lead and zinc ore were discovered on Harry Crawfish's claim and mining began. The city was incorporated in 1918, and by 1920, Picher had a population of 9,726.
A townsite developed overnight around the new workings and was named Picher in honor of O. Peak population occurred in 1926 with 14,252 residents and was followed by a gradual decline due to the decrease in mining activity, leaving Picher with only 2,553 by 1960.
Picher is a ghost town and former city in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, United States.
This was a major national center of lead and zinc mining at the heart of the Tri-State Mining District.
One of the last buildings, which had housed the former Picher mining museum was destroyed by arson in April 2015.
The similarly contaminated satellite towns of Treece, Kansas and Cardin, Oklahoma were included in the Tar Creek Superfund site.
A 2006 Army Corps of Engineers study showed 86% of Picher's buildings (including the town school) were badly undermined and subject to collapse at any time.
Mining ceased in 1967 and water pumping from the mines ceased.
The contaminated water from some 14,000 abandoned mine shafts, 70 million tons of mine tailings, and 36 million tons of mill sand and sludge remained as a huge environmental cleanup problem.