The Joplin Globe

Sunday, Sept 28, 2008

Site collects details of
Tri-State mining towns

This week I checked out an extraordinary Web site located at Although the site has info on mining towns throughout the Tri-State area, the main focus of the site is Cardin and the nearby mining towns of Picher, Treece and Century.

Fredas Cook, the creator of the site, is from that area. The site has scores of maps, city directories, mining directories, post cards, letters and personal stories. It also has more than a thousand photos. Because of the large variety and number of items, a visit to Cook's site is akin to a visit at a museum or library. There is no charge to visit his site.

When the screen opens, scroll down to the button labeled "Contributors" and click. Among the dozens of resources used in the development of the site are: newspapers, individuals and Web sites, as well as organizations such as the Dobson Museum, Galena Museum, Picher Mining Field Museum, Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum, and the Oklahoma State Historical Society. Much info is also from the Indian Pioneer History Collection, James Robinson's book "A Sketch of James Robinson," editions of"The Chronicles of ' Oklahoma," Howard W. Blasser's book "Prairie Jackpot," and Velma Neiberding's book "The History of Ottawa County."

    To leave that screen, move
the mouse to the back arrow at



the top of the page and click. When the former screen opens, scroll down to the series of buttons at the bottom of the screen. Click on each and enjoy the many items that Cook has posted. A note at the bottom of the screen reminds visitors that the photos are not to be copied for profit.

According to the site, Cardin is located a mile or so south of Kansas and 12 miles west of

  Missouri. Two creeks that flow through the town are Tar Creek and Lytle Creek. Early names for the community were Tar Creek Camp and then McConnell Mines. In 1918, when the town was officially founded, the mining community was renamed Cardin in honor of Oscar Cardin, who owned the 4O-

acre tract of land where the town grew. By 1927, the town boasted of having three theaters, three banks, a drug store, the Essex Hotel and Keystone Hotel, 15 mines and myriad other businesses, as well as five



doctors. Picher had 10 doctors, and Treece had two.

The photos, many of which are panoramas, feature the mines, the miners, the families, homes and businesses. Some of the mines were: Nancy Jane, Ritz, Bluebird One, Panther, Rialto, Tar Creek, Kitty, Blue Goose, Bethel, Jay Bird, Hum-­ba-wa-ta Mines No.1 and 2, Woodchuck, Mahutska, Hawkeye, Emma Gordon, Okmulgee, Queen City, Old Chief, Central Mill, O.M. Bilharz, Lucky Bill, Bennies, Lion, Media and Anna Beaver.

Cook has set aside a section of the site to help the Picher­-Cardin All-School Reunion Committee sell items to raise money for its annual reunion. To see that section, return to the former screen and click on the button for "PCRC." Included among the sale items are CDs that contain the images from the old Zinco school annuals for the years of 1924--1931, 1942-1946 and 1950­1967. Each annual is sold on a  separate CD. The site notes that the CDs are user friendly. When a CD opens, the cover of the annual is on the screen. One can then use the mouse to turn the pages, or one can choose to use the "automatic flipping" option.

Cook encourages visitors to contact him or the committee if they have any of the missing annuals.


Suggestions or queries? Send to Frankie Meyer, P.O. Box 731, Joplin, Mo. 64802, or contact