DESTINATION: PAWHUSKA MIDLAND VALLEY TRAIN DEPOT

The story of Midland Valley Railroad bagan on June 4, 1903; to construct a right of way through Indian Territory. Kansas was already served by railroads that had been completed 10 to 20 years earlier. Construction was overseen by a Philadelphia industrialist, Jared Ingersoll, who had mining interests in many parts of indian territory. Ingersoll had plans to use the new railroad to carry coal.

The coal industry remained important to the railroad, its most successful years were the result of large oil deposits in the region directly served by the railway as railroads provided the primary means of carrying crude oil before the age of pipelines. In addition to shipping oil, the Midland Valley also banked from shipments of oil equipment and supplies, and later on from an Oil refinery constructed in the nearby town of Barnsdall, Oklahoma.

After construction was complete, the Midland Valley stretched 335 miles. It roughly followed the Arkansas River, which coined the term "Arkansas River Route"  that was often used. The Midland Valley was the shortest route between Wichita and Fort Smith.

In the final days, Midland Valley was bought out by the Texas and Pacific in 1964. The T&P merged with the Missouri Pacific in 1964, which became Union Pacific in 1983. Most of the railways in the area started depleting rapidly in the early to mid 1970's.

At one time there were two depots that served the town of Pawhuska. The Midland Valley was the more popular Sante Fe, which still exists today as the Pawhuska Historical Society Museum.

As for the fate of the Midland Valley, the roof has now caved in and mother nature's trees and bushes are now taking back the land....soon it will be gone.

 
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