LOCATION: This property is located just south of the town of Muse, Oklahoma, which is an unincorporated community in LeFlore County, and is located on Oklahoma State Highway 63. It is 17 miles southeast of the larger town of Talihina, OK. The land is situated in a beautiful valley setting between the Winding Stair Mountain Range to the North and the majestic Kiamichi Mountain Range to the South. The property has roughly 2,100 feet of frontage along both sides of the Kiamichi River, which is a year-round source of crystal-clear water that provides recreational opportunities for fishing, swimming, kayaking, boating, and waterfowl hunting. Other nearby points of interest include the Ouachita National Forest, https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/ouachita/recreation , the Talimena Scenic Byway, Talimena State Park, Heavener Runestone, Cedar Lake, Sardis Lake, Broken Bow Lake, and Lake Wister to name a few. The 1.5-million-acre Ouachita National Forest provides hunting opportunities for whitetail deer, eastern wild turkey, black bear, wild hog, and other small game as well as direct access to an impressive network of ATV, hiking and horseback riding trails that are operated and maintained by the US Forest Service. Some of the best fishing in the state can be experienced in the many nearby area lakes. The property is about a 3.5-hour drive from Dallas, Texas.
SERVICES TO PROPERTY: Rural Electricity and Rural Water are on the property. Propane gas can be delivered from the nearby towns.
ACCESS: The property has legal all-weather access via a paved county-maintained road (River Road).
LAND: The land is level and mostly in open pasture. There is a belt of timber that runs the length of the property on the south side on either side of the river. The property fronts a paved county road on the west side. There are several deep holes of water on the property for fishing, swimming, boating, canoeing, and kayaking. Wildlife is frequently seen on the land. The property is in a 100-year flood plain.
STRUCTURES: The jail remains on the property as well as a large concrete structure that possibly stored the lumber. The railroad bed is still very visible and runs almost adjacent to the river. https://www.frrandp.com/2020/07/pine-valley-and-oklahoma-rich-mountain.html
HISTORICAL DATA: https://talimenatime.com/historyandculture/the-forgotten-town-of-pine-valley/ Click on the link for further information and photos.
The Forgotten Town of Pine Valley
Eastern Oklahoma’s Pine Valley was a company-owned lumber town. The picturesque town paralleled the Kiamichi River to the south and was surrounded by the Kiamichi Mountains. Founded in 1926, the entire town was constructed and ready to be occupied by the time the first of the workers arrived. It was just one of such sites owned by the Dierks Lumber Company.
Before the first people arrived, thousands of dollars went into surveying, platting lots, building streets, and establishing businesses. The center of the town consisted of a large intersection with a main road coming from Muse, and the main street running east and west. A compete grade school and high school was also constructed for the community. The grade school was located across from the superintendent’s house and served 12 grades out of 4 rooms, with three grades per room. The businesses included a large commissary, a 72-room hotel, a barber shop, drug store, ice plant, jail, post office, and an early movie theater. Tickets to the theater were 10 cents and showed primarily Wild West movies. The theater also doubled as a church on Sundays.
To connect the town for shipping, the company built a railroad from Pine Valley to Page. At Page, the Oklahoma and Rich Mountain Railroad connected with the Kansas City Southern. All of this was done for lumber. During the 1910s through the 1940s, lumber was a big industry here. They had established one of the largest sawmills and finishing plants in Oklahoma. From Eastern Oklahoma, lumber was sawed, cured, planed, and graded, then shipped to Page. This was done from the company’s one steam locomotive. This locomotive would haul rough cut lumber from the forests to the mill and then finished product out to Page. From there, it could be transported anywhere in the United States.
The lumber mill was one of the finest for that period. It was fully electric with the exception of two steam-powered carriages. The mill would move the logs through massive band saws which would cut the timber into boards. The electric was supplied by steam turbines, which used wood scraps for fuel. This was so efficient that there was enough electricity to supply the entire town.
In total, the town also contained 380 homes. Since this was before desegregation, 100 of those homes were set aside for the black population, which made up one-quarter of the total labor force. Most of the black workers came from Louisiana. The remaining homes were for the white workers, which mainly came from Oklahoma and Arkansas. Between 1928 and 1940, the town population hovered around 1,500 people. Of those, around 800 worked in the mills while the remainder worked in the shops and other businesses. A water treatment facility near the steam turbines also provided water to the town. This was limited, with only one tap between houses, but it was plenty for this small lumber town.
TAXES: Assessed at closing.