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Hochatown, Oklahoma is a thriving tourist driven town on the banks of Broken Bow Lake in South Eastern Oklahoma. But Hochatown has a history, one not told by the plaques put up for the tourists in the state parks.

When the Choctaw Indians were forced to move to Oklahoma, about 12 families didn't stop in nearby Eagle. They kept going North and established a settlement in a valley. They planted crops, hunted, built houses, and lived a peaceful life. In 1900, the Choctaw Lumber and Coal Company established a lumber camp at the village site. A spur railroad was built, a commissary which sold whiskey and personal items was put in and the village was forever changed. When the lumber company moved out, farmers moved in, planting and developing the newly cleared areas. A school and general store were opened and a post office established. The town never grew very big, however, as no state highway ever led to it, and it wasn't served by a bus or train route. During the 1920s and 1930s the area became known as the Moonshine Capital of Oklahoma as the clear water from the streams and the isolated ravines made it a perfect place to operated hidden moonshine stills.

The town slowly died. Due to lack of economic and employment opportunities few young people stayed, and the older population moved to areas with better medical facilities. The Army Corps of Engineers moved the final families out when it built the Broken Bow Lake Dam in the 1960s. The entire town is now under the waters of Broken Bow Lake.

An interesting note: my dad grew up in Hochatown and my grandpa was a moonshiner in the mountains there. My dad said that he knew of a cave there that was completely lined with quartz crystals. He discovered the cave while helping his dad haul moonshine from the still, but could never tell anyone about it because of it's proximity to his dad's still. He says the cave would be under the lake now.

I was born in Hochatown in 1937 and lived there until 1957.

I left just before they started the Broken Bow dam. I am the one the other node talks about that helped his dad with his moonshine.

The Choctaw Lumber and Coal Co. turned into Dierks Lumber and Coal Co. and then about the time the dam was being built it was sold to Weyerhauser Timber Co. I (along with everyone else) went to school in a two room school house with no electricity, no running water and we heated the school with wood heat.

I spent many days following a team of horses or mules down a row of corn or cotton. My dad was a share cropper as well as a moonshiner.

Most of the kids in Hochatown went to high school in Eagletown which was about 19 miles from home. We would ride the bus every morning and then home in the evening. Anyone interested in knowing about some of the things that went on during these kinds of times, I would love to share anything I can.

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