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.