Medicine Park, Oklahoma

Medicine Park is a small town located in Comanche County in the US State of Oklahoma. Medicine Park forms a part of the Lawton Metropolitan Statistical Area. Many of the original structures in the area are made of naturally formed red granite cobblestones unique to the Wichita Mountains.

Geography And Climate Of Medicine Park 

Stone gate to Medicine Park, Oklahoma
Stone gate to Medicine Park in Comanche County, Oklahoma. Editorial credit: RaksyBH / Shutterstock.com

Situated in the Wichita Mountains, Medicine Park is located close to the cities of Lawton and Fort Sill and serves as the entrance to the Wichita Mountain Refuge. According to the United States Census Bureau, Medicine Park covers a total area of 4.4 sq. km, of which 4.4 sq. km is occupied by land, and 0.26 sq. km is covered by water. 

Medicine Park in fall, Lawton, Oklahoma
Medicine Park in fall, Lawton, Oklahoma. 

According to the Köppen Climate Classification, Medicine Park experiences a humid subtropical climate, with high temperatures and uniformly distributed precipitation throughout the year. The average temperature for the year in Medicine Park is 16.7°C. July is the warmest month, with an average temperature of 28.3°C, whereas the coldest month is January, having an average temperature of 3.9°C. 

The Population Of Medicine Park 

In 2020, Medicine Park was home to a population of 488 people with a median age of 60.4 and a population density of 86 people per square kilometer. The town’s population has increased by 27.5% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 382 people in 2010. The majority of the residents in Medicine Park are non-Hispanic White. There were 56.4 times more non-Hispanic White residents in the town than any other race or ethnicity in 2019. The largest ethnic groups in Medicine Park are non-Hispanic White representing 94.31% of the town’s population, Two or more races at 2.34%, Black or African American at 1 %, and Asian at 1%. All the residents of Medicine Park are U.S. citizens, and all households speak English at home as their primary language.

The Economy Of Medicine Park

Between 2018 and 2019, the median household income in Medicine Park has declined from $62,083 to $53,438, a -13.9% decrease. However, the town is currently growing at a rate of 2.52% annually. The economy of Medicine Park employs around 51% of the town's population in different industries such as Manufacturing, Health Care & Social Assistance, and Construction. The highest paying industries in Medicine Park are Wholesale Trade, followed by Manufacturing and Agriculture & Fishing & Hunting.

Brief History Of Medicine Park 

A jail in Medicine Park, Oklahoma
A jail in Medicine Park, Oklahoma. 

In 1908, Medicine Park was established as the first resort town of Oklahoma. The town’s founder, John William Elmer Thomas, was attracted to the unique cobblestone deposits and the mountains and plains that surrounded the town. He bought land and began constructing the “Medicine Park Summer Resort and Health Spa.” The simple resort he built quickly became a vacation area for miscreants, outlaws, and bootleggers. The town also attracted people from different backgrounds. Medicine Park was a gateway to President Roosevelt and Al Capone, Jack Abernathy and Pretty Boy Floyd, Will Rogers, Bonnie, and Clyde. After being elected as a US Senator, Thomas sold the park to a corporation in 1926. Along with the Great Depression and WWII, this purchase brought financial hardship, and the population declined. By 1984, the town’s population had decreased drastically, but it still held its charm. The remaining resident of Medicine Park partnered with students from OU and the Association for South Central Oklahoma Governments (ASCOG) and won a grant which allowed them to restore the town’s cobblestone walls. Soon, the walls got repaired, and the town began to flourish again. Cobblestone cabins were renovated, and businesses started attracting visitors escaping the heat.

Tourist Attractions In Medicine Park

Bath Lake

Bath Lake at Medicine Park, Oklahoma
Wide shot of the scenic bath lake with waterfalls at Medicine Park, Oklahoma. 

Medicine Park is famous for its laid-back vintage atmosphere and unique red cobblestone. Visitors enjoy swimming in Bath Lake, located in the center of the town. Visitors go swimming in a natural swimming hole surrounded by the area’s unique red stone cobbles. The town also has several interesting one-off shops to visit as well as many picnic areas and hiking trails.

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Scenic view in Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma
A scenic view while descending the twisting road from Mt. Scott, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma. 

The town is also a few hours from the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, where visitors can enjoy rock climbing, camping, hiking, and wildlife watching. The refuge spans over 9,100 ha and is home to many animals, including bison and longhorns. 

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