McAlester is located in the state of Oklahoma and has a lot of culture to offer as well as great sights and interesting destinations. So if you’re planning a trip to McAlester, you’ve come to the right place!
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Vacation in McAlester
McAlester is a city in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 18,363 at the 2010 census, a 5.7 percent increase from 17,783 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Pittsburg County and was home to five different Native American tribes before the arrival of European settlers.
McAlester is known as “The Capital of the Choctaw Nation” and was the site of an important victory by Acting Lieutenant Colonel barrels Robert E. Lee during the American Civil War. It is home to two of the largest manufacturers in the United States: McElroy Manufacturing and international paper.
A popular destination for tourist is Lake Eufaula which is located just outside of McAlester. The lake has over 600 miles of shoreline and was created by damming the Canadian River. Visitors to the lake can enjoy camping, fishing, swimming, and boating.
Just south of McAlester is the Choctaw National Health Care Center, a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical center. The center provides primary and specialty care to eligible Native American veterans.
McAlester offers a variety of other activities and attractions for visitors. The historic downtown district features a number of shops and restaurants. The UKB Museum and Cultural Center is a mustsee for anyone interested in the history and culture of the local Native American tribes. The Frisco Depot Museum is another great option for those interested in the area’s history.
For outdoor enthusiasts, there are a number of hiking and biking trails in McAlester. The city is also home to several parks, including Atoka Lake Park and Veterans Memorial Park.
Sights in McAlester
McAlester is a city in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 18,363 at the 2010 census, a 5.7 percent increase from 17,783 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Pittsburg County and was established as a railroad town when the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad built a line through the area in the 1870s. It was named for James J. McAlester, who later served as governor of Oklahoma. The Choctaw Nation opened a trading post at the site in the early 1830s. A post office called McAlester’s Landing was established in August 1834. The name was changed to McAlester in January 1879. The Florida towns of McAlester and Fort Walton Beach share the same namesake.
McAlester is home to many beautiful sights. One of the most popular tourist attractions is Krebs Heritage Museum. The museum is dedicated to preserving the heritage of the city with exhibits on the city’s history, culture, and natural resources. Visitors can also learn about the city’s Native American, pioneer, and Civil War history. Another popular sight is Atwood Park. The park features a playground, walking trails, and a quarry where visitors can swim. McAlester is also home to two golf courses, Lake Eufaula State Park, and websites containing hundreds of photos and videos of the city.
History of McAlester
McAlester is a city in and the county seat of Pittsburg County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 18,363 at the 2010 census, making it the largest city in southeastern Oklahoma.In 2018, the estimated population was 19,769, a 3.3 percent increase from the 2010 figure. It is home to one of the largest armories in the United States, McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, and was the site of two large prisons, the former McAlester federal prison and Oklahoma State Penitentiary, once known as “Big Mac.” McAlester is the principal city of the McAlester Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Pittsburg County and which had an estimated population of 48,495 in 2010.
The first known EuropeanAmerican settlers in the presentday McAlester area were Thomas L. McKinney and LeviCoffee, who established a trading post called Coffee’s Station on the north bank of the South Canadian River in January 1840. A year later, William S. Brown arrived in the area to teach at a Choctaw boys’ school located near the trading post. At Coffee’s Station, a variety of people gathered to trade: Indians, Europeans, Mexicans, and AfricanAmericans. When the United States Congress opened Indian Territory to EuroAmerican settlement in the 1830s and 1840s, white immigrants from the southeastern states moved into the area.
Some brought their enslaved AfricanAmericans with them, and sometimes they purchased slaves in Arkansas and Missouri. In 1854, the Choctaw Nation founded the town of Bellevue, just south of Coffee’s Station. The Choctaws planned to make it their capital, but the American Civil War interfered with that ambition. During the War, many Choctaw men served in the Confederate Army, and the Union Army built Fort Coburn near Bellevue to keep an eye on the Choctaws.
When the War ended, Levi Coffee closed his trading post and went away. Many of the former slaves and slaveholders settled in the area that became McAlester. People from both the North and the South settled in McAlester during Reconstruction, and white southern immigrants brought their culture with them. The city has a historic AfricanAmerican business district called the strip on East Washington Avenue.
The first post office in McAlester was established in 1873. The city was incorporated in Indian Territory in 1878. when it had a population of 1,000 people. The city was named after James J. McAlester, who built a general store there. He was born in Ulster, Ireland, in 1808 and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1817. They settled in Kentucky. McAlester studied medicine and became a doctor. In 1832, he moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he married and raised a family. He began working in the mercantile business in the 1840s, and in 1857, he moved to Texarkana, Arkansas, where he partnered with James W. Nunn in a store called Nunn and McAlester.
In 1862, McAlester volunteered to serve in the Confederate Army as a surgeon. He treated patients in Tupelo, Mississippi, and later in Mobile, Alabama. When the War ended, he returned to Texarkana and reopen the store with Nunn. In 1866, McAlester moved to Paris, Texas, and started a mercantile business there. In 1873, he bought a store in Indian Territory, and that is how McAlester, Oklahoma, got its name.
McAlester prospered as a trading center in the 1870s and 1880s. It was located on the Texas Road, a cattledriving route from Texas to Missouri. The city was also on the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach route. In 1875, the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway (MK&T) reached McAlester, making it a regional transportation hub. The Frog Switch & Manufacturing Company set up a plant in McAlester to make railroad cars and other equipment for the MK&T. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF) also built a line through McAlester, and it reached the city in 1887.
The coal industry began in McAlester in 1887, when miners dug the first commercial coal mine in the Choctaw Nation. Coal mining became a major industry in the area, and McAlester was nicknamed the “Capital of Coal.” The city now has five active coal mines, and coal mining is the foundation of the economy.
In 1890, the population of McAlester was 5,091, and it was the secondlargest city in Indian Territory. It was also the largest city in the Choctaw Nation
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