Perry Lake still covered by ice.
We rode through Perry, OK, simply because we’d never been there before. Perry was originally called Wharton. It was named after an Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad train station built in 1886 a mile south of the current town. With the opening of the Cherokee Strip to white settlement in 1893, the U.S. Government opened a land office a mile north of the train station, and assigned J. A. Perry to lay out the town plot and manage the land office.
The first sun we had seen in weeks would soon be
obscured by a thick layer of clouds.
The town clock and library.
In the late-1940’s, the Charles Machine Works Company was founded, and began making equipment now called Ditch Witch, and still a mainstay of the town. .
On April 19, 1995, a State Trooper spotted a 1977 Mercury Marquis just outside of town without a tag. He stopped the car and arrested the driver for carrying a loaded firearm. He was to later find that the driver, Timothy McVeigh, was fleeing after having bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City when he was stopped.
After crossing McVeigh’s tire tracks, we drove out to Perry Lake, also just outside of town. Perry Lake was built during the Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps. It has 567 surface acres and a 13-mile long shoreline. It’s still early enough in the year that we shared the recreation area with only one other vehicle. While the ice has opened in the middle of the lake, the branches and shoreline are still blocked by thin, rotting ice. The morning sun had been blocked by a thickening layer of cirrus clouds that returned a flat, drab wintry-looking sky.