Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Submerged Town of Lugert

In the distance to the left of center stood the Town of Lugert.  If we
were speaking of bad luck, it was first destroyed by a tornado, and
then drowned by a lake.

The name of the lake comes from two towns in the area.  In the 1901 land rush, Austria-born Frank Lugert filed an 80-acre tract of land on Kiowa and Comanche lands as the site for the town of Lugert.  He built a post office, train depot, and a general store which handled about anything a settler would need.  At its zenith, the town also had a bank, 2 hotels, 2 restaurants, a saloon, lumberyard, and 2 pool halls.  On April 27, 1912, a tornado struck the town of 400 at noon.  Forty-one of the 42 businesses were destroyed with one death, as well as a large portion of the homes.  They struggled to survive until 1927. In 1927, the town of Altus built a 458-ft dam across the North Fork of the Red River to provide for a reliable water source for the town.  The remainder of the buildings were leveled, and when the lake is low, the foundations of the homes and businesses can still be found in the southeast corner of the lake.   

Several stone foundations are visible when the lake is low.

The 4,984 acres that comprise the park were developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps starting in 1937, and many of the structures they built are still in use today.  Lake Altus-Lugert provides another 6,700 acres of water with a 47 mile shoreline. 

As evidence of the inland sea that at one time covered the whole Plains
area, we see where mountains have slumped and collapsed due to 
saturation and uneven drying.  In the center, we see a whole section
of the mountain collapsed, leaving a bit of a crater.  To its right are a
couple other areas that slid down partially creating a stair-step effect.

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