Oklahoma March 26, 2017
Most People Have No Idea This Underwater City In Oklahoma Even Exists
There is quite a history that lies beneath Lake Altus-Lugert in southwestern Oklahoma. An entire town once thrived beneath what looks like a seemingly normal lake. The town of Lugert disappeared when a dam was built in the 1940s, and most people have no idea this underwater city exists. If you catch the lake when the waters are extremely low, you’ll see remnants from this lost city.
Founded in 1901, the town of Lugert had a population between 300-400 people. It was named in honor of a prominent local merchant, the town’s founder, Frank Lugert.
Lugert moved to Oklahoma and filed a claim when Indian lands opened up in 1901. He received 80 acres of land at the base of the Wichita Mountains near Red River. He started the town of Lugert and owned the general store, post office and even coined his own money to be used in his store. But tragedy struck in 1912, when a tornado came through town and destroyed 41 out of the 42 buildings. The only structure to remain was Lugert’s General Store.
The town did continue to exist, but on a much smaller scale. In 1926, Altus passed a bond to build a dam across the North Fork of the Red River for a source of city water, flooding the town of Lugert. The dam, as it stands today, was completed in 1947. Frank Lugert rebuilt his buildings and moved his General Store next to the lake and ran it until a few years before his death in 1958.
But from time to time, when drought strikes southwest Oklahoma, remains of this underwater ghost town can be found. As the water recedes, the lake begins to look desolate around the edges.
Piles of bricks from Lugert can be seen near the surface of the lake. These were leftover from the town before the dam was built.
During extreme drought, you can even see whole structures that were left behind. The remains of a cellar from a two-story schoolhouse are pictured above.
And check out this sidewalk that leads to nowhere? If you ever visit the lake at low-levels, make sure you take caution while exploring the area. You never know what you'll find from this lost city!
The town of Lugert may be buried, but its history will always be remembered. Check out this video below for a more detailed look into Lugert.
If you enjoy visiting ghost towns, check out our previous article, “
Haunted Road Trip In Oklahoma.”