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Oklahoma Real Estate: From Ice Age to Population 3 Million

Aug 8, 2008
About 11,000 years ago, Oklahoma real estate was nothing more than a polar desert resulting from Earth's last glacial period. But even then, there is evidence that Native Americans either lived or traveled through the area.

Oklahoma's First Permanent Settlers

Although it's suspected that people traveled through what is modern-day Oklahoma during the last ice age, the first permanent settlers probably didn't arrive until around 850 A.D. Evidence of these first settlers is manifested by the Spiro Mounds which were inhabited by a mound-building Native American group that occupied the land up until about 1450.

One of the largest mounds, known as Craig Mound, contained a cavity which preserved nearly perfectly several artifacts. Unfortunately, the mound was looted in the mid 20th century. Some of the looted artifacts have since been recovered.

The heart of the mound complex is an oval-shaped area where ceremonies, particularly death rituals, were performed.

Europeans Arrive

In 1541, Francisco Vazquez de Coronado came up through Mexico and passed through Oklahoma on his way to what is modern-day Kansas. However, it was the French who would eventually claim the land in the 18th century.

The land that makes up Oklahoma would remain under French rule until 1803 when it was acquired by the U.S. as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

Return of Native Americans

Native Americans would once again inhabit the land, though not by choice. The U.S. government forced the removal of several tribes from their land in eastern states and transplanted them into Oklahoma. In Tulsa stands a tree, known as the Creek Council Tree, where the Lochapoka of the Creek Nation performed a traditional ceremony upon their arrival.

The Lochapoka lost over 150 of their people in the forced transplant. Today, Oklahoma still has a large number of Native Americans living in the state representing 67 tribes. As such, Oklahoma is home to over two dozen native languages, the most of any state.

Population Boom

Oklahoma was awarded statehood in 1907. The arrival of the railroad, in conjunction with the discovery of oil, lead to a population boom; particularly in the capital city of Tulsa. Tulsa's population grew from just over 7,000 in 1907 to about 72,000 in 1920.

Oklahoma's oil-based economy remained strong throughout most of the 20th century. By 1982, there was an oil bust and Oklahoma was forced to reinvent itself.

Race Riots of 1921

Oklahoma experienced the immigration of many blacks during the early 20th century, creating one of the most prosperous African-American communities in the nation. However, a strong Ku Klux Klan presence resulted in conflict.

The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 is known as one of the most violent and costliest acts of racial violence in America. But by the late 1920's, the KKK's influence had dissipated to negligible levels.

Modern Day

Today, Oklahoma enjoys a strong economy based not only on the oil industry, but aviation, energy, and technology industries.

While the Oklahoma real estate of today is far from resembling that of its former self 11,000 years ago, it's unlikely that you'll find anyone too quick to complain about that fact.
About the Author
Remax Oklahoma (http://www.remax-oklahoma.com) specializes in offering Oklahoma real estate as well as homes and other land throughout Oklahoma. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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