Sunday, October 21, 2018

Discover Poteau!

Southeast Oklahoma is full of fun and fascinating things to do, see, and talk about!  There are a plethora of outdoor recreational opportunities, including places such as Long Lake Resort and Lake Wister.  Poteau, the County Seat offers a touch of city life, while still retaining that “home town” feel.  No matter what you are looking for, there’s something here for everyone!

Poteau Attractions

Summer Fun in the Poteau Area

"Some of the best memories are made in flip flops." Summer is here!  That means that it's time to get out and explore all of what...




Poteau History

Poteau Shopping

Poteau Stage: Clothing & More!

Shop Stage for brand name family apparel, shoes, jewelry, handbags, beauty, gifts, accessories and more. Expect exceptional value ...

Poteau Places of Interest

The Mountain Gateway Magazine

Deep South Steakhouse and Cheesecake Bakery

Mid America Karate in Poteau

Poteau Family Fitness

Sidewinders in Downtown Poteau

The Viking Runestone Festival

Yellow Cottage Studios Art Gallery and Workshop

Twyman Park in Poteau

Members Area

Poteau, Oklahoma and the Mountain Gateway

Known as The Mountain Gateway, the Poteau area is one of the most beautiful destination points in the country. Still, few people outside of the area know about this natural beauty.

The modern town of Poteau can trace its origins back to 1875 when the first white families began to settle the area.  Poteau Switch, as it was then known, was a wild and rugged place.  Notorious outlaws such as Belle Starr, Frank and Jesse James, and the Younger Gang frequented the fledgling town as they passed through the area.

By the early 1920’s, development along Dewey Avenue was at its peak.  By now, the small settlement of Poteau Switch had grown into a thriving city.  Buildings were being erected at a rapid pace.

In 1932, because of the rapid growth, W.W. Lowrey hosted the Lakeview Landrun.  This was an event that mimicked the earlier Oklahoma Land Runs throughout the state.  Visitors lined up along Dewey Avenue to “claim a stake” in some of the best property in Poteau.

In 1934, Bonnie and Clyde robbed the Central National Bank in Downtown Poteau.  They escaped in a blue Plymouth sedan down the old highway with $1,500 in hand.  This was their last successful robbery before the end of their career.

During WWII, servicemen from Ft. Smith would travel to Poteau for weekend leaves, as the town was the furthest point in which they could travel from Ft. Smith.

The Post WWII years were great times in downtown Poteau.  In the 200 block, you could go to the movies, have a beer, buy clothes, and even go to the soda fountain at the drugstore.

Growth in Poteau continued at a rapid pace until 1981.  That year, a series of large fires destroyed many of the historic buildings in downtown Poteau.  In the mid-1990’s, a strong push was made to revive the aging downtown area by then mayor Don Barnes.  Today, downtown development is booming once more due largely to efforts began by local author and historian Eric Standridge, business owner Karla Holt, and with Julie Jenkins, and Kathleen Bishop. Along with the City of Poteau, Standridge implimented a plan to revitalize the downtown district. Now overseen by Poteau Main Street Matters, they continue to provide events and activities throughout the downtown area

In recent years, the city has seen a new library, a modern convention center, and a state-of-the-art Skatepark.  Black Angus bulls were also recently put up that reflect the proud heritage of Poteau.  As the town continues to grow and thrive, it’s assured that it will always remain one of the best small towns in eastern Oklahoma.

Currently, Eric Standridge along with Kathleen Bishop, Julie Jenkins, Lynda Fox, Jessica Gardner, Lisa Fabian, and a host of others have implemented a regional development plan that will help bring more awareness to the area.

The purpose of this site is to help educate people about what the area offers and its fascinating history, as well as to offer a resources for both visitors and locals to learn more about our home.