Prior to the arrival of the KCS Railroad, Poteau was centered around the courthouse lawn. At the end of Dewey, where KP’s is today, the old railroad depot saw a thriving business. During the 1890s, a ashes from a pot-bellied stove caught the old downtown area on fire – a fire that destroyed nearly the entire town!
When the town began to rebuild, they designated the area where the fire began as a public park. This later became the Courthouse Lawn. The KCS Depot was constructed by the KCS tracks, two blocks north of Dewey. Because of this, many visitors would switch between the KCS lines and the Frisco lines in Poteau, with most traveling down Dewey Avenue. At the time, Dewey was a small side road, but in the early 1900s, it grew to be the main road in Poteau.
These photos show some of the growth of the early 1900s in Poteau. To view all of the photos, consider becoming a paid member and help support the MGCA!
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