The campsite overlooks over 600 acres of peaceful grassy knolls which takes the viewer back in time. See below for a bit of local history and things to see while in the area.
About 65 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, near the junction of Highways 81 and 17, was a sign that said: "Welcome to Rush Springs, home of 1500 happy faces and a few old soreheads." Now the sign says: "Welcome to Rush Springs." Also, there is a giant watermelon slice indicating that Rush Springs is also the Watermelon Capital.
Rush Springs gets its name from the large springs near the head of Rush Creek from which the town gets its water supply. It is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) settlements in Grady County, Oklahoma. The history of Rush Springs may be divided into six periods.
The first period leads up to 1858. The springs served as a camping site for Indian tribes from very early days. The Wichita Indians settled on Rush Creek about four miles southeast of the present town around 1850. It was at this place that the famous "Battle of the Wichita Village" was fought between the Comanches and the United States Calvary on October 1, 1858. After this battle, the Wichitas fled to Fort Arbuckle.
The second period deals with the Chisholm cattle trail (1865-1892). Thousands of heads of cattle were driven northward across the territory over this trail from Texas to Kansas. This trail passed about one and a half miles east of the town, and the springs served as a watering place for the cattle. This trail ceased to be used after the railroad was built across the territory in 1892. Parts of this trail can still be seen today.
The third period covers the years 1871-1878. Fort Sill had just been established. Supplies had to be shipped to Fort Sill from points in the eastern part of Indian Territory. After the building of the railroad across the eastern part of the territory, Caddo became the main shipping point. Rush Springs was between Caddo and Fort Sill. A stage stand was built and a little town sprang up. When the government freight station was moved from Caddo to Texas, the little town nearly died.
The years 1878-1892 make up the fourth period. The "Huntley Ranch" was established on Rush Creek near the site of the old Wichita Village. The ranch became a stage stand and a freight station for local settlers. A post office, known as "Parr," was established at this place in 1883. In 1892, this post office was moved to Rush Springs.
The fifth period begins in the year 1892, when the Rock Island Railroad came through the springs. It became a government freight station to Fort Sill for nine years, resulting in rapid growth of the town.
The sixth period dates from 1901 when the Rock Island Railroad lines were extended to Fort Sill and Lawton, thus ceasing the freight trade at Rush Springs. The town has since depended on ranching, farming and oil interest for its existence.
Things to see in the area:
Lake Humphreys - Marlow GW Exotic Park - Wynnewood Chief Drive-In Theater - Chickasha Chickasaw Cultural Center Southern Plains Indian Museum Historic Candlelight Tour-Sulphur Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge - Medicine Park Downtown Medicine Park Natural Falls State Park Turner Falls - Davis Arbuckle Mountains - Davis Myriad Botanical Gardens - Oklahoma City Little Niagara on Travertine Creek Philbrook Museum Beaver’s Bend - Broken Bow Historic Jester Oklahoma Fort Sill Museum - Lawton OKA' YANAHLI PRESERVE Lake Tenkiller Lake Elmer Thomas Robber’s Cave Outlaw Cave Spanish Cave Bat Cave Jester's Cave Turner Falls Cave