Ponderosa Water Park

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City/Town: Oologah
Location Class: Amusement Park
Year Built: 1980
Year Abandoned: 1984
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Johnny Fletcher

This water park can be found in the small community of Oologah (spelling Oolagah before the statehood), right off Highway 88. Oologah is probably best known for being the birthplace of aviation legend Will Rogers, but is also home to this wonderful Abandoned Oklahoma place. During the 50’s and 60’s, the state was busy building lakes for water supply and tourism. Out of this massive project many state lakes were formed including lake Oologah. This increased tourism in the area, and the Ponderosa Water Park was built. It was open until 1984, when a 9-year-old girl died tragically when she was sucked into a pump propeller, and then into an 8-inch pipe. The park still stands today, just as it was left in 1984, although the larger building is rented for storage.

Special Thanks to John Wiley, publisher of the ‘Oologah Lake Leader Newspaper’ for his help researching this location.

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leslie willm
leslie willm
4 years ago

I just went there to look at it and wanted some pictures and the woman living in the red house told me to leave it was her property and I never got to get any pictures, she was very rude and her dogs almost would have got me if it weren't for my dogs standing there! I thought it was a piece of history that you could go look at! I didn't think I was causing any harm! That is strange I wonder if she is the same owner and is that her property she said it was!

jmbauhaus
jmbauhaus
Reply to  leslie willm
3 years ago

The original family who owned the park sold it and moved away years ago. I don't know anything about the family currently living down there but yeah, the park's on private property. ETA: The family who built and originally owned the park were some of the sweetest, friendliest people you could ever meet.

Kasi Sifford
Kasi Sifford
Reply to  leslie willm
6 months ago

My parents own the property. It is now a rent house. Has been for several years.

Dylan Moody
Dylan Moody
Reply to  Kasi Sifford
5 months ago

Do you think your parents would grant people entry to see the site?

Amanda Bowman
Amanda Bowman
Reply to  Kasi Sifford
2 months ago

Hey, my friend and I have been thinking about visiting abandoned sites in Oklahoma. I was wondering if you guys allow visitors and how we can get in contact so we could figure out some time we can go.

Kobe
Kobe
4 years ago

The images of the Ponderosa water park that are shared here on the page is so good. I liked the place very much and I will check this place out. I am so happy that you guys are sharing details of these awesome abandoned places. Jewish classifieds

kate
kate
5 years ago

0.o

Kris
Kris
5 years ago

It would be nice if you actually gave information as to whether it was haunted. That's the whole reason I went on this website and it is sadly disappointing.

Bubba Williams
Bubba Williams
Reply to  Kris
5 years ago

It is haunted by the ghost of your fat mom

ID SCANNER
5 years ago

Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your web-site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched all over the place and just couldn’t come across. What a great web-site.

ID SCANNER
5 years ago

As soon as I found this web site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

Starr
Starr
7 years ago

I was there that day but had left before the accident. I knew the little girl that died because we rode the same bus to school in Oologah and I knew both the family of the little girl and the family that owned the water slide. The area is part of a very small community that didn't get it's first stoplight in town until the late 90's. It was the type of community where everyone knew everyone so when the accident happened it affected everyone. We, as youngsters of that time, were extremely excited that the water slide was opened… Read more »

Serena
Serena
Reply to  Starr
3 years ago

I was there that day, too, and remember it well. Such a tragic, awful event. I'll never forget her mother's screams. I'm sorry for the family, the community, and anyone else who was there on that horrible day.

jmbauhaus
jmbauhaus
Reply to  Starr
3 years ago

I was also there that day, but like you I had left before the accident happened. My friends and I all loved to play around the area where they kept that pump. We would even get up on the little wall separating the pump from the pool and do flips off of it. I always shudder to think how easily that could have been one of us.

john papason
john papason
7 years ago

damn that needs a broom and some wax skate jam all day

Henry Kissenger
Henry Kissenger
Reply to  john papason
4 years ago

What are you doing with a waxed-up broom stick? Perv

Ted
Ted
8 years ago

I was at the water slide that day, but left shortly before the girl was discovered missing.

Daisy
Daisy
8 years ago

What was the name of the little girl. I know she went to Collinsville. I have been searching for the story on her. But no luck.

Starr
Starr
Reply to  Daisy
4 years ago

She didn't go to Collinsville, she went to Oologah. I know because her family lived near ours and we rode the bus together. I won't release her name though. It's been a long time since the accident but it's still a very sensitive subject amongst family and those involved.

Sue
Sue
8 years ago

I dont know about you guys but I want some soup……BAD!! o.0

Henry Kissenger
Henry Kissenger
Reply to  Sue
4 years ago

Have your hubby make you some ball soup

Shaun
Shaun
8 years ago

Weird. The pop machine has logos from at least the early 90's. That Pepsi logo on the handle was new in 1992.

jmbauhaus
jmbauhaus
Reply to  Shaun
3 years ago

IIRC some new people bought it in the 90s and made a brief attempt at re-opening it but it didn't work out.

Luci
Luci
9 years ago

There is one like this in Medicine Park

Abby Mahan
Abby Mahan
10 years ago

Crazy to see the old water slides compared to the new ones we see today. I hate to hear that a young girl had to die there.

trackback
10 years ago

[…] Homestead Ealsboro, OK St. Vincents Home Bryant Center Chilocco Indian School Page Woodson School Ponderosa Water Park Labodie Mansion Norfolk School Logan County Memorial Hospital Hissom Memorial Center The Skirvin […]

Will
Will
11 years ago

I bet that little girl is still there playing!

Raider918
Raider918
11 years ago

I know this site well. It was not built in the 50's or 60's. I don't remember the actual year, but it was no earlier than 1980 or so. The water slide was very popular, even though it's basically just over the hill from Oologah Lake. The putt-putt golf course at the base of the hill never really got of the ground, and may have been open for only a few months when the drowning happened. The larger building nearby was actually a sort of arcade, if memory serves. The small blue building with the open door was the lower… Read more »

jmbauhaus
jmbauhaus
Reply to  Raider918
3 years ago

I was coming here to say it was built in the early '80s. I remember when it opened. One of the most exciting days of my young life. 🙂

psychosaw13
psychosaw13
11 years ago

Thanx to those at Abandoned Ok for finding all this amazing info on the places I’ve explored. I never would have know the story of this location if it weren’t for Ya’ll!

AbandonedOK Team
Reply to  psychosaw13
11 years ago

You're quite welcome! Without your photos though, we would have never even known about these great locations!

Jamie Howell
Jamie Howell
Reply to  AbandonedOK Team
1 month ago

I remember when I was younger (mid 90s) it was reopened for a time. My dad took me almost everyday that summer. I was sad when it was closed again.

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