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Lake Murray

Lake Murray is a 5,728-acre man-made lake located in south central Oklahoma, near Ardmore. The popular lake, frequented by people from all over the state and beyond, is a favorite spot for both fishing and recreational activities. Lake Murray is completely within the Oklahoma's largest state park - Lake Murray State Park. The most noteworthy feature of Lake Murray is Tucker's Tower – a vacation retreat which is roughly shaped like a truncated obelisk. It now houses Tucker Tower Nature Center – an excellent museum of natural history managed by Lake Murray State Park personnel. In bygone days, the Lake Murray area served as good hunting grounds for Natives. Historic records state that the valleys now occupied by Lake Murray were hunting grounds for Paleo-Indians from 12,000 BC to 7,000 BC. They mainly hunted now-extinct animals such as the mammoth and the mastodon, as well as the larger ancestors of our present-day bison. Seasonal camp sites were seen in the general area by 6,000 BC - evidence suggests that the number of campsites increased from that time until about AD 500. By AD 1600, most of the nearby Indian campsites were along Hickory Creek, to the south. Lake Murray is geologically located in the Ardmore Basin. Owing to its ideal location, between two mountain ranges, some geologists put forth an idea to build a dam to form a lake. In early 1932, they started an effort towards getting such a dam built. The work on the lake began in July 1933. A dam, 600 feet long and 150 feet high, was built, but a part of the dam was sloughed off before the lake filled. Later when the dam was rebuilt, the lake's water level was 12 feet lower than originally planned. At the time when Lake Murray was dammed, it was the largest body of water in the state. Tucker Tower, one of the major attractions of Lake Murray, was named after Senator Fred Tucker. It was originally built as a retreat for Governor Murray. The park is now a favorite destination for tourists.