I have had a very emotional interest in Picher, as well as its sister town Cardin, ever since I moved to Oklahoma and learned that the two towns had been named the biggest (read worst) Superfund sites in the U.S. The lead and zinc mining that had brought amazing prosperity to the towns in the '30s and '40s eventually dangerously polluted the land, water, and air in the region. Afton is in the same county and, although not affected as greatly as the other two towns, still has a somewhat dangerous level of pollutants in its air, so I have a personal interest in the whole sad story. But mostly, I feel so badly for the citizens of Picher and Cardin who were forced to move from their longtime homes.
You can read about the closing of the towns here: http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-picher-cardin-officially-are-no-more/article_dcfcbb72-40ee-5359-9cc8-7e82ec0b642b.html
I have written about the plight of Picher several times here on the blog, and you can find the posts at:
January 9, 2009
November 6, 2009
January 25, 2011
RIP Picher, Oklahoma
RIP Cardin, Oklahoma