The southeast banks of Lake Arrowhead looked much differently over 100 years ago, when pioneers relied on farming and settled on the Little Wichita River. Eventually, the mostly rash land that once housed the town of Halsell was taken by eminent domain in the 1960's to build the lake. Once the drought conditions started to worsen, and lake levels at Arrowhead started to decrease, portions of Halsell started to resurface.
"There are certain portions that began to become visible," said J.D. Evans, a Board Member of the Clay County Historical Society. "There's a place where the old railroad went through, and there were some posts left visible out near where the cemetery was."
At its peak the town was home to about 600 people. By the mid thirties, however the number of residents was down to 36 with only one business left. The railroad built going south from Henrietta was not as useful as it once was, since many residents recognized the convenience of automobiles and left for other pastures.
Halsell was a vibrant little country town," said Lucille Glasgow, the Corresponding Secretary of the Clay County Historical Society, "with a large school. But, things change.
The area took on a whole new meaning once oil was discovered at Lake Arrowhead. The presence of black gold should have meant a big boom for Halsell, but it wasn't meant to be.
"It had very little effect on the town of Halsell," both Glasgow & Evans explained. "Oil was not discovered around here until after 1901, and oil had not been discovered in that area."
Had oil been unearthed slightly earlier, Halsell may have been a major Texoma town and Lake Arrowhead may have had a drastically different shape.