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FAMOUS LADY BANDIT "BELLE STARR" HOME AND FINAL RESTING SPOT
Lying along the Canadian river near the town of Porum and just above the Lake Eufaula dam lies a pile of stones from the foundation of a log cabin and the final resting place of Belle Starr, Oklahoma's "Queen of Bandits". What was once Indian Territory, the hills and valleys of Oklahoma was a natural draw for outlaws on the run and those who chose to rob banks, trains and live a life of general lawnessness.
One such bandit,Belle Starr, maintained her hide out here on this 45.15 acres in the wild and wooley frontier of Indian Territory. It was about this time that she became involved with Sam Starr whom she married. They set up housekeeping and built a log cabin. Some of Belle Starr's gang who lived in their home was Scout Younger, Blue Duck, Mack Alford and Eddie Reed. From this homesite, they hid during the day and traveled by night, stealing horses, saddles, guns and robbing trains.
In February 1889, Belle began one of her frequent trips to Ft. Smith, AR. Historians and family members say that she and her friend, Jim July, planned to go thru Whitefield, Stigler, Keota, and onto Poteau River. She made a visit to friends in San Bois to deliver a death message and Jim July continued on to Ft. Smith. Upon continuing her journey the next morning she discovered that her horse was lame. Belle turned back, nursing her lame horse to return to her hideout on the Canadian river. Some time later she noticed her horse was somewhat better and decided to mount and ride slowly. Then from nowhere a shot rang out and Belle was hit from behind by turkey shot. She was knocked from her horse and saddle and grabbed for her holster. But fate intervened and the ambusher put another charge into her body, bringing her life to an end.
Many tales have emerged about the ambusher. Some say it was her son, some say it was Jim July and yet still others say it was a neighbor.
Her body was then taken on to her hideout and laid to rest on this 45.15 acres.
In later years, around 1938, Claude Hamilton was sweeping his barber shop in the town of Porum and beneath an art decco couch was a map that had fallen from someone's pocket. The map was to a treasure hidden in an arid area of Colorado. Mr. Hamilton (who was the father of today's present owner) left to find his treasure and was led to $40,000 in gold bars. Thus, Mr. Hamilton became the victim of an affliction common among treasure hunters. In 1940 Mr. Hamilton, with some of the treasure money, bought the notorious Lady Bandit's hideout and began his search for the legendary lost loot of Belle or the other outlaw gang who frequented her hideout. Though, he never found it, his search for it was excitement enough for him.
Who of us know??? It could be still lying there on this 45.15 acres, in a crevice of a rock bluff or beneath the ground at the foot of a tree.
This 45.15 acres is wooded and in need of clearing but would make a great destination RV park, theme park and outdoor theatre. It is located just above the Lake Eufaula dam where the fishing is super. Lake Eufaula boasts of over 600 miles of shoreline and hundred of thousands of visitors flock to this area each year. Most of the 600 miles of shoreline of the lake lies within the boundaries of the old Creek Nation, with part of the southern portion in the old Choctaw Nation. Many of the reminders of the colorful history of the area, are still present today. Native American life, outlaw gangs and Civil War battles remain for visitors to see. The lake waters nestle across the old Texas Road over which carried more than a thousand covered wagons each week in the 1830's as people moved from the east into Texas.
The Lake Eufaula dam project was authorized by the 1946 River and Harbor Act. It was dedicated on September 25th, 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The site of Belle Starr's grave and home are located arroximately 30 miles to both Muskogee,OK to the North and Stigler, OK to the East.