Articles about Grand Lake   Return to Main Page

      Here are some articles about the many things that make up the world of Grand Lake Oklahoma. I invite you to explore these and learn more about the history and culture of our beautiful area.

A Place That�s All About the Lake

Havens | Grove, Okla.
Published in the New York Times

A Place That�s All About the Lake

Published: December 19, 2008

W. C. FIELDS, whose position on water was that he never touched the stuff, would feel supremely left out at Grand Lake o� the Cherokees, which covers 46,500 acres north, south and west of Grove, Okla. Grand Lake, as the locals call it, favors participants over spectators; its boats are big-motored; and the docks that shelter them are tin-roofed and massive.

�The development on Grand Lake is different from some of the other lakes down here regulated by the Corps of Engineers in regard to access to water, where you can place a dock, where you can trim brush,� said Alden Buerge, a banker from Joplin, Mo., who bought a 3,000-square-foot second home near Grove in 2002. �Grand Lake is just much more open. It�s a place to go and have fun on the water.�

There�s no question that Grove, in northeast Oklahoma, is all about Grand Lake, a fishing hot spot full of crappies, catfish and bass. Some of the nation�s top professional fishermen cruised its coves in 2006 and 2007 in the Bassmaster Elite Series� Sooner Run tournament. But Grand Lake is also home to the casual angler who just wants to jam a chunk of hot dog on a hook in hopes of teasing out a lunker catfish.

Grove is also just two and a half hours away from Branson, Mo., the country music tourist mecca, and that proximity was a lure for the country picker Roy Clark, one of the stars of the television show �Hee Haw.�

�This place filled a lot of things in us we weren�t even aware of,� said Mr. Clark, who lives in Tulsa and has a theater in Branson and a second home in Grove that he bought in 2005. �I can go out my front door and be right on the water, and go out my back door and step onto a championship golf course.�

 

Mr. Clark added: �Our main home�s in Tulsa, and sometimes when we�re here we have mixed emotions, like we�re forsaking our home in Tulsa. But when we�re in Tulsa we say, �How long has it been since we�ve been to the lake?� And we�re right back here again.�

Grove�s location in the south-central United States means that it attracts many second-home buyers from Dallas, St. Louis and Wichita, Kan. � and their far-flung children.

�We did this a lot for the kids and grandkids,� said Gary Sparks, a Tulsa architect, who spent eight months making the 2,500-square-foot Grand Lake home he bought in 2007 for $230,000 more open and water-friendly. �We have kids in Kansas City, and it�s a great middle ground between the families. We�re all water freaks � four of our six grandchildren live in the water � so it�s just perfect.�

The Scene

The golf courses are getting better in and around Grove, the grape vines are maturing at the local wineries, and sailboats fill the slips at the two yacht clubs. Local residents say they welcome Grove�s transition from an eye-blink into a resort town. What they don�t want, though, is for Grove and Grand Lake to become an extension of Branson and Lake of the Ozarks.

�People want to get away from that hustle and bustle,� said Chuck Perry, a longtime resident and a real estate agent. �And when they do, they come here.�

Away from the lake, it�s not uncommon to see a pasture on one side of the road and a golf-and-new-homes development on the other. The remnants of the old Route 66 run west of town to Tulsa, exciting the nostalgia-seekers.

Living on Grand Lake means being out on the water doing something � fishing, pontooning, water-skiing, Jet-Skiing, tubing, sailing � with only the briefest breaks to run into town for ribs and potato salad. As development continues along the lake�s 1,300 miles of shoreline, Grove is increasingly the hub that second-home residents run to.

�Grove is really a town in transition,� Mr. Perry said.

When the construction of the Pensacola Dam created Grand Lake in 1940, Grove was what Joe Neill, another local agent, called �just a poor, red-dirt town.�

But as demand for lake frontage accelerated over the last decade, Grove morphed into a resort and second-home community. Its badges of gentrification include Gourmet�s, a high-end food and kitchen equipment store, and the Wax Bucket Candle and Gift Shop. There are also good restaurants like Raggedy�s for soup and sandwiches � though the doughnut shop, the corner cafe and the Grand Lake Sports Center (which advertises three types of bait: live, dead and fake) still rule the day.
There are the conversation-minded fishermen who spend November and December sitting on theater chairs in the heated fishing shack at the Four Seasons Resort, owned by Bill and Sharon Davis, and dunking for crappies through a open well in the floor.

Grove, Okla. �We probably pulled more fish out of that hole than there are in the whole lake,� Mr. Davis said, with a knowing nod to crappies� powers of regeneration.
Pros

The lake and its surroundings have a rustic peacefulness that encourages spending the morning on a sun-warmed lawn chair, watching blue herons stalk along a dock shaded by a rusty Phillips 66 sign. And it doesn�t often freeze in winter � Grove�s average low temperature in January is 35 degrees � so it�s possible to be on the water year-round.

Cons

There�s not much in the way of fine-dining options, and the surrounding region is very rural. It takes about an hour and a half to get to Tulsa.

The Real Estate Market

New construction on and around Grand Lake takes several forms: tear-downs of older homes on the lake to build new and larger properties; new construction on vacant land; or buying in a residential development, often with a golf course in the mix. Such communities can be found on Bird Island, Monkey Island and Patricia Island, which are all actually peninsulas.

Though the lake is about 80 percent developed, land on the lakeshore is relatively affordable. �You can get a real nice three-bedroom home with 100 feet of shoreline, a dock with a 30-foot slip and a 20-foot slip and a couple of WaveRunner lifts, all for about $500,000,� said Jeff Savage, an agent with Re/Max Grand Lake.

The median price for a waterfront house is currently about $311,000, Mr. Savage said, and waterfront lots average about $146,000. Recent sales included a two-year-old, 3,800-square-foot house with four bedrooms, three baths and a view of a Grand Lake estuary that sold for $410,000.

The market has cooled in 2008, according to statistics compiled by Mr. Savage. The number of residential properties sold in the Grove area fell by 14 percent, though the average sale price rose 16 percent. �The higher-priced homes are still selling,� he said. �Thirty-seven homes over $500,000 sold this year. Seven were over $1 million.�

Mr. Savage added: �A lot of times people who have homes on the market take them off the market for November and December, so their families can spend Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year�s on the lake. Then February, March, they put them back on the market.�

Penny Sternbeck, a local real estate agent transplanted from California, said: �We get an awful lot of people who come here from California. What costs $500,000 there costs $250,000 here.�

LAY OF THE LAND

POPULATION 6,011, according to a 2006 Census Bureau estimate.

SIZE 9.1 square miles.

WHERE Grove is near the Missouri border, and is a one-and-a-half-hour drive northeast from Tulsa, Okla.

WHO�S BUYING Many people from the south-central United States, including Dallas and St. Louis. But the town also attracts buyers from as far away as California and New Jersey.

WHILE YOU�RE LOOKING Rooms at the Best Western TimberRidge Inn (120 West 18th Street, Grove, Okla.; 918-786-6900; bestwestern.com/timberridgeinn) range from $77 to $86 a night.

 

Dave & Debbie Wagenblatt, The Get �Grand� Results Team�, are top producing Realtors� with REMAX Executives at Grand lake, OK. To learn more about the Grand Lake area and community visit their web site www.SurfGrandLake.com

Further note form Dave� althougth Grove over all property sales were down as Mr. Savage mentioned the lakefront home market gas remained strong and is expected to continue. After all the article said it. � A Place that�s all about the Lake! Also the fine dining of course would not compare to NYC� Yet.





This past summer we received a call from a writer who was doing an article on Grand Lake for the Southern Living magazine. We were interviewed and had forgotten about it until we received a copy of the article from them. It was short but well done. So here is what showed up in the August issue, 2008

 

Titled....                        GOOD TIMES ON GRAND LAKE

 

When the sun shines brightest, Oklahomans escape to the finest of lake retreats.

 By Bruce Taylor

 

On Grand Lake summer is half gone. The distant thrumming you hear? The white pelican flocks migrating southward from Canada. The faint ticking? It's the seasonal clock ticking toward cooler days. In your effort to soak up the last long stretch of August sunshine, no place suits the laker in you better than Grand Lake O' the Cherokees in northeast Oklahoma. Boat up dining, nearly 1,300 miles of shoreline and twilight pontoon cruises promise days well spent on the Ozark foothills' lesser known lake. Make summer seem endless in Oklahoma.

 

First things first on Grand Lake: a boat is essential and affordable. From fish camps to first class yacht clubs, Grand Lake boast more than 30 marinas and boat dealers. Rent water scooters, motor boats, pontoons and even small sail boats for $50 to $65 per hour. Try Honey Creek Landing Marina, Serenity Point, which also rents lakefront homes, and Sail Grand Waterfront, which offers parasailing for $105 per tandem.

 

For a challenge, try out Island Fever Sailing School. Two and three day classes on basic keel boats start at $295 per person. Capt. Debbie Graham offers classes for beginners, up to advanced ability levels.

 

After a sun baked day, steer yourself to one of the several boat up restaurants. Our week end favorite: Royal Bay Marina & Yacht Club near Grove's Sailboat Bridge where white tablecloths pair with flip-flops. Food near the water, always taste better.

More truly, life near the water always feels better. It's reason enough to flee to Grand Lake while summer last.





                Grand Lake Ok Life� a Peaceful Easy Feeling!

                                                                              By Dave Wagenblatt

One of the most wonderful things about living at Grand Lake, OK is our backyard. Actually our backyard is Grand Lake, OK.  From our deck, we look east from Monkey Island across the main lake toward Patricia Island. One day a light came on in my head, and I realized and appreciated all the changing beauty Debbie and I get to witness� Nature at its best! The fiery red/orange morning sunrises and the evening full moon shimmering across the lake are so tranquil. This serene setting will certainly add happy years to our lives. The changing of the seasons adds to the experience. The term, �Spring has Sprung�, takes on a new meaning and dimension with the dogwoods and redbuds blooming. Activity is all around, as there will soon be new life.  We also enjoy the privilege of viewing the wildlife up close. Birds are everywhere, but beyond the usual robins, wrens, blackbirds, cardinals, bluebirds, gold finches, and hummingbirds, there is more. We also have seen egrets, blue herons, mallards, geese, sea gulls, pelicans and even American Bald Eagles which winter here. There�s even more.  We see chipmunks, gray squirrels, rabbits, skunks, raccoons and occasionally a wild turkey, red fox or deer.

Fire in the Morning ... a Grand Lake Sunrise ....... Photo by Dave Wagenblatt

Fire in the Morning ... a Grand Lake Sunrise ....... Photo by Dave Wagenblatt

Our backyard comes complete with other entertainment. Summer brings the peak of activity.  People from all over the United States come to the lake to escape, relax and have fun. People want to enjoy a brief get-a-way from their everyday duties and responsibilities. All the water sports can be seen in our back yard: swimming, skiing, fishing, sailing, and boating. We also watch the Cherokee Queen cruise by, giving tours or dinner parties along the Grand Lake shores. The Cherokee Queen is a Mississippi style paddle boat reminiscent of the Mark Twain era, which starts from Sail Boat Bridge traveling to the tip of Monkey Island and then back again.

Fall is our favorite time of year, if we had to choose one. (We actually love each season here.)  After Labor Day, activity starts to slow down. The air will soon be turning crisp bringing a new freshness.  The leaves will turn color, and the fall migration will begin. Fall festivals are coming, such as the Grand Lake Rally, a �Taste of Grand� fund raiser, the Fall Wine Festival, and the Pelican Festival. There is always something to look forward to at Grand Lake. And there is our back yard. It�s the same backyard, but it changes with each season. Each day is different with something new to discover. How lucky can you get? It�s like winning a lottery in life.

Monkey Island Sparkles on Grand Lake OK .... Photo by Dave Wagenblatt

Monkey Island Sparkles on Grand Lake OK .... Photo by Dave Wagenblatt

The winters are still fantastic as we sit in front of our fireplace and look out through our picture window at our magnificent backyard�.. Of course, I mean Grand Lake O� the Cherokees. It�s like living in the middle of a picture on a Hallmark card, 365 days per year. In wishing you the best, it means that we wish you could have a �backyard� like ours.  As we say on our websites� If you�re lucky enough to live at Grand Lake, you�re lucky enough!

Dave & Debbie Wagenblatt, The Get �Grand� Results Team�, are top producing Realtors� with REMAX Executives at Grand lake, OK.




                  Grand Lake Lakefront Home, House or Condo?
                                     Have You Considered This?   
October 13th, 2008 Dave Wagenblatt Posted in Grand Lake Real Estate, Grove OK, Monkey Island OK |

Many people don�t realize that there are gated communities on Grand Lake,  OK which have free standing homes but are organized under condominium by-laws. Typically people think of a condo as a townhouse or an apartment type set up. So don�t let that term stop you from investigating that possibility while looking for a lakefront home on Grand Lake. In addition, there are things usually covered by the monthly or annual dues which you pay for anyway.  Things which many haven�t considered. Things like part of the insurance, water, sewer, trash, a boat slip and maintainance/upkeep on the grounds. Many have pool and tennis courts as well and some a clubhouse. By the time you add up the cost to have all this done it turns out it costs about the same anyway. Here is the thing that turns the tide. You don�t have to do it yourself, you get to come to the lake and have fun!!!. All the by-laws are a little different so be sure to check them and ask your Realtor for more information. These Gated communities such as Newport Village, Brighton Bay, St.James Club, White Chapel, Main Stay, Beacon Hill, Heritage Point, The Chateaus, Vintage, etc., are located all around the lake including Monkey Island,  Grove,  Ketchum, Duck Creek and other areas.  While some are actually condo bylaws, some are planned unit developments where only the grounds, streets, etc. are maintained for you.   Either way, a lot of folks are enjoying their amenities.





                                 BUYING A LAKE HOME?......BE CAREFUL!
                                                         Caveat Emptor.

                                                    by Dave wagenblatt 

When you go to purchase a lake front home there are many things possible which you don�t typically see when buying a home in the city.  This article is about the Grand Lake, OK real estate market.  The first thing is you usually don�t have any idea of what the home market values are at Grand Lake and there is a very broad range things to consider. This is why you should work with an experienced, knowledgeable Realtor. Just as with doctors and lawyers some are better than others and some are outstanding. You don�t want someone who is just after a sale. You don�t want someone who won�t listen and you don�t want someone who doesn�t give you choices. You want someone who will inform and educate you so you will be comfortable with the decision you make. Part of this process includes the realtor sharing insight into some of the subjective part of the value of a lake front home and that can only come from experience and working the entire lake area. For instance, all lake front property is not created equal. One part of this is the view. Is the home located with a main lake view, cove view, or bluff view? What do you see? And the list goes on and on with this and more potential traps for people who don�t know.

If you�re going to invest in a lake front home at Grand Lake, for your peace of mind,  contact Dave & Debbie Wagenblatt The Get �Grand� Results Team with McGraw Realtors Grand Lake at 918-257-8381 or email dave@GetGrandResults.com. Be sure to check out their websites for the most extensive source of information on Grand Lake from Grove, OK to the dam.

Grove 
Real Estate... At a Glance  Article from the Grand Lake Business Journal.

As with other areas around Grand Lake, the Grove area was up and down through the early part of the millennium, but has seen a significant surge in the average and median sales prices of the past couple of years.  Overall the average sales price of a single family home in Grove (all inclusive, lakefront and non lakefront) has increased 38% from 2000 through November of 2007 to its current level of $174,622.  The median sales price has reached its current level of $127,000.  The significant difference between the average sales price and the median sales price at 2005 levels is the introduction of several newer lakefront and upper end developments which are selling for significantly more than was seen in the early part of the decade.
 
 Grove continues to maintain its most affordable nature while being the commercial hub of the Grand Lake area.  Average and median sales prices continue to be significantly lower than those found in competitive markets and nationally.

The largest city on Grand Lake O� the Cherokees is Grove, a former watering hole before the Civil War and now one of Oklahoma�s fastest growing cities. 

Situated at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains just a short drive from Joplin, Missouri and Springdale, Arkansas. Originally named Grove Springs, Grove has moved from a sleepy little fishing village of decades past into the limelight as the premier location in the Grand Lake area for many services. 
As a result of its many attributes, people from around the country have chosen Grove as their retirement destination, which has reflected positively in the demographics of this area of �The Four States� (Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas & Missouri).

Ever since Rand McNally and The Wall Street Journal rated Grand Lake as one of the nation�s top retirement places, Grove has attracted an increasing number of retirees looking for the serenity and investment potential Grand Lake provides.

Rand McNally says that with a median age of 49.9, Grand Lake is one of the nation�s five best retirement areas based on the cost of living, state and local taxes, climate and typical household earnings.
Anchored by six industries, the Grove area�s economy includes tourism, retail, service, health, manufacturing and senior services. Grove itself is the center of commerce along the more than 1300 miles of Grand Lake�s shore line. In fact, with its seven banks, numerous shops and large operations of Wal-Mart and Lowes, Grove generates the majority of Grand Lake�s retail sales.
New businesses open daily in Grove. Major retailers like Wal-Mart Supercenter, Lowe�s and Walgreen Drug Stores have joined the growing list of quality developments. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, a new public library, six-screen movie theater, specialty gift stores and riverboat tours complete the list. New businesses open daily in Grove.
Aviation enthusiasts gather at Grove Municipal Airport, just 1.5 miles east of the city. It has a 5,250 foot by 75 foot runway, a full-length parallel taxiway and available hangars.
Har-Ber Village Museum and a nationally-recognized botanical garden, Lendonwood Gardens, along with craft shops, antique merchants and an ever-growing selection of new and established commercial, medical, industrial and educational enterprises continue to flourish in Grove. Try Tiramisu�s Italian menu or coffee at Java Dave�s, both in downtown Grove. Both restaurants have wi-fi service as has most of downtown.
When arriving in Grove, consider some of these activities to get you tuned into the community:
Join the Playmakers Theatre Group where you can participate in live comedy, music, drama, readers theatre and youth theatre performances throughout the year. For information, call (918) 786-8950 or email playmakers@ gcinet.net.

Visit the new YMCA (918) 786-5774 or drop by the Grove Chamber of Commerce or Grand Lake Visitors Center, where you can find lots of area and event information.
If you�re home shopping, we�ve provided you with in depth information on 10 prestigious home developments in the New Homes & Remodeling Guide on page 39. Use this handy guide to help you find that beautiful home with waterfalls and docks for your new boat.

Grove's Downtown Revitalization Moves Ahead
As you stroll through downtown Grove, you�ll undoubtedly notice its charming streetscape reminiscent of an era gone by.  But what you won�t see is the hard work and dedication of a community committed to rejuvenating its downtown.
Phase I of Grove�s Downtown Revitalization Project was celebrated in November 2007. At a cost of nearly one million dollars, enhancements included new sidewalks, lighting, landscaping, utilities and public parking improvements.
The revitalization project targets the two blocks in each direction from the corner of Third and Main and is a joint effort of the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Grove and downtown businesses. Phase II is scheduled for completion in 2009.
The project�s mission is clear: To revitalize historic downtown Grove�s economy. Since 1817 Grove has been a well-known trading center. Today it is one of Oklahoma�s fastest growing cities.
So, be our guest. Take a stroll downtown and enjoy Grove�s shopping and dining. Take time to wander through the art galleries or attend the latest production at the local Playmakers community theatre. We guarantee your spirits will be lifted and you�ll begin to discover our Grand Lifestyle.

FESTIVALS & FESTIVITIES
Several festivals are featured throughout the year in Grove including music-based events like the American Heritage Music Festival (Ricky Skaggs was a recent featured artist.) Grovefest in May lends excitement to the coming summer fun around the lake and features a 50�s Cruise Night, arts & crafts events, a carnival and many other fun-filled activities.

 

Grove 
Real Estate... At a Glance
As with other areas around Grand Lake, the Grove area was up and down through the early part of the millennium, but has seen a significant surge in the average and median sales prices of the past couple of years.  Overall the average sales price of a single family home in Grove (all inclusive, lakefront and non lakefront) has increased 38% from 2000 through November of 2007 to its current level of $174,622.  The median sales price has reached its current level of $127,000.  The significant difference between the average sales price and the median sales price at 2005 levels is the introduction of several newer lakefront and upper end developments which are selling for significantly more than was seen in the early part of the decade.
 
 Grove continues to maintain its most affordable nature while being the commercial hub of the Grand Lake area.  Average and median sales prices continue to be significantly lower than those found in competitive markets and nationally.

The largest city on Grand Lake O� the Cherokees is Grove, a former watering hole before the Civil War and now one of Oklahoma�s fastest growing cities. 

Situated at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains just a short drive from Joplin, Missouri and Springdale, Arkansas. Originally named Grove Springs, Grove has moved from a sleepy little fishing village of decades past into the limelight as the premier location in the Grand Lake area for many services. 
As a result of its many attributes, people from around the country have chosen Grove as their retirement destination, which has reflected positively in the demographics of this area of �The Four States� (Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas & Missouri).

Ever since Rand McNally and The Wall Street Journal rated Grand Lake as one of the nation�s top retirement places, Grove has attracted an increasing number of retirees looking for the serenity and investment potential Grand Lake provides.

Rand McNally says that with a median age of 49.9, Grand Lake is one of the nation�s five best retirement areas based on the cost of living, state and local taxes, climate and typical household earnings.
Anchored by six industries, the Grove area�s economy includes tourism, retail, service, health, manufacturing and senior services. Grove itself is the center of commerce along the more than 1300 miles of Grand Lake�s shore line. In fact, with its seven banks, numerous shops and large operations of Wal-Mart and Lowes, Grove generates the majority of Grand Lake�s retail sales.
New businesses open daily in Grove. Major retailers like Wal-Mart Supercenter, Lowe�s and Walgreen Drug Stores have joined the growing list of quality developments. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, a new public library, six-screen movie theater, specialty gift stores and riverboat tours complete the list. New businesses open daily in Grove.
Aviation enthusiasts gather at Grove Municipal Airport, just 1.5 miles east of the city. It has a 5,250 foot by 75 foot runway, a full-length parallel taxiway and available hangars.
Har-Ber Village Museum and a nationally-recognized botanical garden, Lendonwood Gardens, along with craft shops, antique merchants and an ever-growing selection of new and established commercial, medical, industrial and educational enterprises continue to flourish in Grove. Try Tiramisu�s Italian menu or coffee at Java Dave�s, both in downtown Grove. Both restaurants have wi-fi service as has most of downtown.
When arriving in Grove, consider some of these activities to get you tuned into the community:
Join the Playmakers Theatre Group where you can participate in live comedy, music, drama, readers theatre and youth theatre performances throughout the year. For information, call (918) 786-8950 or email playmakers@ gcinet.net.

Visit the new YMCA (918) 786-5774 or drop by the Grove Chamber of Commerce or Grand Lake Visitors Center, where you can find lots of area and event information.
If you�re home shopping, we�ve provided you with in depth information on 10 prestigious home developments in the New Homes & Remodeling Guide on page 39. Use this handy guide to help you find that beautiful home with waterfalls and docks for your new boat.

Grove's Downtown Revitalization Moves Ahead
As you stroll through downtown Grove, you�ll undoubtedly notice its charming streetscape reminiscent of an era gone by.  But what you won�t see is the hard work and dedication of a community committed to rejuvenating its downtown.
Phase I of Grove�s Downtown Revitalization Project was celebrated in November 2007. At a cost of nearly one million dollars, enhancements included new sidewalks, lighting, landscaping, utilities and public parking improvements.
The revitalization project targets the two blocks in each direction from the corner of Third and Main and is a joint effort of the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Grove and downtown businesses. Phase II is scheduled for completion in 2009.
The project�s mission is clear: To revitalize historic downtown Grove�s economy. Since 1817 Grove has been a well-known trading center. Today it is one of Oklahoma�s fastest growing cities.
So, be our guest. Take a stroll downtown and enjoy Grove�s shopping and dining. Take time to wander through the art galleries or attend the latest production at the local Playmakers community theatre. We guarantee your spirits will be lifted and you�ll begin to discover our Grand Lifestyle.

FESTIVALS & FESTIVITIES
Several festivals are featured throughout the year in Grove including music-based events like the American Heritage Music Festival (Ricky Skaggs was a recent featured artist.) Grovefest in May lends excitement to the coming summer fun around the lake and features a 50�s Cruise Night, arts & crafts events, a carnival and many other fun-filled activities.

Real Estate
Monkey Island is a peninsula in the middle of Grand Lake that claims some of the area�s most desirable real estate. Here you�ll find resorts, condominiums and luxurious private residences where the median value of homes is estimated at $150 thousand. With an abundance of new housing developments underway, the island is fast becoming a major growth area.

TeraMiranda Harbor is kicking off a multi-year plan to significantly upgrade the marina and develop an integrated residential/commercial complex themed �Living the Nautical Life� Monkey Island boasts some of the lake�s best dining to enhance your weekend or lifetime resort-style living. You�ll also find great golf, boating, para-sailing and fishing guides. And if you�re coming in by air, touch down on Grand Lake Regional Airport�s 3400 x 60 foot runway.

Attractions
Darryl Starbird�s National Custom Car Museum features custom cars by this world renowned car designer. At this nationally recognized tribute to leading street rod and custom car builders throughout the country, you�ll find over 50 world-famous exotic vehicles by Starbird and other renowned car designers. Located on Hwy. 85-A in Bernice. Admission is $6 for adults; $3 ages 8 to 12; under seven is free; groups of 10+ receive $1 off adult admission.

Shopping, Dinning & Fun
Monkey Island is known for many things: Great golf, boating, wonderful accommodations and also for partying New Orleans-style, and we mean partying. Check out marvelous restaurants while you're visiting the island. Big Shots, Rhythm & Booze, and The Shebang provide entertainment to enhance your weekend or lifetime resort-style living.
For some exciting fun, try Sail Grand Para-Sailing, located near Shangri-La�s marina with every type of watercraft available to rent. All this and fishing guides are readily available to take you to the best fishing spots around. The annual Monkey Island Pub-Crawl is sold out weeks in advance and make sure you don�t miss The Monkey Island Egret Festival as well as many other events throughout the year.
Check with the Grand Lake Association 1-866-LUV-GRAND for dates.
From horseback riding to shopping on Monkey Island�s Main Street, to fishing or parking your RV right near the water, the West Grand Lake/Monkey Island area offers guests many choices for a relaxing get-away. Some of the lake�s best fishing is enjoyed near Horse Creek Bridge, as evidenced by the number of fishing buffs on the new fishing dock constructed by the Oklahoma Dept. of Transportation for the safety of anglers who consider this area a �hot spot.� Just across the bridge and on your right is Bernice State Park with camping, fishing, boating and swimming. An added attraction is its nature trails with two observation towers. Nearby is Grand Country RV Park, where you can camp overnight near the lake, enjoy water sports and look for that lake property you�ve dreamed about.
Population Demographics Households
1990 1435
2000 1961
2003 1994
2008 2045 (projected)
Population
1990 53270
2000 4558
2003 4621
2008 4714 (projected)
Median Age
1990 47.1
2000 44.9
2003 45.6
2008 46.5 (projected)

South Grand - Where the Action is!
This slogan aptly describes the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce and the business community as it promotes more events than any other part of Grand Lake.

Only a 45 minute drive from Tulsa, South Grand is a large and integral part of the lake�s dynamic growth. This trend began with the construction of Pensacola Dam in the 1930�s when its construction workers established homes nearby. In the 70�s the area became a weekend resort for Tulsa families and businesses.

Since the Dam was built creating Grand Lake O� the Cherokees, home sites purchased in 1940 have now passed through three generations.

Original one-room cabins have undergone numerous changes becoming charming and unique second homes and full-time residences. With just an hour drive from Tulsa, homes began to spring up at a steady pace during the oil boom of the 70�s and have continued to blossom to an unheralded pace from 2000-2006. South Grand has become home to the Yacht Club set from Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Wichita, and Kansas City. A lakeside lot costing $15-20,000 years ago now brings $45,000-$400,000. But don�t let that discourage you. There are still excellent buys if you find the right realtor and don�t insist on living a short drive to Duck Creek.

The Grand Lake �experience� frequently begins with a vacation visit that becomes so irresistible that a second home purchase becomes a weekend escape from the city and finally a peaceful and serene retirement home. It�s easy to understand why Rand McNally consistently places Grand Lake O� the Cherokees among the top five retirement communities in the United States, and why The Wall Street Journal lists Grand Lake for 10 years as the number one place in the country to retire.

Real Estate
 With lake front property in such high demand, real estate on or near Grand Lake O� the Cherokees is a great investment.  The amenities of the cities surrounding Grand positively affect real estate values in the entire vicinity and real estate varies from one end of the scale to the other.
There are areas consisting of one-room cabins and those with palatial estates fit for a king. As of the 2000 census, the Cleora, or Duck Creek Area, was second only to Nichols Hills in Oklahoma City for homes in the top price range.  Because of this, and also because the lake encompasses such a vast area, real estate and its related businesses are major industries.
The landscape of Grand lends itself to every want and need. There are gentle slopes to beautiful cliffs. There is deep water for boating and shallows for wading and swimming. There are dense forests and there are pristine shorelines.
Vintage, an exclusive development east of Duck Creek, is a new, gated community offering a wide range of home styles and plans. Colony Cove is the newest development in the area, where sales of two and three bedroom town houses right on the water have been brisk. Butler Real Estate continues to grow in an ever-expanding market. 

Marinas East of the Dam
Cruising the Dripping Springs area is like dragging Main Street  in the �50s, as boats navigate in and out of Gray's Hollow on the south end of Grand Lake O� the Cherokees.
    Folks of all ages drag Dripping Springs as crowds wait for the next fearless cliff-jumper. Everyone cheers, applauds and honks for the courageous thrill-seekers who jump from cliffs 60 feet high into 50-foot deep water. Then they buy the �I Survived the Jump� t-shirt at Dripping Springs Yacht Club & Marina. Dripping Springs �definitely a not-to-miss fun place during your stay on Grand Lake O� the Cherokees.
    Sam & Miranda Luke, the new owners of Marina have opened "The Drip",the new get to go pizza and cheese burger spot. AND, they will deliver to your boat.
    Clearwater Bay Marina provides a quality home for your boat or RV on Raper Hollow Cove and High Lift Marina offers complete service six miles east of Disney.
This area is also home to Pictures In Scripture Outdoor Amphitheater between Disney and Jay, featuring elaborately costumed theatrical biblical productions.

Folks of all ages drag Dripping Springs as crowds wait for the next fearless cliff-jumper. Everyone cheers, applauds and honks for the courageous thrill-seekers who jump from cliffs 60 feet high into 50-foot deep water. Then they buy the �I Survived the Jump� t-shirt at Dripping Springs Yacht Club & Marina. Dripping Springs �definitely a not-to-miss fun place during your stay on Grand Lake O� the Cherokees.
Clearwater Bay Marina provides a quality home for your boat or RV on Raper Hollow Cove and High Lift Marina offers complete service six miles east of Disney.
This area is also home to Pictures In Scripture Outdoor Amphitheater between Disney and Jay, featuring elaborately costumed theatrical biblical productions.

Accommodations
Looking for a place to stay? Check out Pine Lodge Resort just east of Ketchum. Swim in the new pool or shoot at the new archery range, and a beautiful spot near the Pensacola Dam is Southern Oaks

Medical Services
Grand Lake Medical Park-Langley     (918) 782-1881
Grand Lake Medical Park-Ketchum     (918) 782-2880
Craig General, Vinita         (918) 256-7551
INTEGRIS Grove General, Grove         (918) 786-2243
Mayes County Medical Ctr., Pryor (918) 825-1600 MESTA          (800) 256-3782 (ambulance)
Med-Tec      (918)782-2772 (ambulance)

Duck Creek
Traveling north on SH 82 and east on SH 85 through Ketchum and Cleora, you�ll glimpse the Duck Creek arm of Grand Lake, home to the biggest cruisers on the Lake, some 95 feet long.
Duck Creek includes several large marine dealers, lakeside restaurants, gracious private homes, gated communities, condominiums, a golf club and a gun club.
Two private yacht clubs feature excellent restaurants:  Arrowhead Yacht Club & Marina on the east side of Duck Creek; and Cherokee Yacht Club & Marina on Duck Creek�s west side. Locally owned and operated, these yacht clubs are the heartbeat for those who enjoy the fun and fellowship they bring. The $700 to $800 annual membership brings an opportunity to share excellent dining, dancing and marina life.
The South Grand season begins the first weekend of March with �Welcome Back Weekend.� On Saturday morning, everyone pulls their boats out of storage for a day of craziness with a Poker Run at five major lake locations.
Don�t have a boat? You can still enjoy the Poker Run in your car, motorcycle, PWC or hot air balloon. But don�t stop there. The evening is filled with Las Vegas-style fun at the Cherokee Yacht Club with the Grand Lake Chamber�s Casino Night and silent auction.
South Grand has propelled the Fourth of July Celebration to a new level. Duck Creek fills with boats; jet planes fly above and revelers view the state�s largest display of fireworks. In 2003, more than $100 thousand in fireworks lit up the sky and thrilled celebrants.

Pensacola Dam Construction--A Time Line
 


Here is a time line for the development and construction of Pensacola Dam:

1896�Henry Holderman and three others build a boat with surveying equipment and float down Grand River. The site later known as Pensacola seemed the only practical site for a dam.

1911�Holderman, after completing an engineering course, makes attempts with the Muskogee Chamber of Commerce and the KO&G railroad to finance the dam but WWI intervened.

1913�Grand River Power & Electric Co. is incorporated in Oklahoma by Holderman and a partner but charter was cancelled in 1934 for non-payment of license.

1917�Grand River Hydro-Electric Co. is incorporated in Oklahoma by Holderman and others but this charter was also cancelled in 1934. But in 1922 the company gets a permit from the State Engineer to appropriate the entire flow of Grand River at the location of Pensacola Dam for the purpose of generating electric power. This was known as Dam #1.

1923�Grand River Hydro-Electric Co. gets approval to build dams 2, 3 and 4. Nothing came of this however. Rights of the company were transferred to Holderman and W.B. Collins who in turn transferred them to the Oklahoma Hydro-Electric Co. with a capital stock of $10,000,000.
This group employed Victor Cochrane of Tulsa to make a study and report, and acquired some land below the present site of the Pensacola Dam.

1926�J.F. Robinson of Miami, OK. Files application with Oklahoma Conservation Commission to construct four dams on Grand River, approved on Oct. 5, 1926. On Oct. 16 on his deathbed, assigns his rights to W.E. Hudson of Tulsa (Lake Hudson later named after him).

1929�Hudson assigns his rights to Grand-Hydro, incorporated in Oklahoma on Nov. 6, 1929, which proceeded to make engineering inquiries, recommend four dam sites, and acquired 2,100 acres of land near the Pensacola site.

1931�Grand-Hydro files application to construct 50-foot dam at Tynan�s Bluff, about 6 miles above the Pensacola site, but no facilities were ever built by Grand-Hydro.

1935�Oklahoma legislature passes SB 395, known as the Grand River Dam Authority Act creating a conservation and reclamation district composed of 17 counties in northeast Oklahoma. The Act authorized bonds sufficient only for the Pensacola Dam. (Pensacola was chosen as the name, after the small community of Pensacola, OK, located some 8 miles away). A GRDA board of nine members was appointed, three each by the Governor, Attorney General and Commissioner of Labor. First meeting held May 5, 1935 in Vinita and they discuss sending raising funds to send a delegation to Washington to make application to the Public Works Administration.

1935-1937�A small group of men from Grove and Vinita worked during this time, visiting Washington D.C. four times, and to Memphis for visits with the Army Corps of Engineers. In 1937 President Roosevelt�s campaign train passed through Vinita where the locals had asked for a 15-minute stop, and a big illuminated sign at the Vinita Depot said he was very near the �Grand River Dam�a $20,000,000 Project.� Whether Roosevelt saw the sign or heard the cheering is disputed as it was in the middle of the night and he could have been asleep.

1937�W.R. Holway is in Washington on behalf of another engineering project when he meets the four-person delegation from Vinita and Grove, by chance, in Congressman�s Disney�s office. A bill authorizing construction of Pensacola Dam is passed and Harold Ickes, Secretary of Interior, recommends that $20 million be earmarked for the project. Previous estimates in the 1920�s ran from $14-$19 million.
On Sept. 18, 1937, President Roosevelt approves allocation of $20 million for the Pensacola Project. Two days later the GRDA Board and Holway make a trip to Lake Buchanan Dam near Austin, TX, a multiple-arch dam. Applicants for engineering work are interviewed in the Vinita Hotel on Oct. 20 and two days later selected Holway & Neuffer of Tulsa as Engineers for the Project.

1938�First contract let in January for excavation on East Spillway. Contract let in April for construction of dam and power house. Bribe attempts for gravel deposits and contractor on the dam made, rejected by Holway.

1939�The first GRDA manager, R.V. L. Wright, resigned after much pressure.

1940�Final gates closed March 21; first of four main generators tested April 15; first power came from House Unit and delivered to town of Disney.

1941�First major flood occurs in April, 170,000 cfs, brings lake to 755 elevation. Previous floods were in 1895 (215,000 cfs); 1927 (140,000 cfs). On Nov. 21, US Government takes over operation of the project after highway controversy with Gov. Phillips and calling out of National Guard and US Secret Service.

1943�Largest flood to date occurs in May, 300,000 cfs. Water reaches 7 feet up on Power House. Causes small damage at west end of spillway, contracts let to remedy situation.

1945�War ends in August 1945. Holway serves as acting general manager for 60 days.

1946�Project returned to the State of Oklahoma on Aug. 31.

Total cost of project $28 million, or about $550 million in today�s dollars. Total number of deaths during construction, 13. (112 were killed on the Hoover Dam project). About 130 engineers and staff worked on the Pensacola project, and 3000 men. About 30 of the engineering staff served in WWII.

In 1939, when construction on the Pensacola Dam was proceeding, a new car cost $700; average income was $1729 per year; gasoline was 10 cents a gallon; a postage stamp 3 cents, a loaf of bread 8 cents.
Average wage for the Pensacola Dam construction workers was 44 cents an hour.

Source: A History of the Grand River Dam Authority, State of Oklahoma, 1935-1968 by W.R. Holway, Consulting Engineer. Grove Sun, Grove, OK

Compiled by Jim Mills, GRDA, 2004


101 Things to do in GrandLake, OK

View Real Estate ListingsOur CommunityRelocation PlanAbout UsSend Me E-MailCustom RequestMortgage & Financing LinksOther Helpful Links Sell My Home


Dave & Debbie Wagenblatt
Get Grand Results Team
Coldwell Banker Select Grand Lake OK

MLS
Copyright © 2005 SuperAgentSites
Real Estate Links