Tulsa Port of Catoosa
Review and History

The Tulsa Port of Catoosa lies on the banks of the Verdigris River in northeast Oklahoma. The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is about 60 kilometers (40 miles) northwest of the Port of Muskogee, with which it shares the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is also some 330 kilometers (over 200 miles) south-southwest of the Port of Kansas City in Missouri. It is the seat of Tulsa County, and the city also extends into Osage, Wagoner, and Rogers Counties. The 2010 US Census reported that over 391.9 thousand people lived in the city, and the metropolitan area was home to almost 937.5 thousand.

The economy of the Tulsa Port of Catoosa is based largely on all aspects of the petroleum industry including research, exploration, drilling, production, and refining. The aerospace industry, with a variety of manufacturing and distribution businesses, is also important to the Tulsa Port of Catoosa economy. The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is also at the heart of a busy financial and commercial center based on agriculture.

The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is at the head of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System which was created in 1971 to link Oklahoma's inland ports to the Mississippi River via the Arkansas River. The US Army Corps of Engineers operates the waterway system which can accommodate barges carrying some 1500 tons of cargo.

In 1921, a large area of the Tulsa Port of Catoosa's city center was burned during race riots that took some 300 lives. In the following years, the downtown was rebuilt with many buildings in the Art Deco architectural style.

Located at the foot of the Ozark Mountains in Oklahoma's "Green Country," Tulsa experiences the frequent spring storms that characterize the US Midwest's "Tornado Alley." The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is the second-biggest city in Oklahoma, but it is considered the cultural and arts center of the State. Several well-known publications have recognized Tulsa as one of the most livable cities in the United States.

Port History

Before the European discovery of the Americas, the Creek Nation had not yet been born. In the early 18th Century, white settlers from North Carolina started calling the indigenous tribes of the south Creeks, shorthand for "Indians living on the Ochese Creek." Soon, the name Creek was being applied to most of the indigenous peoples of the Deep South.

Before the American Revolution, the Creek lived in Georgia and Alabama, but their area of influence covered much of the Southeast United States. Their villages were politically autonomous and were the center of their agricultural activities. When the deer skin trade collapsed, the State of Georgia acquired much of the Creek territory in Georgia. By the time the 1805 Treaty of Washington was signed, the Creek had lost all their lands in the state. In 1836, the Creek were removed, some of them bound by chains, to the Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma.

The Lochapoka Band of the Creek Nation first settled Tulsa in around 1830. The Creek formed their new settlement at the base of an oak tree at what is now the intersection of Cheyenne Avenue and 18th Street. They named their settlement "Tallasi," and it later became known as Tulsa.

In 1898, the city was incorporated. The first oil well, Sue Bland No. 1, appeared in Tulsa in 1901. In 1905, a large pocket of oil was discovered at Glenn Pool, bringing a flood of people to the area. By 1909, about 18 thousand people called Tulsa home. Through 1930, the Tulsa Port of Catoosa population had expanded to more than 140 thousand. Throughout most of the 20th Century, Tulsa was known as the "Oil Capital of the World." Oil industry profits softened the blow of the Great Depression for the Tulsa Port of Catoosa during the 1930s. In the 1950s, Time magazine called Tulsa "America's Most Beautiful City."

Oklahoma became a state in 1907. Much of its population was made up of former Southern slaveholders, and lynching was a common practice. The prosperous and commercial Greenwood district in Tulsa, a traditionally black neighborhood, was called "the Black Wall Street." The African American community contained black-owned businesses that included two newspapers, two movie theaters, and many churches, grocers, and nightclubs. In 1921, a nebulous incident occurred in the Drexel Building downtown. Believing a black man had attacked a white woman, many of Tulsa's white citizens formed a mob intent on lynching the 19-year-old black boy blamed for the attack. On May 31 and June 1, a riot broke out in which many blacks and some whites were killed. More than 800 people were hospitalized, and some ten thousand were left homeless.

Fires destroyed some 35 city blocks and over 1200 residences and buildings. The riots ended when the National Guard was brought in by the Governor. In 1996, the State Legislature formed the Tulsa Race Riot Commission to create an historical account of the riot. In 2001, the report was released with recommending reparations for survivors and their descendants, creation of a scholarship fund, formation of an economic development enterprise zone in Greenwood, and a memorial and reburial of the victims of the riot. Scholarships, economic development, and a memorial park that was dedicated to the victims in 2010 were adopted.

In 1925, local businessman Cyrus Avery began a campaign for a road that would link Chicago and California, earning Tulsa the nickname "Birthplace of Route 66." When the famous US Route 66 was finished, it played a major role in Tulsa's growth and development.

Between 1925 and 1936, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys started performing Western Swing music in the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. By 1935, Cain's Ballroom had become home to the group and became known as the birthplace of that music style.

The economic recession of the early 1980s had a severe impact on Tulsa's local economy when there was a sharp decline in gas prices and the oil industry began to leave the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. By the early 1990s, the State economy had recovered, but efforts to expand industrial sectors beyond oil and energy continued.

Tulsa voters approved the "Vision 2025" program in 2003. The program sought to revitalize and enhance Tulsa's infrastructure and its tourism industry. The cornerstone project was the BOK Center designed to be the home for Tulsa's hockey and football teams and a venue for concerts and conventions. The BOK Center opened in 2008.

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