NAME: Redland
COUNTY: Sequoyah
CLIMATE: Hot and humid in summer mild in winter.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Spring or fall.
COMMENTS: Was on Oklahoma map in 1998, is no longer listed as a town in Oklahoma. Redland is approximately four miles east, and five miles south, of Gans taking the backroads. The town was located on the north bank of the Arkansas River.
REMAINS: Some foundations of rock and brick.
This is a very old, and significant site. The area has long been inhabited by early day, even prehistoric Native Americans. Traders followed the Arkansas River west from the Mississippi. The land across the Arkansas River to the south is known as Redland Bottom and extends about four miles south to old Skullyville (another Oklahoma Ghost Town and old Indian Tribal headquarters). On the east side of the expanse of Redland Bottom are the Spiro Mounds. This was the location of prehistoric Indian Mound builders. They lived on Redland Bottoms for a lengthy period in Oklahoma history. The burial mounds have produced copper masks and shields, spear points, clubs, ornate pipes, beads, shells, dolls, and animal carvings. Most of the mounds were plundered and destroyed by grave robbers in the early 1900's. Most notable of which were the Phillps brothers (founders of Phillips 66 oil company). Bounty from the mounds, along with photos of the conquest may be viewed (are displayed) in their personal collection at Woolaroc Museum north of Barnsdall, Oklahoma. A smaller collection of broken and discarded items left behind may be viewed on the original mound site at the Spiro Archeological Museum. Redland Bottom was rich and fertile farmland, maize was easily cultivated, the fishing in the river was good, and hunting was easy in the wooded and rocky bluffs to the north. In later years the railroad came through. It was extended from Sallisaw to Gans, then down on to Foreman, Redland, across the river to Spiro, Panama, Shady Point, and to Poteau. Originally, a long, low railroad bridge crossed the river at Redland. It was a wooden trestle type bridge. It's said that the resourceful Redland locals bootlegged sawcut timbers onto the top of the bridge, on either side of the tracks in order to use it for their own purposes, much to the disdain of the railroad officials. The railroad bridge was lost to flooding many times over the years. Sometime after WWII the Army Corps of Engineers began several flood control projects up river to slow the continual flooding. Eventually they built locks and dams on the river converting it into the Kerr McClellan Waterway. The W.D. Mayo Lock and Dam is located adjacent to the Spiro Mounds Archaeological Park. Tug boat and barge traffic is routine as the waterway is navigatable to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. Submitted by: Douglas L. Fisher