Picher Town Headed For Demolition

By Arnab Ghosh, Gaea News Network
Saturday, January 29, 2011

PICHER (GaeaTimes.com)- Picher which once used to be a bustling mining town in the US state of Oklahoma has become a deserted ghost town with a handful of residents and vast plots of land and array of buildings lying vacant for years. Deserted by the residents over the years for severe lead contamination the town is facing demolition in near future. The businesses, offices and schools in the city have been shut down and the demolition ordered by the Federal government is in effect now. The buildings still standing in the landscape of the city will be demolished in near future. However, the owner of a pharmacy in the city have not moved yet. Gary Linderman who owns the shop The Old Miner’s Pharmacy says “I have an obligation to people. We are all creatures of habit and closing might throw them off.”

His pharmacy not only sells prescriptions drugs but the remaining residents also come to his shop for purchasing OTC medicines. He refused the buyout offer given by the Federal government to him in 1981. The government announced the city in Oklahoma to be hazardous and unfit for living. Near about 900 homeowners and businesses accepted the buyout offer of the government. Picher also faces threat from a number of mine sinkholes apart from the lead contamination. A tornado demolished 150 houses a few years ago and thereafter some more residents shifted their base.

Picher will be demolished fully in the next few weeks but a few historical buildings will not be pulled down said the authorities. The lone pharmacy owner still refuses to go.

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