The year is 1909. The dedication for a new bridge in southern Oklahoma in the town of Sulphur is underway. The bridge is built of local materials in the 'Gothic Revival' style currently popular and crosses Travertine Creek in what was then called Platt National Park. The new bridge has been christened the 'Lincoln Bridge' in honor of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln. Though he has been dead for over four decades, people in this country have a tendency to name things after dead presidents and are always looking for a way to do so. And so, on the centennial of Lincoln's birth (1809), he gets a small stone edifice named after him in an out of the way part of the country that has only recently become a state in the Union. Ten years before, this was in Indian Country and was the home of the Chickasaw Nation.
Though history tells us that the land was deeded to the government by the Chickasaw Nation, a few legal residents and quite a few enterprising squatters had already moved in and built the small settlement of Sulphur. All of this excitement was due to the presence of 'natural mineral springs'. Folks used to believe that these waters were medicinal and beneficial to one's health, regardless of what ailed you. And so they came by the tens of thousands. It was not long before the Chickasaws realized that the place would be trampled to dust if something was not done. And so, they offered it to the government with the caveat that it be preserved as a part of the emerging national park system. The government accepted and today this bridge rests within the 'Platt Historic District' inside of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
When the bridge was first built, it crossed a creek that had a few scraggly trees along its shoreline. During the Great Depression of the 1930's, the Civilian Conservation Corp planted hundreds of trees throughout this area and built inviting facilities for those who came to this place. Most of these structures are still standing today.