“I love the story of Moore,” McDermid said.
From 10,000 BC through the 1800s about 30 million bison migrated from Texas to Manitoba through Oklahoma’s tall grass prairie. Between 1850 and 1880, that became the Chisholm Trail and cattle followed the same bison trail north from Texas to railheads in Kansas. By 1882, the railroad had begun to follow that same trail.
The Land Run in 1889 opened up the state to settlement, and Moore was incorporated in 1893 using the name of a railroad worker who lived next to the tracks in a boxcar and painted his name prominently on the side. Once named Verbeck, the town officially became Moore.
In 1934, Moore covered 20 blocks centered on Main Street and Broadway Avenue in an area now known as Old Town. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Interstate 35 connected Moore to the rest of the United States.
Since that time, Moore has experienced growth — at times robust growth — first as a bedroom community and more recently as a major city in its own right.
The future site of the new park incorporates features of that history with open green space and the nearby railroad. Vegetation and physical barriers will separate the park from the railroad and keep children safe, but McDermit said the historic significance of the site is important.
He said at some point, Moore may want to document that history in a series of plaques or markers along the walking trail.
The north entry of the park will be a major attractor and, at some point in the park’s development, will include formal gardens, picnic shelters and possibly a water feature.
The trail that meanders through the park eventually will connect with the trail along Broadway, giving walkers and joggers a two-mile loop. Walkers will experience a lot of different things along the trail, including an unusual bridge that curls like a snake across the sizable lake at the heart of the park.