The Ghostly Waters of Bromide
Like Sulphur 40 miles to the west, Bromide was a spa town at the turn of the 20th century. Nestled inside rolling hills not too far from
Durant and Tishomingo, hundreds of people would make the trip via railroad to sample the sulphuric waters. Oddly, the train didn't stop in
Bromide. It ran from Durant to Bromide Junction, where men with buckboards would take visitors to the downtown. Hotels spread out all
over Bromide, so that at the peak of the summer, this little town would swell to well over a thousand people.

While today's Bromide seems a little off the beaten path - OK Highway 7D, the only main road, dead-ends into the town - it used to not be
that isolated. The
Wapanucka Academy, opened in 1852, was just to its east, and the town of Wapanucka lies just a few mile away. Bromide
made money not just as a spa town, but also as a rock quarry. Promoted as "the best health resort in the southwestern United states"
Chronicles of Oklahoma), Bromide was set to become a fairly busy and prosperous town.

But things didn't work out for little Bromide. The Wapanucka Academy closed for good in 1911. By the 1920s, the spa vacations had
dropped sharply, and the Missouri Oklahoma Gulf Railroad stopped running excursion trains. Other spa towns in the greater region
attracted those who were able to afford more elaborate vacations - Hot Springs, Arkansas, and
Mineral Wells,Texas, thrived while
Bromide withered.

The many springs that fueled Bromide's early economy have been capped, but are still visible in backyards all around the town. The
hotels are long gone, and the shells of a few buildings are the only remnants of the once-busy city center. Today's Bromide, in the broad
definition, is a ghost town.
I promise you that the sign says "Bromide," even though it's hard to read - bad camera angle!
Commercial buildings in downtown Bromide are now caving in.
One of the springs in someone's back yard.
I bet you want to know where Bromide is. Fear not! It's on the map. Or, just take OK 7 east
from Atoka to OK 7D. Go north on OK 7D until you get to Bromide.
Questions or comments? E-mail me:
How to get there
Abandoned floor in downtown Bromide.
A farmer's meeting in downtown Bromide in the early 1900s. OHC.
The first hotel in Bromide was owned by Ms. Johnston. (OHC)
Visit even more ghost towns in Red River Historian Press' newest book,
"Traveling History among the Ghosts: Abandoned Places along the Red River
Valley." Buy it today through the
Red River Historian Press or at Amazon!
And, I'll be adding more ghost towns soon in preparation for the second
volume of the book! While you're waiting on me, how about contributing? I'd