Basin Springs, Steedman aka Hagerman, and Cedar Mills and were drowned by Lake Texoma.
By impounding the confluence of the Red and Washita rivers, Lake Texoma became a reality in 1944. The lake has done exponentially more good than harm, so we're not here to question its existence, but discover what's lying beneath its 89,000 acres (give or take). Part I explains some of what was lost. Here's Part II:
Basin Springs is one of the oldest settlements lost beneath Lake Texoma. It was named after a natural feature, first described in July of 1852 by soldier William Parker in "Through Unexplored Texas: Notes taken during the Expedition Commanded by Captain Randolph Barnes Marcy:"
"Early in the afternoon, we stopped at the Basin Spring, a perfect fairy bath tub, and fatigued with the scenes of the past three days, overmore by the intense heat, and almost famished with thirst, abut above all, enamored with the place, we determined to encamp for the night.
An apparently dry ravine ran at right angles to our course, on traversing which, we came suddenly upon a series of ledges of limestone rock, arranged like stairs. Over these, water trickled, and was caught in a basin, worn by time and the action of water, about three feet deep, and five in diameter, and so pellucid, that the smallest article might be seen on the bottom.
After the muddy waters of Red River, and the stagnant pools of the prairies, what wonder that we hailed this fountain with delight, drank copious draughts, laved in its cool refreshing bosom, and poured out libations to the Naiad of the Spring."
The trail that Marcy, Parker, and the contingent of soldiers blazed through Basin Springs became the emigrant trail into Texas from northern states, and a local stage and mail coach connected the little settlement that grew around the spring to Sherman already by 1854. For a few years in the 1870s, an academy for white children (day and boarding opportunities) had been opened, a vote against the sale of liquor, and a resolution that the "county was full of horse thieves" had been passed. The town was bypassed by the MKT line, however, and it slowly dwindled away. Its cemetery, a few miles from the original site, is pretty much all that remains.
Cedar Mills, named after the Cedar Brakes and its grist and flour mills, had a direct connection to Indian Territory via the Willis Ferry over the Red River. It also boasted a cotton gin and was a place for gambling and libations, activities forbidden in the Territory. The town's Board of Trade built a free bridge across Big Mineral Creek in 1874/1875, which brought some action from Denison and Sherman, but because it never saw a railroad come through, the town did not grow as much as other places did. Parts Cedar Mills faced flooding after Lake Texoma was built, and the new community that appeared, Gordonville, was named after one of the founding families of Cedar Mills.
You may wonder why you don't see the town of "Hagerman" on this map? Because it didn't exist in 1903. Back then, it was known as Steedman, namee after a county judge and the owner of a farm after retirement in the area.
When the MKT line came through, the town was not very loyal. Citizens left the settlement to join the railroad town of Hagerman at Dever Switch. The town was renamed after an attorney for the line, and even the cemetery changed its name.That's where the County Judge is buried, just FYI. Residents abandoned the Hagerman in 1942 as a sacrifice to the gods of Lake Texoma. In 1946, the town site of Steedman/Hagerman became a Wildlife Refuge, which is now one of the top destinations in the US, if not the world, for avid birders.
If I had any gumption, I'd go scuba diving to find some of the remains of these old places! But I prefer others telling me what they see as I'm not one to put my head underwater.