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1999 Doe Doe Park facility leveled!
This was once an important landmark in Lawton, Oklahoma. When I was a young boy living in Lawton, I spent many hours enjoying the facilities of this park. It was located on Sheridan Rd. just outside of Fort Sill. The main feature was a huge swimming pool. My mother used to drop me off there and after paying my fee ( I think it was about .35 cents ) I would rent a basket to store my clothes and wear the safety pin with my basket number on my trunks. It was a rule that you had to shower before entering the pool and no cut-off jeans were allowed. The management ran a very tight ship and enforced all safety rules. There was a wading pool for the very young and then the main pool began at 3 feet deep and there was a row of swings suspended over the water. There were slides and at the halfway point there was a waling plank that went across the middle of the pool. This was the area limited to non swimmers. To go across the walkway into the deep water (I believe it went to 12 feet at the far end) you had to be able to swim across the pool and back under the eye of a lifeguard. I know this well because I had to prove myself over and over because I was so little at the time. My step-uncle, L.E. Smith Jr. was a lifeguard there at the time. When he was not on duty, I had to prove that I could do the swim test to the other life guards. On the deep end there was a tower in the middle with stationary diving boards. On the far end was a high-dive with succeeding diving boards on both sides. This area was in view of the cafe which had a large picture window. People eating in there could watch people diving from the high dives and see the window get splashed for entertainment. The chlorine was very strong in that water, and my eyes would be red after a day of swimming in the hot Oklahoma sun! At night, the chlorine in my eyes would create halos around the steet lights. The pool was only a part of the attraction of the park. There was a small zoo, a skating rink, a miniature golf course, a miniature train and a few kiddie rides, as well a a picnic area. This was surely a great place for the people of Lawton/Fort Sill to enjoy themselves. We moved from Lawton in 1965. I re-visited Lawton a few years ago to find the park still intact but out of business due to the high cost of liability insurance. At least it was still there as a reminder of my past. In October of 1999, I visited once more with my father. He was stationed at Fort Sill in the Army when we lived there. When I approached the site of Doe Doe Park, I was devastated to see that nearly the entire park had been leveled to the ground. I was told that a building supply company had bought the property but after experiencing a problem with building requirements by the city, the company had decided not to build at all. What a shame! Nothing remains there now but part of the area where the zoo was located and the picnic tables and bridges over the old canals. Oh yea, the old covered bridge where the little train was stored was still there! Fortunately, I was able to get a few pictures of the park on the prior visit to help remind me of the days gone by of old Doe Doe Park. I would like to say thank you to the owners of the old park for all of the fun times I had there!
Submitted by Timothy E. Bradshaw
This page is for perpetual written accounts of historical events that have occurred in the city. Anyone who feels they have pertinent information may submit it. This includes all people in or out of Lawton and could involve any interested adults or children with events or items that are of interest. Items may be submitted for publication on this page where they will remain as part of a historical archive for the city. Items of interest may include noteworthy events, special events of historical importance, information about area growth that pertains to the history of the city, and other pertinent notes. We hope to establish a large data base of information about the history of each city. Historical Societies are encouraged to open their own page on Key to the City for more extensive historical information.
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