Guns and Ghost Towns

ingalls hotel

ingallsdoorOklahoma has its share of Wild West adventure stories and a plethora of ghost towns. The ghost town of Ingalls sits on a now quiet crossroads with a few residences and the abandoned remains of the Ingalls Hotel and Saloon.

The old buildings look like an Old West movie set. Surrounded by short trees and fields of wheat, they don’t quite fit the expectation created by the movies.

Ingalls was far from quiet in 1893. The small town became the site of one of the most notorious outlaw shoot-outs in wild west history – ending in the deaths of three marshals, a single resident and the capture of one of the outlaws.

The Doolin-Dalton (Oklahombre) gang decided to linger in the dusty town for a little too long. rt66ruinbackwallIngalls was a peaceful community likely unwilling, indifferent of simply afraid to mess with their outlaw guests. Despite the warning that the marshals were coming, members of the gang went on with their card games and one of the outlaws, “Arkansas Tom” Jones, laid sick in his second floor room. It was at the window of that hotel room he fired shots at the deputies and was arrested by the survivors after the shootout. (See the U.S. Marshall‘s site for more.)

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

On the way home along Route 66, was a small ruin just east of Arcadia (above). Once a gas station built in the teens or 20’s, its history includes counterfeiting and murder. (See the story in the photo below – click on it to enlarge)



I played with copies of old newspapers from the day to create a dusty background collage for this mixed media experiment. The photo at the top of the post was converted into black and white and laid as a transfer – ghost-like over the collage. Still playing. I am doing more etching at the moment, so hopefully I’ll be able to share something cool in the next few weeks!



  1. says

    Another successful experiment, Michelle! It looks gorgeous. I like the colour tone. As for these ghost towns, who owns them? As you said, they are almost ready as a movie set. You could be a good location scout for filmmakers. 😉

    • Michelle says

      Thanks, Arti!
      I am sure someone owns this one. The grass is cut and a bare minimum of maintenance is done.

    • Michelle says

      Thanks, Alan! The day I went out there was very dusty. Every vehicle that went by me enveloped my truck in a cloud of it. It was sunny and high 80’s which for here, isn’t hot yet…!

  2. says

    yay! for ghost town pics, (well sort of ghost town if the law is mowed :p). love the art :) really nice earthy colours, gives it a very old look

    • Michelle says

      With all the creepy crawlies here, cutting the lawn is something I’d do for free if this was my neighbour! LOL!
      Thanks, Jennifer Rose!

  3. says

    Great photos, always excited to have another blog post to read. You do find fascinating history wherever you go, don’t you?
    I love the sepia tones of the collage and textures. I wonder what the writing says. Close-ups?

    • Michelle says

      Thanks, Ingrid. I can’t help myself!
      As for the writing, it doesn’t say anything relevant this time around….