I don't know what happened here. Well, no, I do; the latter half of the 20th century happened. Three thousand souls - and growing; it increased 4.0 over the last ten years.

Wikipedia: "The city was settled by the Choctaw and named in 1867 by a Baptist missionary for Chief Atoka, whose name means 'ball groudn'" in English."

Okay. More from the site, which lacks the usual dispassionate tone:

Despite being strategically located at the intersection of two major highways (especially U.S. 69, a major transportation artery in the region), Atoka is struggling to create a town attractive to both new business and new residents. Even though the town has experienced an economic upturn in the past few years, it still lacks the main thing that ensures economic prosperity and attracts new residents: well-paying jobs.[citation needed]

Let's take a look.

The Chamber of Commerce. Really.

If you've been following this feature for a while, you know what this used to be. Obviously, a gas station, yes - but the brand. This one gives you a rather obvious hint.

The architect hated his client. He was the kind of guy who lined up his pencils just so on his desk. Placed his desk so it was exactly lined up with the windows. Always had the blinds drawn up evenly. A man who liked order. He was cruel to the architect through the whole process.

"Why can't you put the windows in now?"

"I'm waiting. It'll be the last thing I do."

The architect left a note before he left town: "enjoy the view"

This one's been through a lot, and it doesn't seem like it wants to talk about it.


The first-floor rehab, I'll bet, for for a nice store that sold nice things.

Now, tanning.

The American Association for the Prevention of Windows must have had a branch in town:

That's a damned tall door.


The shock never wears off:

I can't make out the word on the stone. The entire building seems horrified to the point of speechlessness.

Just as the P told you the gas station was a Pure, so did this building make permanent its original purpose:

Where did the icon originate? Not even Chevy is sure.


Ghost ad from long ago. A bank with a Porpoise!


Here's the Titan of Finance:


Locals say the ghost of a banker can still be seen in the upstairs window, but I think that's bunk.

A typical downtown three-story structure, with a typical fate.


"What? Use the same color brick? Why the hell would we do that?"

If you look closely, you'll come to the same conclusion: those were the original doors.

Cruel prank: pull the fire alarm, and stand across the street and watch everyone try to get out.

Again, Wikipedia:

However, there is a beacon of hope for Atoka in the future. For the past several years, economic growth has been steadily moving northward along U.S. 75 from Dallas, Texas. Two towns located to the south of Atoka, Durant, Oklahoma, and Sherman, Texas, are experiencing tremendous economic and population growth. As this wave of development gradually moves north, the next town in line is the city of Atoka. If the growth continues, it is possible that Atoka could begin to see the type of expansion currently underway across the Red River to the south.

Oh, it's possible.