History of Sand Springs
The history of Sand Springs began in 1908 with the purchase of 160 acres of land by Charles E. Page. Since the oil boom had made him wealthy, he was looking for a suitable place to give back some of the wealth and create a home for orphaned children. Starting with only a tent, the facility would later grow into the Sand Springs Home which is now a major contributor to the city.
In 1911, Charles Page built the Sand Springs Park. This park took center stage as it held an amusement park, swimming beach, boathouse, bathhouse, diving, platform, and even a small zoo. Page also built the Sand Springs Railway in the same year. It quickly became the main connection to Tulsa with two gasoline-engine rail cars. Electric cars soon replaced these rail cars and ran until 1955. It was the last operating interburban in the state.
The City of Sand Springs was formed west of the orphans home by Page and was incorporated in 1912 with a population of 400 citizens. At this time, Sand Springs offered a trolley service. This service needed a place to turn, so the Triangle was formed instead of the traditional town square.
By 1918, the population had grown to 900, and Sand Springs now supported two banks, a hotel, a local newspaper, and all of the amenities equal to any city in the state. Some of these were the Kerr Glass Manufacturing Company, Commander Mills, Southwest Box Company, nad Sinclair Prairie Refineries.
The 1920’s were booming for Sand Springs as it was given the title “City of Oppurtunities” by the Chamber of Commerce. With many industries operating in Sand Springs, it became a very modern city with electric street lights on the main streets and most streets were graded, some even paved. The dam was constructed across Shell Creek in 1920 to supply the city with water. In 1924, Charles Page wold his farmland on the south side of the river to Sand Springs Townsite Co. Harry Pratt later purchased most of this land.
The Keystone Expressway was built through downtown Sand Springs in 1968. The Springs, which Sand Springs was named, was lost with the construction of the expressway. All that is left of the clear springs is the small fountain of water bubbling up by the Katy Trail. The city ballooned in size with the annexation of Prattville in 1965. The Keystone Dam was completed in the 1960’s and Keystone Lake began to fill in 1964.
With the closure of some major employers, Sand Springs has begun a transformation from industry to retail, which is key for the future of Sand Springs.