top of page
  • Writer's

Disney To Miami (Pronounced Miamah)

Big Cabin, Oklahoma

October 24, 2022

I guess like many man-made lakes, Grand Lake provided an opportunity for development of a vacation area. I thought the road signs above were telling in their weathered appearance -- the aspirations of the early developers don't seem to have matched with reality. A but surprising given how hot Oklahoma must get and how a lake would provide a break from the heat.

I also thought the newness of the "dispensery" billboard stood in stark contrast to the other billboards.

Afton, Oklahoma

Afton is a town in northeast Oklahoma in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, The population was 1,049 as of the 2010 census, with population growth stemming from the near abandonment of nearby towns of Cardin and Picher because of ground contamination sites by local mining quarries. The town may have been named for the Scottish River Afton.


Afton developed in this part of the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory after the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company (later the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway, or Frisco) built tracks through the area to Vinita in 1871. According to Oklahoma historian George Shirk, a Scottish railroad surveyor, Anton Aires, named the town Afton after his daughter. Others have claimed the name comes from Robert Burns's poem, "Flow Gently Sweet Afton." Both Afton Aires' name and the Burns'poem honor the River Afton in Scotland.

A post office was established in Afton during 1886. The 1900 census showed a population of 606. In 1901, the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis Railroad, which soon became part of the Frisco system, constructed another line through the town, creating a shorter route to Kansas City, and causing another spurt of population growth. The town became a Frisco division point and shipping center for the surrounding agricultural area. Agriculture mainly featured wheat, corn, hay and livestock. In 1910, Afton's population was 1,276; the town had two schools, a waterworks, two hotels, two banks, a brick and tile plant, a creamery, a newspaper, mills and grain elevators. The population peaked at 1,518 in 1920, but a depression after World War I caused a drop to 1,219 in 1930.


The Darryl Starbird National Rod and Custom Hall of Fame Museum hosts an anniversary celebration in Afton, every June.

The juxtaposition of the "Body Shop" to the poverty of this area plus what I assume is a very Christian area is interesting.

Miami, Oklahoma

Miami (/maɪˈæmə/ my-AM-ə) is a city in and county seat of Ottawa County, Oklahoma, founded in 1891. Lead and zinc mining were established by 1918, causing the area's economy to boom. The Mayor of Miami is Bless Parker. [What an awesome first name!]

This area was part of Indian Territory. Miami is the capital of the federally recognized Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, after which it is named; the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma, the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma, the Peoria Tribe of Indians, and the Shawnee Tribe. As of the 2020 census, the population was 12,969.


The city was founded in an unusual way, compared to other towns established in Indian Territory. Per the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture "... it was settled in a business-like way by men of vision who looked into the future and saw possibilities. It didn't just grow. It was carefully planned."

W. C. Lykins petitioned the U.S. Congress to pass legislation on March 3, 1891, to establish the town. He met with Thomas F. Richardville, chief of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, who agreed to meet in turn with the U.S. Indian Commission and the Ottawa Tribe.

That meeting resulted in Congress authorizing the secretary of the United States Department of the Interior to approve the townsite purchase from the Ottawa. Lykins, Richardville and Manford Pooler, chief of the Ottawa, are identified in historical accounts as "fathers of Miami." Lykins' company, the Miami Town Company, bought 588 acres of land from the Ottawa for ten dollars an acre. On June 25–26, 1891 they held an auction of lots. In 1895, Miami incorporated and had more than 800 residents.

The discovery of rich deposits of lead and zinc under Quapaw land a few miles north caused Miami to boom. In 1907, at the time of statehood, its population was 1,893. As mining increased and more mills were built, the population more than tripled to 6,802 by 1920.

Miami was on the route of the Jefferson Highway established in 1915, with that international road running more than 2,300 mile from Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada across the border and to New Orleans, Louisiana. US Route 66 in Oklahoma also passed through Miami. An historic section of the Route 66 roadbed is marked in town.

It is the capital of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, after which it is named; the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma, Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma, Peoria Tribe of Indians, and Shawnee Tribe.

Coleman Theatre and historical buildings

Miami and Ottawa County, together with nearby Delaware County, Oklahoma to the south, attract numerous tourists to the state. These counties combined make up the third-largest tourism destination in the state, following only the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metropolitan areas.

Miami is home to the historic Coleman Theatre, located at 103 N. Main St. On April 18, 1929, the 1,600-seat Coleman Theatre enjoyed a grand opening as a luxurious movie theater of the time. Designed by the Boller Bros., and built by George L. Coleman Sr. at a cost of $600,000, the Louis XV interior includes gold leaf trim, silk damask panels, stained glass panels, marble accents, a carved mahogany staircase, Wurlitzer pipe organ, decorative plaster moldings, and bronze railings. While there have been many changes to seeing movies in grand theaters, the building has been preserved and also serves as a venue for live performances. In 1959 a local non-profit community group established the Miami Little Theatre. The community theater group presents five large-scale productions on the Coleman stage every year. In 1983, the Coleman Theatre was placed on the National Register of Historical Places for Ottawa County.

Other Miami structures are also listed on the National Register of Historical Places, including the George L. Coleman Sr. House, the Miami Marathon Oil Company Service Station, and the Miami Downtown Historic District.

Maylan's Ku-Ku Bird and Burgers

The Mother Road, Route 66, still rolls out the red carpet for visitors in Miami, Oklahoma at Waylan's Hamburgers the Ku-Ku restaurant. Guests can view memorabilia of days gone by as Waylan himself is still preparing your eats to order.

The expansion of the dining room has silenced what once was the singing rooftop Ku-Ku icon. An AC unit now sits in the way for the retracting of the bird behind doors. A replica of the Ku-Ku stands ready at the drive-thru for customers who want to stroll over and snap a photograph.

Waylan's is the last survivor of the old Ku-Ku chain of burger joints. The owner and head cook has made his burgers an art form: they were chosen as among the best in the nation, and he swears that regular customers can tell whether he or an assistant made any given burger. Waylan's also offers delicious fried green tomatoes and fresh cherry limeade, but of more interest than the food is the cozy 50's feel.


Braum's is an American chain of ice cream parlor and fast food restaurants. Based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Braum's was founded in 1968 by William Henry "Bill" Braum in Oklahoma City. The company operates over 300 restaurants in 5 states, primarily in the Southern United States, namely the West South Central states of Oklahoma and Texas.


In 1957, William Henry "Bill" Braum[1] (1928–2020) purchased his family's ice cream processing business based in Emporia, Kansas, as well as its "Peter Pan" retail ice cream chain; ten years later, the Peter Pan stores were sold, under the condition that the Braum family would not sell ice cream in Kansas for ten years.

Having kept the family dairy herd and ice cream processing business, Braum and his wife Mary started the Braum's chain in 1968 in Oklahoma City, opening 24 stores in Oklahoma during the first year. Braum's brought products from its Emporia headquarters to Oklahoma for the first few years, later opening facilities in Oklahoma and moving the herd there in 1975.

In order to maintain the freshness of its products, the company does not open stores outside of a 300-mile radius of the home farm in Tuttle, Oklahoma. As of 2017, there are almost 300 stores in operation, with 128 stores in Oklahoma, 99 in Texas, 27 in Kansas and 13 in both Arkansas and Missouri.


The restaurants serve ice cream, frozen yogurt, hamburgers, sandwiches, salads and breakfast items. Stores also include a grocery section called the "Fresh Market" featuring dairy products, baked goods, beverages, frozen entrees, meats and produce.

Braum's is noteworthy for its level of vertical integration. Almost all the food products sold at Braum's are processed or manufactured directly by the company; Braum's owns its own feed mill, dairy herd, dairy processing plant, bakery, stores, and delivery trucks. It also owns eight farms and ranches with a total area of 40,000 acres, as well as its flagship dairy farm in Tuttle, Oklahoma. The dairy farm has specified times during which it is open for public tours and is a popular destination for school field trips. Braum's describes itself as the only major ice cream maker to still milk its own cows. They also produce the packaging used for their dairy products.

A2 Milk

Braum's Family Farm is home to the largest A2 milk dairy herd in the United States. A1 and A2 are genetic variants of the beta-casein milk protein. Most cow milk is A1. Non-cow milk, including that of buffalo, camels, donkeys, goats, sheep, yaks and even human mothers are mostly A2, which limits exposure to "cow milk protein allergies, including lactose intolerance". It took over 12 years to build the A2 herd. With the established A2 herd, Braum’s is now producing only A2 milk for sale in its own Braum’s stores.

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page