For many families, the building of the lake meant relocating and hints of those former homesteads still wash ashore with some frequency, making Lake Eufaula a treasure hunter's hot-spot.
Among the pottery fragments and rusted farm implements, the lake will occasionally spit out a miraculously unbroken antique bottle. A lace-up leather boot like the ones Belle Starr wore found us on a recent bank stroll.
Starr is just one of the outlaws who hid out in these storied hillsides. Her newly restored grave site is a destination for those drawn to bandit lore. Located northeast of Eufaula dam near Porum, you'll find her headstone near the “Younger's Bend” sign.
Although the ‘70s are over, and handling minnows is now followed by a squirt of hand-sanitizer, some childhood lake freedoms still remain, like: exploring the lake floor through swim-masks bought at the Boy Howdy store.
A nod to those beloved five and dimes, Boy Howdy remains a relevant relic on the town of Eufaula's Main Street (U.S. 69 business loop).
Also on Main Street, Our Favorite Place (OurFavoritePlace.com) is floor-to-tin ceiling with Made-in-Oklahoma delicacies, swoon-worthy local art and must-have clothing — maybe even a gift for Dad?
On Fathers Day and throughout the sun-soaked months, Lake Eufaula holds within its sandstone shores the delicious whispers of family memories; and it is poised to make some new ones for your family too.
Shel Wagner is the Executive Producer and segment host of the weekly TV travel show AAA's Discover Oklahoma.