About Hydro, Oklahoma
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: 1,555 ft (474 m). Population: 969 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).
Hydro is located on the northwestern tip of Caddo County, to the north, across the Canadian River lies Blaine County, and part of the town extends into it. Route 66 and I-40 pass to the south of the town.
Main Street, Hydro, Oklahoma
This part of Oklahoma has been inhabited for over 10,000 years but its Native American population is the result of migrations that took place after the mid 1700s.
The Caddo and Wichita
The Caddo were an agricultural society that lived in eastern Texas, southern Aransas, southeastern Oklahoma and western Louisiana. European settlement forced them west and finally they were relocated in Oklahoma.
Washita, Wichita and Ouiehita were different names for the same people.
The Wichita lived in Oklahoma and Texas, but in 1859 they were forced to a Reservation in Oklahoma, then relocated near what is now Wichita in Kansas and finally moved back to another Reservation in Oklahoma (1867).
The Wichita Caddo Delaware opening was a land lottery which took place in 1901 on the surplus land that had once been part of the Indian Reservation. 164,000 homesteaders had registered to the draw for 13,000 plots of 160 acres each. The lucky ones whose name was drawn, then proceeded into the territory to stake their claims.
The Dawes Act of 1887 laid down the law that was used in 1891 to reach an agreement with the Natives for their land: each tribe member received a 160-acre plot and the surplus was purchased by the U.S. government for future use. However there was resistance to this allotment and the matter ended up in court. The Supreme Court finally settled the issue one decade later.
After the Wichita and Caddo Reservation opened to settlement, the town was founded on August 6, 1901. It was initially named after the Indians, "Caddo", but when the post office was set up the following month, it changed the name to "Hydro". It was built near the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad's tracks.
I County was the initial designation of the area, which changed to Caddo County on November 8, 1902.
Hydro, the name
The abundant water provided by the town's well suggested the name "Hydro" from the Greek word for "Water"
The town was a rural community based on corn and cotton as well as livestock.
The first school in Caddo County opened in Hydro. The Church which is still in use, was erected in 1907.
In 1926, Route 66 was created and it ran past the southern side of the town, which benefited from its increasing flow of traffic.
During the Dustbowl and the Great Depression, population declined as farmers were forced off their lands by failed crops or debt. During that period, the Works Progress Administration paved Hydro's streets and built the present schoolhouse and community center.
Where to Stay
Book your hotel in nearby Weatherford
> > Book your Hotels in Weatherford, 7 miles away
Lodging Near Hydro along Route 66
>> There are RV campgrounds close to Hydro.
Weather in Hydro
Weather widget for the town nearest Hydro
Temperature: during summer (July) the average high reaches 93°F (34°C) while the average low is 69°F (21°C).
During winter (January) the average high and low are 46°F (8°C) and 26°F (-3°C).
Rainfall is around 28.7 inches per year (729 mm) with May and June being the rainiest months with just over 4 inches each (100 mm).
There are some 88 wet days per year. Thunderstorms are more frequent during late spring and summer and may cause hail, heavy rain and strong winds. Sometimes they provoke tornadoes.
Snow can fall at any time between November to March and averages around 9.6 inches of snow (24 cm) per year.
Hydro is located in the "Tornado Alley and experiences about 12 Tornado watches every year.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
Getting to Hydro
Map of Route 66 through Hydro Oklahoma
Display Hydro Route 66 Map
Click Map will appear below
The map above shows US 66 alignment through Hydro, the color key For Hydro only is the following:
(for the other parts of the map, check the color key of the map of the corresponding city)
Pale Blue: Historic Route 66 alignment.
Black: the 1926-1932 alignment from Bridgeport through Geary and Calumet.
Route 66's alignment in Oklahoma: the Historic Route 66 through Hydro
Route 66 in Oklahoma
Click to read the Full description of Route 66 across Oklahoma.
Read below for more information on Route 66's alignment in Hydro.
Route 66 landmarks & attractions
Sights in Hydro
Classic Main Street
Hydro is best known for its classic vintage Main Sreet, the Historic Provine Service Station (Lucille's Place), its soda fountain on Main Street and the "Mounds" south of town. To the west is the 19.5 mile original Route 66 roadbed segment which passes south of the town, and is a historic site.
The town's Main Street is typically that of a Small Town in the American Mid West. The Route 66 Soda Fountain (shown in the image above) is a vintage place that will take you back in time. And across the road, at the corner of Main and OK-58 is the 60 year old Nutopia (Johnson Peanut Co.) which sells every kind of peanut item you can imagine from candy to oil to spicy peanuts.
Below we describe some attractions very close to town. Head south out of town, and when you reach OK-66 turn west (right):
Provine Service Station
OK-66 and S. Coleman Ave., , Hydro, OK.
It is half a mile west of US 58 intersection with I-40 (Exit 88) along OK-66 (Route 66)
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
An iconic service station that served customers along Route 66 from 1929 until 2000.
Lucille's Place - Provine Service Station, Route 66, Hydro, Oklahoma
This two-story service station wasy built by Carl Ditmore in 1929. It was conveniently located half a mile south of Hydro on Route 66 (which had been created only three years earlier).
Hamons Court Motel Sign, 1941, Smithsonian National Museum of American History
It had living quarters on the upper floor where Mr. Ditmore and his family lived.
It was built in a local variation of the "Bungalow Craftsman" style. It has a hipped roof with wide overhanging eaves. The second-story projects towards the front of the building and covers the service bay. Its weight is supported by massive tapered columns.
In 1934 W.O. Waldrup and his wife Ida purchased the station and changed its name to Provine Service Station, a name which as survived until today.
They added some tourist cabins which became a five-room motel.
Carl and Lucille Arthurs Hamons acquired it in 1941 and Lucille ran it for almost 60 years. Se earned the nickname of "Mother of the Mother Road" and was the reason for Provine Station to be commonly known as Lucille's Place.
Route 66 carried traffic past the service station from 1926 till I-40 was completed in 1971. Then it was bypassed by traffic using the safer and quicker expressway. The motel closed and Carl died that same year. But Lucille kept operating the station. She sold cold beer which the locals from nearby Weatherford -a dry town- found very appealing. She passed away on August 18, 2000.
The Hamons Court motel sign
The original sign was donated by the Hamons family to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, in 2003 and is part of the exhibition on "America on the Move". The sign was made in 1945 in sheet metal with neon lighting. It is 87 x 42 x 12 inches (221 x 107 x 30 cm).
Tours & Itineraries
Nearby Route 66 Towns
Head west from town to visit the Historic Canadian River Bridge:
To the south of Hydro are several "mounds" on an otherwise relatively flat area. Some of them have been named. They are natural and are known as "Antelope Buttes", "Hydro Mounds" or "Caddo Mounds".
"Dead Woman Mound" (1,700 ft.) received its name after a pioneer found the body of a woman buried at its foot. "Ghost Mound" is 9 mi. south of the town which was an Indian ceremonial site.
American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction, H. P. Lovecraft (1890 - 1937) ghostwrote a story, "The Mound", for Zealia Bishop which was set in Caddo Co. and tells about an Indian mound haunted by a headless ghost. It was published in 1940.
The Old alignment of Route 66 near Hydro
The segment of OK-66 running towards the east from Hydro to the Historic Canadian River Bridge is in fact a Historic site, listed in the National Register of Historic Places:
At Hydro is the western terminus of the intact 1931-34 alignment of Route 66, described below:
Bridgeport Hill - Hydro Segment of Route 66
Old Route 66 Bridgeport Hill to Hydro, Geary to Hydro, OK.
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
One of the longest intact segments of Route 66 in western Oklahoma: 19.5 miles long.
This segment begins just west of the South Canadian River bridge (mentioned above), and heads west all the way to Hydro. It was paved in Portland Concrete in 1931, 33 and 34. It is the current alignment of OK-66. East of Bridgeport are two bridges built in 1934. The road, bypasses Bridgeport along its southern side and keeps west towards Hydro where it ends 0.5 mi. east of Exit 84 of I-40 near Weatherford.
Some patches of aspahlt have resurfaced it west of Canadian River, but the rest is unaltered. It has the original integral curbs and drains to help discharge rain water.
It remained operational until 1962 when I-40 replaced it. It also did away with the private toll bridge just north of Bridgeport on the 1926-1932 alignment of Route 66.
See the Route 66 alignment map from El Reno to Bridgeport (1926 - 1933 - 1962).
US 66 west of Hydro
Route 66 west of Hydro has followed the same alignment since 1926. It was paved in Portland Concrete all the way to Custer Co. line and from there into Weatherford in 1931. It remained a 2-lane road until 1959 when Route 66 was upgraded to a 4-lane road. The original alignment remained as the westbound lanes.
As I-40 was built west of Hydro, it incorporated the two eastbound lanes of Route 66 as its westbound ones. When it was completed, Route 66 became the north service road of I-40.