About White Oak, Oklahoma
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: 770 ft. (230 m). Population: 263 (2010 census).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).
A very small village just west of Vinita, in northeastern Oklahoma.
White Oak, looking towards the northeast of Route 66
The Historic Route 66 crosses the village from notheast to southwest.
White Oak's History
See Vinita, History for full information on the region's history.
White Oak is a small agricultural community. The post office opened in October 1898, and at that time there already were farmers living there, the railway passes by the western side of the small town, running parallel to Route 66.
A stagnated population led to the closure of the post office in 1957.
Today it is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Craig County.
The Shawnee Tribe
The Shawnee people were originally from Ohio where they were confined to reservations (1817) and relocated after the Indian Removal Act of 1830: some went to Kansas and others to the Indian Territories in what would later become Oklahoma (1831). After Kansas became a state in 1861, they were again removed and they migrated to Oklahoma after reaching an agreement with the Cherokee people there by which they became citizens of that tribe and were granted land in what is now Rogers and Craig Counties, including White Oak.
It is for this reason that they are known as the "Cherokee Shawnee".
The name: White Oak
The White Oak or Quercus alba is one of eastern America's hardwood trees. It is a member of the oak family (Fagaceae), and native to the region comprised by the Atlantic Seabord to the east, southern Quebec and eastern Minnesota in the north to Florida in the South and the eastern parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas in the west.
Its bark is a light gray (not white) color and that is the reason for its name.
The town is on the western limit of its range.
Oak wood was processed at saw-mills and used for barrel staves (the strips of wood that are used to make a barrel). White Oak's Mill can be seen on the western side of the road.
Route 66 passed through the town in 1926, and brought some prosperity until I-44 was completed in 1957, bypassing it.
Where to Stay
There are several hotels in neighboring Vinita, less than 7 miles east of White Oak. Alternatively you can also lodge in other towns along Route 66 in Oklahoma:
>> Book your Room in Vinita, 7 miles away
> > There are two RV campgrounds close to White Oak.
Weather in White Oak
Weather widget for the town nearest White Oak:
Check the Weather and climate of Vinita for historical weather information.
Tornado Risk: White Oak lies within the "Tornado Alley in Oklahoma and experiences about 8 Tornado watches every year.
Read more about: Tornadoes on Route66.
Getting to White Oak
It is 6.8 miles southwest of Vinita.
Map of Route 66 through White Oak Oklahoma
Display White Oak Route 66 Map
Click Map will appear below
Route 66's alignment in Oklahoma: the Historic Route 66 through White Oak
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 White Oak.
Route 66 landmarks & attractions
Sights in White Oak
Small Ghost Town Attractions
Old mill at White Oak. Click for street view
Rittenhouse in his 1946 classic "Guidebook" to Route 66, described it as "a small hamlet with a couple of gas stations and groceries, plus a school and a few homes. No cafes, garages, courts (motels) or other accommodations here.", and it remains very much the same nowadays.
The main landmark is the Mill, on the right side of the road (if you head west), to the southwest of the town.
Native American Dances and Ceremonies
In line with the town's Shawnee roots, it is the location of the Shawnee Tribe's ancestral annual Spring and Fall Bread Dances and Green Corn ceremonies.
US Highway 66
Historic Route 66 alignment
Learn more about alignment of Historic Route-66 through Oklahoma.
National & State Parks
See the nearby places ideal for outdoor recreation and enjoying nature here: State Parks near Vinita - White Oak
George H. Shirk, Oklahoma Place Names, pp. 167.
Banner is the Dead Man's Curve, Laguna, New Mexico; by Perla Eichenblat.