Catoosa Travel Guide

  • Catoosa
    by Paulie_D
  • Thar she blows..!
    Thar she blows..!
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  • Things to Do
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Catoosa Things to Do

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Beached Blue whale in Oklahoma?

    by sourbugger Updated Oct 15, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    "What the hell is that ?"

    "A wedding anniversary present"

    "Your kidding ?"

    "Nope, I'm sure chocolates or Jewellery would have been easier but It's only certain men in life who present you with a giant blue whale with intergrated slide on your special day"

    "When was this ?"

    "In the 1970's, and it has that kind of life-enhancing substances, hippy feel to it I think. It actually formed part of a kind of mini-amusement park with various animials and red indian related stuff. The park closed down but this thing was restored"

    "I like it, I want one"

    "Yes dear"

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  • Paulie_D's Profile Photo

    by Paulie_D Updated Nov 17, 2003

    The true tale of Catoosa's favorite whale does begin with one whopping romance. Hugh S. Davis was a man who adored animals and Hugh's bride, Zelta, shared her husband's love of things untamed.

    Zelta talked Hugh into installing an alligator farm near their home on property that fronted Route 66.

    When Hugh left Tulsa's Mohawk zoo, where he was Director, and began spending more time around the house, he opted to drop the gators and shape a pond on the property into a pretty waterpark.

    "The kids kept saying, 'We need something to jump off of,'" Zelta recalled in 1997. "Then Hugh had Harold Thomas over there, a friend of ours who was a welder. Hugh knew exactly what he was going to build, but he wouldn't tell me. It looked to like it was going to be an airplane."

    Jumbo jet, no; leviathan, yes: Hugh presented the whale to Zelta on their anniversary. It was a lavish gift.

    Hugh's notes show the whale was built for a whopping 1970s cost of $1,910.24 cents. He exhausted 126 sacks of dry Portland Concrete in completing his task and $5.75 in nails to tack down the original redwood decking.

    Hugh calculated the painted surface of the whale at 2,520 square feet. That number has earned the respect of preservationists who've stepped forward since 1980, the year Hugh's waterpark closed.

    One company spent six thousand dollars in whale refurbishing.

    Former Oklahoma governor Frank Keating once appeared on site with a paintbrush ready to swab.

    On August 15, 2002, the latest group of whale boosters arrived. They came armed with a new Roadside Attraction Sign, and they came from Hampton/Hilton Hotels Corp which had chosen the whale as the 12th project in its "Explore the Highway with Hampton, Save A Landmark" Program. With Hampton's help, a new fence was erected on the whale's grounds.

    The old snack bar was repainted, and a new septic system was installed to serve travellers too long in their cars.

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