The Starr Springs area was first settled by the Benjamin Cooper family in 1834. It was the site of the Andrew Adair and George Washington Adair massacre in 1853. The springs along with Shell Creek are the main sources for the headwaters of Sallisaw Creek. They were named for George Harlan Starr who purchased the property in 1867. He is buried in a family plot in the vicinity.
On May 12, 1911, the City of Stilwell entered into a lease agreement with George Harlan Starr's son, Samuel J. Starr and his wife Ruth, to supply water from Starr Springs to the inhabitants of Stilwell for a period of Ninety-nine (99) years.
Producing more than 500,000 gallons of water a day, Starr Springs was the sole source of water for the City of Stilwell for many years. The water was pure enough that it did not require treatment. Taking the place of numerous wells, Starr Springs played an important roll in the growth and development of business and industry in the expanding town of Stilwell. When industry demands became too great, the city had to look for other water sources and built Carson Lake in the Lyons Community to supplement the supply form the springs.
Starr Springs remains an important landmark. On November 25, 1995, a historical marker for Starr Springs was dedicated to the memory of family historian and genealogist, D.M. "Mack" Starr (1924-1995), great-grandson of George Harlan Starr.
Marker, Oklahoma Historical Society, 224 - 1995.
Address: Erected at the Intersection of Highways 100 and 59 south of Stilwell
Come visit us in Stilwell, Oklahoma