• Little Niagra

    Chickasaw

    National Recreation Area Oklahoma

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  • Warning to Boaters

    Chickasaw National Recreation area is warning all boat users to be cautious while boating on Lake of the Arbuckles due to low water levels in the lake. More »

  • Swimming Areas Closed

    Due to low water flow in Travertine Creek, the Little Niagara, Panther Falls, and Bear Falls swimming areas are closed until further notice. The Little Niagara and Panther Falls picnic areas remain open.

  • Eagle Bay Boat Launch Closed

    Due to low water in Lake of the Arbuckles, Eagle Bay Boat Launch is closed.

Who was Platt?

metal plaque with text

Memorial plaque to Senator Platt in the nature center

NPS/Amy Trenkle

One of the more unusual features of Platt National Park was that the park name memorialized a person not directly tied to the place. Visitors often ask, "Who was Platt and why did he get a park named for him?"

During Senator Platt's final years in the United States Senate, he was actively involved in Indian Affairs and the work of the Dawes Commission. It was Senator Platt who sponsored the original legislation to establish the park as the Sulphur Springs Reservation in 1902. His work to keep the mineral springs found here accessible to all Americans was honored by Congress in 1906 when they directed that the Sulphur Springs Reservation be redesignated Platt National Park.


 
Black and white portrait of an older man

Senator Orville Platt

Library of Congress

Orville Hitchcock Platt (July 19, 1827 - April 21, 1905) was a United States Senator from Connecticut. Born in Washington, Connecticut, he studied law in Litchfield, and was admitted to the bar in 1850, commencing practice in Towanda, Pennsylvania. He moved to Meriden, Connecticut in 1850 and continued to practice law.

He served in various positions in the Connecticut state government between 1855-1857 and was a member of the State senate in 1861 and 1862, and a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1864 and 1869. Platt was state's attorney for New Haven County, 1877 to 1879, and was elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate in 1879. He served in the Senate from March 4, 1879, until his death, for many years as a member of the Committee on Indian Affairs.

Platt died on April 21, 1905, aged 77, in Meriden, and was interred in Washington, Connecticut in the Cemetery on the Green.

Did You Know?

Young men planting trees in a barren landscape

Between 1933 and 1940, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) entirely rebuilt Platt National Park [the present-day Platt Historic District of Chickasaw National Recreation Area] from boundary to boundary. Rustic buildings, swimming holes, and picnic areas, remain today as a testament to their work. More...