Home |  PublicationsEncyclopedia |  Turner Falls

The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture

Turner Falls
(23389.361.6, Jim Argo Collection, OHS).


Reportedly the state's largest waterfall, Turner Falls is located in the oldest park within Oklahoma. This beautiful and very popular recreational area has a seventy-seven-foot waterfall that drops into a natural swimming pool below. There are numerous springs within the Arbuckle Mountains; one of them is Honey Creek, which creates the cascade. Turner Falls, named for Mazeppa Thomas Turner, sits six miles south of Davis, Oklahoma.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Turner, born to Scottish parents living in Virginia, married Laura J. Johnson, a Chickasaw, and became a farmer in Murray County. In 1878 Turner and his wife moved to a cabin on the edge of Honey Creek. There he discovered the waterfall that became known as Turner Falls. This fifteen-hundred-acre water resort offers swimming, cave exploration, miles of walking trails, numerous picnic areas, and overnight camping for a small fee. Some have claimed that along with the Grand Canyon and the Black Hills of South Dakota, Turner Falls is one of the three great geological views of the nation's past. Davis has owned the recreation area since 1919 and operated the park from 1919 to 1950. After leasing it to outside interests, the city resumed control of the resort in 1978.

Joe Sanchez

Browse By Topic




Learn More

Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 15 May 1983.

Francis Fugate and Roberta Fugate, Roadside History of Oklahoma (Missoula, Mont.: Mountain Press Publishing Co., 1991).

George Shirk, Oklahoma Place Names (2d ed.; Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1974).

"Turner Falls," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Joe Sanchez, “Turner Falls,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=TU019.

Published January 15, 2010

Copyright and Terms of Use

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS). This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and part or in whole.