Wewoka, OK

Are You Caught in the Wewoka Switch?


One railroad location became synonymous with getting stuck

Disclaimer: There are no affiliate links in this article. All outside references are accredited and may be followed using the links. The outline for this article was written with the assistance of ai. This article is for educational and informational purposes and although the author is not a historian, all dates and accounts are factual according to accredited sources.

Have you checked lost and found?

In the late 1890s, the name "Wewoka" became really famous.

This happened because during the exciting time when the Oklahoma oil fields were booming, Wewoka was the only town with a railroad sidetrack between Oklahoma City and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Now, imagine this: sometimes, shipments of goods got sent to the wrong place in Wewoka, and they would just sit there for months without anyone realizing it.

This happened so often that the Rock Island Railroad, which managed the trains, started putting a message on all their notes about lost shipments:

"Search the Wewoka Switch"

The message said, "Search the Wewoka Switch." Eventually, if someone was having trouble or got stuck with a problem, people would say they were caught in the "Wewoka switch."

There were thousands of such shipments, according to one source:

Thousands of freight shipments designated elsewhere, thought to be lost in transit, were hidden in the “Wewoka Switch.” Upon being questioned about late or lost orders, local merchants had a standard and faultless reply of: “Yes, I have it, but it’s caught in the Wewoka Switch!” – meaning, of course, that they had been unable to retrieve the delivery and were caught in a “tight spot.”

It became a way to talk about someone who was in a tough spot or facing difficulties.

There are a few people in the headlines these days who might just be caught in the Wewoka Switch.


Hi! I'm Judy and I love talking about the history of the area I live in! Please share your thoughts in the comments and feel free to share this article on social media and with family and friends, if you'd like

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Judy Derby has worked in the surrounding communities as a social worker and advocate. providing resources and information to help local families meet their basic needs. She's been writing about social issues and related topics for over 10 years.

Antlers, OK

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