The sunken city of Monte Ne is a neat attraction in our area. The resort was built at the turn of the 19th century by William Hope 'Coin' Harvey (1851-1936). Harvey was a Colorado silver king who got his nickname from his monetary reform ideas and the books he wrote. He came to the town of Silver Springs, changed the name to Monte Ne (meaning mountain water), bought some tracts of land and then set to building what would briefly become a world famous resort.
Two large hotels were built to house the upper class visitors who were brought in by a railroad spur. They would take Italian Gondola rides in the hand-dug lagoon by the White River. The guests also enjoyed the swimming pool, golf course and shows at the 1,000 seat Amphitheater. During the 'Boom time', the town of Monte Ne also offered its own Post Office, Newspaper, and Mercantile, most owned by Harvey. A lot of the resort was built with concrete, which was new to construction during this time. This, no doubt, increased curiosity and served as another attraction. But, alas, as time went by, business slowed and then finally stopped. The advent of the automobile, with the freedom it provided, seemed to keep people away rather than bring them to the resort. As things slowed, Harvey was in the process of building a 200' tall concrete pyramid to serve as a time capsule so that future generations would have a record of the fall of mankind (he was a bit eccentric and was predicting impending doom for all). Only the foundation was poured; the pyramid was never completed. In 1929, Coin went broke and the resort closed. In 1932, at the age of 80, he ran for president with the Liberty party but was soundly defeated by Franklin Roosevelt. In 1965, Beaver Dam was finished and the lake filled, submerging most of Monte Ne beneath its murky waters.
The good news is that some of the resort's structures survive and can still be seen today. Part of the Oklahoma Row Hotel (made of logs) was moved to higher ground and now is on private property, but can be seen from State Highway 94 East. A three story concrete structure that served as hotel honeymoon suites, then later as a bank can be seen from the lake year round. Also visible is a concrete dressing room that served the amphitheater located close to the old bank. When the water level is really low, part of the amphitheater is visible. The concrete swimming pool has also survived.