Route Description from 1925 State Highway Map:
Beginning at the Kansas state line near Baxter Springs, via Picher, Cardin, Commerce, Miami, Afton, Vinita, Chelsea, Claremore, Catoosa, Tulsa, Sapulpa, Kelleyville, Bristow, Depew, Stroud, Davenport, Chandler, Wellston, Luther, Arcadia, Edmond, Oklahoma City, Blanchard, Chickasha, Ninnekah, Cement, Cyril, Fletcher, Lawton, Cache, Snyder, Headrick, Altus, Duke, Hollis, to the Texas state line toward Wellington.
Original Oklahoma Route 7 was a unique highway in the original road network; this was the only full crossing of the state that followed a diagonal path, from the far northeast corner of Oklahoma to the far southwest. As such, it formed a direct link between the two largest cities in the state and allowed one to continue directly to the largest city in the southwest quarter of the state and onward to Texas. There was no corresponding northwest to southeast diagonal, probably reflecting the perceived trade and travel needs of the time. The following is a possible modern alignment of original Route 7 if the original numbering had been retained on the modern highway system, which gives a rough representation of where the original great diagonal traveled.
A modern Route 7 would begin at the Kansas state line in Picher on US Route 69, traveling first south, then west as old US 66 joins in. The three highways would travel together through Miami, Afton, and Vinita, gaining and losing US 59 and US 60 as fellow travelers at various points. West of Vinita, the other routes split off and Route 7 would only share its pavement with modern State Highway 66 (Old US 66) for the run toward Claremore.
Route 7 would continue with SH 66 through Claremore and Catoosa, then join the modern limited access expressway system for the run through the Tulsa area. While modern SH 66 follows the mid 1950s bypass route through Tulsa, we have chosen to show Route 7 following the crosstown I-244 path, which is closer to where the old Route 7 actually ran. West of the Arkansas River, Route 7 would again join modern SH 66 as the "free road" splits off just before the Turner Turnpike. After passing through Sapulpa, Route 7 and SH 66 would then travel together west-southwest along the classic US 66 route toward Oklahoma City.
Continuing toward Oklahoma City, Route 7 and SH 66 remain together following quite a lot of the original paved alignment. Substantial portions of this alignment were paved when Route 7 actually existed here, so it would not have moved at all in 80 years. For more information on the original alignments of Route 7 and US 66 between the Kansas state line and Edmond, please see the US Route 66 detail page.
At the junction with I-35, SH 66 leaves Route 7, which would follow with US 77 into Edmond and then south onto the expressways and through Oklahoma City. In this case, we have decided to place Route 7 on more of a bypass route, but there are at least three equally possible alignments here; given how the existing modern routes jog all over the city, there is no way to tell for certain where a modern Route 7 would have ended up. After crossing the Canadian River, a modern Route 7 would travel concurrent with US 62 and US 277 toward Chickasha.
From Chickasha, Route 7 would follow US 277, first concurrent with US 81, then splitting off to travel diagonally southwest before joining US 62 once again for the journey into Lawton. Route 7 would then travel with US 62 west out of Lawton toward Snyder.
A modern Route 7 would continue its concurrence with US 62, taking the business loop through Snyder, before rejoining the mainline for the run to Altus and further west. For information on the historic routing of US 62 and Route 7, see the US 62 Lawton to Altus page.
Continuing west, Route 7 would continue following US 62 all the way to the Texas state line and its western terminus. Information on the historic routing of original Highway 7 and US 62 can be found on the (coming soon) US 62 Altus to Texas detail page.
Like most of the original full crossing state highways, Route 7 had much of its route overlaid with US highways starting in 1927, making it somewhat superfluous. By 1930, only the portion west of Lawton was still signed as Route 7, and that was overlaid by US 62 in 1931 and the state number removed, wiping the original Highway 7 from the official map. There is now no single highway number that will take a traveler from the northeast to the southwest of Oklahoma, and has not been since 1929. Interestingly, there is however a modern state highway that travels the opposite diagonal, modern State Route 3, which was not instituted until eight years after the original numbering system had been swept aside. At least by using a little imagination and a lot of US highways, we can still trace the approximate path of the original great diagonal of Oklahoma's highways. Thanks for reading this look at one of the most unique of the original state routes.
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Base Map Data Copyright DeLorme USA, http://www.delorme.com
State Highway Shields created by Ken Parker of Oklahoma Bridge & Highways Group.