Just east of Kaw Lake in the rolling hills of Osage County is the oil-boom town of Shidler, at the intersections of Highways 11 and 18. Known today for large cattle ranches, Shidler hit its heyday in the 1920s with one of the largest oil finds in the country at the time.

Today you will see a blend of oil-field workers and working cowboys around town. You don’t have to look very hard to see cowboys complete with chaps, spurs and hats eating lunch in a local restaurant; or workers fresh in from the oil fields that are seeing a resurgence in activity.

A blend of the old with the new is what you'll find today as you enter Shidler from the west on Highway 11. The newest attraction, Prairie Rattler Winery, is on the north side of the highway. Stop by and sip the wines in the sipping room. Just east of the winery on the south side of the road is The Bivin Garden. Ray and Mollie Bivin constructed their home on six acres of nearly uncultivated prairie in November of 1981. In June 1982, they started preparing the landscaped garden and now have reached their goal of spacious lawns, numerous flowerbeds and hundreds of trees and shrubs. The visitor can enjoy perennials and annuals in abundance and several ornamental ponds May through September.

Shidler is home to John Payne, The One Arm Bandit & Company, PRCA Entertainer of the Year for an unprecedented eight consecutive years. John, his son, Lynn, and daughter, Amanda (Mandy) have performed their rodeo act throughout the USA and Canada. Stop for a bit of lunch in Mandy’s Café where you’ll find “real cowboys” chowing down on the daily special or a burger with fries.

The view of the rolling Osage hills is beautiful from Shidler’s nine-hole golf course southeast of town.

Shidler is also the west entrance to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, an effort by The Nature Conservancy to preserve the last remaining tallgrass prairie in the world. Bison roam freely there and over 700 plant species have been identified, as well as a number of breeding birds and birds of prey.

Go to for information on the many events including the annual car show. If you're looking for a quiet spot in Oklahoma to spend a few hours, or a few days, visit Shidler. For more information phone the Shidler Chamber, 918-793-4171 or go to their website,

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May 25, 2017
1:48 am US/Central


55º F

Current Conditions:

Thu - Sunny, High: 82
Fri - Thunderstorms, High: 86

High Water

As of 17 May, the Kaw Lake level is just above 25 feet above normal at the 1035 elevation and the lake level is falling.  Most of the campgrounds and boat ramps are closed and unavailable for public use due to the high lake levels.  If you have campsite reservations or were planning on coming to Kaw Lake in the near future we suggest you log on to the Corps of Engineers website at for up to the minute facility closure on Kaw Lake, current flood gate settings and discharge.  

© 2008 Kaw Lake Association