Jay was named for Jay Washburn, a nephew of Stand Watie and grandson of an early-day Cherokee missionary. The town is the county seat of Delaware County, having won that distinction from Grove, Oklahoma in a special county seat election on December 8, 1908. on January 5, 1912, the County Commissioners ordered the records to be moved to Jay. On May 10, 1913 the courthouse in Jay was burned, destroying most of the county records. The post office was established May 19, 1909. Jay incorporated in 1939.
Jay is atypical in Oklahoma history because the townsite and layout were located and platted specifically for its purpose as a county seat. It is not located on a river, major road or railway line as were most Oklahoma towns of the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Around 1908, the Delaware County Improvement Association hired a survey team to pinpoint the exact location of the center of the county. They pinpointed allotment land belonging to Thomas Oochaleta, a full-blood Cherokee. Since acquiring title to a full-blood's allotment would require a lengthy federal legal procedure, the committee shifted their attention to the allotment adjoining Oochaleta's on the east, a parcel belonging to committee member Claude L. "Jay" Washbourne. As a mixed-blood Cherokee, Washbourne was exempt from the federal policy restricting the sale or transfer of his land. He gave ten acres on which to construct a town. The town was designed, reserving a central block for a courthouse. The committee quickly constructed a frame building and then applied to the U.S. Postal Service for a post office, submitting the required three town names for consideration. The names submitted were "Center," "Jay," and "Washbourne." Postal authorities chose Jay for its brevity.
For an oversite map of what to do in the Jay area, including museums,
attractions, casinos, golf, Route 66 and a list of nightlife spots.
This site encompasses many of the businesses and attractions of the Grand Lake area in northeast Oklahoma
which includes Afton , Monkey Island , Bernice , Miami , Wyandotte , Fairland, Vinita, Cleora, Ketchum, Langley, Disney,
Grove, Tia Juana and Jay OK.
For a list of entertainment and ongoing events in Jay
and northeast OK, as well as links to other sources.
under construction including Jay map
Additional area info provides links
to other sites including the chambers and associations serving
Jay and the Grand Lake area in northeast Oklahoma.
Jay and Grand Lake OK has lodging for you: cabins with spas, home rentals,rv sites overlooking the lake, hotels, motels and condos.
LODGING / ACCOMMODATIONS