Tahlequah Daily Press

Community Briefs

March 7, 2014

Cherokee Nation museums hosting educational events during Spring Break

TAHLEQUAH — Families looking for a fun, educational adventure for their children during spring break should plan to visit the Cherokee Nation museums on March 12 and 19.

Cherokee Nation museums include the Cherokee National Prison Museum, the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum and the John Ross Museum.

Enjoy free admission both Wednesdays at all three locations, as well as special activities, including a scavenger hunt at each museum.

There will be photo tinting with water colors at the Cherokee National Prison Museum, Cherokee syllabary lessons at the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum and a beaded bracelet class at the John Ross Museum. The educational activities occur from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Cherokee National Prison, 124 E. Choctaw St., was the only penitentiary building in Indian Territory from 1875 to 1901. It housed sentenced and accused prisoners from throughout the territory. The interpretive site and museum give visitors an idea about how law and order operated in Indian Territory. The site features a working blacksmith area and reconstructed gallows, exhibits about famous prisoners and daring escapes, local outlaws and Cherokee patriots, jail cells and much more.

Originally built in 1844, the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum, 122 E. Keetoowah St., is Oklahoma’s oldest public building. The 1,950-square-foot museum features exhibits on three historic aspects: the Cherokee National Judicial System, the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers, and the Cherokee language, with a variety of historical items, including photos, stories, objects and furniture. Touch screen kiosks offer visitors documentary style learning on various legal topics as well as teaching conversational Cherokee.

The John Ross Museum, 22366 S. 530 Rd. in Park Hill, highlights the life of John Ross, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation for more than 38 years, and houses exhibits and interactive displays on the Trail of Tears, Civil War, Cherokee Golden Age and Cherokee Nation’s passion for the education of its people. The museum is housed in an old, rural school building known as School #51 and sits at the foot of Ross Cemetery, where John Ross and other notable Cherokee citizens are buried.

For information on Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism, including museum operations, call (877) 779-6977 or visit www.visitcherokeenation.com.

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