Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

June 7, 2012

National Historic Landmarks significant to country

TAHLEQUAH — Before a building, district, site, structure or object can be designated a National Historic Landmark, it must hold historical significance for the entire country.

National Park Service Heritage Partnership Programs Historical Architect Thomas Keohan defined a National Historic Landmark Wednesday as part of Oklahoma’s 24th annual Statewide Preservation Conference at the Tahlequah Armory Municipal Center.

“They are places that are found throughout America,” he said. “They’re in all of our communities, and they’re in all of our states and our territories in the United States. Each National Historic Landmark possesses a special quality that is unique and significant to the entire nation.”

In Native America, 21 such landmarks have been designated over the years. The state’s earliest include Fort Sill, which remains the only active fort used during the Indian wars on the south plains, and Fort Gibson, which was built in 1824 in the Indian Territory. Both were given the nod of national historic significance Dec. 12, 1960.

The most recent addition to Oklahoma’s list of NHLs is the Platt National Park Historic District, on land the Chickasaw Nation sold in 1902 to the federal government for park use. This site, in Sulphur, became nationally recognized July 7, 2011.

“Buildings may be the first thing you think of when you think of a National Historic Landmark, and in fact, most National Historic Landmarks are buildings,” said Keohan. “The Yuma Territorial Prison is an important survivor of the American westward expansion, and of course, the Boston Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church for its contribution to American architecture, among other things.”

The University of Oklahoma’s Bizzell Library, which became an NHL site Jan. 3, 2001, was the focus of a racial segregation Supreme Court case. Another state NHL that impacted how people co-exist is the Boley Historic District, an all-black town founded in 1903 as a product of segregationist policies.

The Boley Historic District, in Okfuskee County, became an NHL May 15, 1975. Another NHL site with historical significance because of human impact is Millerton’s Wheelock Academy, originally a missionary school for girls of the Choctaw Nation that became a model for academies developed by the Seminole, Cherokee, Chickasaw and Creek nations. Also on the list is Akin’s Sequoyah Cabin, which was the log cabin home where Sequoyah created the written language of the Cherokee people.

Keohan, who works out of the Intermountain Regional Office in Lakewood, Colo., said an NHL doesn’t have to have four walls and a roof to be historically significance.

“Sites include no buildings at all,” he said. “Sites are locations where historically significant events or activities took place. These sites include gardens, battlefields, archeological sites and even trails.”

An Oklahoma site that was the location of a major event is the Washita Battlefield, where George Custer led the Seventh Cavalry in a surprise attack on the village of Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle in 1868. The Washita Battlefield is near Cheyenne.

“Structures are another category of National Historic Landmarks,” Keohan said.

“These are basically constructions that are not used for human shelter. They include things like lighthouses, bridges, industrial complexes, ships and even more things than that. The Boston Lighthouse in Massachusetts is the location of the first lighthouse in America. And then Eads Bridge in St. Louis is significant because it was, at the time, the largest bridge of its kind, linking east- and west-running railroads.”

Keohan said districts are important as a group of buildings, rather than a particular building for its individual historic value.

“Historic districts could be communities, villages, towns or neighborhoods,” he said.

“Some National Historic Landmarks are well-known, like the Empire State Building in New York City,” said Keohan. “National Historic Landmarks are really a select group of America’s historic properties. Despite their relative rarity, they’re found in every state and U.S. territory. Fewer than 2,500 National Historic Landmarks exist, and that compares to over 80,000 or so nationally registered historic properties. So they are a select group. There are only about 20 to 25 landmarks that are nominated each year because they have to have significance to the entire nation.”

Text Only
Local News
  • svw-beagles-MAIN.jpg Going to the dogs

    Hounds at center stage for more than just Red Fern Festival

    Larry Blackman and Titus Blanket have always loved dogs, especially beagles. In their respective roles as president and vice president of the Cherokee County Beagle Club, they’ve turned that love into a passion.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • sanders-jeri.jpg Murder charge against mother of dead boy, 3, dismissed

    A first-degree murder charge has been dropped against a 37-year-old mother accused in the death of her 3-year-old son.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • supersalary.jpg Okla. superintendents paid comparatively well; teachers 46th lowest

    Administrators say they work year-round, have other duties

    As public education in Oklahoma continues to feel the pinch of a shrinking state budget, watchdog groups and district patrons across the state are asking whether superintendents are getting a disproportionate piece of the financial pie.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Boards keep city, county afloat

    City and county officials rely on a variety of boards to oversee diverse and complex issues, and many of their members work behind the scenes to keep the wheels of government oiled and turning.
    The city of Tahlequah currently has 10 boards and three trust authorities. Cherokee County has two county-specific boards.

    July 31, 2014

  • HPWA contract raises gas to $3.99 a gallon

    The Hulbert Public Works Authority renewed its natural gas contract with Constellation Energy July 29, raising fuel prices to $3.99 per gallon for the next two years.

    July 31, 2014

  • Tourism Council OKs compensation

    The Tahlequah Area Tourism Council held its annual retreat Wednesday, and approved paying former Director Kate Kelly 100 hours of annual leave.

    July 31, 2014

  • rf-poker-run-main.jpg Poker run

    Fundraiser was in the cards for local philanthropic group

    It was perfect weather, with temperatures in the high 80s Saturday, as boaters filled their vessels with friends for a fun afternoon on Lake Tenkiller. A crowd gathered at Cookson Bend Marina, and folks lined up to support a local charity event.
    As fundraisers go, the Beta Sigma Phi Mu Omega Poker Run last Saturday could be considered huge success, as nearly $9,000 was collected.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • bilbrey-anthony.jpg Man arrested for blackmailing woman for sex

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies put a man behind bars Monday night after he allegedly tried to blackmail a woman by threatening to post nude photos of her on the Internet if she did not meet him for sex.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peach_photo_2.jpg Peach crop lean, but fruit still available

    Summer is all about peaches in Porter – especially at Livesay Orchard.
    The Livesay Orchard is still busy a week after Porter’s annual peach festival. The orchard’s crop this year was cut in half from what had previously been expected, according to Kent Livesay, one of the owners of the orchard.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • jackson-jaymee.jpg Tot’s injuries prompt abuse charges for two local residents

    A Tahlequah couple was formally charged Tuesday with child neglect and child abuse after an 18-month-old girl was found with a number of injuries.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos


Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN