Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

October 26, 2012

Heralding history

TAHLEQUAH — Tahlequah historian and retired teacher Beth Herrington believes that to embrace the future, you first have to remember the past.

Herrington, along with Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce Tourism Director Kate Kelly, provided the narrative for a history/tourism tour of Tahlequah to members of Tahlequah Leadership Class XVI Thursday.

Leadership Tahlequah is a Chamber-sponsored program with the mission of establishing a leadership foundation for the city. The first class met in 1997 for four sessions. Today, classes meet for 10 sessions, with subject matter ranging from state, county and city government; history and tourism, utilities, health care, public schools, tribal affiliation, and Northeastern State University.

This year’s class, dubbed “Sweet 16,” has 17 members.

“The goal of Leadership Tahlequah is to teach people in the community about all the different spokes that make the Tahlequah wheel go ‘round and ‘round,’” said Chamber Executive Director David Moore.

Herrington stressed the importance of history when looking toward the future.

“It’s so important for people who live here to know what the history is and what the vision of Tahlequah was to founders of the city,” said Herrington. “If you don’t know what the vision was [at inception], you won’t know how to move forward.”

Herrington coined Tahlequah’s slogan “City of Firsts,” and proudly points out the many “firsts” west of the Mississippi when giving tours. According to Herrington, Tahlequah is home to the first newspaper, the Cherokee Advocate; the first public school, the first Masonic Lodge and the first telephone switchboard, to name a few.

On Thursday, Leadership Class XVI toured a number of historic sites, including the Cherokee Courthouse Square, Tahlequah Cemetery, Ross Cemetery, the Murrell Home and the Thompson House.

“We’ll show the growth of Tahlequah since 1839, and talk about the history of business, health care and education to give everyone a well-rounded sense of how the city has progressed,” said Herrington.

Members of Leadership Tahlequah Class XVI include, Mindy Barnard, Phil Bridgmon, Mike Corn, Pauline Corn, Angy Dodd, Rick Harper, Merissa Hutchins, Eric Pool, Suzi Price, Jaycie Smith, Shay Smith, Lynn Thompson, Jerrod Venderheiden, Tanya Wagnon, Tanya Wilson, Jasen Wright and Steven Wright. Members come from a diverse group of careers, from education to business.

Also on Thursday, the Cherokee Heritage Center unveiled the name of its new outdoor living exhibit set, to open May 2, 2013.

“Diligwa” will replaced the Tsalagi Ancient Village, which first opened in 1967. Tsalagi was originally designed as an interpretive area to showcase Cherokee daily life, prior to European contact.

“The new outdoor living exhibit will provide guests with an enhanced experience of authentic Cherokee life and history,” said Barbara L. Girty, interim deputy executive director at CHC. “What’s now presented in the ancient village is limited by the research and resources that were available in its day. Diligwa will be the most authentic Cherokee experience based on life in the early 1700s.”

Diligwa is a derivative of Tellico, a village in the east that was once the principal Cherokee town and is now under water. Tellico was the Cherokee Nation capital and center of commerce before the emergence of Echota in Monroe County, Tenn.

Tellico was often referred to as the “wild rice place,” and became synonymous with the native grain that grew in the flat open spaces of east Tennessee. According to legend, when the Cherokees first arrived in Indian Territory, the native grasses that grew in the open spaces around the foothills of the Ozarks reminded them of the grassy open areas of Tellico. They called their new home “Di li gwa,” Tah-le-quah, or Teh-li-co, “the open place where the grass grows.”

The new village will provide visitors the chance to experience Cherokee life in the early 18th century, and will feature 19 wattle-and-daub structures, 14 interpretive stations, and a detailed historic landscape set on four acres of land adjacent to the Heritage Center.

The overall village includes eight residential sites, each with a Cherokee summer house and winter house, a corn crib, a garden and additional landscaping. The public complex consists of the primary council house and summer council pavilion overlooking a large plaza that serves as the center of community activity. Two recreation areas are also included, a marble field and stickball field, to showcase the Cherokee games still played today.

During the unveiling ceremony, CN Principal Chief Bill John Baker said he is proud to promote and preserve Cherokee culture.

“I remember coming out and visiting the ancient village as a child,” said Baker. “And somehow, even then, I knew our people didn’t live in mud huts. The old village was the best representation of life we had at the time, but the new site truly is a display from archaeological findings.”

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • plane-crash-1-a.jpg Plane crash victims recovering

    Two Arkansas men remained in a Tulsa hospital Monday after the plane they were flying crashed into a wooded area in Cookson.
    According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the 1946 Ercoupe 415 crashed under “unknown circumstances” about a mile from the Tenkiller Air Park in Cookson Saturday morning.
    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 75-year-old John McCreary and 85-year-old Albert Demarco Jr., both of Ozark, Ark., were flown from Cookson to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • walker-terrance.jpg Man taken for blood sample confuses hospital with hotel

    Tahlequah police say an Austin, Texas, man stopped Saturday mistook a local hospital for a hotel when he was taken to have his blood drawn.
    Officer Cory Keele’s affidavit says 20-year-old Terrance Walker was driving south on Muskogee Avenue at about 2 a.m. Saturday, swerving from one line to another.
    Keele tried to stop the car near Muskogee and Chickasaw, and Walker eventually slowed to a stop near South Street.
    Walker opened the car door as Keele approached. The officer said Walker had dilated pupils.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ennis-scottie.jpg Knife-cutting incident lands man in jail

    A Tahlequah man jailed for allegedly cutting a woman with a kitchen knife was released on a recognizance bond Monday.
    Scottie Lee Ennis, 42, was arrested after Officer Austin Yates was sent to Tahlequah City Hospital late Friday night.
    There, Yates spoke with Jennifer Pennell, who had apparently suffered a stab wound to her arm.
    Pennell told Yates she and her husband, Ennis, had gone to Dewain’s Place earlier in the evening, and while at the bar, a man bought her a drink.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • hawley-jeremy.jpg Tahlequah man bonds out after arrest for assault

    A 22-year-old Tahlequah man bonded out of jail Monday after his weekend arrest on domestic assault charges.
    Jeremy Hawley was booked into jail Sunday for domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor and interfering with a 911 call.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cherokee Nation law eases restrictions in gaming facilities

    The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council on Monday night voted to reduce regulations in its gaming facilities, but to conform to National Indian Gaming Commission minimum internal control standards.
    The measure ultimately passed 9-7, with District 1 Councilor Joe Byrd abstaining.
    Before discussion, Councilor Lee Keener moved to table the item, saying neither he nor members of the gaming commission had sufficient time to review the act. Councilor Cara Cowan-Watts seconded the motion, with a friendly amendment.

    April 15, 2014

  • Boy again caught with stolen items

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies say a juvenile caught with stolen property several times in the past was recently discovered to have more missing items.
    Deputies took a report over the weekend from a man who said his garage was burglarized while he was away from his home for an extended time. A number of items were taken, including an air compressor, leaf grinder, leaf blower, extension cords, drill-bit kit, a cordless drill, antique tools, a pressure washer, a machete, an aluminum ladder and a butane lighter torch.

    April 15, 2014

  • hughes-james.jpg Muskogee man caught with drugs at casino

    Cherokee Nation marshals arrested a Muskogee man Sunday after he was allegedly caught with drugs at the Cherokee Casino.
    Deputy marshals were called when security at the casino noticed a man drop a bag of a white, crystal-like substance.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tahlequah man charged with hitting vehicle, fleeing

    Prosecutors have formally charged a Tahlequah man accused of hitting another vehicle in downtown Tahlequah and leaving the scene.

    April 15, 2014

  • sp-symposium-Child.jpg Child discusses survival of Native communities

    When Dr. Brenda Child, Ojibwe/Red Lake, tells people she is from the reservation at Red Lake, Minn., she explains, “We’re the ones who didn’t lose our lands.”
    Her tribe’s story is unusual among Native Americans, many of whom have been displaced throughout history. But history is complicated, she said. That’s why, as a historian, she is interested in “the small stor[ies].”
    “I’m someone who can’t really get a grasp of the big picture ... unless I look at the individual stories of people on the ground. How were they living? What shaped their lives?” she asked.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-Symposium-Leeds.jpg Developing food security, sovereignty

    When the Cherokees rebuilt their nation 150 years ago following the Trail of Tears, they immediately went to work re-establishing a government, along with higher education and court systems.
    Stacy Leeds, Cherokee citizen and dean of the College of Law at the University of Arkansas, said that while history reveres the Cherokee judges, scholars and lawmakers of the time, most Cherokee citizens were farmers.
    Leeds gave a presentation Friday about tribal governance, land use, food and agriculture police and economic development during the 42nd annual Symposium of the American Indian at Northeastern State University. The luncheon was hosted by the NSU Chapter of American Indian Students in Science and Engineering, and Leeds offered the AISES students food for thought about where their careers could be going.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Stocks