Tahlequah is steeped in Cherokee history, particularly when it comes to the Civil War era.
The Cherokee Nation has spent several years restoring a number of local historical sites, including its courthouse on the downtown square, the Supreme Court Museum and the Cherokee National Prison. As such, interest in cultural tourism is growing.
On Wednesday, Oct. 30, a group from Golden Opportunities Elder Care in Bartlesville will tour several of the tribe’s historic site that highlight the Cherokee Nation’s connection to the Civil War.
“We plan on having anywhere from 12 to 24 people making the trip,” said Jennifer Ennis, community relations coordinator for Golden Opportunities. “After arriving in Tahlequah, we’ll board the Osiyo shuttle and take tours.”
Ennis said the agency often plans outings for a group.
“Traveling that way is extremely cost-effective, since all the expenses are shared and drastically reduced,” she said. “Group travel also provides the opportunity to see a maximum number of places at the least expense. The seniors enjoy the trips, and we like to keep them active and healthy.”
The group will make stops at the historic Fort Gibson site, the George Murrell Home, and will trace Stand Watie’s march through town, visit the Cherokee Nation Courthouse and the Honey Springs Battle site.
The courthouse, which houses the judicial branch of the tribe, was built in 1869 and occupied by all three branches of government prior to statehood. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also designated a National Landmark.
Principal chief welcomes the visitors
CN Principal Chief Bill John Baker welcomes visitors to the area, and hopes they gain an appreciation for the culture by learning about its history.
“It’s always exciting to share Cherokee culture and history through group tours, and it is especially rewarding to share these stories with people who live within the Cherokee Nation,” said Baker. “Cherokee Nation group tours offer a unique opportunity for friends to share in an enjoyable experience with authentic Cherokee culture and to participate in traditional Cherokee activities.”
The Cherokee Nation encompasses 14 counties in Northeast Oklahoma, many of which have historic sites. With three historical tours and dozens of authentic cultural attractions, plus recreational activities and nightlife, Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism can create an experience that is a custom fit for any group’s needs.
The History Tour stops at the Cherokee Heritage Center and Museum, which houses the Trail of Tears exhibit; the Murrell Home, the only ante-bellum plantation home in Oklahoma; the Cherokee National Capitol Building (courthouse), Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum and Cherokee National Prison Museum; and Northeastern State University’s Seminary Hall, formerly the Cherokee Female Seminary and the first institution of higher learning for women west of the Mississippi River.
The Will Rogers History Tour celebrates the life and work of Oklahoma’s favorite son and Cherokee citizen with a visit to the Will Rogers Museum; Rogers’ birthplace, Dog Iron Ranch; the historic downtowns of Oologah and Claremore; and the J.M. Davis Arms Museum.
The Civil War History Tour commemorates the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War and features stops at the historic capitol square in Tahlequah, the Murrell Home, Fort Gibson historic site and Honey Springs battle site.
“Group tours can be built into exciting day trips, fun-filled weekend getaways or compelling week-long excursions filled with culture, exploration, food and fun,” said Travis Noland, communications manager for Cherokee Nation Businesses.
For ticketing and additional information on the Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism program, call (877) 779-6977, or visit www.CherokeeTourismOK.com.
Tahlequah is steeped in Cherokee history, particularly when it comes to the Civil War era.
- Local News
Keeping Tahlequah beautiful means keeping the public parks clean, and dozens of students from schools in Cherokee County converged on Sequoyah City Park Wednesday to take part in the Kick Butts campaign.
The annual hunt for cigarette butts is always fruitful, to the dismay of some of the gatherers.
“This park is more infested than it should be with cigarette butts,” said Elizabeth Martinez, a sixth-grader at Tahlequah Middle School. “There isn’t supposed to be tobacco or cigarette butts, but people do it, anyway. I’m surprised, because I visited another park the other day, and there were hardly any butts in that one.”
Carol Choate, director of the Cherokee County Communities of Excellence Tobacco Control Program, said Kick Butts is a national event aimed at removing litter and enhancing public awareness of the hazards of tobacco use.
Briggs kids get ‘Revolutionary’ lesson
Students at Briggs Public School peered through a window on the Revolutionary War years, thanks to a guest who portrayed three women of the era.
Darci Tucker, from Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, visited the school to speak with students in the fifth and eighth grades and give her “Revolutionary Women” presentation. Tucker’s visit was arranged by Briggs faculty member Marta Ashlock.
Bill gutted after legislation fails in Arizona
A bill recently introduced in the Oklahoma House by Rep. Tom Newell, R-Seminole, has undergone a major overhaul, following Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of similar legislation in that state.
In its original form, Oklahoma House Bill 2873, known as the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act, would allow Oklahoma business owners to refuse service based on “a person’s sincerely held religious belief,” and “a person [business owner] whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, in violation of the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act may assert such violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding ...”
The Arizona measure, Senate Bill 1062, came under fire from the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign as being discriminatory against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community.
Okay men snared in multicounty theft ring
Allegations against two Okay men continue to multiply as authorities in at least five counties investigate a burglary ring targeting churches, schools and homes.
Early Tuesday morning, deputies in Sequoyah County arrested 21-year-olds Dylan L. Compton and Robert R. Ford and booked them on theft and larceny complaints. Deputies said the duo took several air conditioning units from a Marble City school, and musical equipment from the Cherokee Children’s Mission in Adair County Monday night and Tuesday morning.
But investigators believe that is just a small portion of a much larger operation.
Convicted murderer up for parole
A Welling man convicted of second-degree murder in 2002 is set to appear before the state’s pardon and parole board this week for the second phase of a parole hearing.
Matthew L. Williams was 27 when he allegedly murdered his common-law wife, Kelly Deckard, about three miles south of U.S. Highway 62 on Welling Road in July 2001. Williams was accused of shooting Deckard in the head with a shotgun.
- Authorities search for body of Adams Investigators are using ground-penetrating radar in a Tahlequah field to look for the body of Stephan Adams. Adams, a Northeastern State University student, has been missing since December 2004.
Expansion on East Fourth Street is causing a few hiccups for area drivers, but city officials believe the result will be an important first step in “Tahlequah’s Tomorrow.”
When all is said and done in about four months, the stretch of Fourth Street tucked between Basin and Muskogee avenues will have transformed from a two-lane road to three lanes.
Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols said a turn lane will be installed to ease traffic problems, and a median will be built near the street’s intersection with Park Hill Road. The median should put a stop to drivers who turn west onto Fourth Street off of Park Hill Road – a practice that has long been prohibited, but is often ignored.
Tahlequah firefighters honor Culver and Nissen
Tahlequah firefighters honored a fallen brother last week during their annual banquet and memorial service.
Fire Chief Ray Hammons said the department lit a candle and had the ringing of the bell – a “last alarm” – in honor of the late Bob Ed Culver.
“We pay special remembrances every year for all those firefighters who have paved the way for us to get to where we are today,” said Hammons.
Firefighter Cody Nissen was also honored with the Nick Purkey Award, formally known as the Firefighter of the Year honor.
Computer class gets seniors in tech groove
In the fast-paced world of electronic communications, sometimes the elderly may feel they’ve been left behind.
Area resident Jenny Dameron hopes to bring local seniors up to speed by teaching them computing basics. Dameron is hosting a class each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 at the Tahlequah Senior Citizens Center.
Passage of film rebate bill aids Oklahoma
In the past decade, Cherokee County has been the site of tw o feature-length films, and thanks to the passage of a recent House bill, the area remains fiscally attractive to both big-budget filmmakers and independents.
Last week, House members reversed an earlier decision to sunset a film tax-rebate program by voting in favor of HB 2580. A similar bill has been passed in the Senate, and extends the Compete with Canada Film Act through July 1, 2024.
The Act provides a film tax rebate to productions that select Oklahoma for filming.
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