Cherokee National Prison Museum timeline The Cherokee National Prison opened in 1975, though efforts to establish the facility began decades before. The Cherokee National Prison Museum includes a timeline of the prison’s history. 1851 - The Cherokee National Council allocated $1,879 to build a prison, but funding was insufficient to begin immediately. 1873 - The council appropriates $6,000 from Cherokee Outlet lease fees to build the prison. 1874 - A call for contractors is published in the Cherokee Advocate. 1875 - Construction is completed. 1875 - The Cherokee Advocate moves operations to the prison for a year after the Cherokee National Supreme Court building is damaged by fire. 1876 - High Sheriff Samuel Sixkiller orders the construction of a 10-foot high fence, a garden and mechanical shops. 1900 - The Cherokee Nation pardons all convicted in its courts and all incarcerated prisoners after passage of the Curtis Act of 1898, which essentially abolished tribal courts in Indian Territory. 1903 - After fire razed the Cherokee Orphan and Insane Asylum, the prison’s facilities are adjusted to allow housing of displaced persons. 1904 - Cherokee County buys the prison to serve as its jail. 1925 - The third floor of the prison is removed during a renovation after the building was condemned. 1974 - The facility is included on the National Register of Historic Places. 1979 - Cherokee County sells the building back to the Cherokee Nation. 1986 - The Cherokee Nation Library and Adult Learning Center is housed in the building. 2010 - The Cherokee Nation begins a renovation of the building. 2011- The Cherokee National Prison Museum opens.