Visit Cherokee Nation

BY STAFF REPORTS
06/28/2019 08:30 AM
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The Cherokee Heritage Center is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive in Park Hill. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday from June 15 to Sept. 15 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday from Sept. 16 to June 14. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
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The Cherokee National History Museum is located at 101 S. Muskogee Ave. in Tahlequah. It is expected to open in June. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
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A replica of a prisoner’s uniform from the late 1800s is on display at the Cherokee National Prison Museum in Tahlequah. In the background is a CN marshal uniform worn today. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum is at 122 E. Keetoowah St. in Tahlequah. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The John Ross Museum in Park Hill celebrates the life of Principal Chief John Ross, who served as chief of the Cherokee Nation for 38 years in the 1800s. It is housed in former Rural School 51, which was built in 1913. It’s located west of Ross Cemetery. ARCHIVE
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The Ross Cemetery at 22366 S. 530 Road in Park Hill is the burial place of Principal Chief John Ross, high-ranking leaders of the Cherokee Nation and survivors from the Cherokee Trail of Tears. ROGER GRAHAM/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
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The Saline Courthouse is a quarter mile south on 4490 Road in Rose. The courthouse is the only one of the nine Cherokee Nation district courthouses from the 1800s to remain standing. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
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The Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum is at 470288 Highway 101 near Sallisaw. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated as a National Literary Landmark in 2006. ARCHIVE
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A southeastern design painted on concrete by Cherokee graphic artist Daniel Mink graces the outside patio of the Cherokee Arts Center in Tahlequah. The center is at 212 S. Water St. COURTESY
CHEROKEE HERITAGE CENTER: 21192 S. Keeler Drive, Park Hill
Since 1967, the Cherokee Heritage Center has been committed to telling the story of the Cherokee people. The CHC was built on the original site of the Cherokee National Female Seminary. Offering exhibits, cultural workshops and events throughout the year, the CHC includes the Cherokee National Museum, Diligwa – 1710 Cherokee Village, Adams Corner Rural Village, the Cherokee Family Research Center and Cherokee National Archives. For more information, visit cherokeeheritage.org or call toll-free 1-888-999-6007.

Admission is $8.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and college students, $5 for children kindergarten through 12th grade and free for children under 5.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday from June 15 to Sept. 15 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday from Sept. 16 to June 14.

CHEROKEE NATIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM: 101 S. Muskogee Ave., Tahlequah

After the Civil War, the tribal council made provisions for a new building to commemorate the achievements of the Cherokees in overcoming the hardships of removal, merging their tribal factions into a unified nation and assuming a prominent position among the other area tribes.

The Cherokee National Capitol was built in 1869 to replace the open-air log structures that were destroyed during the Civil War. It was built to house all three branches of the Cherokee Nation government. The historic building is situated in the middle of town square in downtown Tahlequah. It was damaged by fire in 1904 and 1928, but has since been restored to its original design. The building is under construction to be opened as the Cherokee National History Museum later this summer. 
 


CHEROKEE NATIONAL PRISON MUSEUM: 124 E. Choctaw St., Tahlequah

At the Cherokee National Prison Museum, learn the history of Cherokee law and order. Situated in the middle of Tahlequah, the prison was built in 1875 to hold hardened criminals in Indian Territory. Today, it is home to a two-building interpretive site exploring the history of Cherokee crime and punishment, law enforcement, life at the National Prison and an overview of famous outlaws and their activity in the area. Walk the grounds of the museum where a blacksmith shop demonstrates the trades taught to incarcerated prisoners, while a reproduction gallows stands as a reminder of the ultimate punishment.

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, and free for children under 5.

Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

CHEROKEE NATIONAL SUPREME COURT MUSEUM: 122 E. Keetoowah St., Tahlequah
This structure was built on the southeastern corner of Tahlequah town square in 1844 by James S. Pierce to house the Cherokee National Supreme Court. Justice John Martin was the first chief justice of the Supreme Court when it was established. The Supreme and District courts held sessions here. The building also housed the printing press of the Cherokee Advocate, the official publication of Cherokee Nation and the first newspaper in Oklahoma. It is the oldest government building still standing in Oklahoma. The museum showcases one of the original printing presses of The Cherokee Advocate, the first newspaper in Indian Territory. Enjoy exhibits covering the history of the Cherokee judicial system, the Cherokee written language and the evolution of Cherokee journalism.

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, and free for children under 5.
Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

JOHN ROSS MUSEUM: 22366 S. 530 Road, Park Hill
When you visit the John Ross Museum in Park Hill get a close-up look into the life and leadership of former Principal Chief John Ross. He was principal chief of the Cherokee Nation for more than 30 years during some of the tribe’s most trying times. Exhibits and interactive displays showcase Ross, the Trail of Tears, the Civil War, Cherokee education and the Cherokee Golden Age.

The museum is housed in former Rural School 51, which was built in 1913. It is located west of Ross Cemetery and has facilities for picnics.

Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and students and free for children under 5.
Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

ROSS CEMETERY: 22366 S. 530 Road, Park Hill
Just down the road from the Murrell Home, the Ross Cemetery is the burial place of Principal Chief John Ross, high-ranking leaders of the Cherokee Nation, members of the Murrell family, members of the Ross Family and several survivors from the Cherokee Trail of Tears relocation.

The cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

SALINE COURTHOUSE: quarter mile south on 4490 Road, Rose
When Cherokees arrived in Indian Territory, they divided their lands into eight districts based on the 1839 Constitution of Cherokee Nation. A ninth district, the Cooweescoowee district, was later added in 1856 by the Act of the National Council. The Saline Courthouse in Rose is the only one of the nine courthouses to remain standing.

SEQUOYAH’S CABIN MUSEUM: 470288 Highway 101, Sallisaw
Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated as a National Literary Landmark in 2006. Sequoyah built this one-room log cabin in 1829, shortly after moving to Oklahoma. The cabin is located inside a stone memorial building built by the Works Progress Administration in 1936 and is surrounded by a 10-acre park. The cabin is made of hewn logs with a stone chimney and fireplace and is maintained as a historic house museum, furnished to appear as it might have when Sequoyah lived there. There are relics and documents associated with his life on display.

Sequoyah, also known as George Guess or George Gist, was born in Tennessee around 1778. He was among the “Old Settlers” of Cherokee Nation, who migrated to present-day Oklahoma and western Arkansas in approximately 1818, prior to the Trail of Tears.

In 1809, he began experimenting with an alphabet for the Cherokee language. After many years of experimentation, Sequoyah realized the Cherokee language is composed of a set number of recurring sounds. With this insight he identified the sounds and created a symbol for each sound, producing a syllabary. By the 1820s, his work was complete. When Sequoyah demonstrated that he and his daughter, Ahyokah, could communicate by reading written messages, the teaching of the syllabary spread and literacy rates among Cherokees soared within just a few years.

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, and free for children under 5.

Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

CHEROKEE ARTS CENTER: 212 S. Water St., Tahlequah
The Cherokee Arts Center offers artists a place to meet, share their knowledge and learn techniques. They have the opportunity to explore creative avenues at the center while creating a viable source of income for themselves and spreading awareness about Cherokee culture. The center is a gathering place for artists to mentor and network with one another in order to become artist entrepreneurs.

The creative space can be used for a variety of artistic mediums such as metal smithing, pottery, loom weaving, painting and more. Also, the Spider Gallery is available to Cherokee artists to have another venue to show and sell their work. The center helps perpetuate the Cherokee culture through art and artistic expression and to share it with visitors to the Cherokee Nation.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The center is also available by appointment. Studio artists and those giving or receiving artistic instruction may have access to the center after hours. For more information, call 918-453-5728 or 918-453-5000, ext. 5992, or email bayly-wright@cherokee.org or matthew-anderson@cherokee.org.

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