CN begins work to save historic Saline Courthouse
The historic Saline Courthouse near Rose is the last remaining district courthouse built by the Cherokee Nation in the 1800s. Working with the Saline Preservation Association, Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism has developed a master plan to restore, preserve and modernize the structure for future use by the public. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
ROSE – The Cherokee Nation is beginning renovations to the Saline Courthouse. The rural district courthouse was one of nine built in the late 1800s by the CN and is the only one remaining.
“For too many years this structure has been inaccessible to the community, and it is time that we give this project the time, attention and resources it deserves,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said . “It is vital that we continue our steadfast commitment to preserving these historic sites and bring new life to the places that have been deep-rooted throughout the history of the Cherokee people.”
Working with the Saline Preservation Association, Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism developed a master plan to restore, preserve and modernize the structure for future use by the public.
Necessary renovations consist of repairing interior walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors. Exterior renovations vary from siding and window repairs to fresh paint and trim work. In addition, the plan includes efforts to modernize the building’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing, ensure Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility and new parking.
Builders Unlimited, a TERO-certified company, is performing the work. CNCT is managing the project, which is slated to be complete in next spring. Cherokee Nation Businesses is funding the project, which is estimated at about $630,000, officials said.
“We are pleased to be in a position to support this preservation project so that this structure may once again serve the people within the community,” CNB CEO Shawn Slaton said. “We look forward to this site joining our other tourism destinations and educating future generations about the history and culture of the Cherokee people.”
Throughout the years, CNB and the tribe have completed projects to ensure the stability of the structure until final plans could be made. That work included a structural assessment, porch and chimney restoration, roof stabilization, remediation of lead-based paint, and preservation of the springhouse.