Saline Courthouse roof gets restored, re-shingled
ROSE, Okla. – The Saline District Courthouse got more attention in September as crews worked to restore the roof and add new shingles to it.
Built in 1884, it’s one of nine Cherokee Nation courthouses built in the 1800s and the only district courthouse still standing. The court had jurisdiction over criminal misdemeanor crimes and civil suits less than $100.
The restoration phase consists of a new roof structure with new decking and historic-era shingles. The work will help structurally support the building, as well as prevent moisture from destroying the historic materials within the building.
“This phase is meant to protect and preserve the structure. You’ll see going back on the building is something that will be an era-significant roof style, so it will have cedar shingles and it will look very much like it did when it was courthouse,” Travis Owens of Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism said.
He said the CN is funding the $70,000 restoration.
In 2005, the Tribal Council designated the 14 acres on which the courthouse sits as the tribe’s first national park. It’s located near the Rose community in Mayes County. It also contains a restored stone springhouse, courtyard and streams that flow around the property.
Restoration of the courthouse and park grounds is being done in phases, with the courthouse as the focus. The non-profit Saline Preservation Association has worked with the CN since 2003 to restore the property. The tribe and CNCT provide assistance and direction in the preservation projects.
The tribe has worked with the SPA to restore the porch and chimneys, conduct lead-based paint abatement and restore the springhouse.
In 2010, the SPA received a $4,000 matching grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which was used to work on a plan for a memorial trail on the property.
“SPA is excited to see the master plan moved forward and this much needed roof replacement completed,” SPA President Lisa Melchior said. “We are always grateful for Cherokee Nation’s support. The new roof will help the structure keep its form, preserve history for future generations and allow us to continue telling the story of the Saline District.”
With Congress’ passage of the Curtis Act in 1898, the Saline Courthouse was forced to close as the CN’s judicial system was disbanded. Subsequently, the courthouse was sold, and the property and structures had several owners over time. In 1970, the Oklahoma Industrial and Park Department bought the property and structures. The CN received ownership from Oklahoma in 1988.
“This project is vitally important to the Cherokee Nation and its preservation of history,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “It is one of the few remaining buildings that illustrates that Cherokee people have a distinct government with laws and order. This building is a symbol of our sovereignty.”
The Saline Courthouse was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
The roof restoration was expected to be complete in mid-October.
Rose, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᎾᎿ ᏌᎵᏂ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏧᎾᏓᏱᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏔᏅ ᎯᎠ ᏚᎵᏍᏗ ᎧᎸ ᎾᎿᏃ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎲ ᎦᎵᏦᏛ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎾᏅᏁᎲ ᎠᎴ ᎢᏤ ᎠᏂᎳᏦᏛᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎤᎾᏁᏍᎨᎲ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏁᎵᏍᎪ ᏅᎩ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏌᏊ ᎾᎿ ᏐᏁᎳ ᏧᎾᏁᏍᎨᏓ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏧᎾᏓᏱᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᏚᎾᏁᏍᎨᎮ ᎾᎿ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏩᏌ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏧᎾᏓᏱᎵᏓᏍᏗ Ꮟ ᎦᏙᎦ ᎠᏓᏁᎳ. ᎾᎿ ᏧᎾᏓᏱᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎤᎭ ᏧᎾᏓᏱᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎤᏔᏅ ᎤᏂᏍᎦᏅᏨᎾ ᏂᎨᏒᏅ ᏱᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏓᎳᏑᎶ ᎢᏳ ᏍᎪᎯᏧᏢ ᎡᏍᏗᏢ ᎢᎦᎯ ᏱᎩ.
ᎯᎠ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏂᏛᏅᏁᎵ ᎢᏤ ᏛᏂᎳᏦᏔᏂ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎢᏤ ᏛᏂᏯᏙᏜᎾ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏪᏘ ᏗᎧᏃᏗ ᏛᏂᎵᏦᏔᏂ ᏗᏙᎵᎦ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎨᏒ ᎠᏓᏁᎸᎢ.
ᎯᎠ ᏥᏂᏛᏅᏁᎵ ᏓᏳᏍᏕᎸᎯ ᎠᏓᏁᎸᎢ, ᏃᎴᏍᏊ Ꮭ ᎤᏬᏕᏫᏓ ᏱᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᎭ ᎤᏲᏍᏗ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎠᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᏂᎬᏅᏗᏓᏅᎢ.
“ᎯᎠᎢᏃ ᏥᎾᏅᏁ ᏳᏍᏕᎳ ᎠᎴ ᏴᎵᏏᏅᏓ ᎠᏁᎢᏍᏛᎢ. ᏱᎪᏩᏔ ᏱᏤᏙᎳ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎦᎵᏦᏛ , ᎾᎿ ᏃᏥ ᏧᏒᏓᎷᎦ ᎦᎵᏦᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩᏯᏊ ᏄᏍᏕᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎪᎯᎦ ᏧᎾᏓᏱᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Travis Owens ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏄᎾᏛᏁᎵᏙᎸ Tourism ᏧᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎤᏛᏅ.
ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᎾᏁᎸᏍᎦ 70,000 ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏁᏙᏗ.
ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᎯᏍᎩ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ, ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᏗᏂᎳᏫᎦ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏔᏅ ᏂᎦᏚ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎾᎿ ᏧᎾᏓᏱᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᏣᏓᏁᎵ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎢᎬᏱ National Park. ᎾᎿᏃ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎥ Rose ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏆᏅᎩ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ. ᎠᎴᏗᏍᏊ ᎪᏢᎯᏌᏅ ᏅᏯ ᎪᏢᏔᏅ ᎦᏅᎪᎬ ᎠᏓᏁᎳ, ᎤᎳᏗᏢ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᎪᏓ ᎠᎲᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎤᏪᏯ ᎾᎿ ᎾᎥ ᎤᏪᏯ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ.
ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ ᏧᎾᏓᏱᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏴᏫ ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎾᏅᏁᎲ ᏓᏓᏁᏟᏴᏎᎦ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏓᏱᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎢᎬᏱ ᏄᏅᎾ. ᎾᎿ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎠᏃᏢᏍᎩ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᏌᎵᏂ Preservation Association ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎵ ᎡᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᏂᏓᎬᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏦᎢ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᏂᏓᎬᎴᏂᏍᎩ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎾᏅᏁᎵᏙᎲ ᎦᏚ ᎤᏂᎲᎢ. ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎠᎴ CNCT ᎠᏓᏁᏢᏍᎦ ᎤᎵᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏫᏚᏳᎪᏛ ᎠᎾᎵᏏᏅᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏎᎸ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏗᎢ.
ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎵ ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏗ SPA ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏁᏗ ᎠᏲᏓᏜᎲ ᎠᎴ ᏓᎱᏣᏬᎳᏛ, ᎠᏍᏓᏩᏕᎬ ᎯᎠ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎦᏂ ᎤᏍᏑᏯ ᏗᎦᎶᏁᏗ ᎨᏎ ᎢᎦᏓ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏃᏢᎯᏐᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏅᎪᎬ ᎠᏓᏁᎸᎢ.
ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏍᎪᎯ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ, ᎾᎿ SPA ᏚᎩᏎ ᏅᎩ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᎤᏠᏯ ᏚᏂᏅ National Trust for Historic Preservation, ᎾᎿ ᎤᏅᏔᏁ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎲ ᎠᎾᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᎠᎾᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᎤᏃᏢᏗ ᎤᎾᏅᏓᏗᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᏂᏅᏃᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏓ ᎠᎲᎢ.
“SPA ᎾᎿ ᎠᎾᎵᎮᎵᎬ ᎠᏂᎪᏩᏘᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏚᏄᎪᏔᏅ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎧᏂᎬᎬ ᎦᎵᏦᏛ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏳᏅᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᎢ.,” SPA ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ Lisa Melchoir ᎤᏛᏅᎢ. “ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎣᏣᎵᎮᎵᎪ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏩᎫᏍᏓᎥᎢ.
ᎾᎿ ᎢᏤ ᎦᎵᏦᏛ ᏛᏍᏕᎸᎯ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ, ᎠᎵᏏᏅᏙᏗ ᏂᏧᎵᏍᏔᏅᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎣᏂ ᏣᎾᎢ ᎤᏅᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎢᎩᏃᎮᏗ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᏅ ᏌᎵᏂ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ.”
ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᏗᏂᎳᏫᎩ’ ᎤᏃᎮᏢ ᎾᎿ Curtiss Act in 1898, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏌᎵᏂ ᏧᎾᏓᏱᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᏍᏚᏓ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏓᎾᏓᏱᎵᏙᎲ ᎤᎵᏍᏚᎾ. ᎣᏂᏃ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏓᏱᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᎾᏗᏅᏒ, ᎠᎴ ᎦᏙ ᏂᎦᏓᏃ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎢᎵᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏓᎴ ᎤᎾᏤᎵ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏐᏁᎳᏗ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎦᎵᏆᏍᎪ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ Industerial ᎠᎴ Park Department ᎤᏩᏒ ᎦᏙ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅᎢ. ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏁᏒ ᎤᏤᎵᎪ ᎨᏒᎢ ᏂᏓᏳᏂᎩᏓ ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎰ ᎾᎿ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏁᎵᏍᎪ ᏧᏁᎳ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ.
“ᎯᎠ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲ ᎢᎦ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᎵᏏᏅᏗᏍᎩ ᏂᏧᎵᏍᏔᏅᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ Bill John Baker. “ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏌᏊ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏲᏟ ᏧᏟᏃᎯᏴ ᏓᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᏂᎬᏁᎲ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎤᏂᎲ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏚᏙᏢᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎧᎾᏩᏛᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲᎢ. ᎯᎠ ᎠᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎠᎵᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ.”
ᏌᎵᏂ ᏧᎾᏓᏱᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᎠᎪᏪᎳᏅ ᎾᎿ National Register of Historic Places ᎾᎿ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎦᎵᏆᏍᎪ ᏑᏓᎵ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ.
ᎠᏂᎳᏦᏛᏍᎬ ᎠᎾᎵᏏᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᏚᎩ ᎤᏅᎭ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎤᏂᎩᏓ ᏚᏂᏃᏗ.