This year will mark the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War. While many historic and cultural events are taking place across the country, some stand out above the rest. If you will be in Oklahoma in the coming months (March through October), check out the Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism program that will honor the importance of the Civil War in American history.
The Cherokee Nation is the governing force of the Cherokee tribe which includes nearly 300,000 members. The tribe is nationally recognized by the federal government, with its capital in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Department was established in 2007 with the goal of spreading the cultural heritage of the Cherokee people. The award-winning Department leads educational tours, works with other tourism groups in the Oklahoma area and has recently launched a new website.
The 2011 season will feature four tours that commemorate the history of the Cherokee Nation and also celebrate their role in the American Civil War.
The first tour is the Cherokee History Tour.
Sites include the Cherokee Heritage Center and Museum, an Ancient Village and Adam’s Corner Rural Village. Next, guests will visit the Murrell Home, the only antebellum plantation home left in Oklahoma. Other sites on the tour include the National Capitol Building, Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum and Cherokee National Prison Museum. Finally the tour will visit Northeastern State University’s Seminary Hall, which was once the Cherokee Female Seminary and celebrated as the first institution of higher learning for women west of the Mississippi River.
The second tour is the Will Rogers History Tour.
Will Rogers is a Cherokee son and famous actor of the 1920s and 1930s. The tour will first visit the Will Rogers Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma and then Rogers’ birthplace and childhood home, Dog Iron Ranch in Oologah, Oklahoma. Also visited is the J.M. Davis Arms Museum, as well as stops in downtown Claremore and Oologah for shopping.
The Civil War History Tour.
This tour will commence with a visit to historic Capitol Square in Tahlequah, Oklahoma; it is here that Confederate Brigadier General Stand Watie marched through town, burning the Cherokee government buildings as he went. Next the tour will stop at the Murrell Home, the only antebellum plantation home in Oklahoma still standing. Visitors will then tour Fort Gibson Historic Site and Honey Springs Battle site. It was here that the largest battle in Indian Territory took place, and where the Union beat the Confederacy in the turning point of the Civil War in Indian Territory.
The final tour is named the Cherokee Old Settler Tour.
This is because the tour follows the route, historically called the Trail of Tears, of the Western Cherokees, or Old Settlers who willingly relocated to Arkansas beginning in 1808 and then to Indian Territory in 1828. Visitors will tour Sequoyah’s Cabin State Park, Tahlonteeskee Courthouse, Dwight Mission and the Fort Gibson Historic Site. Each of these sites holds a deep historical importance within the Cherokee tribe and visitors will learn about that history along the way. (Please visit the website or call 877/ 779-6977 for tour dates)
Please note that these tours are only available on select dates, but families may visit the Cherokee Heritage website or call 877/ 779-6977 for tour dates. Any of the above cultural tours are priced based on a tiered schedule and may be subject to tribal tax. Tickets for adults (ages 12-61) cost $50 each, seniors (61 and older) cost $45 each, children (ages 4-11) cost $20 each and children under age 3 are admitted for free (but must sit on a parent’s lap).
Please visit the www.CherokeeTourismOK.com or call 877/799-6977 for additional information.
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