Living history is now just a click away as Cherokee Nation’s Cultural Tourism Department launches its new Web site functionality features with the ability to book tours online, research Cherokee Nation history and visit notable locations all at www.CherokeeTourismOK.com.
Currently four tours are available to purchase including the Cherokee History Tour, Cherokee Old Settler Tour, Civil War History Tour and Will Rogers History Tour.
Each tour is $35 per person and includes lunch. A highlight of the four tours now available online for booking along with full details consist of:
* Cherokee History Tour begins at the Cherokee Heritage Center and Museum, which houses the Trail of Tears exhibit; an interpretive Ancient Village showing everyday Cherokee life pre-contact with Europeans; and Adam’s Corner Rural Village, which illustrates the look and feel of the small communities that sprang up post removal.
Guests will visit the Murrell Home, the only antebellum plantation home left in Oklahoma with an interpretative guide in period dress to share the home’s history.
Visitors will also experience a living example of the town once considered the “Athens of the West” while touring historic properties including the National Capitol Building, Supreme Court Building and Prison, all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Home to these landmarks, guests will learn how the town of Tahlequah came to be the capital of the great Cherokee Nation.
To finish, visitors will have the opportunity to tour Northeastern State University’s Seminary Hall, which was once the Cherokee Female Seminary and is a standing icon on the campus today. The Cherokee Female Seminary was the first institution of higher learning for women west of the Mississippi River.
o Cherokee Old Settler Tour begins with guests revisiting a time before the Cherokee Removal, or the Trail of Tears, when a group of Cherokees willingly relocated to Arkansas beginning in 1808 and then to Indian Territory in 1828. This group was called the Western Cherokees, or Old Settlers, and guests will get a chance to view their historic sites and learn about their history.
Visitors will also tour Sequoyah’s Cabin State Park, Dwight Mission and the Fort Gibson Historic Site; all three locations are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sequoyah’s Cabin State Park preserves on its original site the log cabin constructed by Sequoyah in 1829. He lived in the house until his death.
Dwight Mission was the site of an early printing press as well as a stopover point for many missionaries to the Cherokee. It was also a school and provided adequate education opportunities for Cherokee children. Today it serves as a center where camps, conferences, training institutes and retreats may be held.
Fort Gibson Historic Site was established in 1824 to protect the western border of the United States and also maintain peace between the warring Cherokee and Osage.
o Civil War History Tour begins in the historic Capitol Square in Tahlequah, Okla., where guests learn of Confederate Brigadier General Stand Watie’s march through town, burning the Cherokee buildings as he went. Visitors will also get to see and experience additional historic Civil War sites of what was once Indian Territory.
Guests will then take a trip to the historic Murrell Home, the only antebellum plantation home left in Oklahoma. An interpretive guide in period dress will talk about the home, which is one of the few in the area to survive the fires of the Civil War.
Next, visitors will tour Fort Gibson Historic Site to learn about the colorful history of the Fort during the War Between the States as it changed hands several times between the troops.
An interpretive guide in period dress will take guests back in time to when the Fort was in full use. The site has been reconstructed with a log fort and original buildings from the 1840s through the 1870s and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lastly, visitors will travel to Honey Springs Battle Site, the location of the largest battle in Indian Territory where the Union beat the Confederacy in the turning point of the Civil War in Indian Territory. Interpretive actors are on hand to recount the stories.
o Will Rogers History Tour begins at the Will Rogers Museum in Claremore, Okla., where guests celebrate Oklahoma’s favorite son on this tour honoring the life of famous Cherokee, Will Rogers.
The journey will take visitors through his life from his Cherokee roots to his Hollywood and political careers.
Visitors will then travel to Will Rogers’ birthplace, Dog Iron Ranch, to view the historically restored house where he grew up.
While there, a traditional Cherokee lunch will be provided while overlooking the scenic Oolagah Lake. An interpretive actor and storyteller will be on hand to entertain visitors with tales of the Cherokee Nation and of Will Rogers.
“The online tour booking feature is a major step forward in the Cherokee Nation cultural tourism program, which will serve as a launch point for Native American and history enthusiasts to experience firsthand Cherokee past and living culture,” said David Stewart, CEO of Cherokee Nation Enterprises, which manages the Cherokee Nation’s Cultural Tourism Department.
“From pre-European contact to present day activities, guests will be moved and marvel at the authenticity of their experience.”
Visitors to www.CherokeeTourismOK.com will also find in-depth information in several areas listed under Tours featuring packages, maps, and travel information; The Cherokee People including history, art & artists, language, government and famous Cherokees; and Cultural Attractions featuring Cherokee Heritage Center, Female Seminary, National Capitol, National Jail, Supreme Court Building, Murrell Home, Ross Cemetery, Saline Courthouse, and Will Rogers Museum and Birthplace.