Tahlequah, Oklahoma, is the heart and capital of the Cherokee Nation. Last week, I talked about our visit to the museums in the downtown area. Southeast of downtown Tahlequah is the “Park Hill” area which has historically been the “cultural center” of the Cherokee Nation. It was the area where John Ross (Principal Chief of the Cherokee during relocation era) and some members of his family chose to build their homes and the area where the Cherokee Female Seminary was built. Many fine homes and prominent leaders also chose to build in the Park Hill area during the “golden era” after relocation and before the civil war.
To get a good feel for Cherokee culture and history, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, is a great place to visit. It is located in the heart of “Green Country” and “Lake Country” in northeastern Oklahoma and is the capital of the Cherokee Nation and the Keetoowah Band of the Cherokee. There are a number of historical museums and the Cherokee Heritage Center where a visitor can learn about the historical and pre-historical Cherokee.
We began our tour in downtown Tahlequah with the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum built in 1844. It is the oldest government building still standing in Oklahoma. The museum features in addition to exhibits on the Cherokee judicial system and the Cherokee language, exhibits on the first Cherokee newspapers–The Cherokee Phoenix and the Cherokee Advocate.