Major Renovations at Historic Fort Gibson

Major Renovations at Historic Fort Gibson to begin Soon
By Michael Dean

 
The Oklahoma Historical Society kicked off a major renovation project at historic Fort Gibson with a special ceremony Friday, April 16th.
 
The continuing deterioration of the fort had been a serious concern for many years. The amount of money required for restoration far exceeded the

Present Day Fort Gibson
Present Day Fort Gibson

maintenance budget available. 
 
“I am pleased that through the efforts of all our supporters we were able to get underway with a major project at Fort Gibson,” said Dr. Bob L. Blackburn, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Historical Society. “The total project will cost a little more than $1-million.”
 
“Using $200,000 in state funds as a match we have been able to secure $200,000 from Save America’s Treasures through the National Park Service, and $645,000 in a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. With this budget, the OHS will be able to offer the public a fully restored historic fort illustrated through the story of transportation in the American Southwest,” Blackburn explained.
 
Established in 1824, Fort Gibson served as a starting point for several military expeditions that explored the west and sought peace between the tribes in the region. It was occupied through most of the Indian Removal period then

Light Horsemen guarding payment
Light Horsemen guarding payment

abandoned in 1857. The post was reactivated during the Civil War. The army stayed through the Reconstruction and Indian Wars periods, combating the problem of outlaws and squatters. In 1890, the army abandoned Fort Gibson for the last time.
 
Visitors to the site can see a reconstruction of the early log fort as well as original buildings from the 1840s through 1870s. Exhibits detailing the history of the fort are located in the Commissary Visitor Center on Garrison Hill. The site also hosts a number of special living history events and programs throughout the year.

Adjutants Office – Jefferson Davis House
Adjutants Office - Jeff Davis House

 
Fort Gibson is a National Historic Landmark.

 
907 N. Garrison
Fort Gibson, OK  74434
(918)478-4088 
Information from OHS Email Extra! 4-20-10

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