Archive for History

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
Information from OHS Email Extra! 4-20-10

Oklahoma Historian Candidate Announced

Though a full listing of Candidate Announcements should be found on the Division Website, this officer recieved a Chapter Endorsement for the following member coming out for the office of Historian in the mail last week:

Thelma Blackburn, Oklahoma Division Recorder of Military Service Awards
Cherokee Chapter #1737 President and Historian

2010 Oklahoma Chautauqua and the Confederacy

This year’s event, while focusing on the aftermath of the great war, is blessed with the presence of both General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson and General Robert Edward Lee. Future summer dates include:

• June 8-12, Tulsa
• June 15-19, Enid
• June 22-26, Lawton

For further information, visit the Arts & Humanities Council online.

June is Oklahoma Folkways Month!

From OHC Extra!:

June, 2010 is Oklahoma Folklife Month
On May 7, 2010, Governor Brad Henry proclaimed June as Folklife Month for the Sooner State. This recognition is to encourage Oklahomans to take family trips to local festivals featuring Oklahoma’s folklife heritage. The mission of the Oklahoma Folklife Center is to collect and preserving folklife and traditions of Oklahoma. In addition, the Center encourages communities and organizations to host folklife events and to preserve artifacts representing Oklahoma’s cultural diversity.  Partners for this year’s festival include:
Oklahoma Celtic Festival, June, 20 & 21 in Stillwater. Enjoy bagpipes, kilts, dogs, horses, and lots of singers.
American Heritage Music Festival, June 10-12 in Grove. Old-time fiddling and clogging contests.
Juneteenth, June 17 in Tulsa. Celebrate a unique African-American holiday with gospel, R & B, jazz and more.
Red Earth, June 18-20 in OKC.  Salute American Indian cultures from all over the continent as they display art, sing, drum, dance, and wear traditional outfits. It is Oklahoma’s special homecoming.
Spirit of Oklahoma Storytelling Festival, June 4 & 5 in Seminole. Hear funny, scary and wise stories from all over the Sooner State. 
Jazz in June, June 24-26 in Norman. Hear jazz and blues performers recall the past, present and future under the stars in Norman.
Oklahoma Folklife Festival, June 19, 2010 in OKC. Celebrate the cultural heritage of Oklahoma with dance, music and crafts at a free festival.
To learn more about Oklahoma folklife visit it online.  For the best in family fun learn about Oklahoma’s rich heritage in folklife. Hear many kinds of traditional music, see and participate in traditional dancing, have an appreciation of traditional crafts, and celebrate Oklahoma’s colorful storytelling. You can find it just a few miles away in your home state.
For more information contact Rodger Harris at (405)522-5207 or by email at

Cowskin Prairie to host History Luncheon

#2611, Oklahoma Division UDC is having a special history lunch for those early birds to Oklahoma Division Convention. Fun, fellowship, and Confederate history will be had by all! We are excited to be joined by Oklahoma Native Author, Steve Warren. Though open to anyone who wishes to attend, paid reservations must be made no later than June 1, 2010 for this $16.00 luncheon.
If you are on Facebook, visit the event:

Quilt Blocks in Aline

Upcoming historical programs with the OHC, as reported in the Mistletoe Leaves that may be of Southern interest include: May 8 & June 12, 2010 Quilt Block of the Month Class – Sod House Museum, Aline.

2010 Divison Convention Historical Evening Speaker

Now that the 2010 Oklahoma Division Convention call has been issued, I’m excited to announce our President’s choice for Historical Evening program speaker. The selection process kicked into high gear in October, when discussions between Division President and Historian were opened. Though Mary’s selection, from three “finalists”, came last month, I wanted to be sure I wasn’t letting the cat out of the bag.

Colonel Bernard R. “Bernie” Cooper, Western Artillery Brigade, CSA will join us, in uniform, for Historical Evening to share his love of Confederate Flags. The Oklahoma Graves Registration, SCV Officer has plans to have something special for each and every one of us. The program promises to be interesting and lively.

Please plan to attend Historical Evening and bring family, friends and Confederate- minded individuals to celebrate with us. If you have an outfit with “Confederate Flavor”, consider wearing it that evening. We are not fashion police, but I know more than just a few of us have Native attire, long skirts, petticoats, and yes – even hoops! The lovely ladies planning and hosting Convention have made arrangements to accommodate everyone interested in History to attend and enjoy the evening with us.

Honey Springs by Candlelight

Upcoming historical programs with the OHC, as reported in the Mistletoe Leaves that may be of Southern interest include: March 13, 2010

Civil War Life Program and Candlelight Tour – Honey Springs Battlefield Site, Checotah

Quilt Block of the Month Class – Sod House Museum, Aline

Okie Arts & Crafts

Upcoming historical programs with the OHC, as reported in the Mistletoe Leaves that may be of Southern interest include: February 20, 2010

Tatting Workshop – Chisholm Trail Museum, Kingfisher

Quilt Block of the Month Class – Sod House Muesum, Aline

Quilting in Pawnee

Upcoming historical programs with the OHC, as reported in the Mistletoe Leaves that may be of Southern interest include: February 9, 2010

Quilt Block of the Month Class – Pawnee Bill Ranch Historic Site, Pawnee

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