Cherokee museums are totally free to visit now, Ken Philpott, with Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism told members of the Stilwell Chamber of Commerce at their first Wednesday of the month noon meeting. at The Depot.
“We have and promote the Cherokee National History Museum, it was the former Cherokee Capital,” said Philpott.
Also downtown in Tahlequah are the Supreme Court and Prison. An art walk is being created between the museums to encourage people to walk and to visit all the sites.
“We’ve remodeled the Saline Courthouse. We have Cherokee National Treasures exhibits there and special events such as weddings can be held there,” Philpott said.
Sequoyah’s Home near Sallisaw and John Ross Museum and Cemetery in Park Hill near Hunter’s Home are open for tours.
“Hunter’s Home used to be known as the Murrell Home. The state manages it,” he said.
Wanda Elliott said she’s toured Sequoyah’s Home and it’s a good place to visit and take kids.
Before COVID shut everything down Philpott was the school tour coordinator.
“More people from Tulsa and surrounding areas have visited the museums than people who live here,” he said.
The tribe is still COVID cautious. Tours in museums are for five to 10 people at a time.
“The other big thing is we also book bus tours through here, we’re about promoting history and culture,” said Philpott.
The Cherokee Heritage Center is being remodeled, but at this time, he said, its unknown when it will reopen.
The tribe is in negotiations with the state to purchase Will Rogers birthplace in Claremore.
Mark Lea asked about hunting lands, but Philpott said it wasn’t his area and he didn’t know.
In Vinita the tribe purchased the former country club and will turn it into an event center.
“We’re really connected with National Treasures and having them come for demonstrations,” Philpott said.
Another question about the Cherokee Holiday.
“Some will be virtual and some in person,” he said.
Interpreters are available for tours.
“Janelle Adair is one of our tour guides. She’s really good with kids. And she’s a good storyteller,” he said.