Tahlequah Things to Do Tips by Stephen-KarenConn
Tahlequah Things to Do: 15 reviews and 46 photos
The Bacone House
One of the oldest buildings in Tahlequah, the Bacone House was built in 1867, shortly after the end of the American Civil War. It is noteworthy both from a historic as well as architectural standpoint.
The building house the Indian University at Tahlequah, which moved to Muskogee in 1885 and has evolved into Bacone College. Currently, the building is a part of Northeastern State University and it houses the Center for Tribal Studies.
The Bacone house is of the Federal style, which dominated much of American architecture in the early 19th Century. It has severe lines and parapet end walls typical of that style.
Address: 320 Academy Street, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Directions: Stop #10 of the Walking Tour of Historic Tahlequah
Northeastern State University, originally founded by the Cherokee Nation as the Tahlequah Female Seminary, in 1891, is the oldest institution of higher learning in Oklahoma and one of the oldest west of the Mississippi River. It offers degrees in 69 areas of study, and boasts the highest Native American enrollment of any university in America.
Being a university town means that Tahlequah has an abundance of cultural and athletic events and continuing education opportunities. The university also gives access to genealogical research collections specific to Native American and regional history.
The main campus of Northeastern is in Tahlequah, with branch campuses in Broken Arrow and Muskogee.
Address: 600 N. Grand Avenue, Tahlequah, OK 74464
Directions: Just north, and within walking distance, of downtown Tahlequah
The Ivy-Duncan-Dannenburg Home, also known as the Jim Duncan Home, sits on Brookside, just across the street from the city park. It was built, Circa. 1888, by Augustus Ivey, a prominent Tahlequah businessman, and was sold to the James Duncan family. Mr. Duncan was a land surveyor, a teacher, and a farmer. In the front lawn of the home is a springhouse which was a source of drinking water for early residents, as well as a cool place for storing milk and butter.
In 1965 the City of Tahlequah purchased the home and converted it into a multi-use community center.
This beautiful park stretches for several blocks along Town Creek in Tahlequah. It roughly parallels Muskogee Street, the main street of town, and runs about three blocks to the east of it.
The park has picnic areas and playgrounds, and is a great place to just relax on a park bench or take a stroll. There is also a small but pretty waterfall. Sitting just to the east of the Park is the historic Ivy-Duncan-Dannenburg Home, which is the subject of my next tip.
Directions: The park is along Water Street, and is crossed by Shawnee Street, just to the east of downtown Tahlequah.
Seminary Hall at NSU
The Cherokee Nation has always placed a preminum on education. In 1846 the Cherokee National Council aurhorized the establishment of two institutions of higher learning, the Cherokee National Male Seminary and the Cherokee National Female Seminary. Both schools were opened in 1851. Over the years these two schools have grown and evolved to become Northeastern State University (NSU).
Seminary Hall (pictured) was built to replace the original female seminary at Park Hill burned to the ground on Easter Sunday, 1887. The new structure was completed in 1889 and is still the signature building on the campus of NSU.
Address: 609 N Grand Avenue, Tahlequah, OK 74464
Directions: In the heart of the campus of Northeastern State University, just north of downtown Tahlequah.
The Bedwell Home
This home was built by William Alston in 1906. It was later owned by D. R. Bedwell, a biology professor at the local Northeastern State University.
The two story frame house is of the Free Classic subset of the Queen subset of the Queen Anne school, also called the Carpenter Gothic style, popular from 1870-1910. This style of house lacks the ornamentation often used in the Victorian era. The only ornamentation are details along the frieze, saw-tooth moulding below the window sills and sunburst in the gables.
Address: 315 N. State Avenue, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Directions: Stop #9 on the Walking Tour of Historic Tahlequah.
The Powell-Antoine Home
The quaint Powell-Antoine Home was built in 1905 on land once owned by Cherokee Chief Downing. The street in front of the house is named for him.
This is another historic house on the walking tour that is built in the Victorian Style, evidenced by the wrap around porches and spindle work. Other interesting characteristics of this house are the wooden shingles covering the tower and the small stained glass panes above clear panes of glass, also typically Victorian.
The Powell-Antoine House is a private residence.
Address: 225 W. Downing Street, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Directions: Stop #8 on the Historical Walking Tour of Tahlequah, at the corner of Downing Street and Cherokee Avenue.
The Carnegie Library
In 1805, two years before Oklahoma was admitted to the Union as the 47th state, this library was built, financed in part by a grant of $10,000 from Andrew Carnegie. It is still an active library today, although a modern new addition has been added.
Andrew Carnegie, an industrialist and philanthropist, gave millions of dollars from his vast wealth to build libraries in thousands of communities. Carnegie built 2,811 free libraries in all. Of these, 1,946 were located in the United States – at least one in every state except Rhode Island. He also built 660 libraries in Great Britain and Ireland and 156 in Canada. A handful of libraries were also scattered in places like New Zealand, the West Indies and Fiji. His generosity even extended into the Indian Territory called Oklahoma.
Address: 120 South College Street, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Entrance to the Johnson Thompson House.
The Johnson Thompson House, built in 1880, was the residence of the wealthy Tahlequah merchant who also built the two earlier homes on the tour, for his son and daughter. It is in yet another style than the previous two houses, the Italianate Style, which was popular from the 1840s to the mid-1880s. The style featured a low-pitched roof with overhanging eaves, often having decorative brackets underneath. Windows were tall and narrow and arched above.
Such fine homes as these help to illustrate the fact that here in what was Indian Territory, many of the people, far from being nomadic savages, lived lifestyles that were more advanced than those of the white settlers who had driven them from their original homelands. Many were also of mixed ancestry, having both European and Native American blood as well as both Indian and Anglo-Saxon names.
Address: 127 Keetoowah Street, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Directions: On the Corner of Keetoowah Street and College Avenue.
Jane Anna French Home
This ornate old house, built in 1889, was the home of the daughter of Johnson Thompson, whose home is next on the tour. It's design was influenced by several different styles.
The brick and symmetry were borrowed from the Federal Style(1780-1820). Decorative quoining on the outside corners of the house was added from the Renaissance period. The home also displays characteristcs of the Carpenter Gothic style (1870-1910). The house is currently used as office space.
Address: 209 W. Keetoowah Street, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Directions: The Jann Anna French Home is the 5th stop on the Historic Tahlequah walking tour.
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