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5 Historical Spots in Oklahoma That Will Show You Why Their State Is Unlike Any Other

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There is no denying that Oklahoma is steeped in a rich tapestry of history that spans Native American heritage – whether it be the cowboy culture and oil boom extravaganzas. From landmark battles to the rush of settlers claiming new lands, each corner of the state offers a unique story.

Here are 5 historical spots in Oklahoma that solidify its diverse and fascinating history:

1. Fort Gibson Historic Site

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The Fort Gibson Historic Site is located near the modern town of Fort Gibson. It was originally established in 1824 to maintain peace on the frontier. Historians say that the site played a pivotal role in the westward expansion. It also served as a starting point for several military expeditions. Today, visitors can explore the restored fort and see reenactments of military life. You will still find a wealth of artifacts and exhibits that tell the tales of soldiers, frontier families, and Native Americans who shaped the region’s history.

As you walk through the fort’s grounds, you’ll get a poignant glimpse into the challenges and complexities of early Oklahoma life.

Address: 907 N Garrison Ave, Fort Gibson, OK 74434, United States

2. Cherokee Heritage Center

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This one is another good historical spot! The Cherokee Heritage Center is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of the Cherokee tribe and their forced relocation during the Trail of Tears. This pertains to the journey of Choctaw to Indian territory on foot. Some were even bound in chains and marched double file. They didn’t have any food, supplies, or other help from the government, and thousands perished. One Choctaw leader mentioned that it was like a “trail of tears and death” to an Alabama newspaper.

The center also includes ancient village reconstructions, the Trail of Tears exhibit, and the Cherokee National Museum. Not to mention, you’ll see the immersive displays and educational programs provide a profound understanding of the resilience and culture of the Cherokee people.

Address: 21192 S Keeler Dr, Park Hill, OK 74451, United States

3. Route 66

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No historical tour of Oklahoma would be complete without a nod to the iconic Route 66! After all, this is the oh-so-famous “Main Street of America.” This legendary highway runs through Oklahoma, offering a nostalgic journey through classic diners, vintage gas stations, and unique attractions like the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton. The museum showcases the history of the highway with interactive exhibits, including antique cars and a drive-in theater display.

4. Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

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This site stands as a solemn and powerful tribute to the victims, survivors, and heroes of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. There is an Outdoor Symbolic Memorial, with its reflecting pool and the “Field of Empty Chairs,” offering a space for reflection. You can also enter the museum as it provides insightful exhibits detailing the events and aftermath of that tragic day. This site is a profound testament to the resilience of the Oklahoma City community and a vital piece of contemporary state history.

Address: 620 N Harvey Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, United States

5. Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve

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Last but definitely not the least is the Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve founded by oil baron Frank Phillips in the 1920s! This spot is nestled in the rugged Osage Hills of northeastern Oklahoma. Originally established as a retreat for Phillips and his friends, Woolaroc has evolved into a fascinating museum. Today, it features an extensive collection of Western art and artifacts. You will also find Native American material, and historical documents. Surrounding the museum is a wildlife preserve, home to bison, elk, and longhorn cattle, providing a scenic backdrop that enhances the historic ambiance.

Address: 1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd, Bartlesville, OK 74002, United States

Each of these sites offers a window into Oklahoma’s past! If you need to be reminded of the state’s unique blend of Native American history, Western culture, and pivotal moments in modern history, then these are the spots you need to go to!

A writer big on nature, travel, and dogs. If you can't find Errot with her furry pal, then she's probably out exploring.

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