Cherokee History in Tahlequah, OK

The history of Tahlequah is so intertwined with the history of the Cherokee peoples that the two cannot be considered separately. Click here for facts about Tahlequah, OK.

Cherokee National History Museum 

Within the Cherokee National Supreme Court Building in Tahlequah, OK, there lives the Cherokee National History Museum, an art, and cultural history museum. This museum has exhibits that explain the story of the Cherokee Native Americans.  Click here to read about Witness Trees in Tahlequah, OK.

The exhibits start with the Cherokee origin story.  Then they explore how Cherokee life was lived before contact with Europeans and how it changed after European contact.  

Lastly, the exhibits examine the forced resettlement through the eyes of the Cherokee.  

Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum

This building used to be where the Supreme Court of the Cherokee Nation conducted its business.  It is believed to be Oklahoma’s oldest public building.  James S. Piece built the structure on the southeastern corner of the town square in 1844.  Judge John Martin, the first chief justice of the Cherokee Nation, was the first judge to practice here.  

When you visit the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum, you will be able to see a reproduction of the printing press that was located in this building.  The Cherokee Phoenix newspaper shared this building with the Supreme Court.