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Old Chickasaw Council House

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In Tishomingo, Oklahoma, you can visit the Chickasaw council house museum. It has brand new exhibits, and the building has been recently renovated.

This fine building, built from native stone, was the center of government for the Chickasaw Nation for a brief period. It was completed and opened in 1898. The federal government dissolved the governments of all of the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma in 1906 as a result of the Dawes and Curtis Acts. This forced the tribes into allotment and divided up tribal land. The council house became the local county courthouse. In the 1990s, the Chickasaw Nation purchased the building back from the county and turned it into a museum. They have done a great job of restoration. They said that they purchased the building twice, and they are keeping it this time!

To the left of the entrance of the building you will see a bell on an old log. This was used since 1859 to summon the Chickasaw people together for important news or council decisions. When the government was dissolved in 1906, it was placed in the bell tower of a Methodist church for about 70 years. It has now found its way back to the council house.

Inside, the exhibits mainly cover the time of the Chickasaw Nation until 1906. There are the familiar cultural artifacts such as the stick ball sticks and the interesting version of the ball the Chickasaws have, which is woven. And baskets and an iron kettle that came from the old country.

Douglas H. Johnston was that nation's governor from 1898, until his death in 1939. Once the federal government dissolved the traditional tribal governments, he was appointed governor by President Roosevelt in 1906 and stayed in the office for 33 more years. His office has been restored and turned into an exhibit.

The nice job the Chickasaw Nation has done on this building made it a welcome detour.
Current Location:
Tishomingo, Oklahoma
Current Mood:
awake awake
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