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Historic Sites in Oklahoma
Get in touch with America’s past and visit some historic sites in Oklahoma that have shaped this country to what it is now. From Indian heritage and the old west, to important landmarks of unfortunate events, take time to explore the Sooner State. When in the southwest region, visit the Washita Battlefield National Monument to learn the history behind Custer's surprise attack on the peaceful Cheyenne village.
Pay your respects at the Oklahoma City National Memorial that honors the victims and those affected by the tragic OKC bombing in 1995. Explore the Washita Battlefield in Cheyenne that marks the location of Lt. Colonel Custer’s surprise attack on November 27, 1868. While visiting El Reno, stop at Fort Reno military base, as it once served as a military camp during the Indian Wars in 1874. Trek to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan to discover the rich history of the famous cattle trail that spanned Oklahoma.
Located near Poteau, OK, discover the past at Fort Smith National Historic Site to explore how the Indians lived.
In 1874, historic Fort Reno, located west of El Reno, served as a military camp during the Indian Wars Era. It protected the Cheyennes and Arapahos.
By 1875, the fort was established as a permanent military post, with the addition of corrals, wells, a wagon yard and a sawmill. General Phil Sheridan named the post Fort Reno, after his friend Major General Jesse L. Reno, who died in the Civil War.
Throughout the years, Fort Reno has been the site of several significant incidences. In the 1920s, Amelia Earhart flew her autogrio at the fort's airstrip.
The ceremonial horse, Black Jack, used in President Kennedy's funeral procession, was raised and trained at the fort. Visit the Fort Reno Visitor Center to learn more about the rich history of Fort Reno.
Fort Smith National Historic Site
Located in both Oklahoma and Arkansas, Fort Smith National Historic Site preserves 80 years of history on the Arkansas River.
Settled from 1817 to 1896, the park traces the life of Fort Smith and its stories cover life on the edge of Indian Territory and its encounters with Native Americans and the Trail of Tears throughout the years.
Visitors can explore the park's grounds, which include former barracks, a courthouse and a jail. Numerous exhibits inside detail the history of the military, Judge Parker, and the Trail of Tears events that occurred here.
Outside, visit the site of the first fort, the Trail of Tears overlook on the Arkansas River, the Commissary Building, and reconstructed gallows. The park is located near Poteau in southern Oklahoma.
Guthrie Historic District
Set in downtown Guthrie, the Guthrie Historic District includes a variety of historic sites. Known as Oklahoma's Magic City, Guthrie was Oklahoma's capital until 1910, when the title moved to Oklahoma City.
The Historic District is comprised of more than 2,100 buildings in 1,400 acres of land. Step aboard the First Capital Trolley in the Historic District to hear a wonderful narrated tour of the area.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Carnegie Library, built in 1902, is Oklahoma's oldest Carnegie Library in existence. The Library is included in the Guthrie Museum Complex. Visit this Renaissance Revival style library to view the Rotunda and the intricately carved wood throughout the rooms.
Quanah Parker Star House
Former home of Comanche warrior and leader, the Quanah Parker Star House commemorates Quanah Parker and his family. The house was built in 1890 near Lawton in southern Oklahoma.
Parker was a respected leader in the Comanche Nation and statesman. The house has four large white stars on the roof. One theory is that the stars represented the night sky overhead.
Parker's daughter bought the house after Parker's death in 1911. The house was relocated to Eagle Park after it was almost destroyed by Fort Sill. Even though the house is not available for touring, the house hosts Comanche events and activities for the Parker family.
Washita Battlefield National Historic Site
Run by the National Park Service, the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site preserves the location of the Southern Cheyenne village – attacked in November 1868. The confrontation is known as the Battle of Washita, during the Plains and Indian Wars.
The village was under the leadership of Peace Chief Black Kettle and the attack was led by George A. Custer, from the 7th U.S. Calvary.
This National Historic Landmark site is located near Weatherford, in the Plains region of Oklahoma. Stop by the Washita Battlefield Visitor Center and bookstore to learn more about the events of the battle, the soldiers and the Cheyenne and watch the available film.