Okmulgee: Diverse Cultures/One Community

Posted on: July 1st, 2008 by Farin Salahuddin

img_3980.jpgWhat do you think of when you think of a small town in Oklahoma? Pioneers, American Indians, maybe a general store? Well, you may find all this and more when you visit Okmulgee. A town located 40 minutes south of Tulsa and home of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

Benefitting from the oil industry, Okmulgee (winner of the 2002 annual Main Street Award) enjoyed prosperity in its past and was host to European settlers, Native Americans and African Americans alike. This rich social tapestry is evidenced through much of Okmulgee's preserved built environment.

img_3978.jpgBegin your history lesson at the Creek Nation Tribal Complex where you will meet a Muscogee Nation Supreme Court Judge. Move on to the Creek Council House Museum and learn more about the culture of what is referred to as one of the "Five Civilized Tribes" that are recognized by Oklahoma. (The other four tribes are the Chickasaw, Cherokee, Seminole and Choctaw.)

Though there is much to be learned here regarding the relationship between the Native American and Eurpoean settlers, there was a strong African American presence in Okmulgee as well. Visit many of the buildings that were vital to their everyday life and how those buildings endure and function today.

Not only will this Okmulgee tour offer historic reenactments, colorful anecdotes and cultural insight...there will be tasty offerings as well. Massey's BBQ restaurant is some of the best eatin' I've had in my time in Tulsa. They'll be catering the lunch offered at Okmulgee's first church, The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.

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