For the History Buff: Oklahoma’s Seminole Nation Museum

from Off the Beaten Path | 318
Seminole Nation Museum, Oklahoma © 2009 Chisholm Trail Heritage CenterCommemorated here are the Seminoles, driven from their homes in the Florida Everglades to Oklahoma on the ill-famed Trail of Tears.

524 S. Wewoka Ave., Wewoka, Oklahoma

“I fought in the Civil War and have seen men shot to pieces and slaughtered by the thousands,” wrote a Georgia militia veteran, “but the Cherokee removal was the cruelest work I ever knew.”

The tragic journey of the Seminole Native Americans in the 1830s, when the U.S. government mandated their removal from the farms of Florida’s Everglades, led them to Wewoka on the Oklahoma prairie, the new capital of the Seminole Nation.

The museum chronicles the transition of the tribe from its southeastern roots to life in a new region. Displays range from a replica of a chuko—the traditional Seminole Everglades dwelling built of logs, palm leaves, and hides—to the reconstructed façade of the Wewoka Trading Post, the enterprise from which the new Native American capital grew. Historic photographs recall daily life in the 19th-century Indian Territory and the oil boom of the 1920s. An art gallery displays Native American art and artifacts. The museum also shows examples of the patchwork clothing for which the Seminoles are still famous.

Open Mon. – Sat. Closed Jan. Donations accepted.

(405) 257-5580