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Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Tahlequah, Oklahoma

One of the most historically significant cities west of the Mississippi River, Tahlequah was the end of the \"Trail of Tears\" for the eastern Cherokees. Since 1841, Tahlequah has been the capital of the Cherokee Nation and has been strengthened by its historic origin.

Located in the rolling Cookson Hills between the scenic Illinois River and beautiful Lake Tenkiller, the Tahlequah area is a sportsman\'s paradise and a mecca for outdoor recreation. Year-round activities range from rodeos to dogwood tours, from Broadway shows to pow wows, from fall foliage tours to community theatre, from festivals to fishing tournaments.

Summer months bring visitors from around the world to float the river, tour the living Tsa-La-Gi ancient village, stroll through outdoor arts and crafts shows, sing along with the River City Players at the NSU Playhouse, and swing to the sounds of jazz at the NSU Jazz Lab.

Tahlequah is the home of Northeastern State University, an innovative, progressive institution which has emerged as the fastest growing university in Oklahoma.

Since 1987, the Tahlequah area has been ranked the 4th best all-round retirement location in the United States based on studies of climate, health care facilities, and reasonable cost of living.

Various stories are told about the origin of the name Tahlequah. The most plausible one is that it comes from the old Cherokee town Ta-lik-wa in Tennessee. A more colorful version is that after the newly-arrived Cherokees and the Western Cherokees united into one nation, they decided that several of them would meet on a certain day at a certain time to select a site, and a name for the capital of the new government. Heavy rain fell the day before the meeting and flooded the rivers. Only two Cherokees managed to get to the site. They waited most of the day for others to arrive. One asked the other what they should do. The reply was Tah-le-ya-quah.\" \"Tah-le\" is the Cherokee word for \"two\", and \"ya-quah\" the word for \"enough\" or \"plenty,\" meaning that two were enough to locate and name the capital.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

The First Telephone

Here in September, 1885, the first telephone in Oklahoma was connected for service. It was the first telephone in the Mississippi Valley west of St. Louis. The company was organized by a group of Cherokees, namely, D.W. Lipe, L.B. Bell, R.M. Wolfe, J.S. Stapler, J.B. Stapler, and E.D. Hicks.

Tahlequah, OK Markers

Self-Guided Tour of Historic Tahlequah

History is one of Tahlequah's most valuable resources, much of it in the history of the Cherokee Nation ... to a Civil War cabin ... to homes of townspeople at the turn of the century.

Tahlequah, OK Tours

Memorial to the Confederate Dead

Erected in 1913 by the Colonial William Penn Adair Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy.

Tahlequah, OK Memorials

Statue of Liberty Replica

With the faith and courage of their forefathers who made possible the freedom of these United States.

The Boy Scouts of America

Dedicated this replica of the statue of liberty as a pledge of everlasting fidelity and loyalty.

Tahlequah, OK Monuments


Cherokee Heritage Center

The Cherokee Heritage Center, operated by the Cherokee National Historical Society, is located three miles south of Tahlequah, on the original site of the Cherokee Female Seminary. This remote area, covered with dense underbrush, was cleared in the mid-1960

Tahlequah, OK Museums

Things to do near Tahlequah, OK

Chief Lookout Memorial

Located approximately 3 miles north and east of Pawhuska, it is the burial site of Chief Fred Lookout and his wife, Julia. Th...

Ben Johnson, Jr. Cultural Park

The park was recently named to honor Academy Award Actor and Pawhuska native, Ben Johnson. Mr. Johnson has appeared in over 3...

Pulitzer Prize Winner

Checotah's library is named in honor of the Pulitzer Prize winner, Jim Griffing Lucas. * A third generation Checotahan bor...