Salty history


Before statehood, the Cherokee Nation was divided into nine judicial districts, each with its own courthouse. (My favorite district name: Cooweescoowee, the Cherokee name of John Ross, who was principal chief when the nation was forced down the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma. Oklahoma highway 88 between Claremore and Oolagah was once designated the Cooweescoowee Parkway.)

Only one of those courthouses survive. The Saline District Courthouse was built in the 1880s, and it sits on the east side of the Delaware-Mayes county line, south of Scenic US 412 (old State Highway 33). According to a story in Tuesday's Whirled, there's talk of designating the courthouse the Cherokee Nation's first national park. The building needs restoration, and it was on Preservation Oklahoma's 2004 list of "Most Endangered Places".

There's an organization devoted to restoring the courthouse, although the name sounds like a group dedicated to keeping meat the old fashioned way: The Saline Preservation Association. Visit the website to learn how you can help.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 27, 2005 10:58 PM.

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