• Guess that landmark: Council Oak Park

    By: Megan McClellan

    Updated:

    Quick Facts:

    • The Council Oak Tree has been a part of Tulsa since before statehood
    • Creeks from Alabama originally picked that spot as a place to conduct tribal business once they moved to Oklahoma
    • Council Oak Tree Park was designated as a National Historic Site in 1976

     

    The Council Oak Tree and the park around the tree are located in Downtown at the corner of S Cheyenne Ave & W 18th St. 

    Stories passed down say when the Upper Creeks from Alabama arrived in what is now Tulsa, there was a large oak tree on the top of a hill that overlooked the Arkansas River. The Creeks ceremoniously spread ashes around the tree. The ashes were from the fires during their journey from Alabama.

    According to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, the area around the Council Oak Tree is referred to as Tulsa’s first city hall and is considered to be the Muscogee town of Locopoka, the first settlement of City of Tulsa.

    The tree and the field south of the tree were not only a meeting place for the Muscogee (Creeks) Nation, it was also a cornerstone of the community.

    During Tulsa’s ‘Oil Capitol’ time, the land changed hands a couple of times and was almost destroyed during the 1960s for a parking lot.

    In 1976, the Council Oak Tree and the surrounding area was entered as a National Historic Site. Per the National Register of Historic Places nomination form, the Council Oak Tree and surrounding area was used to conduct tribal business from roughly 1836 to 1896.

    There is a sculpture to the east of the tree that was made to designate the importance of the tree and the history that surrounds the area.

    As with all trees, the Council Oak Tree will eventually die, but cuttings have been taken from the tree and are being grown. Once the tree does die, its replacement will be a part of the original tree.

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