Bryan Warner of Sallisaw, Cherokee Nation Council Member for District 6, speaks at the re-opening of the Sequoyah’s Cabin Historic Site, now owned and operated by the Cherokee Nation.
Cherokee Nation opened Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum Thursday after acquiring the historic property from the Oklahoma Historical Society late last year. The popular tourist attraction was the home of legendary statesman and inventor of the Cherokee syllabary, Sequoyah.
Prior to reopening the site under Cherokee Nation management, the popular tourist attraction received much-needed repairs and renovations. The museum now features large displays that share the story of Sequoyah, his development of the Cherokee syllabary and Cherokee language. Additional displays showcase the history of the Cherokee Old Settlers, Cherokee Nation post-removal and the Cherokee Nation today. The museum also features a new retail space offering Cherokee Nation apparel, gifts and souvenirs.
At the reopening ceremony, Cherokee Principal Chief Bill John Baker said, “Adding Sequoyah’s Cabin to our cultural tourism holdings only strengthens our ever-growing abilities to share Cherokee heritage. For years, people have traveled to Sallisaw to learn more about the man who revolutionized the way Cherokees communicate. We anticipate even more visitors in the coming years as we promote the unique offerings under the Cherokee Nation’s brand. From the educational awareness to the natural beauty of the landscape, there will be something for everyone when they visit the cabin.”
The cabin was constructed by Sequoyah in 1829 and welcomes more than 12,000 visitors each year. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and a National Literary Landmark in 2006. The homestead includes a one-room cabin and nearly 200 acres.
Cherokee Nation took ownership from the Oklahoma Historical Society in November when the state of Oklahoma was no longer able to operate and maintain the site due to budget cuts.
Cherokee Nation Chief of Staff Chuck Hoskin said, “Budget constraints at the state level allowed Cherokee Nation and the Oklahoma Historical Society to navigate the historic transition of such an inspirational and educational site. We assume the responsibilities as stewards and take that task very seriously. Sequoyah’s mark on our people is undeniable, and we will make his home a place of reverence in perpetuity.”
Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The museum is included in the tribe’s tourism program, Cherokee Passport. The self-guided tour program costs $15 and includes admission to five museums, including the Cherokee Heritage Center, Cherokee National Prison Museum, Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum, John Ross Museum and now Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum. It also provides a list of 107 attractions, historic sites, events and cultural treasures throughout the Cherokee Nation.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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