'A Good History Lesson': Fort Gibson Celebrates Bicentennial With Re-Enactments And A Parade

It's the oldest in Oklahoma dating back to 1824, but not only was it a celebration, it was about educating people on the history of a place they call home.

Saturday, April 20th 2024, 10:32 pm



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Hundreds of people gathered in Fort Gibson to celebrate the bicentennial of the town.

It's the oldest in Oklahoma dating back to 1824, but not only was it a celebration, it was about educating people on the history of a place they call home.

Stacks of logs and walls of wood, the Fort Gibson historic site dates back 200 years, older than the state of Oklahoma.

"We've got an 1886 Springfield wagon that we've made a chuck wagon out of, and we just set up and cook authentic meals like they would on the cattle trails back in the 1800s," said one re-enactor, Sonny Golden.

Golden was a chuckwagon cook in part of the re-enactment celebration at the fort. "It's a good history lesson," he said.

The fort was established back in 1824 in what was then Indian territory. Two centuries later, it still stands for many people to come and learn about the history of Fort Gibson.

"I just remember learning about Fort Gibson when I was in ninth grade in Oklahoma history," Cheryl Branch said.

Branch is from Muskogee and brought her grandkids to the fort. She said it was a great opportunity to teach them about what life was like back then.

"I told her that it used to be soldiers here because it wasn't a town, it was a fort, so we came today to see all this and it's just fun, fun to see history," Branch said.

The bicentennial celebration included a parade, re-enactments depicting the life of soldiers in the 1830's, women in the military and more. There was also a series of concerts from local artists.

Many people at the fort said it's important to celebrate the town's history in order to keep it alive. "I think that a lot of history's lost because of the fast pace of life nowadays. If somebody doesn't preserve it for the future generations, then it's just going to be lost forever," said Golden.

The historic fort site is open to the public to tour, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 am to 4:30 pm.

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