- Fort Gibson is the oldest town in the state of Oklahoma.
- A new fort was built in 1846 after the original fort was expanded in 1831 but then faced flooding and malaria risks. It was then rebuilt again and completed in 1890.
- In 1960, Fort Gibson was recognized as a National Historic landmark.
Oklahoma, like many other states in the U.S., has plenty of history to learn about. Oklahoma is home to the oldest town in the state, known as Fort Gibson. So much history occurred here that visiting this town is more beneficial than trying to read about it.
Oklahoma was the first state to have a telephone, drama theatre, and a school for the blind. Although there are other towns in Oklahoma that are old, Fort Gibson wins the crown because it is the oldest fort in the state and serves multiple purposes.
Where Is Fort Gibson on a Map?
If you are looking to find Fort Gibson on a map, you can find it towards the easter portion of Oklahoma, about fifty miles westward from the Arkansas border.
Driving from Tulsa, Oklahoma, a driver can reach the Fort in about fifty minutes by driving southeast along Highway 351. Coming from the south, the Fort is just under a four-hour drive from Dallas, Texas.
Approximately nine miles to the west along Highway 62, Fort Gibson is very close to the town center of Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Fort Gibson History
Fort Gibson was established in 1824 by Matthew Arbuckle on the east bank of the Grand River. The town served as a peace enforcement between the Osage and Cherokee tribes. These two tribes had issues because the Cherokee tribe moved into the Osages’ territory. Fort Gibson replaced Fort Smith in Arkansas because it was way too far to control these tribes. Fort Gibson also served as a center for trade, travel, and military expeditions.
The fort was expanded in 1831; however, it was flooded and the threat of malaria rose. In 1846, a new fort was constructed overlooking the old fort; however, it was not fully completed until 1890. The new fort included large stone buildings and ten frame ones. Right after the new fort was constructed, it was abandoned and became the headquarters of the Dawes Commission.
Fort Gibson Today
In 1960, Fort Gibson was designated as a national historic landmark. Today there are seven original structures from where the fort stood and a reconstructed log garrison. The museum here is a good place to visit to understand the history the town went through. If you are hoping to get away from the crowds and enjoy nature, Sequoyah State Park is a beautiful spot to visit and is not as crowded as the other parks in the state. The Fort Gibson Lake also known as “Three Forks” because of the connection with the Arkansas Verdigris and Neosho rivers, is another great spot to revisit history and catch a fish or two!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Paul Brady Photography/Shutterstock.com
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