The official founding year of Muskogee in eastern Oklahoma was 1876; though French fur traders permeated the land doing deals with the natives for years before that; the first settlements in the region dating back to 1806, where the French has established a village as a base for their enterprises in fur. Today Muskogee is still an important place for the native population in Indian Territory, with festivals and events happening at various times throughout the year.
The area surrounding Muskogee became part of Indian Territory as part of the Indian Removal Act in 1830, which saw the ‘Five Civilized Tribes’ relocated to the area. Both the Creek tribe and the Cherokee tribes set up camp near Muskogee and included these settlements in their Indian nations. In 1896, Muskogee was name the capital city of the Creek nation.
The city’s development can be largely attributed to one man, an Ohio native named Charles N Haskell. Once Haskell rolled into the quiet town of Muskogee, things began to change rather quickly. He organized the railroad connections and he is responsible for the first office blocks in the city. The modernization saw the population swell to 20,000 people just a year after his arrival. Today’s cityscape wears the Haskell era on its sleeve, with many buildings showing their original brickwork. The Muskogee of today is a modest town and the financial center of eastern Oklahoma.
Five Civilized Tribes Museum: dedicated to the preservation of the art and culture of the five tribes forcibly relocated to the area, the museum outlines the rich traditions of the five tribes.
Ataloa Lodge Museum: another museum aiming to preserve the traditions of the native cultures in the Muskogee region.
Honor Heights Park: this publicly owned and operated park is named for the dead soldiers of World War I and contains an arboretum and botanical gardens.