, Muskogee, OK

July 25, 2013

Cherokee Heritage Center marks its 50th anniversary

— TAHLEQUAH — It has been 50 years since the Cherokee National Historical Society began its mission of preserving, promoting and teaching Cherokee history and culture. In honor of this milestone, Cherokee Heritage Center officials have created a 50th anniversary exhibit.

The exhibit, which runs through Aug. 18, features more than 70 objects, 100 pictures and a five-minute film that showcase the history of the Cherokee Heritage Center. Among the items are an original Stand Watie costume and original programs for the summer drama and architectural models created by Charles “Chief” Boyd of what was the original vision for the Heritage Center.

“Local families have created many great memories here, whether it was visiting on a school field trip or with family, or as a staff member working in the museum or on the grounds,” museum curator Mickel Yantz said in a media release. “We’re excited to share memorabilia that tell our story and help bring back some of those fond memories of our first 50 years.”

As part of the celebration, CHC officials are inviting all former staff members, including those who worked in the Ancient Village and the TsaLaGi Ampitheater, to a reunion starting at 11 a.m. Saturday. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and lawn chair.

CHC officials recently celebrated the opening of Diligwa, a new village portraying the most authentic Cherokee experience based on life in 1710. Items from the design and implementation of the new village are included in the exhibit.

Diligwa, which replaced the Ancient Village, provides visitors the chance to experience Cherokee life in the early 18th century. It features 19 wattle and daub structures, 14 interpretive stations, and a detailed historic landscape set on four acres of land adjacent to the Cherokee Heritage Center.

“Having this exhibit coincide with the opening of Diligwa offers us the opportunity to celebrate our past while welcoming everyone to share with us the creation of more great memories in the years to come,” Cheryl Parrish, the CHC’s interim executive director, said in a media release.  

The CHC is the premier cultural center for Cherokee tribal history, culture and the arts.

For information on the 2013 season’s events, operating hours and programs, call (888) 999-6007 or go to The information can also be found on Facebook; search for “Cherokee Heritage Center.”