History is everywhere in Tishomingo, Oklahoma

History is everywhere in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, and I had wanted to visit the museums there for some time. Our need to drive up to Oklahoma to pick up a vehicle seemed like a perfect opportunity to see those museums.

RV travel is not always sunshine and roses. This trip, indeed, started a little shaky and had some delays. Also, we knew very little about the Chickasaw Nation until we visited Tishomingo. We did learn tons of fascinating history when we finally reached our destination. Here’s the story.

Flat tire in League City

Twenty minutes from home, we had a flat on one of the RV tires! I have lost count of how many flat tires we have had, but it is more than three. The excellent news is that we were on a city street, not the freeway, and Steve was able to turn right into a large school parking lot. Whew!

History is everywhere in Tishomingo, Oklahoma

The flat occurred when we hit a sharp curb in a construction area. While we waited the hour or so for Good Sam Roadside Assistance to show up to change the tire, we unhooked the Jeep, and I was able to take care of some errands we needed to do. No time wasted, right?

Well, it took forever to get the tire changed. Then we drove to a nearby tire store to replace the spare tire with a new tire, which took quite a while. We managed to start again, going through downtown Houston, right in the middle of spring break rush hour – not a fun drive.

Stuff happens sometimes, and we weren’t too bothered by the tire and traffic thing. Still, we were both tired by the time we made our way through town, so we decided to stop for the night instead of driving straight on to Oklahoma.

Overnight at Fortress Beerworks

We have been overnight Harvest Host guests here before and expect to return again and again. Fortress Beerworks is located just north of Houston and has excellent beer, food, and the friendliest staff.

History is everywhere in Tishomingo, Oklahoma

We have been Harvest Host members since we began our RV adventures. Our membership provides complimentary overnight RV parking at great wineries, breweries, and museums and an opportunity to meet wonderful like-minded people. What an excellent program this is.

So far, we have stayed at probably 15-20 Harvest Host properties in various states. Each has different features and spaces, but each stay has been a unique experience. Every single one has been a fabulous experience.

Long day drive and overnight at WinStar

History is everywhere in Tishomingo, Oklahoma

WinStar Funtown RV Park should have been our first-night destination, but we were able to push our reservation to the next day. WinStar is one of our favorite RV parks, with large pull-thru spots and excellent amenities, including areas for the dogs.

Funtown RV Park is right next door to the colossal WinStar casino. Bonus: our RV stay is often complimentary based on our casino play!

Another delay!

I say delay, but we are old retired folks and rarely have an exact timetable or have to be anywhere specific at a particular date and time. However, the following morning we woke up at WinStar to howling wind and generally not very good weather.

History is everywhere in Tishomingo, Oklahoma

We decided to sit tight and continue our travel the next day. This second night would not be complimentary, but the rates are very reasonable, and it worked okay for us. So, we enjoyed the brief snow flurries from the comfort of our tiny house on wheels and spent some time at the casino.

History is everywhere in Tishomingo, Oklahoma

What a perfect day for cowboy beans and cornbread at the Toby Keith restaurant inside the WinStar Casino!

The next day, we had beautiful weather. We struck out on our adventure, driving straight to Tishomingo, Oklahoma, only an hour away. I enjoy these slow-moving trips where we stop every possible place we can to see every possible thing.

Chickasaw Nation

The Chickasaw Nation, like other tribes, was removed from the States of Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama to Oklahoma. The Chickasaws separated from the Choctaw Nation and created their government in 1855 and today is the 13th most prominent tribe in the U.S.

Tishomingo, Oklahoma

This town got its name from its namesake, Tishomingo, a Chickasaw Indian chief. Tishomingo died on the Trail of Tears in 1838. However, the statue shown above is a statue of Piominko, an influential and great Chickasaw leader during the early 1800s.

Tishomingo Council House Museum

This Museum is in Capitol Square, adjacent to the Chickasaw National Capitol Building. A small log cabin that served as the first Chickasaw Council House from 1856 until 1858 has been restored and sits inside the Chickasaw Council House Museum.

History is everywhere in Tishomingo, Oklahoma

This Museum also contains artwork created by Chickasaw artists, artifacts, and other archives.
Entry is free.

History is everywhere in Tishomingo, Oklahoma

Chickasaw National Capitol Building

History is everywhere in Tishomingo, Oklahoma

The second capitol building, a new brick building, was built in 1858 but was destroyed by fire in 1890. The Chickasaw Nation built the current red granite structure in 1898 to serve as the Chickasaw Nation’s Capitol.

Today this building is a terrific museum and gift shop, full of tribal artifacts and history. The Museum traces the Chickasaw history as they relocated to Oklahoma and set about creating the great Nation it is today.

Tishomingo Bank Museum

This beautiful old building opened as the bank for the Chickasaw Nation in 1901. Unfortunately, a cashier stole a large sum from the bank in 1909, which resulted in the bank’s ruin. The bank never recovered the money, and the cashier did not ever face prosecution.

The building has been restored to its original appearance and is a well-regarded museum in Tishomingo today. The Museum is on the National Register of Historic Places.

An intriguing feature of the Museum is that it contains two massive money vaults, one on the first floor and a second one right above the first one, on the second floor. The bank served the town of Tishomingo and the Chickasaw Nation and required the two vaults to keep their monies separated.

Tishomingo White House
6379 E. Mansion Drive
Milburn, Oklahoma 73450

History is everywhere in Tishomingo, Oklahoma

The Tishomingo White House was the home of Governor Douglas H. Johnston from 1898 to 1971. Johnson, the first Chickasaw Governor, appointed by the United States president, served as the Chickasaw Nation’s Governor for 36 years!

This lovely home has been restored to its 1900 appearance and is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Several china pieces hand-painted by niece Julia Chisolm are also on display.

Tishomingo’s famous resident

One of Tishomingo’s claims to fame is that it is the hometown of well-known performer Blake Shelton. He has a restaurant in Tishomingo, Ole Red, and a home in the area.

History is everywhere in Tishomingo, Oklahoma.

I have not adequately described these excellent Museums in Tishomingo. However, each contains so much detailed historical information that we both felt as if we were walking through early Oklahoma history as we followed the timeline of the Chickasaw Nation as it evolved in Tishomingo.

Tishomingo is a beautiful place for a day trip, and I am pleased we were able to spend time here. Our visit here was time well-spent.

History is everywhere in Tishomingo, OklahomaHistory is everywhere in Tishomingo, Oklahoma

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *