Cherokee National Prison Museum

Cherokee National Prison Museum, Tahlequah

Cherokee National Prison Museum

Cherokee National Prison Museum
4.5
Speciality Museums
Read more
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
The Cherokee National Prison was the only penitentiary building in the entire Indian Territory from 1875 to 1901. It housed sentenced or accused prisoners from throughout the territory. It was built in 1875 and was created for the purpose of reformation as well as for punishment for offenders. The principal chief had the power to pardon condemned men, with the advice and consent of his executive council, but this was rarely exercised. Built of sandstone rock, it was, "made to hold the most hardened and dangerous prisoners."
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
33 reviews
Excellent
23
Very good
10
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0

cl2003
Washington DC, DC57 contributions
Oct 2021
An interesting, small museum that is definitely worth a visit. The museum is divided into two parts. First, an interpretative center with information about the history of law enforcement and outlaws in the Cherokee Nation. The second part is the old prison which has replicas of the cells and additional information. The highlight of the visit was chatting with Noel about the history. He was extremely friendly and informative.
Written October 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tonya V
Pea Ridge, AR608 contributions
Jul 2021 • Friends
The displays were quite interesting and seeing the prison blocks was neat. We had a great conversation with one of the docents in the prison block. He was great! Knowledgeable and friendly.
Written July 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Vince G
Pottsville, TX111 contributions
Jul 2021
This is an excellent museum. It is owned by the Cherokee Nation, so there is no admission. There is a lot of information about various outlaws and perceived outlaws in the area. There is a replica of a gallows in the yards. The actual jail is very interesting. The man, Noel, running the place was full of information about whatever we asked lol. We talked for a long time. There are several stories in the jail about how various criminals were caught, broke out, or punished. You should go here.
Written July 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jwh916
Van Buren, AR228 contributions
Mar 2021
Small, confining, a place thar offered no hope, yet people survived. The jail here was just as draconian as Fort Smith. Leg irons, ball and chain, striped clothing, beds contaminated with all sorts of bugs. As a poit of interest it is great, the history and whos who if the prisoners is well worth the stop.
Written March 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

NSouth
Gretna, LA365 contributions
Jul 2020 • Solo
Very nice piece of history about the prison museum. Couldn’t go in due to covid, but I did physically see it and read the summary signs.
Written July 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

travelboy2008
Abilene, TX158 contributions
Mar 2020 • Friends
If you have never seen a real hanging gallows, there’s one here. The history in this museum is extremely interesting and intriguing. The admission is free and the staff are great!
Written March 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

lkmccor
Odessa, TX24 contributions
Sep 2019
A great place to visit for history of where the Cherokee we incarcerated. As original as one can expect.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

lethastovall
Tahlequah, OK6 contributions
Apr 2019
As a little girl here in Tahlequah I remember seeing people looking through the bars in the basement during their incarceration. This museum is gives a very informative look at all of the uses of this Jail since it was built.
Written November 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Doneal
Coal Hill, AR16 contributions
Jul 2019 • Family
Self guided so you can visit at your own pace, very informative and the staff was very friendly, there is two buildings, a reproduction gallows and a black smith shop
Written July 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

kdwin2
Tahlequah, OK10 contributions
Feb 2019 • Couples
Wry good a accurate historically. A big part of Cherokee history. If you are interested in Cherokee history and its rightful place in Oklahoma history, you and your family members of all ages will enjoy.
Written February 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 33
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Cherokee National Prison Museum

Cherokee National Prison Museum is open:
  • Tue - Sat 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM