Chickasaw National Recreation Area, in the Arbuckle Mountains near Sulphur, was originally established in 1902 as Sulphur Springs Reservation and then redesignated as Platt National Park in 1906. In 1976 it was merged with the Arbuckle National Recreation Area. The area is famed for the mineral water that comes from its many springs and for Lake of the Arbuckles. Wilderness areas and botanical preserves are found in the Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation Area, located in the Ouachita National Forest near Talihina in the southeast. Oklahoma also contains seven national wildlife refuges, with herds of buffalo and deer and prairie dog colonies. Private groups are also active. For example, the Natural Conservancy in the late 1990s operated 16 preserves in Oklahoma, including the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Bartlesville and the Black Mesa Preserve in the panhandle of the state.
Many sites of historic interest are visited by tourists each year. These include old frontier outposts such as Fort Reno and Fort Supply in the northwest and the reconstructed stockade at Fort Gibson, one of the old frontier posts near Muskogee. Indian City U.S.A., near Anadarko, contains reproductions of seven Native American villages. Visitors to Oklahoma can sample the state’s history at the Woolaroc Museum near Bartlesville, created from the estate of one of the cofounders of Phillips Petroleum; No Man’s Land Historical Museum in Goodwell; and the Black Kettle Museum in Cheyenne, which contains details of an attack by General George Armstrong Custer on a Native American village. The site of the old Cherokee national capital is Tahlequah, while those of the Chickasaw, Creek, and Choctaw tribes are at Tishomingo, Okmulgee, and Tuskahoma.
The cabin of Sequoyah, the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet, is a state memorial, as is the Murrell Home, a beautiful old mansion which is nearly all that remains of a pre-Civil War Cherokee community. The Will Rogers Memorial at Claremore and the Pioneer Woman Statue and Museum at Ponca City are in northern Oklahoma.
Among the more unusual attractions in Oklahoma City is the working oil well on the grounds of the State Capitol. Recently visitors have been attracted to the state while exploring the remnants of Route 66, one of the first national highways linking East and West and immortalized in American literature and music. "Oklahoma" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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