OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society is selling some significant sites it can no longer afford to maintain to two Indian tribes.
Kathy Dickson, the society’s director of museums and historic sites, told The Oklahoman (http://bit.ly/2eoBjwH ) that a law approved this year allows it to sell historic property to organizations that agree to pay fair market value and to preserve the sites.
Dickson said the society had asked for the legislation to ensure it could find good homes for the properties, explaining that their budget is down 40 percent in the last six years.
“We had already cut everything we could, looking for a way we could protect some of these properties,” Dickson said.
According to Dickson, the society is working out an agreement with the Chickasaw Nation to buy Fort Washita in the Durant area. The appraised value of the property is unknown.
“Fort Washita is one of our better-visited sites, but it has gone down some since the barracks burned,” Dickson said, alluding to a fire six years ago that ruined the main interpretive setting at the site. “We haven’t had the funds to fix it. The Chickasaw Nation plans to rebuild it.”
The Cherokee Nation is buying Sequoyah’s Cabin and nearby land in the Sallisaw area. The property has been appraised at $537,000. The cabin was protected in a stone cover building as part of a project of the Works Progress Administration.