Buildings in the National Register of Historic Places
Creek Council Tree Site
18th Street and Cheyenne Avenue (map it)
The Creek Council Tree, a mature burr oak, marks the traditional “busk ground” chosen in 1836 by the Lochapoka clan of Creek Indians. In late 1834, they had begun their involuntary migration from Alabama under the control of the U.S. Government. It was a slow and painful trek; of the original group of 630, 161 died in route. Their 1836 arrival was marked with a solemn and traditional ceremony. A “busk” site was chosen on a low hill overlooking the Arkansas River. Here, according to their traditions, they deposited ashes brought over the trail from their last fires in Alabama. The Tulsa-Lochapoka, a political division of the Creek Nation, established their “town.” As late as 1896, the Lochapoka gathered here for ceremonies, feasts, and games. The site was probably not used by the Indians after the turn of the century. Gradually it became a solid residential area for the growing city of Tulsa. The Creek Council Tree itself, however, survived. The oak, standing in its small, well-landscaped city park, serves as a meaningful memorial to the proud Indian tribe that brought law and order to a new homeland nearly 156 years ago. The Creek Council Tree was placed under Historic Preservation Zoning in January of 1992.
The Creek Council Tree was listed in the National Register on September 29, 1976. It was listed under National Register Criteria A, and its NRIS number is 76001576.