ENID, OKLA. – All is in order, now is the time and the date is set! The

public is invited to celebrate the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center’s

grand opening April 1 at 11 a.m., 507 S. 4th Street in Enid, Oklahoma. The

Enid community working in partnership with the Oklahoma Historical Society

created the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center to tell the

extraordinary stories of settling the Cherokee Strip and share the inspiring

lessons of leadership with future generations.


“Enid has a history that reflects the courage and tenacity of American

pioneers,” said Lew Ward, board chairman of the Cherokee Strip Regional

Heritage Center. “The center’s collection shares these stories and the

history of the area through engaging exhibits and a Smithsonian-quality



At the center, visitors learn about the 1893 Land Run – the largest land run

in American history opening 6 million acres to settlement. Visitor’s also

explore how the Cherokee Strip was formed, life on the prairie, the Dust

Bowl, area railroads, agricultural development, the discovery and

development of the oil industry and Phillip’s University, the first private

university in the state.


On Sept. 16, 1893, Enid’s only permanent structure was the newly constructed

U.S. Land Office. By sundown, an estimated 10,000 people inhabited the new

town. The center’s living history area, Humphrey Heritage Village features

the U.S. Land Office as well as other authentic historical buildings

including a 1902 Church, an 1895 one-room school, Turkey Creek School, and

the 1905 Victorian home and family belongings of J.W. and Alice Glidewell.

Visitors touring the Village get a comprehensive look at what it was like to

live in the Cherokee Strip in the early 1900s.




A property of the Oklahoma Historical Society, the Heritage Center itself is

a magnificent 24,000 sq. ft. facility featuring five exhibit galleries,

2,000 sq. ft. of rotating exhibit space, a theater, a research center, a

visitor center and a regionally-inspired gift shop featuring local artisans'

products to Hollywood films about the pioneer experience.


“Several years ago, we recognized the need to create a much larger, more

comprehensive museum in Enid,” said Dr. Bob L. Blackburn, executive director

of Oklahoma Historical Society. “From that need, we created the Cherokee

Strip Regional Heritage Center. We hope someday to be able to create similar

regional heritage centers throughout the state using this as the model. We

appreciate the local support of the Enid community, which made the Cherokee

Strip Regional Heritage Center possible.”


In 2005, community leaders began an $8 million capital campaign to create a

regional attraction to equal the amazing story to be told. To date, the

campaign has raised over $10 million through strong community support for

the project.


“Individuals, companies and organizations throughout the state contributed

to the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center campaign,” said April Danahy,

chairman of community relations committee. “This has been a collaborative

effort from the start, and we are thrilled to celebrate the heritage

center’s opening with the public.”


Admission costs to the center are $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 12 to

6, and free for ages 5 and younger.


About Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center

The Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center is an institutional leader which

presents the region’s rich heritage through discovery, learning and

inspiring leadership; celebrates and commemorates the spirit of the Cherokee

Strip Pioneers and relates that spirit to the present and the future; serves

other heritage organizations with the common goal of better understanding

the history and culture of the Cherokee Strip; and collects, preserves and

presents the history of Northwest Oklahoma with emphasis on explaining why

history matters. For more information, go to www.csrhc.org or call (580)



About Oklahoma Historical Society

For more than 100 years, the Oklahoma Historical Society has strived to

protect, chronicle and share the history of our great state. The Oklahoma

Historical Society maintains more than 20 museums and historic sites and

five affiliates located throughout Oklahoma. Intriguing destinations,

including historic homes, military sites, and museums, offer a unique

glimpse into Oklahoma’s past. For more information, go to www.okhistory.org

or call (405) 521-2491.






Michael Dean

Public Relations Director

Oklahoma Historical Society

800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive

Oklahoma City, OK  73105-7917

(405) 522-5241



Check out the Oklahoma History Center at www.okhistorycenter.org