Council Oak Tree
click picture to
enlarge |Artist: Mike
Sponsor: Gov. Frank Keating
Dedication: March 6, 2002
Size: 30" x 40"
Type: Oil on Canvas
Location: South staircase,
5th floor, Senate wing
The Creek Council tree, a mature
post oak, marks the traditional "ceremonial ground" chosen
by the Lochapoka clan of the Creek Indians. In 1834, they
had begun their involuntary migration from Alabama under
the control of the U.S. Government. It was a slow and painful
trek and 161 of the original group of 630 died en route.
In 1836, at a point just before the Arkansas River made
its great bend to the west, they stopped. Leading men of
the group climbed a slight hill that rose from river's
sandy banks. At its crest, they gathered beneath a large
oak tree that towered mightily above the other trees nearby.
With the oak defining a southeastern corner, the people of
Lochapoka proceeded to lay out a square for their new home.
When it was complete, they marked their arrival with a solemn
ceremony depositing ashes brought over the trail from their
last fires in Alabama. The Tulsa-Lochapoka, a division of
the Creek Nation, established their first "town."
And so it was that the people
of Lochapoka, a daughter of Tallasi (where the name Tulsa
is believed to be derived), came to the Indian Territory
to begin a new life. The oak that provided them their first
council site would survive. Now much older and even more
stately, it stands between Seventeenth and Eighteenth Streets
and Cheyenne and Denver Avenues in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
are copyright of The Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation
Fund, Inc. and the artist. Please contact Sandra Shelton
at 521-5663 or email@example.com for
further copyright information.