TAHLEQUAH — Chad Smith, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, will be among speakers at a ceremonial kickoff celebrating the beginning of historical renovation of the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Building on Tuesday.
The building is the oldest municipal building in the state.
The restoration is one of several planned by the Cherokee Nation’s cultural tourism department. The building is to become a museum with pre-statehood photographs and artifacts. Completion is expected in July 2009.
The original courthouse was built in 1844 and was the only Cherokee government structure to survive the Civil War.
In addition to hosting supreme and district court sessions, , it also was home to the Cherokee Advocate, the first newspaper in the state.
The building burned in 1875 and was rebuilt at the same location, using the surviving walls.
The building was sold in 1911 and used as office space by Cherokee County until the Cherokee Nation regained ownership in 1979.
If you go
WHAT: Kickoff of restoration of Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Building.
WHEN: 11:15 a.m. Tuesday.
WHERE: Keetoowah and Water Streets, Capitol Square, Tahlequah.