J.M. Davis Arms Museum in Claremore expands its Cherokee Nation exhibit

The J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma, recently added an expanded Cherokee Nation exhibit.

The museum documented the opening of the exhibit Friday:

The Tulsa World had more details about the exhibit, via Cherokee Nation District 14 Councilman Keith Austin:

Austin said the display tells the story of the Cooweescoowee District of the Nation, which is the historical name for the Rogers County area and eastern Oklahoma. […]
Displays that fill panels along one aisle near the front of the museum cover a 200-year period from migration of early settlers and the Trail of Tears, through the Civil War and Reconstruction, statehood, the oil boom and to present times.
“Some of these items are being shared within the Cooweescoowee District for the first time in 120 years,” Austin said. “We want more people to stop in Claremore, more people along Route 66 and more people who haven’t been to the J.M. Davis Museum in a long time to have a reason to come back again.”

More from the Claremore Daily Progress:

Chuck Hoskin Jr., Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, stressed the importance of telling the Cherokee Story.
He said the Cherokee people need to tell their own stories.
“And we also need to have the good sense to partners with the people and institutions that are already telling great stories, and you can find that here at the J.M. Davis Gun Museum. And to tell it on Route 66 where thousands of people stop by, is in the best interest of the Cherokee Nation. I’m proud of the partnership,” Hoskin said. “I’m proud that it’s Cherokees telling the Cherokee story with our good friends.”

The museum also contains about 20,000 firearms and related items, about 1,200 beer steins, 19th-century music boxes, swords, knives, antiques, boot jacks, cattle brands, horns and trophy heads.

It all was a part of Claremore resident J.M. Davis’ collection until he died at age 78 in 1973. His collection once graced the Mason Motel along Route 66 in Claremore. The museum building opened in 1969, marking its 50th anniversary last year.

It’s also worth noting that Oklahoma’s most famous native son, Will Rogers, used Claremore as his home base and was of Cherokee descent. Rogers is buried in Claremore next to the museum that bears his name.

(Image of J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma, via Wikipedia)

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