On the Road to Tahlequah

(The following excerpt is from the interview of James B. Russell of Westville - Indian Pioneer Papers)

The main means of travel at the time were by wagon and on horseback. There were no highways as there are now. The main road in the Cherokee Nation, that is this part of it, was the Tahlequah Road. The Tahlequah Road started at old Fort Wayne on the Illinois River, now the town of Watts, and followed the river for about sixteen miles to about two miles west of the present town of Chewey. Travelers crossed the Illinois River at a place called Joe Chewey's place, which was called the Chewey Ford, and it still goes by that name. From this crossing one went to old Oil Springs where at that time there was a Post Office established. From Oil Springs the road followed the river to the old Boudinot place about five miles east of Tahlequah. The road at this place turned west by the old Walkingstick Spring taking the same route that is now Highway 62.

[Info provided by the Cherokee Nation Cultural Resource Center, excerpts taken from the Indian Pioneer Papers. Please contact for any questions. The Indian Pioneer Papers are the product of a project developed in 1936. The Oklahoma Historical Society teamed with the history department at the University of Oklahoma to get a Works Progress Administration (WPA) writers' project grant for an interview program. The program was headquartered in Muskogee and was led by Grant Foreman. The writers conducted more than 11,000 interviews and after editing and typing the work, the results were over 45,000 pages long.]

*Note: Cultural information may vary from clan to clan, location to location, family to family, and from differing opinions and experiences. Information provided here are not 'etched in stone'.