News & Events

The Creek Story of Tulsa

Mar 29th
Posted in Uncategorized

From Tallassee, AL to Tulsey, I.T.: The Creek Story of Tulsa

Presentation by J.D. Colbert

Saturday, April 23rd

Two Presentations: 11:00 AM & 1:00 PM

IMG_2045It is widely believed that the history of Tulsa only dates to 1882 with the arrival of the Frisco railroad in Tulsa. However, the history of Tulsa can actually be traced to the arrival of DeSoto at Talisi (present day Tallassee, AL) in 1541. As such, the City of Tulsa may be said to be one of the oldest cities on the North American continent.

This presentation, From Tallassee, AL to Tulsey, I.T., will tell this rich, but mostly unknown, early history of Tulsa. It is the story of the Creek founders of Tulsa-the Locvpokv Creek tribal town- and is set against the backdrop of monumental events such as the tidal wave of European immigrants to the Creek homelands in present day Georgia, Alabama and Florida; the Creek Civil War; the Trail of Tears, the U.S. Civil War; the Dawes Allotment Act and the transition of Tulsa from Creek town to Oil Capital of the World.IMG_1484

Along the way we will meet outsized and historic individuals who each played a significant role in Tulsa’s early history such as Benjamin Hawkins, Opothleyahola of the Upper Creeks, William McIntosh of the Lower Creeks, Benjamin Perryman, James Sanford of the Alabama Emigrating Company, Mekko Archee Yahola (generally considered as the First Mayor of Tulsa), George B. Perryman and Tuckabachee, a Locvpokv citizen who lived to be 100 years old and whose life and legacy is widely compared to that of Geronimo.

IMG_1492This early Creek history established the foundation for the rise of the modern city of Tulsa. It is a fascinating, exciting and colorful history. From Tallassee, AL to Tulsey, I.T.; The Creek Story of Tulsa is a shared history between and among all contemporary Tulsans. In the end, it is a unique and proud history that animates the greatness of the city of Tulsa.

Presenter J.D. Colbert

Mr. Colbert (Muscogee-Creek/Chickasaw) is the nation’s most recognized and foremost expert on matters related to commercial banking and Indian tribes. Since 1987 he has assisted Indian tribes in starting or acquiring various types of financial institutions.

During his 30+ year career, Mr. Colbert has served as president/CEO of three different banks; a board member of five banks; Founding Executive Director of the North American Native Bankers Association (an association of Native-owned banks in the US and Canada); He has assisted over a dozen Indian tribes in acquiring or starting commercial banks.

J.D. Colbert

J.D. Colbert

Mr. Colbert served a White House appointment to the Board of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund at US Treasury and he has actively assisted many Indian tribes and Native groups to start Community Development Financial Institutions.

He has managed over $22 billion under the US Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (a/k/a the Bank Bailout Bill) and was a board member of a $13 billion pension fund and formerly served as Deputy Assistant Secretary – Bureau of Indian Affairs for Economic Development where his duties included overseeing the $3 billion Indian Trust Fund and the BIA Loan Guaranty Fund.

Mr. Colbert began his career as a Bank Examiner for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. As such, he was the first Native American federal bank examiner in the history of the U.S. bank regulation system.

Mr. Colbert is active in legal, regulatory and policy formulation in the areas of banking, community development, economic development and Federal-Indian policy. He is a widely published author of op-ed pieces on subject matters related to banking as well as issues in Indian Country.

He holds an undergraduate degree in business management from the University of Oklahoma as well as masters degrees from both Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University.

Memoirs of the Old Lady

Mar 29th
Posted in Uncategorized

Memoirs of the Old Lady: Tulsa’s Historic Brady Theater Tells Her Story

Discussion & Book-Signing with author Jamie M. Townsend

Saturday, April 30th, 11:00 AM

Brady Theater, c. 1921

Brady Theater, c. 1921

About the Book

Memoirs of the Old Lady colorfully describes the 100-year history of Tulsa’s original performing arts venue – The Brady Theater, originally known at Tulsa Convention Hall and, later, Tulsa Municipal Theater.

For more than 100 years, “The Old Lady” has introduced her audiences to the highest caliber of celebrities of their day. Her walls still echo the amplified voices of Mae West, Anna Pavlova, Rudolph Valentino, Will Rogers, Katherine Hepburn, Nat King Cole, Buddy Holly, Liberace, Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, Bette Midler, Robin Williams, U-2, Bob Dylan, and so many more. She helped introduce many local favorites including Leon Russell and Patti Page.front cover smaller

Memoirs of the Old Lady tells a history, but also requests a standing ovation not only for those who have already performed there, but also for those who still await her next curtain call.

About the Author

Researching and writing Memoirs of the Old Lady has been a twenty-year journey for author Jamie Townsend. She first fell in love with the Tulsa Municipal Theater while attending a Tulsa Philharmonic Concert when she was an elementary school student and went on a field trip with Tulsa Public Schools.


Author Jamie Townsend

Years later, while attempting to locate a book relating to the historic theater at Tulsa’s Central Library, Jamie came across a file of newspaper clippings relating to some of the history of the building. She was eager to learn more and began searching through hundreds of reels of microfilm from early-day Tulsa newspapers. She quickly realized these findings must be preserved for future generations of Tulsans.

Jamie is a third generation native Tulsan and a graduate of the University of Tulsa. She is Director of Marketing for Montereau, a resort-style retirement community located in south Tulsa. She serves on the boards of the University of Tulsa’s Golden Hurrican Club and RSVP. She is an active alumna of Delta Gamma sorority and a member of the Tulsa Regional Chamber and the Tulsa Historical Society. She resides in Tulsa and continues to pen pages that will preserve her hometown’s unique history.


Living History: Life With the Buffalo Soldiers

Feb 19th
Posted in Uncategorized

 Living History: Life With the Buffalo Soldiers

Monday, March 7th

Two performances at 6:00 and 7:30 PM

FREE and open to the public

Portraying Alice Grierson

Portraying Alice Grierson

Travel back to 1870s Oklahoma to meet and converse with Alice Grierson. Her Civil War hero husband, Col. Benjamin Grierson, chose to command the Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry after the war. He was known for his respect for his black troops and for the native people. Converse with Mrs. Grierson about her husband’s views, and about the challenges of daily life while raising a family in a frontier fort.

Grierson is portrayed by Darci Tucker of American Lives: History Brought to Life.

darci tucker

Darci Tucker

Darci Tucker is a historian, playwright, author, actress, and storyteller from Williamsburg, VA. She portrays women from American history in schools and storytelling festivals across the nation. She wrote “Embodying the Story through Character Interpretation” and trains teachers and museum professionals to teach through storytelling and historic character portrayals.

1806: Settling the Cherokee Nation

Feb 18th
Posted in Uncategorized

1806: Settling the Cherokee Nation

Discussion & Book Signing

Saturday, March 19th , 11:00 AM

BookCoverImageAbout the Book: 

A century before Oklahoma became the 46th state, Lieutenant James Wilkinson met with Osage chief Cashasegra at the confluence of the Arkansas, Grand and Verdigris rivers, later known as The Three Forks, the cradle of Oklahoma. Soon the Osage were pushed out by thousands of Cherokees relocated by the United States government to Indian Territory in Northeastern Oklahoma. A new Cherokee Nation was born. Internal strife developed first as a result of tribal disagreement over the Treaty of New Echota, followed by devastation from the American Civil War and then a period of unprecedented lawlessness.

D. Bruce Howell

D. Bruce Howell

Despite the chaos the citizenry formed a democratic government, established the first school system west of the Mississippi and developed a system of laws as the economy improved until the nation was finally absorbed into what became the State of Oklahoma. 1806 describes the development of these events, relating anecdotes that involve some of the prominent personalities and describing communities and cities that merged into the early years of the 20th century.

About the Author:

Bruce Howell, an Oklahoma resident for the past 47 years and a retired educator, moved to Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees in 1996. His previous publications relating to the history  Northeastern Oklahoma include two volumes about personalities and events entitled, Echoes From the Past.

Beehives: A Suspense Novel

Jan 4th
Posted in Uncategorized

Beehives: A Suspense Novel by Mary Coley

Discussion & Book Signing

Saturday, January 16th, 11:00 AM

10-1BeeHives-4Award-winning Tulsa Author Mary Coley, who just released her third mystery, will be speaking in general about the CCC work in Oklahoma’s State Parks, and specifically about Osage Hills State Park, the setting for this mystery.

“I enjoy incorporating historic events into my mysteries,” said Coley, “which focus on family secrets. In Beehives: A Suspense Novel, I use the Civilian Conservation Corps history of Osage Hills (one of the original seven Oklahoma state parks) and tales of the Depression-era gangsters who frequented this area of Oklahoma, to provide some of the twists and turns of the mystery.”

The tagline for the book is: Her mother’s secret first love … a hermit’s terror … gangster’s loot. Can Jamie learn the connection between the three before the past comes back to kill her?

Mary Coley

Mary Coley

Coley’s first two books, Cobwebs and Ant Dens, have both been listed as finalists in the 2015 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. Additionally, Coley won a 2015 “Creative Woman of Oklahoma” award earlier this year from the Gamma State chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society of Key Educators for Cobwebs: A Suspense Novel.

Although the books are a series, featuring the same main character, each book stands alone, she said.

Mary’s books are available to purchase at the Historical Society. For more information about Mary Coley, visit her website,

Crystal Bridges Bus Trip

Dec 9th
Tags: Posted in Bus Trip, Past Events, Tour

Bus Trip to Crystal Bridges

Museum of American Art
Bentonville, Arkansas
Monday, April 25, 2016

Trip Itinerary

  • 8:00 a.m. Depart Tulsa Historical Society
  • 11:00 Self-guided tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright house, completed in 1956 for a New Jersey couple and moved to Crystal Bridges, will be offered at 11:00, 11:15, 12:30, and 12:45. Tours are limited to 12 people per tour. Tickets for each time slot will be provided.
  • 11:30 Pre-set lunch in the dining room
  • 1:00 p.m. Horticultural tour. A horticulturalist will share information about plants and trees planted on the grounds.
  • 2:00 “The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip,” a temporary exhibit. You have two hours to see the special exhibit and other galleries of Crystal Bridges and visit the gift shop.
  • 4:00 Leave for Tulsa
  • 7:30 ETA at THS

$110.00 per person for THS members
$135.00 per person for non-members
Deadline: April 1st
$25.00 Cancellation charge after April 1st
No refunds after April 15th

To make a reservation please submit payment with Disclaimer Form: Info & Disclaimer Form