In 1818, Tahlonteskee, Chief of the Western Cherokee, requested the establishment of a mission in the west, to serve the Old Settlers who moved west to Indian Territory prior to the Trail of Tears. Two years later, Dwight Mission, the first American mission to the Native Americans established west of the Mississippi River, opened near present-day Russellville, Arkansas.
When the Western Cherokee were forced to move further west out of Arkansas Territory and into Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), the Cherokee asked the mission to move as well. Its present location near Marble City, OK was opened in 1830 and operated as a school until 1948. Since 1950, the mission has served as a retreat camp.
Photos Copyright Christina Berry, All Things Cherokee
Dwight Mission Travel Details
The site is open year-round. However during the summer, and some weekends throughout the year the grounds play host to retreats and camps. It’s best to call ahead and ask if sightseeing is permitted before leaving for your visit.
Dwight Mission is just northwest of Sallisaw, Oklahoma. If you’re looking for a comfortable place to stay the night, check out Expedia for nearby lodging.
Directions: The Mission is on Dwight Mission Road just outside of Marble City, Oklahoma. For specific directions, click the “Directions” link in the location bubble of the map above and enter your starting location on the left.
GPS & Map: 35.5497561727171,-94.84896183013916