Some of the most interesting places are located just a short drive off the main road. Sequoyah’s one-room log cabin in the beautiful forests and hills of eastern Oklahoma is just such a place.
Sequoyah is known as the inventor of the Cherokee’s nation’s written language. He built this cabin in 1829 shortly after his move to what is present-day Oklahoma.
Sequoyah was born about 1770 in Tennessee to a Cherokee mother and non-Indian father. Sequoyah was intrigued by “the fact that white men could convey messages by the use of writing or ‘talking leaves’…. Sequoyah came to realize that the Cherokee language is composed of a set number of reoccurring sounds. With this insight it was possible for him to identify and create a symbol for each sound, thus producing a syllabary rather than an alphabet.” After 12 years of work, in 1821 he completed the Cherokee syllabary.
The drive to the cabin takes visitors along some beautiful country roads. The first thing you notice when you enter the grounds is the air – it is clean, moist and just makes you feel good. The next things you notice are the well-maintained grounds followed by how solid the buildings are constructed. It is obvious this is a well loved and appreciated landmark.
The cabin is actually preserved inside a modern building. After opening the door of the outside building you enter a single open room; at the center is a hand-hewn log cabin, along with the walls, are displays about Sequoyah’s life and his work. What is nice about this exhibit is that visitors can actually step inside his cabin for a close-up view of the period furniture and items that would have been in his life. Unlike many places that hide stories from the past behind cold glass, this landmark is open, inviting and warm.
The people working at the landmark were all friendly.
Sequoyah’s cabin is located about 6 miles northeast of Sallisaw, Oklahoma, on State 101. The cabin and grounds are open Tuesday – Sunday. Check the website for hours. Admission is free.
The cabin is preserved as a National Historic Landmark.
A special ‘thank you’ to Arethia Stann for her introduction to this great place and a tour of the surrounding countryside. Wado, Arethia!
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Reference: “Sequoyah’s Cabin” brochure.