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ODOT Grant: Fort to receive nearly $1M for restoration

ODOT Grant: Fort to receive nearly $1M for restoration

By Liz McMahan
Muskogee Phoenix Staff Writer

August 26, 2009 01:06 am

Nearly $1 million will be spent over the next few months in the restoration and redesign of Fort Gibson Historic Site, said Dr. Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society.

The money includes a grant from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation through its Transportation Enhancement Program, Blackburn said. The application had the support of State Sen. Earl Garrison, D-Muskogee, and Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee.
The balance of the funding — about $200,000 — will come from Save America's Treasures, a public-private partnership between the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The stockade portion of the park was built in the 1930s as a Works Progress Administration project. It is a replica of the original fort built in 1824 and is about two-thirds the size of the original.

The grant funds will be used for a number of projects throughout the site, Blackburn said, including replacement of several rotted logs on the north side of the stockade.

Also planned is repair to stone structures on Garrison Hill and renovation of the old military post hospital. That building now stands vacant. When the project is complete, it will be open to visitors, Blackburn said.

The renovations also will include moving the site’s interpretative center out of the old commissary building on Garrison Hill and back into the stockade, Blackburn said.

The interpretive items will tell visitors the significance of what they are seeing.
“Even after hours, we want somebody to enjoy that site,” Blackburn said.

By the numbers

Visitors to Fort Gibson Historic Site by fiscal year ending June 30:
• 2009 — 9,795, including 817 from out of state.
• 2008 — 11,824, including 720 from out of state.
• 2002 — 11,978, including 664 from out of state.

Source: Oklahoma Historical Society, Museum and Site Division.

Reach Liz McMahan at 918-684-2926 orClick Here to Send Email

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