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Overview

Under a sturdy oak tree in 1836, a band of Creek Indians rekindled the ashes of a ceremonial fire they had carried over the Trail of Tears. The new settlement became known as Tulsa from the Creek Indian word "Tullahassee" or "Talahassee," meaning "old town." Officially incorporated on Jan. 18, 1898, the small town on the banks of the Arkansas River became the "Oil Capital of the World" when oil was discovered in 1901. Almost overnight, oilmen made fortunes from black gold. In 1927, local businessman Cyrus Avery dreamed of a road linking Chicago to California. His dream became Route 66 and Tulsa earned the honor of being the "Birthplace of ...

Under a sturdy oak tree in 1836, a band of Creek Indians rekindled the ashes of a ceremonial fire they had carried over the Trail of Tears. The new settlement became known as Tulsa from the Creek Indian word "Tullahassee" or "Talahassee," meaning "old town." Officially incorporated on Jan. 18, 1898, the small town on the banks of the Arkansas River became the "Oil Capital of the World" when oil was discovered in 1901. Almost overnight, oilmen made fortunes from black gold. In 1927, local businessman Cyrus Avery dreamed of a road linking Chicago to California. His dream became Route 66 and Tulsa earned the honor of being the "Birthplace of Route 66." With an amazing 140 city parks spread over 6,000 acres — including Mohawk Park, the third largest municipal park in the nation — Tulsa also has been nicknamed "Green Country." Little pockets of outdoor serenity can be found everywhere. A small city in itself, Oral Roberts University was established in 1963 and is a landmark with its 200-foot glass and steel prayer tower and seven-story diamond-shaped library and graduate center complex. At the entrance to the university is a 60-foot bronze statue of praying hands. At the entrance to the Tulsa County Fairgrounds, the 76-foot Golden Driller pays homage to the city's oil heritage. Stop by the Tulsa Spotlight Theatre to see the longest-running play in America. Encouraging audience participation, "The Drunkard" melodrama has been in regular production since 1953.

Jackie Finch
About the Expert

Jackie Sheckler Finch has written several guidebooks, including The Unofficial Guide to Campgrounds in the Great Lakes States, and four times she was named Travel Writer of the Year by Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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Jackie Finch for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    End of September, beginning of October for Tulsa State Fair