January 9, 2019
Director Named for Fort Gibson Historic Site
FORT GIBSON, Okla. — Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) Executive Director Dr. Bob Blackburn announced that Omar Reed has been named director of Fort Gibson National Historic Landmark. Reed joined the staff at Fort Gibson in 2004 as an interpreter. His programs on the history of the fort, Buffalo Soldiers, the First Kansas Colored Infantry, Bass Reeves and Indian removal are always in demand.
“The director position has remained vacant since David Fowler was promoted to regional director for the OHS,” said Blackburn. “In this position Fowler oversees operations at several OHS facilities as well as serving as director of Hunter’s Home in Park Hill. In order to accelerate development at Fort Gibson the decision was made to place Reed directly in charge of operations at Fort Gibson.”
“Programming at the fort has declined over the past several years due to extended restoration work on the buildings and severe operational budget cuts,” continued Blackburn. “Over the past ten years the OHS has faced a 48 percent budget cut. The cut led to reduction in staffing and a loss of programming funds. As the staff numbers declined, Reed continued to step up and take on additional duties to keep the site in operation.”
“We are looking toward a bright future for the fort as the rehabilitation of the hospital is completed,” said Fowler. “Once the visitor center and staff offices are relocated to the hospital, the commissary will be redeveloped to provide interpretation on feeding and supplying the army. To continue to advance the development of the site and refocus on programming, we felt it was important to have someone on site whose primary focus is the fort.”
“I love coming to the fort to work,” said Reed. “You can’t really understand Oklahoma history without understanding Fort Gibson’s place in it. Working here I get to share that with people from all over the state and the world.”
Fort Gibson Historic Site, a National Historic Landmark, is located at 907 N. Garrison Ave. in Fort Gibson. The site is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the site, please call 918-478-4088, visit www.okhistory.org/fortgibson or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fort Gibson Historic Site is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.