August 30, 2022
Riverside Keelboat Living History Demonstrations at Fort Gibson Historic Site
FORT GIBSON, Okla. — On Friday, September 16, and Saturday, September 17, join the staff and volunteers at Fort Gibson Historic Site as they demonstrate the operations of a keelboat during a special riverside living history program. The tours to the riverside will run at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on both days.
These riverside demonstrations will show visitors the skills needed to operate a keelboat, which was the way goods and supplies were originally delivered to Fort Gibson. Guests are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes for a short hike to the riverside to meet historians who will explain the mechanical advantages of pulley systems in water travel and transport. Participants will learn how the speed of keelboats was measured before the advent of the speedometer through interactive presentations by the staff and volunteers.
While waiting for the riverside tours, guests can tour Fort Gibson Historic Site as staff and volunteers conduct programs on the palisade grounds. The Commissary, Bakehouse, Magazine and Barracks, as well as the many furnished rooms located within the palisade walls, will be open for viewing. For more details or to learn how to purchase tickets to the keelboat demonstrations, visit the events section of the Fort Gibson Historic Site Facebook page at facebook.com/fortgibsonhistoricsite or call 918-478-4088.
When Fort Gibson was established in 1824, it was the westernmost military outpost of its day. With 300–500 hundred troops stationed there, the fort was a supply point and bustling center for the trade activity of settlers, fur traders and Indian Territory nations due to its location along the old Texas Road and the steamboat traffic that passed nearby on the Arkansas River.
Fort Gibson Historic Site, a National Historic Landmark, is located at 907 N. Garrison Ave. in Fort Gibson. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for students aged 5–18. Active-duty military and veterans with military ID, as well as members of the OHS with membership card, enjoy free admission.
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.