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Press Release

March 15, 2024

Contact: Calista Stephens
Fort Towson Historic Site, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 580-873-2634

1840s Eclipse Watch Party at the Fort Towson Historic Site

FORT TOWSON, Okla. — The Fort Towson Historic Site will host an eclipse watch party with a period encampment on Monday, April 8, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The event costs $10 per person at the gate, with no charge for military personnel, Oklahoma Historical Society members or children under six. The site will only accept cash at the gate. NASA estimates the Fort Towson Historic Site and areas of southeastern Oklahoma will see the partial eclipse between 12:28 p.m. and 3:06 p.m., with three minutes and 47 seconds of totality between 1:45 and 1:50 p.m. on April 8.

To accommodate guests traveling to the area to experience the historic total solar eclipse, the site will be open every day between Tuesday, April 2, and Saturday, April 13, including Sunday, April 7. Regular admission fees apply.

On April 8, guests can spend the day exploring the scenic site and learning about Fort Towson’s role in westward expansion. Fort Towson was established in 1824 to quell conflicts between lawless elements, Native American peoples and settlers. The fort was also an important outpost and staging area for U.S. forces during the Mexican-American War of 1846. Fort Towson was closed in 1854 before being used as the Confederate headquarters for General Sam Bell Maxey during the Civil War. The site will come to life with 1840s-era tents, living historians in uniform and historic demonstrations.

Solar eclipse glasses will be available for purchase at the site while supplies last. Experts say eye burns are the most common injury during events like this. The entry gates to Fort Towson Historic Site will be open from 8 a.m.-noon on the day of the eclipse, with the gates and museum closing from noon-2:30 p.m. to allow everyone to enjoy the solar eclipse without interruption from additional incoming guests. OHS members are guaranteed admission as long as they are in line by noon. Memberships start at $35 and can be purchased online prior to the eclipse. An OHS membership gives you free admission to all of OHS’ 24 museums and historic sites across the state for one year, among other things.

For more information, call 580-873-2634 or email fttowson@history.ok.gov. The Fort Towson Historic Site is located at 896 N. 4375 Rd. in Fort Towson.

Fort Towson 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.


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