Tullahassee Mission Site
Tullahassee Mission Site
|Built||March 1, 1850|
|Built by||Rev. Robert Loughridge|
|NRHP Reference #||71000674|
|Added to NRHP||1971|
The Tullahassee Mission was founded on March 1, 1850 by Rev. Robert Loughridge. The mission was originally built for the Creek Indians, but after a devastating fire the Creeks left Tullahassee and the mission and gave it to their former African slaves.
The Creek Indians were initially opposed to all missionaries and the establishment of schools, but after seeing the works of the Koweta Mission the Creeks to allow the creation of another mission northwest of Muskogee. The Creeks said they would pay one-fifth while the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions would pay the rest of the cost. Rev. Loughridge chose the site for Tullahassee Mission and purchased 70 acres (280,000 m2) of land from Thomas Marshall. On this site was constructed a brick building that was three stories and housed eighty students. The school opened in 1850 and operated for the next two decades as a boarding school to train Creek and Seminole freedmen.
The main building was largely destroyed by fire in December 1880. The Creek Council relocated the boarding school for Creek children to a new site, and offered the former school and its improved 100 acres (0.40 km2) plot to the Creek freedmen as a school for their children. The council also funded the replacement of the burned-out main building. The school reopened in 1883 as Tullahassee Manual Labor School, with additional funding from the Baptist Home Mission Society.
The Creek Nation transferred all Creek children to another school (Wealaka Mission) and turned over the former mission building to Creek freedmen on October 24, 1881. Tullahassee Manual Labor School was the only school for freedmen to remain open after the Creek Nation government was dissolved in 1906. Ownership passed to the U.S. Department of the Interior, who sold it to Wagoner County, Oklahoma in 1914. In 1916, the African Methodist Episcopal Church established Flipper Davis College, which moved into the former mission building. This was then the only private school for African Americans in Oklahoma. The college closed at the end of the 1935 school year.
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