Oklahoma's National Register of Historic Places

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ID Number 83002092
Historic Name LEWIS ROSS / CHEROKEE ORPHAN ASYLUM SPRINGHOUSE
Description of Significance THE SPRING HOUSE IS ONE OF THE OLDEST EXTANT PROPERTIES IN THE STATE AND IS IMPORTANT FOR ITS ASSOCIATION WITH LEWIS ROSS, A PROMINENT CHEROKEE WHO ESTABLISHED THE FIRST SALT WORKS IN INDIAN TERRITORY AND DISCOVERED THE FIRST NON-COMMERCIAL OIL WELL IN 1859. LEWIS ROSS SETTLED IN THE AREA AROUND 1838, BUILDING A HOUSE AND SPRING HOUSE SOON AFTER. THE 1844 SPRING HOUSE IS AN OCTAGONALLY SHAPED STRUCTURE BUILT OF NATIVE STONE BLOCKS. THE ROOF HAS AN OCTAGONAL BASE WITH GENTLY PITCHED SLOPES RISING TO A PEAK. THE ROOF IS COVERED IN WOOD SHINGLES. THE BUILDING IS APPROXIMATELY 8 FEET IN HEIGHT. AN OPEN AIR ENTRANCE IS LOCATED ON THE NORTH SIDE AND THERE ARE TWO WINDOW OPENINGS. IN 1873, THE CHEROKEE NATION ACQUIRED THE PROPERTY IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH AN ORPHANAGE. THE ORPHANAGE USED THE SPRING HOUSE FOR ITS WATER AND AS FOOD STORAGE. THE ROSS HOME WAS DESTROYED BY FIRE IN 1903, BUT THE SPRING HOUSE REMAINS. LISTED IN NATIONAL REGISTER 8/18/1983.
Current Name THE BLOCKHOUSE
Address OFF OK 20
City SALINA VICINITY
County MAYES
Lot
Block
Current Section
Township
Range
Type BUILDING
Historic Function INDUSTRY/PROCESSING/EXTRACTION: WATER WORKS
Current Function RECREATION AND CULTURE: OUTDOOR RECREATION: PARK
Area Signficance 1 ETHNIC HERITAGE: NATIVE AMERICAN
Area Significance 2 EXPLORATION/SETTLEMENT
Date Prepared JANUARY 1983
Year Built 1844
Original Site YES
Architect/Builder ROSS, LEWIS - BUILDER
Architectural Style NO DISTINCTIVE STYLE
Roof Material WOOD
Wall Material STONE
Window Material N/A
Door Material N/A
Decorative Details
Condition GOOD
Comments DOCUMENTATION SOURCES (CONT): MURIEL WRIGHT, GEORGE SHIRK, AND KENNY FRANKS, MARK OF HERITAGE, OKLAHOMA CITY: OKLAHOMA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 1976, P.44; JOHN W. MORRIS AND CHARLES GOINS, HISTORICAL ATLAS OF OKLAHOMA, NORMAN: UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA PRESS, 1976, P. 36; ARRELL M. GIBSON, OKLAHOMA: A HISTORY OF FIVE CENTURIES, NORMAN: HARLOW PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1965, P.274
Restricted N