Okmulgee is a Muscogee Creek word, meaning “bubbling water.” Okmulgee began as Indian Territory in the 1800’s. The Muscogee Creek Tribe, following the trail of tears, were relocated to the Okmulgee area. Still today, Okmulgee is honored to be the capitol of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. In the mid 1800’s, the Creek Council House (the tribal house of government for the Creek tribe) was built in Okmulgee and our community’s first mercentile stores and businesses built up around the Council House. Today, the Creek Council House, a National Historic Landmark, is a wonderful museum, showcasing Muscogee (Creek) art and history.
In the early 1900’s-1930’s, Okmulgee was an oil boomtown. The oil flowing freely in Okmulgee also brought with it beautiful architecture, grand buildings, and mansions…many of which are still present in our community today, in the downtown and beyond. The downtown district is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Downtown Okmulgee was also recognized in 2002 as one of the top five Great American Main Streets in the country.