The History After Dark guided candlelight cemetery tours of Ross Cemetery in Park Hill, Okla., was presented by the Cherokee Heritage Center and the Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism department on October 16-17, 2009, and October 23-24, 2009, and hosted more than 400 guests throughout its four-evening run. Interpretative actors portrayed several of the high-ranking leaders of the Cherokee Nation including Principal Chief John Ross, members of the Murrell family, Ross family, and several survivors from the Trail of Tears and featured, from left, Ben Elder as John McDonald Ross, the nephew of Chief John Ross and the son of Lewis Ross; Lee Keener as Lewis Ross, brother of Chief John Ross, who served the Cherokee government in various capacities including Supreme Court justice; and Lauren Jones as Minerva Ross Murrell, the oldest daughter of Lewis and Fannie Ross.

Cherokee Nation Presents 3rd Annual History After Dark


Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism will be presenting their 3rd annual History After Dark, an interactive guided historical tour of the John Ross Museum, Owen School and Park Hill, Oklahoma, with a unique Civil War perspective. The tours take place every 30 minutes from 6-10 p.m. with the last tour departing at 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 21–22, from the Cherokee Heritage Center.

There will also be fall festival cultural activities for families both before and after the tour at the Cherokee Heritage Center, including storytelling and face painting.

“The guided historic tours provide a unique opportunity for guests to share in storytelling, which is a time-honored Cherokee tradition,” said Molly Jarvis, Vice President of Cultural Tourism at Cherokee Nation Entertainment in a press release. “History After Dark is a celebration of Cherokee heritage and culture that offers a rare point of view into the lives of some of our most respected Cherokee ancestors. This year we’ll also take a unique look into their roles during the Civil War.”

The experience begins at the John Ross Museum which features exhibits and interactive displays that highlight the life of John Ross, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation for more than 38 years. Exhibits include the Trail of Tears, Civil War, Cherokee Golden Age and Cherokee Nation’s passion for the education of its people.

History After Dark presents a unique chance for guests to visit Owen School and hear stories of earlier generations with portrayals highlighting notable figures from Cherokee history including:

John MacDonald Ross – Son of Lewis Ross; first person buried in Ross Cemetery in 1842.

Lewis Ross – Brother of Principal Chief John Ross; wealthy businessman and political figure.

Robert Bruce and Fannie Ross – Husband and wife; he was the grandson of Principal Chief John Ross and fought during the Civil War. Fannie supported the opposite side of the Civil War.

Return Robert Meigs – Grandson of Principal Chief John Ross; hid in the chimney of his mother’s house while Confederate forces tried to burn it down.

Jane Ross Meigs Nave – Daughter of Principal Chief John Ross and mother of Return Robert Meigs; she left the Cherokee Nation for Pennsylvania during the Civil War.

Principal Chief John Ross – Principal Chief for 38 1/2 years; Fled the Cherokee Nation during the Civil War and fought for the nation’s sovereign rights from Washington D.C. during the war.

The Cherokee Heritage Center is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive, Tahlequah, OK 74464. For complete tour details, ticketing and additional information on the Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism program, call (877) 779-6977 or visit

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