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Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Aerials & Maps

Researching for sites to go metal detecting can be fun in itself. The more information you can gather will give you a better understanding of the history of an area. Today’s example is in the Tulsa area. And yes, much of the old sites around Tulsa have been built over, some several times. This first image is a 1954 aerial of Section 36 T20N R13E just South of Pine off the end of the main runway at Tulsa International Airport. The resolution is not the greatest, the 1930’s aerials are much better if you have access to them. Below it is the 2013 aerial of the same area.

You can see many homes that are no longer there. The old Ross School was built over by Builders Square and the building is now an American Airlines shop. And the expressways have been built over many sites.

These next two images are the 1954 and 1972 USGS Topo maps of the same area.

The General Land Office (GLO) Township plats and surveyor’s field notes for Indian Territory can sometimes give you more information. It just depends on who was the contract surveyor. Some were very detailed, others not so much. For this area, not so much. But the Dawes commission used the GLO plats when their assessors were mapping and assessing all improvements prior to making the allotments. This last image is of the Cherokee Allotments for Section 36 T20N R13E.

The names on the plat are the original Cherokee allotee and the number is their Dawes Roll enrollment number. The markups in red are made by me. The “H” symbols that I have circled in red are all marking homesites at the time of the Dawes assessment. It is possible that some of these homesites predate the Civil War. The majority of the allotments were finalized 1905 to 1907. And by the images you can see that there are still some areas that can be detected. And there are still thousands of other sites just in the confines of the old Indian Territory to be researched.

Aerials & maps are just two research tools to use. County history books, county genealogical society sites, university & college sites, WPA Pioneer-Indian Interviews, WPA Slave Narratives, and way too many more to list are becoming available on the internet. It is almost as much fun as working puzzles with my grandmother on a rainy day when I was a kid!

So give it a try!

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