Only 40 miles south of Ada, you will find the quaint town of Tishomingo. This city is a beautiful, historic gem rich in old western character, history, natural beauty and southern hospitality. The town, named in honor of the heroic Chickasaw Chief, Tishomingo, preserves and cherishes its native roots.
Exploring the Past & Present of Tishomingo
Tishomingo, Oklahoma, is a beautiful historic gem nestled in the heart of south-central Oklahoma. This quaint town infused with an old western character is rich in history, natural beauty, and southern hospitality. Tishomingo was named in honor of the heroic Chickasaw Indian Chief Tishomingo, who died of smallpox on the Trail of Tears after removal and the town has preserved and cherished it’s native roots throughout the years. Tishomingo was the historic capitol of the Chickasaw Nation from 1856 until Oklahoma statehood in 1907.
The Chickasaw National Capitol Building was built in 1898, of local red granite from the Pennington Creek quarry of Governor R.M. Harris and stands today as a historic museum honoring the Chickasaw tribe. Located next to the Capitol Building is the Chickasaw Nation Council House Museum, which holds one of the largest collections of Chickasaw art, artifacts, and archive materials. Natural elements compliment the surroundings of Tishomingo, as the soft rolling streams of Pennington Creek flow through the town with bustles of trees and natural foliage lining the roads. Pennington Park is a 15 acre city park along the creek featuring a playground area, a new kid’s splash pad, overnight camping and RV hookups, gazebos and pavilions, and scenic walkways. The clear spring-fed Blue River that runs 11 miles northeast of Tishomingo is a public fishing and hunting area with seasonally stocked trout and channel catfish. The 16,464 acre National Wildlife Refuge located on the outer edge of town offers hiking, fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities from daylight to dark. The Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery located on the northwest outskirts of Tishomingo raises various aquatic fish including paddlefish, catfish, alligator gar, alligator snapping turtles, largemouth bass, and sunfish. Tishomingo is also home to Murray State College, a public community college offering numerous transfer, educational, and vocational programs for students.
Tishomingo is hopping with exciting local events happening throughout the year. The Chickasaw Annual Meeting and Festival is the cultural event of the year that celebrates the Chickasaw Nation and its unique heritage in Tishomingo. Make plans to attend Saturday, October 1st! The festival includes demonstrations on cultural significance, traditional food tasting, children's activities, arts and crafts, and a variety of food vendors. Also in October, look forward to the Bill Century Bike Ride in honor of “Alfalfa Bill” Murray, one of Oklahoma’s most colorful governors. Tishomingo celebrates Veterans Day and President’s Day with a two-day fishing extravaganza at the annual Blue River Trout Derby.
The dining venues in Tishomingo offer a delectable, diverse palette of cuisine unique to what you would find at typical “chain” restaurants. Blue River Ribs and The Rockin’ Rib are famous barbeque and fall-off-the-bone rib joints that keep mouths watering for locals and travelers alike. Gonzalez Mexican restaurant is located on Main Street offering an array of authentic Mexican dishes. Enter the swinging doors of the old western Cattle Trail Saloon at Sipokni West and enjoy some down-home southern cooking.
Strolling down the old-fashioned main street of Tishomingo, you will find several charming boutiques such as The Baker’s Mercantile and Murray on Main. Also, country music sensation Miranda Lambert opened two down home establishments with rock star flair- The Ladysmith, a bed and breakfast, and The Pink Pistol, a chic boutique!
Plan your next visit to Tishomingo and enjoy the warm welcome of small-town hospitality with a charismatic blend of history, beauty, and nature!