Downtown Tahlequah provides the town with many restaurants (some largely renown) and parks with ongoing activities and relaxing atmospheres. Tahlequah is located in the “Lakes Country” of Northeastern Oklahoma in Cherokee County, with a population of 16,174 according to the 2020 census. The City of Tahlequah is the oldest municipality in Oklahoma by virtue of an incorporation act by the Cherokee National Council of 1843, more than half a century before Oklahoma gained statehood.
Tahlequah has the distinction of being the capital of both The Cherokee Nation and The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. Tahlequah is unique in its location, centered in the midst of the Illinois River Valley, with Lake Tenkiller and Lake Fort Gibson close by to provide unlimited recreation and beautiful scenery for the enjoyment of our citizens as well as the many tourists and travelers who pass our way. The name, according to legend, derives from the Cherokee word “Ta’ligwu” meaning “just two,” or “two is enough.” The “two” refers to a meeting between elders that presumably took place shortly after the Trail of Tears. Three tribal elders had planned to meet to determine the location of the Cherokee Nation’s permanent capital. Two elders arrived and waited for the third. As dusk approached, they decided that “two is enough.”
Northeastern State University and the Headquarters of the Cherokee Nation are also located here and are great assets to our area, providing many job opportunities. The natural beauty and rich heritage of this part of the country are unsurpassed.
The City of Tahlequah presently has a total work force of one hundred and eighty eight positions which include nine elected officials, one hundred thirty full time positions, twenty nine part time positions and twenty volunteer firefighters.
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