This area was made famous as the gateway to the Cherokee Strip Land Rush that was later called “The Largest Race in World History.” This movement attracted settlers from all over the world. Over 110,000 people came by covered wagon, bicycle, car, horseback, and on foot to race for a fertile piece of the seven million acres. Arkansas City was the largest of the registration points for the Run with over 75,000 eager land seekers and their families moving to the city to participate.
The Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum began in an effort to preserve the history of the Cherokee Strip Land Rush of September 16, 1893, and the cultures of those who lived in the strip.
It is the mission of the Museum to also help preserve our local history. Our local history has a rich past and connections with that of the Native Americans, the westward pioneers, the Cowley County citizens, and the late Governor Robert Docking. Prehistoric relics round out the exhibit. Approximately 21,000 artifacts, pictures and documents are housed in the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum for exhibit and research.
The Gov. Robert Docking Memorial Library and Cowley County Genealogy Library are located inside the Museum. rn