Historic Markers Across Alabama

Cherokee Council House Museum

Marker ID:  
Location: near Oakville, Alabama
County: Lawrence
Coordinates: N 34° 26.641    W 087° 10.7
  34.44401666    -87.17833333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMNCWQ


The Oakville Indians Mounds Museum is based on a seven sided Cherokee council house. This type of council house was used during the cooler months and an open sided rectangular pavilion during warmer weather. The descriptions used for the museum's construction came from Lt. Henry Timberlake, who visited the Cherokee capitol at Chota in 1761 and William Bartram who visited Cowe in 1765. Timberlake's description " The townhouse, in which are transacted all public business and diversions, is raised with wood, and covered over with earth and has all the appearance of a small mountain at a little distance. It is built in the form of a sugar loaf, and large enough to contain 500 persons, but extremely dark, having besides the door, which is narrow that but one at a time can pass, and that after much winding and turning, but that most of it settles in the ancient amphitheater, the seats being raised one above another, leaving an area in the middle in the center of which stands the fire: the seats of the head warriors are nearest it." The seven sides represent the matrilineal clans of the Cherokee: Wild Potato, Long Hair , Paint, Wolf, Deer, Bird and Blue.

Erected by Lawrence County Historical Commission Inc.


More Information:
Wikipedia - William Bartram
William Bartram 1739-1823
Official web site of the Bartram Trail Conference

End of Cherokee Council House Museum