The Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum is located ½ mile south of Arkansas City, Ks on Hwy 77. The mission of the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum is to collect, preserve, and interpret, natural material culture and documentary items which focus on the history and development of the South-Central Kansas and North-Central Oklahoma areas as it relates to Arkansas City. The emphases will include Native Americans, Land Settlement, and the Cherokee Strip/Outlet Run.
The Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum was organized in 1966 by the Arkansas City chapter of the Jaycees as one of their community projects. The museum opened on July 23, 1966. Their Grand opening was held on July 23 and 24th. They didn’t hold their first celebration until September when they originated the Pioneer Festival and BBQ.
The Arkansas City Chapter of the Jaycees was the second chapter chartered in the United States and is currently the oldest active chapter in the country. In 1966, the Jaycees set up a very active board of directors and attained their non-profit 501(c)3 status. The legal name for the museum was the Cherokee Strip Living Museum. In 1986, the museum changed its legal name to the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum.
When setting up the museum, the Jaycees purchased a bowling alley south of Arkansas City on US Hwy 77. It was purchased for the sum of $14,000.00. The same site is where the museum is currently located.