In August of 1897, 100 men gathered on the square of Tahlequah to form the forerunner of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce, the Commercial Club of Tahlequah. These men also elected, at that time, the first Board of Directors of the Commercial Club. All those elected were pioneer settlers and property owners.
The Commercial Club was re-organized twice more, once in 1902 and once again in 1907. And, by 1914, the club had grown to 161 members.
In 1928, the Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce was organized. It took the place of the old Commercial Club. While the former Commercial Club had been partially formed to promote social interaction between its members, the Chamber of Commerce would devote itself full time to promoting the growth of Tahlequah. Assisting in this effort was the local Kiwanis Club which had been organized in 1924.
In August 1954, the Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce was incorporated by the State of Oklahoma.
In August 1994, the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce relocated to its current location – 123 East Delaware. The building, built in 1936 at a cost of $24,000, was the one time home of our local post office. After the post office moved to its current location, the building served as the accounting department of First Bank & Trust Co. and was donated to the Chamber by Bank IV.
In 2015, the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce is as strong as it has ever been. Today, we have more than 530 members who are committed to promoting Tahlequah. The Chamber is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of sixteen elected representatives from the membership, and three ex-officio members.
Past presidents include Bob Ed Culver, Bill Hinds, Clay Felts, Ralph Lynch, Blake Purdy, Allen Mills, Maryanne Carter, Jack Spears, and many others. Kathy (Miller) Perry, of Bank of America, was the first elected female president of the Chamber. Perry was elected in 1979.
Tahlequah has grown a lot since those men gathered on the square more than one hundred years ago. Our growth as a city is due to the hard work of the men and women who came before us. Your Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce is as committed today to hard work as they were. Chamber members across the community have been generous and dedicated.
The Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to enhancing Tahlequah and promoting Tahlequah to tourists, potential new residents, and potential new businesses. The Chamber works closely with the city to facilitate and encourage growth throughout the area.
If you are not a chamber member, you are invited to join the Chamber of Commerce. If the chamber can be of service to you, please feel free to contact the chamber at 918.456.3742.