Candle-Making Demonstrations at Fort Gibson Historic Site

Oklahoma Historical Society - September 6, 2022 9:27 am

Image: Oklahoma Historical Society

FORT GIBSON, Okla. — On Friday, September 23, and Saturday, September 24, from 10 a.m. to noon and again from 1 to 3 p.m., the staff and volunteers at Fort Gibson Historic Site will present a living history program centered on the use of candles. Visitors will have the opportunity to watch a candle-making demonstration in the palisade kitchens while learning about the differences between candles made of beeswax and those made of tallow. In candle making, wick preparation is the key to longer-burning candles, and the use of herbs and scents with candlewax was a 19th-century method of keeping pests away. This program is included in the price of admission.

Before the advent of electricity, soldiers and civilians alike used fire in its many forms to light up the darkness on the frontier. People on post at Fort Gibson used candles, lamps and the light of their fireplaces to complete their evening tasks such as reading, writing, sewing and mending.

Other buildings that are open for touring at the site are the Commissary, Bakehouse, Magazine and Barracks, as well as the many furnished rooms located within the palisade walls. Fort Gibson Historic Site, located at 907 N. Garrison Ave. in Fort Gibson, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for students aged 5–18. Active-duty military and veterans with military ID, as well as members of the OHS with membership card, enjoy free admission. Please call 918-478-4088 for more information.

Fort Gibson Historic Site is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit


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