New business ready to tour

Robert Smith rsmith@pawhuskajournalcapital.com
Kilan Jacobs, left, and Scott Trotter, right, are ready to take you on a unique tour of Pawhuska that emphasizes Osage history and culture.

As Pawhuska’s revitalization continues to draw national and international attention, new ideas are surfacing for sharing the historical and cultural riches of the community with the wider world.

Among the latest is a new tour venture that businessman Scott Trotter and Osage Nation employee Kilan Jacobs are developing. The tour enterprise is being called “The Pawhuska Guide.”

Jacobs, 32, who works in the Osage Nation Historic Preservation Office, is the primary guide for the initial tour that has been in the process of development. He is a speaker of the Osage language and has detailed knowledge of the history and culture of the Osage people.

Trotter and Jacobs intended to conduct their official first day of tour activities last Saturday, but forecasts of poor weather caused them to cancel for that day. They are hoping to begin this weekend, but for the latest tour-booking details visit www.pawhuskaguide.com, or call Trotter at 918-813-0800 if you have special requests that go beyond the basic tour information.

Tours are planned from 10 a.m. to noon, and 1-3 p.m. every Saturday.

Trotter indicated he hopes to develop several tours, but the first one is focused around Osage history, with special attention to the “Osage Reign of Terror,” as chronicled by David Grann in his book on the subject, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Trotter explained there has been communication and coordination with Grann and with Dannette Daniels, owner of the Water Bird Gallery, regarding details of the tour.

Trotter clarified that while details regarding the “reign of terror” will be shared, the tours will not visit potentially disturbing sites, such as places where murders were committed.

“This whole thing was a gamble,” Trotter says, adding that it looks like the details are coming together. He and Jacobs recently gave a somewhat scaled-down version of their tour to a small group. As Trotter drove the converted miniature school bus that has been colofully repainted for tour use, Jacobs donned his headset and began to provide details of the historical backgrounds of local institutions, such as the Catholic Church.

Jacobs talked about how the oil wealth of the Osage people sparked the curiosity of people from across the U.S., and drew them to Pawhuska.

“People wanted to come and see all this money,” he said. Jacobs also explained the history of the name “Pawhuska” and talked about unusual features of the local landscape, including tunnels that were created to allow people to move about undetected on the streets.

Trotter took a turn at the storytelling part of the activity, offering details about notorious train robber Elmer McCurdy, who was mummified following his death.

The tour also included a drive around the outskirts of the Pawhuska Indian Village, or Indian Camp, and a brief lesson about respect for the exclusivity of that portion of the local area, as a special zone meant for the use of the Osage people.