11 Most Endangered Historic Places
Year Listed: 2000
Location: Millerton, Oklahoma
Threat: Deterioration, Neglect
Wheelock Academy was founded in 1833, shortly after the forced migration known as the Trail of Tears. Alfred and Harriet Wright, New England missionaries, made their way west with Choctaws who had been forced out of Mississippi. The Wrights started a Presbyterian mission school for Native American girls and boys, worshiping under a large oak tree before Wheelock Academy was built. Wright and the Choctaws envisioned a school that would do more than the typical mission school. They wanted to go beyond rudimentary vocational skills and literacy and succeeded in developing a sophisticated educational program. Today, weather and a lack of funding threaten the academy's historic buildings. Decades of water damage and poor maintenance have caused heavy damage to roofs, walls and foundations.