Star House, Home of Chief Quanah. Cache, Oklahoma.

I recently had a friend give me a gift of the  book called, “Empire of the Summer Moon.” It is a history of the Southern Plains which encompases most of the State of Texas. I love history and I love Photography so business travel lets me supplement my travels with my interests and capture the memories of both. The book is actually amazing and it is an important part of our American History that is not being taught in our schools. The Commanches were considered by the European immigrants as bararians and ruthless foes. They were deemed the greatest fighting force in the world on horseback. No one could match them. There lifestyle was based on being nomads that preyed on Europeans, and  Americans pioneers expanding West as well as other native Americans. I thought the Apache Indians were rough and tough. But they were fearful of the Comanche and were driven out of the Southern plains West to Arizona. Their  woman and children were traded as slaves for several centuries along with whites and Mexicans that were made slaves and also included in the Comanche tribe.

This part of my blog shows the end of my journey. Because of my recent travel, I have documented this part of the history first. The area around Fort Sill Oklahoma. Later I will work backwards as I explore where the war started in May of 1836 near Baylor University at Fort Parker.

The Quanah Parker Star House, with stars painted on its the roof, is located in the city of Cache, county of Comanche, in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places listings in Comanche County, Oklahoma, in 1970.

Built by Comanche chief Quanah Parker circa 1890, the structure was purchased by his daughter Mrs. Birdsong upon Parker’s 1911 death. Originally located near the Wichita Mountains north of Cache on Fort Sill’s west range, Birdsong moved the house from its original location to Cache and sold it to Herbert Woesner in 1958. Although no one can be certain why Parker painted the stars on his roof, lore has it that he meant it as a display of rank and importance equal to a military general.The Preservation Oklahoma organization has listed the Star House as endangered.

After Parker’s surrender in 1875, he lived for many years in a reservation tipi. Parker decided that he needed living quarters more befitting his status among the Comanches, and more suitable to his position as a spokesperson for the white cattle owners. In order to accommodate his multiple wives and children, this two-story eight-bedroom clapboard house with ten-foot ceilings and a picket fence was constructed for Parker. Request for financial assistance was denied by the United States government. Parker’s friends in the cattle business, in particular Four Sixes Ranch ownerSamuel Burk Burnett, financed the building of the house. The cost of construction was slightly over $2,000 ($48,000 in 2010, adjusted for inflation). In his formal wallpapered dining room with its wood-burning stove, Parker entertained white business associates, celebrities and tribal members alike. Among his celebrated visitors was Theodore Roosevelt. Parker was a founding supporter of the Native American Church. His home was often the scene of practitioners who sought him out for spiritual advice. Parker fed hungry tribal members in his home and was known to never turn away anyone.

4 comments

August 9, 2016 - 11:21 am

Nicole Rivas-Weaver - It is my understanding that the Star House is owned by a family member of Herbert Woesner named Mr. Wayne Gipson that refuses to sell the house. The Comanche Nation has offered to buy it, but he refuses to sell, and has said that he wishes that he had the money for its upkeep. I read this in a newspaper article. It seems like he should feel it his responsibility to maintain this national treasure and the memory of Quanah Parker and should do whatever he has to to see that that happens. I see it as disrespectful to both the memory of Quanah Parker and his family.

September 8, 2015 - 9:32 am

Greg Gentry - I just visited Cache this past weekend. After meeting the Great Grandson of Quanah Parker it really stirred my interest. It was very sad to see the condition of the Star Home. I truly felt honored to have been able to see it and hear some of the story behind it. I only hope that either the Tribe or the State truly pursues this with a major attempt to bring it back to a place where it can be utilized as a museum. Thanks for sharing your photos.

July 23, 2015 - 1:49 pm

Irene Kelly-Puccino - Are there not descendants of Herbert Woesner that will help with this project? I suggest that someone contact This Old House, maybe they will help out with restoration. They may even feature the project on the show.

February 8, 2015 - 1:22 pm

Lisa Jobe - I’ve started a crowdsourcing campaign to help raise money for much needed repairs on the Star House. Please help get the word out.
http://www.gofundme.com/QuanahParker
Thank you.

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