The Trail of Tears in 1839, Civil War battles of the 1860s, land runs of 1889 and the 1890s, and statehood in 1907 come to mind quickly when Oklahoma’s history is being considered, but before all those events came one of Oklahoma’s first entrepreneurs. His name was Josiah Doaks, and he established a trading post in 1821 near the Red River, about six miles east of what is now Hugo in Choctaw County. Doaksville began to grow with the establishment of Fort Towson six miles away in 1824. The fort was rebuilt in 1831, when the Choctaw people were being moved from southeastern states to Indian Territory. Doaksville acquired a post office in 1831. With the signing of the Treaties of Dancing Rabbit Creek and Doaks Stand, Doaksville became the largest Indian Territory town in 1850 when it became the capitol and political center of the Choctaw Nation as well the commercial center. Steamboats brought goods up the Red River in exchange for cotton from nearby plantations. Doaksville merchants displayed English blankets to French silks, German hose, Swiss silk umbrellas, books and stationery. They also advertised groceries, hats, saddles, tin, cough drops, syrups and medicine in the Choctaw Intelligencer newspaper. At its height during the 1840s and 1850s, Doaksville boasted more than 30 buildings, including stores, a jail, a school, a hotel and two newspapers. This peak commercial era of Doaksville will be featured during candlelight tours starting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 2-3. The walking tours will be organized by John Davis of the Oklahoma Historical Society’s Fort Towson staff, which operates the Doaksville and Fort Towson sites. Reservations for the tours are available at (580) 873-2634. "Re-enactors will present scenes from the 1840s-50s commercial era at the interpreted archeological site of what was once Doaksville,” said Bob Blackburn, director of the Oklahoma Historical Society. "This will be a special opportunity for visitors to see this remarkable site, which was developed by Historical Society archeological investigations from 1995-97. These investigations revealed limestone foundations of numerous structures and more than 100,000 artifacts.” The commerce of Doaksville started growing with the establishment of roads to supply Fort Towson, said a Historical Society report. These roads connected the region to urban areas such as Fort Smith, Ark., and Jessup, La. During the late 1830s, steamboats from as far away as New Orleans began to reach Fort Towson Landing, ehich was the headwater of navigation on the Red River. Doaksville streets featured a New Orleans flavor with names such as Chartre, Commercial Row, Gravier and Canal Street. Robert M. Jones, who came to Doaksville in about 1831, played a major role in the commercial development. He operated a trading post and owned Rose Hill, the largest plantation in the Choctaw Nation. It was between Doaksville and the Red River. Jones acquired 28 Indian Territory stores, six plantations near the Arkansas and Texas borders, and a sugar plantation in Louisiana. He also owned two steamboats that ran from Fort Towson Landing to New Orleans. Choctaw delegates met in Doaksville during 1855 to establish a separate Chickasaw district, and the Choctaws drafted a new constitution there in 1858. The Choctaws moved their capital west to Mayhew Mission in 1859 and then to the current location, Tuskahoma. Doaksville’s decline, however, actually began in 1856, when the U.S. military abandoned Fort Towson. During the Civil War, Doaksville became a Confederate town, and the war devastated the region’s plantation-based economy. Chief Peter Pitchylnn surrendered for the Choctaw Confederates on June 19, 1865, at Doaksville. On June 23, 1865, Stand Watie became the last Confederate general to surrender, presenting his Indian Brigade to Union forces near Doaksville. The final blow to Doaksville came in 1870, when a railroad was built one mile south. The town moved to the railroad, and Doaksville disappeared during the 1890s. The Doaksville-Fort Towson-Red River complex was nearly forgotten during the early 20th century as the state of Oklahoma grew, but the Oklahoma Historical Society acquired the Fort Towson site in 1960. The Doaksville site will again become a center of attraction during the candlelight tours. Max Nichols writes a monthly column for the Oklahoma Historical Society.