Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of Comancheria

Quanah Parker's Star House
Quanah Parker Star House, Cache, Oklahoma

The Star House was built around 1890 for renowned Comanche warrior, leader, and statesmen Quanah Parker, with the help of Texas cattlemen, a testament to the respect Quanah commanded. Quanah skillfully balanced his roles as a leader within the Comanche Nation and as an emissary to white culture, adopting some practices while maintaining his own culture. The Star House is an excellent example of this balance, displaying Quanah’s success and wealth while also allowing him to continue practices such as sleeping outside on a 2nd story wrap-around porch, added shortly after construction. The large stars on the roof were also added shortly after construction, with many stories about their origins. One old story relates that, after meeting a Brigadier General with many stars on his uniform, Quanah had 14 stars painted on the roof of his house, a smoke house and a summer house to represent his own military prowess. Others have related the stars to Quanah’s preference for sleeping outdoors, serving as a representation of the night sky over him even as he slept within the structure.

When Quanah died in 1911, fearing the property would be sold off, and belongings divided among multiple wives, Quanah’s daughter Mrs. Birdsong bought the house with the help of a banker in Cache, OK. In 1956 the Star House faced a dire fate, when Ft. Sill almost destroyed it. Mrs. Birdsong, who still lived in the house, worked with Herbert Woesner, Jr. to relocate the house to Eagle Park. Mr. Woesner worked diligently to restore the house. Eagle Park became a relocation spot for over a dozen threatened buildings, with the intent of being a museum and tourist attraction, but closed over 25 years ago. While much of the park is today a ghost town, the Star House is still host to Comanche events and Parker family activities (including the memorial for Mr. Woesner, recently deceased). A non-profit organization, the Quanah Parker Society, sponsors these events. However, recent assessments have revealed serious deterioration at the site, and action is needed to save this rare piece of Oklahoma history

Communities and Related Links
Cache Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce

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  • I gave 5 stars because I am thankful to have had the opportunity to visit this historic, home of the great Comanche leader Quanah Parker. Having said that you should be prepared, Mr Gipson the guide at first seems very gruff, unfriendly, non responsive to conversation and down right scary. Once he guides you the location his attitude changes somewhat, he seems very knowledgeable and will explain in detail every aspect. He will answer any questions but make sure you listen to what he says, before you ask. Some of the original furnishings are still there and the house is in deplorable condition. My wish is the Commanche Nation or Parker family members , could get the house and move it to a better location to be restored. It was worth the donation and thanks to Mr Gipson for his time.

    • Denise, great information here. Thank you! Is it possible to drive within an outside view of the Star House without scheduling a tour?

  • I pray in the name of Jesus Christ that the star house be fully and completely restored to a beautiful home.
    I pray also that the old church on the property be restored also.
    And I pray that the owner of the star house will have a willing heart to bless the Comanche Nation people to have ownership of the star house.

  • My wife and I visited the home site in early June and also experienced good old Wayne being a little bit gruff but found him full of information and thoroughly enjoyable explaining all the details we wish and hope that the home can be properly cared for and put back into condition for the interested public to see this it is a historic structure and must be saved

    • Dave, thanks for this info. Is it possible to drive up and see the star house from outside without scheduling a tour? If a tour is desired how is it arranged?

  • It is my understanding that many items from the Star House were donated to the 6666 Ranch near Guthrie Tx. I read that Taylor Sheridan you writes and produces Yellowstone and several other popular series purchased the 6666 Ranch for $360,000,000. Has anyone involved in the restoration effort asked Mr. Sheridan to become involved ? I believe he could be a huge fundraiser for such a project. I saw a recent YouTube documentary that brought a tear after seeing the damage following the flood and state of disrepair. Who knows Mr. Sheridan may even consider doing another series about the Great Comanche Chief Quanah Parker. I hope if he ever does he would allow me the honor of writing a song or two for the endeavor.

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