Originally, Clem Rogers first established a trading post and ranch in the Cooweescoowee District in 1856. The Cooweescoowee District of the Cherokee Nation was the largest district within the Cherokee Nation in terms of land mass, but was sparsely populated. With rolling plains filled with bluestem grass, it was an ideal place to graze cattle. When Clem first settled in this area, he built a cabin and trading post several miles to the northwest of this location.
By 1861, Civil War had broken out in the United States, and Indian Territory was no exception. Clem Rogers enlisted and served as an officer in the Confederate 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles. During the war, his wife, Mary American Schrimsher Rogers, along with the rest of the extended family would flee the territory and live in a refugee camp in Texas for the duration of the war. In this time, Clem Rogers lost everything. His cattle were gone and his trading post was looted and burned. It wasn’t until 1870 that Clem Rogers was able to bring his family back to this part of the Cooweescoowee District and begin construction on the house that you see here on site today.