Before we get to Claremore, we have to make a stop in Foyil, Oklahoma where you have to go East a short drive to see the largest concrete totem pole, which is an icon along our journey.
Just 10 miles down 66 is Claremore, Oklahoma....largest town we've come to since leaving Kansas. :) , having approximately 20,000 residents, but a much large 'trade area', serving all the smaller communities. There are some folks from here whose name you might recognize: Will Rogers, who was born in Oolagah, but claimed Claremore as home; The Singing Rage, Patti Page; Astronaut, Stuart Roosa; William Howell, who was CEO and Chairman of the Board for JC Penny Co.; Author Lynn Riggs, who penned Green Grow The Lilacs, which you may know as the long, long running musical 'Oklahoma!'; and Andy Payne, who, in 1938, won the Great American Foot Race traveling 3,423 miles from LA to NYC. WOW!
We'll begin exploring right in the heart of downtown Claremore. In the center of the collage you are looking West on Will Roger's Blvd. We going clear to the end of the picture up on the hill with one stop in between. Oh, by the way, say hello to Will sitting on the bench and reading the paper just outside the Claremore Progress!
The one stop before the top of the hill is none other than Will Rogers Memorial Museum. A must stop for my out of town visitors. Inside you'll find a theater showing his film clips, etc.; a room that's filled with models of his life growing up; a film of his last flight that took his life and the life of Wiley Post.....and so much more.
Please note on the right side of this entry plaque is his Cherokee Roll Number and his quote written in Cherokee. I like that!!
...and my favorite photo which is at the top of my blog.
The reason I chose this to headline my blog is because I have viewers from all over this Country and beyond and it is the perception that Oklahoma is nothing but flat prairie land. While that it true from the middle of the State westward, Eastern Oklahoma has an abundance of hills and in Southeastern Oklahoma lay the Kiamichi and Ouchita Mountains. :) :)
Next stop is the top of the hill on Will Rogers Blvd.....The Rogers State University
My neighbor, who is older than I and is from this area, was trying to tell me where something was and said "it's at the Oklahoma Military Academy".....I had no idea what she meant...then she "said you know, at the top of the hill" . A little research explained it all: Seems in 1909 this was established as Eastern University Preparatory School >morphing into Oklahoma Military Academy> Claremore Junior College>Rogers State College>Rogers University and FINALLY Rogers State University. Wheeeee!
Next, we'll do a little backtracking.....going back East on Will Roger's Blvd and turning North to J. M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum. You don't want to miss this...the largest private gun collection in the world with over 13,000 firearms and a lot more to see in this building.....my guests always find this interesting.
Then a little further North of the Museum is Stuart Roosa Street, turn right and you'll see the gorgeous Robson Performing Arts Center. It is so beautiful and Claremore is indebted to this philanthropic couple.
Now turn your car around an continue back South on The Mother Road. One place I didn't mention was The Belvedere Mansion
As you can see, when you get to Claremore there is a lot to see and you'll want to eat lunch...I suggest The Pink House (shown second from the top on the right side of the photo collage above)...soups, salads and sandwiches. As you get on the South side of town you'll find nice lodging and places to eat...I like Billy Sims for BBQ Ribs...then, if your not exhausted, Hwy 20 going East towards Pryor will take you to Will Rogers Downs and CASINO to see if you're as lucky as you think you are! Have a great time in Claremore.
My only problem now.....will my blog on Claremore pass muster with my friend, Dell, who is President/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce......and told me I could stand in the middle of the street to photograph. hahahahahaha Don't forget to make a comment and let me know if you like what you read and saw........