Claremore Area Chamber of Commerce | OK

Museums

Will Rogers Memorial and Birthplace Ranch
Tad Jones, Director
(918) 341-0719  •  1 (800) 324-9455 toll free  •  www.willrogers.com

 

Claremore is the home of humorist philosopher, actor, and Oklahoma’s favorite son, Will Rogers.  The multi-gallery Will Rogers Memorial Museum houses Rogers’ memorabilia that includes saddles, photographs, clothing, scripts, posters, motion pictures, and many other items relating to his life.

The memorial has two theatres, interactive exhibits, a children’s museum, research library, archives, and original art by Charles Russell, Charles Banks Wilson, and others. The museum frames the Rogers family tomb in the sunken garden.

Will Rogers Memorial Museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.  Admission is only $5 for adults, and seniors 62 years and older and military (with ID) are $4.  Admission for youth (6-17) is $3 and members of Friends of Will Rogers, and children age 0-5 is free.  Group rates are available.

Will Rogers Dog Iron Birthplace Ranch was built in 1875. The birthplace is authentically conserved and open daily from dawn to dusk. The ranch is a living history of Will’s rich Native American and cowboy heritage where longhorn cattle and farm animals still roam. Picnic facilities and a registered grass airstrip are available. Admission is by voluntary donation. Two miles northeast of Oologah near highways 88 and 169.

 

J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum
Wayne McCombs, Executive Director
(918) 341-5707  •  www.thegunmuseum.com

A muzzle-loading shotgun given to John Monroe Davis by his father in 1895 was the beginning of the world’s largest privately owned gun collection. Mr. Davis transferred ownership of his collection to the J.M. Davis Foundation Trust, where in-turn the foundation entered into an agreement with the State of Oklahoma for preservation of the collection.

In addition to just under 14,000 firearms and related items, the museum houses Western, Native American, and Civil War artifacts, swords, knives, steins, hundreds of animal trophies, music boxes, instruments, political buttons, World War I posters, John Rogers’ Statuary, and more.

Over 50,000 items are on display for the entire family to enjoy. Located on Route 66, the museum is open year-round Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Admission is by voluntary contribution.

 

Claremore Museum of History
(918) 342-1127  •  www.claremoremuseum.com

Claremore Museum of History, formally Lynn Riggs Memorial, is home to a variety of exhibits that gives visitors a glimpse into Claremore’s past.

The former namesake of the museum, Rollie Lynn Riggs, was born in 1899 three miles southwest of Claremore in Indian Territory.  He became an internationally famous author and playwright of Green Grow The Lilacs, from which the musical Oklahoma! was adapted by Rodgers & Hammerstein.

The musical, set in 1900 in Claremore, is a vibrantly descriptive and colorful tale of life in Indian Territory.  Many of the characters were based upon Riggs’ own family and friends.  Claremore Museum of History houses the original surrey with the fringe on top from the movie adaptation.

If it weren’t for Claremore there would be no Oklahoma!

 

Oklahoma Military Academy Museum (OMA)
918-343-6888  •  www.rsu.edu/oma

Once known as the “West Point of the Southwest”, Oklahoma Military Academy was a preeminent educational institution with more than 10,000 cadets attending between 1919 and 1971.  The OMA transitioned into a public higher education institution, today known as Rogers State University.  The OMA Museum collects, preserves and exhibits memorabilia that tells the institution’s storied history, including a re-created cadet room.

In the summer of 2011, the OMA Alumni Association unveiled an OMA Killed in Action Memorial dedicated to the 100 cadets who gave their lives in military service.   The Memorial is located on the campus of Rogers State University between Preparatory Hall, the institution’s first building and Meyer Hall, its second facility which originally served as the OMA barracks.  Both buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Historical buildings, sculptures of three US Presidents and the military museum are all a must see.

The Museum is located in Meyer Hall at Rogers State University, it is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Closed on major holidays.  Admission is free.