Monday, May 7, 2012

Modern Wagoneers Visit Claremore, Oklahoma - May 2012

Our Good Sam chapter last visited Claremore during the Fall 2011 Samboree.  While taking a day trip with our friends, Larry and Donna Keever, to see the Will Rogers Birthplace, we ran across a quaint little RV park 7.3 miles north of Claremore on State Highway 88, called "Christ Out Post R.V. Park." 

Lloyd and Julia Coonce own and operate the park.  I had opportunity to visit with Julia, who I found to be the most gracious of hosts.  Lloyd and Julia have owned the park for more than thirty years.  According to Julia, the park office and rally room is both a former church and restaurant; thus, the name "Christ Out Post" represents both the former Christian church, and the restaurant, which was named "Out Post."  The park sits atop a hill that provides a magnificent view to the south, and offers full hook-ups.  For more information, contact Julia at (918) 341-1014. 

Julia Coonce (center) joins the
Modern Wagoneers for a pot luck supper.
Susan and I caravaned to Claremore with Bob and Jan Samples.  We arrived two days ahead of the scheduled camp out and met up with David and Wilma Adams.  Knowing Susan's interest in antiques and Victorian era homes, Wilma told us about the "Belvidere Mansion and Tea Room" in Claremore.  The Mansion was built by the Bayless family in 1907.  It features 3 stories and contains over 9,000 square feet of living space.  The curator stated that the building had fallen into disrepair, but was saved by the Rogers County Historical Society in the early 1990s.

Susan purchased a few nice items from the gift shop, and the food was so good that we enjoyed lunch there two days in a row.  For more information on the The Belvidere, visit

Below are a few additional photos taken at the Belvidere Mansion . . . .

What we believe may have been an
elevator in the center of the mansion.


Susan, Wilma, and David.

The highlight of the event was visiting the "Will Rogers Memorial Museum." 

The facility is open 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and sits high on a hill overlooking the city of Claremore.  The museum honors "Oklahoma's Favorite Son," Will Rogers (1879-1935), who was a humorist, movie star, cowboy, and just about everything else.  If you go, first visit

In the following pictures, notice that the first and more recent picture reflects several of our chapter members standing in the museum hall around the statue of Will Rogers.

The next picture was taken in the same room in the vicinity of the statue, but during the dedication of the museum in 1938, shortly after Roger's death.  Notice the young woman looking up at the statue.  She is Roger's daughter, Mary. Standing directly across from Mary, with her back to the camera, is Roger's widow, Betty.  And, the man standing to Mary's right and behind the microphone is former Oklahoma governor, E.W. Marland.  If you're a follower of our blog, you'll recall that I wrote about our chapter's visit to Ponca City, the Marland Mansion, and Marland's colorful past and his marriage to his adopted daughter, Lydie.  Isn't it interesting how Oklahoma history all falls together?

One last note . . . If you see Wilma, ask her about the key lime pie!


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