The Will Rogers Memorial and J.M. Davis Gun Museum. Claremore, Oklahoma

Posted on October 11, 2014

1


images (5)Along Route 66

The Will Rogers Memorial Museum

The life, the humor and wisdom, and the incredible roping skill of Will Rogers is beautifully presented at this memorial in Claremore.

Twelve galleries of art and artifacts are enjoyable, but it was the old film footage showing Will doing rope tricks, much of it narrated by his son, that was the highlight of our visit.

 

download (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The J.M. Davis Gun Museum

Old postcards capture a but a very few of the displays in this outstanding museum.

Old postcards capture a but a very few of the displays in this outstanding museum.

Swords, guns, knives, Indian artifacts, and World War I and II posters – this place is impossible to take in if you only have time for one visit.

It’s the largest private gun collection in the world, as well as an immense collection of German steins, Rogers statuary, and a multitude of Western memorabilia.

Davis was a true collector – he just couldn’t confine his interest to just one subject. He wanted to preserve history – every kind of history –  so that others might better understand history and enjoy his collections for generations to come.

J.M Davis was given his first gun at age seven. This kindled his ambition to learn about all kinds of guns, and that ambition continued 78 years until his death in 1973.Gun 3

Mr. and Mrs. Davis owned the Mason Hotel. By 1929, he had accumulated over 99 types of firearms, and at that time he had begun to display his collection on the walls of their hotel. He collected items ranging from a 500-year-old Chinese hand cannon, to the world’s smallest manufactured gun.

Old photo showing displays in the Mason Hotel dining room.

Old photo showing displays in the Mason Hotel dining room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0562

Bill has now seen every gun made – he thinks. Wait until we visit Woolaroc tomorrow!

In 1965, J.M. Davis transferred ownership of his huge collection to a trust, the J.M. Davis Foundation, Inc.

The foundation then entered into an agreement with the State of Oklahoma to house, preserve and display the collection for the general public with no admission charge.

The museum consists of a modern 40,000 sq. ft. facility, which was opened to an enthusiastic public on Davis’ 82nd birthday in 1969.

The Davis’ received permission from the state and county to be buried in the museum, so they would never be separated from their beloved collection.

They are both entombed in a granite monument inside a glass-enclosed room with several items from the Davis collection arranged around them.

Advertisements