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              The Travel Group‚Äč

(918) 494-0649

PONCA CITY.

April 29, 2020

     This fun day trip takes us to the largest city in Kay County, Oklahoma, nestled between the Arkansas River and the Salt Fork of the Arkansas, and just a few miles south of the Kansas border. Named after the Ponca, a midwestern tribe of Indians, it was originally the name of a clan of the Osage, Kansas, and Quapah tribes. The term can be translated to mean "cut throat". Originally called "New Ponca" the city was created in 1893 in large part by oil, and through the effort and investment of oil magnate E. W. Marland. Marland, later the Governor of Oklahoma, contributed significantly to the development of the city and much of it bears his mark today.

We shall see several of the buildings that E.W. Marland built, including his famed Mansion with 43,561 square feet of living space, one of the largest residences in the Southwest and known as the "Palace on the Prairie." We will also see the Marland Grand Home. A more modest 16,500 square feet it houses the first indoor swimming pool in Oklahoma and modern conveniences nearly unknown to Oklahomans at the time.

$119

Trip Includes:

  • Round trip motorcoach
  • Tour of Marland Mansion
  • Marland Grand Home
  • Pioneer Woman Museum
  • Lunch included

We tour the Marland Grand Home, at right, built by the oil magnate between 1914 and 1916 in Renaissance Revival style, originally with extensive formal gardens to the east and a separate carriage house. The home cost $350,000 to build at the time, the equivalent of about $8.5 million in 2016, and was intended as the Marland residence during the lengthy period of construction of the Marland Mansion.

The Marland Mansion is spread out over three floors featuring a total of 55 rooms, including 10 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, 7 fireplaces, and 3 kitchens illuminated by 861 light bulbs. The layout of the house is generally a central hall plan, and as a result of being built on the side of a hill, the entrance hall is located on the second floor. Defining the space is a large stone arch flanked by two lower rectangular openings, through which a short flight of stairs lead to a landing behind the arch featuring a balustrade. Overhead are gilded domed ceilings, and the space is embellished with two stone carved night owls, peering out of the stairway niches through glowing red eyes. Below the arch, a grand stairway leads down to the first level, and to the Hall of Merriment. The hall is named due to the four whimsical carvings of men representing "Eat, drink and be merry," with the fourth figure taking a pinch of snuff. The hall today is the site of the Carl and Carolyn Renfro Gallery that feature replicas of the twelve statues entered in a competition to depict the Pioneer Woman, which we will see for our tour of the Pioneer Woman Museum.

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