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Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

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5 Tourism is big business 6 THINGS TO DO Festivals galore SunFest, Kidsfest, Freedom Fest 8 AMERI-CAR-NA Car culture Classics, hot rods cruise into town for 3 shows

11 ATHLETIC EVENTS Tourney town Sports events fill local cash registers

12 BUILDING HISTORY Price Tower stands tall over Bartlesville landscape Frank Lloyd Wright’s skyscraper inspires, celebrates art, architecture

14 FOLLOWING HISTORY Walking tour Heritage Trail goes high tech

17 ENTERTAINMENT Arts and culture Talent shines in Bartlesville area

23 COLLECTING Antique shopping hub Treasures to be found in downtown Dewey

27 OUT ON THE OSAGE Tallgrass Prairie 2,000 bison roam in natural ‘home on the range’

31 CHANGING PAWHUSKA Drummond up business The Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile draws thousands to Pawhuska

34 VOICES What is your favorite sit-down restaurant? 36 HORSEMANSHIP Steer Roping Capital of the World For wraps and a hooey, Pawhuska is the place to be

39 FESTIVALS Music, heritage and culture OK Mozart Festival, Western Heritage Weekend, Oklahoma Indian Summer

43 COMPETITION Native flavor Indian Taco Championship returns to downtown Pawhuska

45 AT THE RANCH Behold the magic of Woolaroc Museum, wildlife preserve a lasting monument to Frank Phillips’ vision

48 DEWEY Trifecta of Old West heritage Prairie Song, Dewey

54 LOOKING BACK Gateway to the past Osage County and Osage tribal: Pawhuska’s historical museums

56 PLAYTIME Athletic pursuits Clubs, leagues, teams for kids of all ages

58 VOICES What is your favorite thing to do in the Bartlesville area? 60 RODEO The World’s Largest Amateur Rodeo Cavalcade a week-long Pawhuska tradition

62 CALENDAR Events for May, June, July, August

Hotel, Tom Mix Museum keep history alive

50 JUST FOR KIDS Grab your ticket to fun Bartlesville’s kidfriendly attractions delight young visitors


52 CHEF’S TABLE The Painted Horse Mark Spencer brings

Ree Drummond’s Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Photo by Mark Blumer.

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Volume 11, Number 2 ©2017. All rights reserved. Bartlesville Magazine is published bimonthly by the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise GateHouse Media 4125 Nowata Road Bartlesville, Oklahoma 74006 No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. For change of address orders. please call (918) 335-8200. PUBLISHER Matt Tranquill MANAGING EDITOR Chris Day DESIGN Kelsey Walker PRODUCTION Fawn Wilson-Olivarez ISSUE CONTRIBUTORS: WRITERS Chris Day, Emily Droege, Mike Erwin, Tim Hudson, Nathan Thompson, Mike Tupa, Kelsey Walker PHOTOGRAPHERS Mark Blumer



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The perfect gift for anyone who loves the Bartlesville region! A gift subscription to bimonthly Bartlesville Magazine will be appreciated and enjoyed by a special friend, family member, or former area resident. Just send us the name and mailing address of the recipient(s) and $12 for each subscription. Mail to: Bartlesville Magazine, ATTN: Subscriptions, P.O. Box 1278, Bartlesville, OK 74005.


Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


Tourism is big business I

n Oklahoma, tourism is the third largest industry in the state. That’s big business for Oklahoma and Bartlesville is definitely taking their piece of that travel industry pie. The latest comprehensive reports from the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department prove just how big tourism is for communities like Bartlesville. In fact, visitor spending in Oklahoma due to travel and tourism generated a record high $986 million in federal, state, and local tax revenues in 2015. In Washington County, tourism was responsible for $5.8 million based on the total of local and state tax receipts, according to the report. The tourism industry is also responsible for supporting 900 jobs in Washington County. Jobs that include lodging, attractions, restaurants, and several other services in the county. “When people travel to Bartlesville, whether for business or leisure, they’re spending money at restaurants, purchasing fuel, attending events and renting meeting space,” says Maria Gus, executive director of the Bartlesville Convention & Visitors Bureau. Adds Gus, “Bartlesville relies on the travel market to supplement so much of what makes our community a great place to live. Without visitors, our tax burden would be far greater.”

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Maria Gus, executive director of the Bartlesville Convention & Visitors Bureau

Reports from OTRD highlight visitor spending but more importantly, they prove what a vital role tourism plays in Oklahoma. For Bartlesville, big attractions like Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Price Tower provide a huge draw to the area. The history of Oklahoma and the oil industry have not only provided places to

explore like the Bartlesville Area History Museum, Frank Phillips Home, and the Phillips Petroleum Company Museum, but they’ve also created a very rich support system for the arts and culture. Organizations like the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra, the Bartlesville Civic Ballet, and the many groups that support sites like Discovery One Park and the AT&SF No. 940 flourish in a community like Bartlesville. These are great assets for locals and visitors alike. Bartlesville and Dewy also celebrate the vast history that makes up Oklahoma including Native American culture and western heritage. Many tribes are represented in the area and events like Oklahoma Indian Summer invite people from all over the country to celebrate the strong Native American presence in Oklahoma. Dewey’s Western Heritage Weekend is also a popular event that helps guests remember what it was like when cowboys like Tom Mix walked the streets of this part of Oklahoma. Whether visiting Bartlesville and Dewey for the arts and culture of an event like OK Mozart or the fun and adventure of a place like Kiddie Park, the tourism industry is ready to welcome guests to explore the fun, history, food, and tradition that makes Bartlesville, Dewey, and Oklahoma a great place to enjoy the journey.

At Tumbleweeds Steakhouse, it’s all about the customer! Tumbleweeds offers a ‘country comfortable’ atmosphere where serving quality food is the owner’s priority. Menu items include hand carved steaks, seafood, chicken and mouth-watering chops. Two customer favorites are wild Alaskan salmon and Tumbleweeds’ Reuben sandwich, considered one of the best around. Come in and try our fun seasonal desserts. A well-stocked bar is part of the ambiance as well as a private room for gatherings. Besides great food, the restaurant serves up good times in a family-friendly atmosphere, and the welcoming staff invites you to join them soon for lunch or dinner.

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Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


things to do Now in its 35th year, SunFest comes to Sooner Park on June 2-4, bringing live music, loads of arts and crafts booths and all the usual fair-type food.

Festivals galore SunFest, Kidsfest, Freedom Fest BY EMILY DROEGE


artlesville’s outdoor festival season is on the way, kicking off with SunFest in early June followed just a few weeks later by Woolaroc’s Kidsfest and Freedom Fest on the Fourth of July. All the favorite old traditions will be found at this SunFest 2017, though a lot of new twists have been added into this year’s summer celebration. Now in its 35th year, the free summer festival comes to Sooner Park, located at Madison Ave. and Tuxedo Blvd., on June 2-4, bringing live music, loads of arts and crafts booths and all the usual fair-type food booths that keep the crowds happily fed. SunFest chairman Stephanie Lief said that the festival will also celebrate its milestone anniversary by “photo stops” displaying the festival’s evolution and a special recognition ceremony for past board members. “Personally, it’s one of the most exciting aspects I am looking forward to. It will truly be a sight for the festival goers to see how many people it takes to put this on with 100 percent volunteers.” There’s a core of about 20 board members 6

and volunteers who stay busy behind the scenes throughout the year to make sure the festival offers something for everyone. Then, during the three-day weekend, dozens of additional volunteers pitch in, including the local Boy Scout Troop 6, which helps keep the park grounds free of trash. “We are excited this year as we have more community groups asking to be involved and serve. We always have fun openings for volunteers with our Youthfest activities and special events,” said Lief. This year the festival will bring back some favorites such as the summer soak water fight, 5K race and fun run, outdoor movie and a family-style “decathlon.” Organizers are also attracting more regional and local arts and crafts vendors. A “young entrepreneur” tent will allow young artists a chance to sell their creations alongside the well-established crafters, said Lief. “The battle of the bands is back for 2017 after our inaugural last year,” she said. “It was very well received and fit the mission of SunFest, all the while helping us shape the future of what SunFest could become.”

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

First-time festival goers and avid supporters can expect loads of family fun and quality entertainment, she added. “The unique thing about SunFest is that you will see neighbors casually kicking back and catching up, laughter and smiles from children or someone walking away from an arts and crafts tent with a unique treasure,” said Lief. The popular festival generates a big economic impact, too. Around $50,000 flows in from transportation, lodging and dining, she said. “It’s our goal is to increase this impact within the next few years by attracting national acts for our stages and expanding our arts and crafts booths,” Lief said. Find out more about SunFest at

Kidsfest Bartlesville’s Woolaroc springs to life in an action-packed weekend featuring endless family fun. The ever-popular event has been going strong for nearly 30 years

The annual patriotic Freedom Fest celebration includes games, a kids parade, music and fireworks.

and will take place June 24-25. Children’s activities scheduled this year include magicians and jugglers, train rides, pony rides, giant inflatables, craft booths, games, food and more. Woolaroc CEO Bob Fraser hopes that memories made at Kidsfest will last a lifetime and children will come back often to the magical setting, where Phillips Petroleum co-founder Frank Phillips was looking for a place in the early 1920s to entertain folks from all over the world. “How Frank Phillips would have loved the sounds of children across his beloved Woolaroc … he would have been front and center enjoying all the fun,” said Fraser. For more, go to

Freedom Fest When Fourth of July rolls around, many people will spend the day preparing picnic food or firing up the grill. If plans include enjoying an evening fireworks display, you won’t want to miss this year’s Freedom Fest. Hosted by the Downtown Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus and the City of Bartlesville, the Independence Day celebrations will include games for all ages, a special parade for kids and of course plenty of food and fun. The evening of patriotism and pyrotechnics will kick-off at 6 p.m. July 4 on Second Street between Keeler and Dewey Aves. and include a spectacular firework show. More information can be found at www.

Woolaroc’s Kidsfest has been going strong for 30 years.

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Emily Droege has been the feature writer for the Examiner-Enterprise for six years. She was born and raised in Bartlesville and earned her bachelor’s degree in history and master’s in applied history at Oklahoma State University.

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Car culture Classics, hot rods cruise into town for 3 shows BY TIM HUDSON


lassic car and hot rod fans will have a lot to smile about this spring and summer in and around Bartlesville. The Stray Kat auto show in Dewey, Cops and Rodders in Bartlesville, and the Oldies ‘n Goodies Car Show in Bartlesville will all be making waves. First up is the massively successful Stray Kat 500 show on May 5-7. According to organizer Mickey Bryan, hundreds of real “Kustoms” and hot rods from a dozen states will ascend on Dewey and the Bartlesville area and as usual the public is invited to see the sights as the cars cruise through Dewey and park along Main Street. Bryan said he anticipates more than 600 cars for this year’s event — up from the 120 entries during the inaugural show 15 years ago. “The SK500 has quickly grown as one of the koolest shows in the Midwest and the big reason for that is our community,” Bryan said at a recent event. “In the setting of Dewey’s historical downtown shopping district, the cars make the city look more like 1962 8

(than 2017) … It is a perfect backdrop to experience that real kool Americana lifestyle.” Registration for the Stray Kat 500 runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 5 at The Quality Inn in Bartlesville. Artists from all over the Midwest will show off their talents at the Kustom Art Show on May 6. Live music will feature TJ Mayes from Oklahoma City, the Julie Majors Trio from Kansas City and Brian Dunning from Yukon. The streets will be blocked off at 7 a.m. May 7, and the show will continue with registration at 8 a.m. A “blessing of the rides” will be held at 10 a.m., with judging to start at 10:30 a.m. Awards will be announced at 11 a.m. A gate charge will be taken this year, with proceeds going to the Dewey Fire Department. Admission is $2, with kids under 12 admitted free. Visit or call 918-5342190 for more information. Next up will be the 32nd Annual Oldies ‘n Goodies Car Show on May 13. According to organizer Ken Harris, this family-friendly event is sure to bring back

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

The Stray Kat auto show in Dewey, Cops and Rodders in Bartlesville, and the Oldies ‘n Goodies Car Show (pictured) in Bartlesville will all make waves this year.

lots of great memories as you walk the streets and look at all the beautiful examples of automotive history. “This will be the 32nd annual show for the local Oldies ’n Goodies Car Club. Along with help from Main Street Bartlesville, we expect an outstanding event,” he said. ” You will enjoy lots of old time rock and roll music from a live D.J., event T-shirts, see a transmission rebuilt and auctioned- off and lots of great food and vendors from around the surrounding area. Entries from the local area as well as from Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri will be on display and the event is free to the public!” Adams Boulevard (Highway 60) and Dewey Street is your gateway to this event which will be lined with hot rods, classic cars and trucks, rat rods, low riders, customs and more. Also check out the unique shopping and dining in the downtown area as well as the beautiful architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Price Tower. Specially featured this year is “Striker,” a heavily modified 1971 ‘Cuda (SEMA, Detroit Auto Show, Starbird and ISCA National

“Street Machine” winner), designed and built by Jesse Matlock in Dewey. Joining Matlock will be Tom Smith, star of Discovery Channel’s “Misfit Garage.” Also this year, a replica of “Tow Mater,” from the Disney movie “Cars,” will be on exhibit, Harris said. Registration is $20 per vehicle for the open class show and runs from 8-11 a.m. The top 20 percent of registered vehicles will be awarded $100 cash. Best of show will receive $500 and a trophy. A Best of Show trophy, Ladies Choice and more will be presented at 3 p.m. Visit or like the Facebook page Oldies ‘n Goodies Car Club for more information. Last but certainly not least will be the rapidly growing 3rd annual Cops and Rodders show on Sept. 30 at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. “There is anticipation that there is going to be a lot more than last year,” WCSO deputy Jon Copeland said. “We have it shared on a lot of car show type websites. I think we’re going to do really well this year.” The inaugural event drew larger numbers than the Sheriff’s Office expected with about 127 cars participating. The second annual drew 136, and deputies feel that their third year will be even bigger. As usual the show will be held at the Sheriff’s Office, 611 SW Adams Blvd. from 8

The Stray Kat car show is an annual fixture in downtown Dewey.

a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 30. “We’re going to have the show in the back of the jail area and around the sides of the jail,” WCSO Undersheriff Steve Johnson said. “There will be plenty of parking and concessions.” Grand prize for participants will be a raffle for an AR-15 rifle, and there will be awards given in several categories. Pre-entry fee for the show is $10 and $15 on the day of the show. Registration will be held from 8-11 a.m., with awards at 3 p.m. Johnson said all proceeds will go to support and fund the annual Thanksgiving and Christmas programs. The programs, which the sheriff’s office has been doing for nearly 20 years, provide meals for families in

need during the holiday season and supply Christmas presents for children. According to Copeland, the sheriff’s office will be giving prizes away on the hour throughout the day. To register, or for more information, call the sheriff’s office at 918-332-4000. Parking will be available at the Sheriff’s Office’s overflow parking lot on the north side of Adams across from the sheriff’s office. Tim Hudson is the county reporter for the Examiner-Enterprise newspaper. He writes for several publications as well as area nonprofits and charitable organizations. An amateur musician, he plays guitar for several bands and churches in the area.

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Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


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Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

Om Ghonasgi is one of hundreds — if not thousands — of area youths whose lives have been enriched since 1950, through participation in the Phillips 66 Splash Club. The Splash Club also hosts multiple meets each year, which result in a cumulative millions of dollars of economic impact.

athletic events

Tourney town

Mike Tupa/Examiner-Enterprise

Sports events fill local cash registers BY MIKE TUPA


onventional wisdom Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller adresses a Bartlesville audience, in says there’s no such 2016, during the 50th Anniversary thing as a free lunch. celebration of the Phillips 66 But, it’s still possible Gymnastics Club’s creation. with a small and Mike Tupa/Examiner-Enterprise measured investment to sup at a sumptuous banquet. That might be likened to the tremendous financial benefits to the Bartlesville East Central University economy derived from a handful basketball players KD Moore and Brett Cannon of sporting events. compare All-Tourney For example, last month’s four- awards after they helped day Great American Conference lead their team to the college basketball tournament Great American Conference pumped $1.5 million worth of postseason basketball championship last March in economic impact into Bartlesville. Bartlesville. Not bad for a weekend’s work. Mike Tupa Bartlesville Sports Commission Chairman Bob Pomeroy estimates that the visitor spending to be $13.1 million. … A 10 postseason college basketball events big part of that was from sports events,” — from 2008-17 — held in town have according to Maria Gus, executive director of generated a total of at least $15 million of the Bartlesville Convention & Visitors Bureau. economic impact. “They (hosted sports events) are certainly “And, that’s conservative number,” he said. significant.” For example, in 2016, many teams and Visitor spending — whether by people others came to town a day early, due to staying over night or day visitors — is the weather reports of impending bad traveling primary gauge by which economic impact is weather. As a result, the GAC tourney’s measured. economic impact in 2016 was $2.5 million, The formula for economic impact is as compared to $1.5 million this year. simple: Visitors spending — which is easily The 2016 Phillips 66 Gymnastics calculated — times a 2.3 multiplier. Invitational also created $1.5 million of A multiplier means how many times the economic impact and the 2015 Glen same dollar change hands before it is eaten Winget Memorial American Legion Baseball up by taxes, inflation or put into savings. tournament bolstered local coffers by $2 In every aspect of economic impact, the million worth of economic impact. local visitors bureau tries to be conservative Add to that the millions of dollars of in its estimates, Gus said. economic impact annually by Phillips 66 The bureau estimates an overnight visitor Splash Club home meets and one can will spend $178 a day (lodging, food, gas, understand the importance of sporting game tickets etc.) in the Bartlesville area. events to the local financial lifeblood. The estimated outlay by day visitors is $52. “For the last fiscal year, in just the events Visitor spending “is a pebble in the water we had something do with, we estimated with a ripple effect,” explained Gus.

The actual number of visitors — including players, coaches, team/school staff, administration, cheerleaders, fans and media — at many local sporting happenings is impressive. For example, the visitors bureau estimated the 2015 Winget tourney attracted 1,700 people, which added up to $900,000 visitors spending and a $2 million economic impact. “We have a lot of gymnastics and swimming visitors,” added Gus. Some other sporting events that might boost the local financial picture with significant out-oftown dollars include the numerous road races throughout the year, the Bartlesville Athletic Hall of Fame banquet, various high school and legion tournaments and games, Oklahoma Wesleyan University tournaments and games, youth-oriented tournaments, the Team Rouse fight shows and variety of other competitions. Pomeroy estimated the economic impact from the Hall of Fame induction activities to be $200,000. Of course, according to Gus, there are several non-sporting events – which could include OK Mozart, SunFest, Woolarocrelated activities, conventions, high school reunions and others — that might also cause local cash registers to ring up big bucks. The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department estimated that out-of-town visitor spending in Bartlesville in 2015, added up to $64.8 million, Gus noted. The visitors bureau also tracks receipts from sales taxes and hotel taxes as part of the overall picture of dollar infusion into the Bartlesville financial machinery. Free lunch? Not exactly — it’s a mighty filling meal. Mike Tupa is the sports editor for the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise.

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


building history

Price Tower stands tall over Bartlesville landscape Frank Lloyd Wright’s skyscraper inspires, celebrates art, architecture BY KELSEY WALKER


espite a setback last summer, Bartlesville’s Price Tower is still eyeing worldwide recognition for the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed skyscraper. The building is one of 10 significant structures by the renowned architect to be nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The nomination was delayed last summer when the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee referred the nomination for further discussion. “The World Heritage nomination, which includes 10 sites around the country, has been in process for 10 years,” said Executive Director Scott Ambler. “We are hopeful that the nomination will be considered for inscription in 2018, but there are no promises. For reference, this is a serial nomination of an architect’s works. The serial nomination of Le Corbusier’s work took over 20 years to be inscribed. Patience


and tenacity is the key.” A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site that has been nominated for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s International World Heritage program. The program aims to catalogue and preserve sites of outstanding importance, either cultural or natural, to the common heritage of humankind. In February 2015, U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewel announced the U.S. was recommending 10 buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright across the U.S. to be recognized as “sites of outstanding cultural value” for review and approval at UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in 2016. In addition to the Price Tower, the nominated group includes Unity Temple in Oak Park, Ill.; Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago, Ill.; Taliesin in Spring Green,

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

Wis.; Hollyhock House in Los Angeles, Calif.; Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pa.; Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House in Madison, Wis.; Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City; and Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael, Calif. The Price Tower first opened to the public to tour in February 1956. Since then, visitors have continued to be intrigued and amazed by its beauty and architecture. The tower was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, and became a National Historic Landmark in 2007. Price Tower is Wright’s only built skyscraper. The unique form of the Price Tower was originally designed by Wright for downtown New York City in 1929, as one of a cluster of apartment towers, but was nonetheless unrealized due to the effects of the Great Depression upon real estate prices

and building material costs. Wright jumped on the opportunity to build his tower on the plains of Oklahoma, and he nicknamed the building “The Tree that Escaped the Crowded Forest” because it had escaped the crowded “forests” of Manhattan skyscrapers and was now able “to cast its own shadow upon its own piece of land.” At the time of its construction, from 1953 to 1956, the Price Tower was the tallest building in Bartlesville. The UNESCO nomination and possible recognition places Bartlesville on the world stage in terms of iconic architectural and cultural sites. Other World Heritage sites include the Statue of Liberty, the Taj Mahal, the Alamo and Notre Dame. “We currently have visitors every day that visit Bartlesville just to take photos and tours of the Price Tower or to spend the night in our one-of-a-kind boutique hotel,” Ambler said. “World Heritage travel groups will certainly have Bartlesville on their mustsee list once the Tower is inscribed.” The mission of the Price Tower Arts Center is to preserve Price Tower, inspire artist and audiences, and to celebrate art, architecture and design. To that end, events and exhibits planned for 2017 include a 150th birthday celebration for Wright from June to August, which will be a major exhibit about his life, career, legacy and “Journey to the Prairie.”

Other prominent, historic Bartlesville buildings On the National Register of Historic Places: • Bartlesville Downtown Historic District (includes Masonic Building, Kress Building, Citizen’s Bank & Trust Company building, Johnstone-Sare Building and many others) • C.A. Comer House, Dewey (by architect Bruce Goff) • Dewey Hotel •Lustron House at 1554 SW Rogers • La Quinta Foster Mansion • Nellie Johnstone No. 1 • Old Washington County Courthouse •The Frank Phillips Home • Memorial Hospital This fall, the tower will host a Talisman Gallery exhibit, paying tribute to the late Jody Kirberger’s art gallery in Bartlesville and which will feature art from Bartlesville area homes. Educational programming will include a kids summer architecture camp. “The Price Tower, along with our beautiful (Bartlesville) Community Center, helps define who we are as a community,” said Ambler. “The arts have always been an integral part of our culture in Bartlesville

Other buildings: • Doenges Memorial Park Stadium •Bartlesville Community Center • Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Depot •Central Middle School •Memorial Bridge • First Christian Church • Carnegie Library (now Kane, Kane, Kane & Roark law firm) • First Baptist Church • Church of Christ Scientists For more information or to take a walking tour of the “Bartlesville Heritage Trail” downtown, pick up a map at the Bartlesville Convention & Visitors Bureau, 201 SW Keeler Ave., or visit and Price Tower Arts Center is all about making sure the arts will always be available to every person in Bartlesville and the surrounding area.” For more information about the Price Tower, visit Kelsey Walker is the assistant editor at the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise newspaper and holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

Art by Michaela Steinacher

Only in Bartlesville . . . OK MOZART FESTIVAL





Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


following history

Walking tour

Heritage Trail goes high tech BY CHRIS DAY


walk around downtown Bartlesville reveals a variety of treasures — all types of restaurants, a growing arts and entertainment district, Frank Lloyd Wright’s only built skyscraper, the Bartlesville Community Center, decorated and more. Downtown Bartlesville’s rich and unique history isn’t as easily seen. Did you know the Central Business District in downtown Bartlesville was listed as an historic district in 1991 with the National Register of Historic Places? Or that specific buildings within the Downtown Redevelopment Area are listed separately on the National Register. Those listings include Price Tower, the old Washington County Courthouse and Memorial Hospital. The Bartlesville Heritage Trail, literally, puts the historically significant sites in downtown Bartlesville on a map. It allows residents and visitors to enjoy the rich, diverse history of a downtown largely built by the discovery of oil and the oil industry. The tour starts at www. The trail includes sites that still exact, which are designated by green circles, and lost treasures, sites that are historically significant but the original structures no longer exists. They are designated by blue circles. The three museums in the downtown district are designated by red squares. The website allows you to search all sites or just the top 20 sites. Italy includes a downloadable map. The trail, however, is about to change. Thanks to smartphones, technology and QR codes. Main Street Bartlesville board member Sharon Hurst said many of the trail’s central business district sites will have cling film with QR codes on their windows. 14

The Johnstone Building was built at the northwest corner of Frank Phillips Boulevard and Johnstone Avenue. The three-story building replaced the Right Way Hotel. It has a flat roof with a parapet. The southeast corners is rounded with the entrance on the corner. Model Clothiers, owned by H.M. May, opened its doors in 1910. The name was changed to May Brothers in 1920. It closed in 2009. The Maire Hotel opened in July 1913, offering 80 rooms. It was designed by local architect Walter Everman. Phillips Petroleum bought the building in 1968, remodeling it for office spaces. It gave the building to the city of Bartlesville in 2000, and it became City Hall. The fifth floor was remodeled to house the Bartlesville Area History Museum. The building is an example of Italianate architecture. Photos by Chris Day/Bartlesville Magazine

Residents and visitors on the trail will use their smartphones to scan the code, which will open the site information from the trail’s website on their smartphone screens. The trail features 72 historic sites, and the cling film QR codes will be installed at as many of those sites as possible. “We want to get it done in the next few months — in time for summer tourists,” Hurst said. The trail also will be set up in themes allowing residents and visitors to tour oilrelated historic sites or automobile dealer historic sites or even ghost sites to coincide with Main Street Bartlesville’s Halloweenrelated ghost walk.

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

In the future, Main Street Bartlesville wants to tie the trail into the education system, allowing students to tour historic downtown Bartlesville. It also plans to add audio descriptions to the trail website pages. The organization is developing the audio component now. “QR codes are quick and simple,” Hurst said. It will encourage more visitors to tour downtown and visit its restaurants, retailers and businesses. Chris Day is editor of the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, and has been a journalist for 37 years.

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Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


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Park decades versus ago and kick the busine ts, that Pharm trading as as origina observ onsive on contes Tyler . se will said s Antiqu will identiparks staff had month other er activiti appear Tuesda for several known two cents unresp In action City official the 30, Bailey in Don Popkes tax increaimately police,to building/neig permits latboxing Junk Bou- said Trease the city will be price one of summ baby fire- 6 City is down urday on June“died laybulldoggers ed to take of July event d to two. t sales races, and ed from that, FTE m would accepthorse King games tain, Vintage Loft t in Dewey, any fireworks gallon cents from the approx sed no 016-02 mits help residents she record ropers and items: , picnics nal Fourth edagenda games the tors say Dewey. watermelon, The By Kelcey 2.” 2014-2 a 1/2 percengenerated and increased vices, as oppose tion progra July night to be purcha ks . ts,”there ll Bid No. the . under tor for The traditio spectators, riders, up four below the price of the baby,and that and fire- tique, The Marke have ay, July pur- fy where miner-enter “Free d ingbaseba year marke really sits at the city’s demoli $50,000 Library ance h have g firewor g up lic excava celThursd kking@exa ds of oppose ons on global abrasi kids, music newspaper, City of wouldmillion per tax, which — Award lightin 91 cents d by a 46-inc ondown” things the a huge er than ts may be valid shootin are selling face had se, as percent ct hydrau department.t- 7 thousan for the or the Dewey works ing Museum of oil the se of the l redof tax $2.5 Under include t sales are “They be restore t increa first weekly subscriptiont compa make for Dewey City ater ts celebra “Permi 2014. a couple 015-02 said. “We’ve for sky. 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Arts & culture Talent shines in Bartlesville area BY EMILY DROEGE

The Bartlesville Community Center is located in downtown Bartlesville.


rts and culture thrive in Bartlesville like few other smaller cities. For a community with a population under 37,000, the city offers visitors and residents a surprising range of enrichment opportunities. The array of possibilities span from topnotch performances at Bartlesville’s worldclass Community Center, to outstanding concerts by the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra, to unique fine arts and education offerings from Children’s Musical Theatre, to dramas and comedies at Theater Bartlesville and special shows and programs hosted by the Bartlesville Art Association. In addition, many other performing and visual arts organizations help the City of Legends sparkle with talent.

Bartlesville Community Center For more than 30 years, the Bartlesville Community Center has been “the place” where all ages can find something of interest. With hundreds of events each year, the center in downtown Bartlesville has attracted visitors from many areas of Oklahoma and Kansas as well as other states. Several stage performance series call the BCC home, including the Bartlesville Civic Ballet, Bartlesville, Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra, Children’s Musical Theatre, the OK Mozart Festival and the popular Broadway in Bartlesville! annual series.

BCC Managing Director Val Callaghan credits former executive director Pat Smith for starting the successful series 15 years ago. “With so many Broadway enthusiasts in town, it is convenient to see the national, tour of a Broadway show right at home,” Callaghan said. “Pat really crossed every ‘T’ and dotted every ‘I’ from building relationships with high-caliber production companies from which to purchase the shows, to securing dedicated local sponsors to offset the costs, to building a loyal subscription base, some of whom have had season tickets for all fifteen seasons.” This year’s season, which has featured shows such as “Mamma Mia” and “42nd Street,” has once again received a standing ovation. “That success can be attributed to an eclectic line up, packed with something to suit all tastes. Whether you prefer a classic musical, newer show or visual art such as ‘Cirque’ or ‘Stomp,’ this season delivered,” said Callaghan.

OK Mozart OK Mozart was established and a beloved music festival was born more than 30 years ago, according to Mary Lynn Mihm, OK Mozart chairman of the board.

“OK Mozart has grown into one of the state’s major cultural organizations and attractions. Performers from all over the world have graced the stage at the Bartlesville Community Center, Ambler Hall, St. Luke’s Church and Woolaroc during the festival and off season offering the audience an opportunity to enjoy numerous genres of music — orchestral, chamber, crossover, opera and so much more,” she said. It is the mission of OK Mozart to celebrate cultural experiences, not only through the multi-day festival, but by offering programming and educational experiences all year long that will enrich the community, she said. OK Mozart sponsors master classes for the youth of the community, and the No Child Clef Behind program offers musical instruments to students who cannot afford them. OK Mozart also offers showcase events during the festival and throughout the year that are designed to entertain and educate the audience about the rich history and culture surrounding music. And the organization continues to enhance the community through the art of music. Mihm described how the festival works hand in hand with community leaders, other community organizations, and the community at large to ensure that it is achieving its mission as well as meeting the

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra

The main-stage summer musical may be their most widely recognized program, but Children’s Musical Theatre provides other arts education programs throughout the year. Indeed, the award-winning musical theatre arts education nonprofit organization, has been fulfilling its mission enriching the lives of children and youth by providing quality musical theatre education and performance opportunities in Bartlesville since 2000. Coming up this summer will be day camps for children ages 6-11 and junior summer camp for middle school students who learn the general aspects of musical theater, such as acting, singing, dance and script memorization. Among other programs hosted throughout the year, CMT teaches an inclassroom theater enrichment program to fourth grade students in public and private schools, as well as home-schooled students. Nick Sweet, one of CMT’s favorite directors, teaches “Spotlite” four times during the month of October, introducing students to improvisation, non-verbal communication and the structure of stories. More than 500 students and nearly 20 teachers and administrators were impacted by the program in 2016. CMT founder Tracye Caughell said that such programs help youth learn important life skills and gain confidence and poise.

Children’s Musical Theatre produces a main-stage summer musical each year. Pictured is a cast member from 2015’s “Mary Poppins” production.

“Plus there’s the arts skills training in vocal music, dance, acting, and instrumental music. The arts touches us at the deepest core of our humanity, helping us become better human beings,” said Caughell. Bartlesville’s unique fine arts and education program is noted for its vocal and orchestral music, choreography, elaborate sets, costumes and special effects during its popular summertime production. This year’s showstopper will feature nearly 70 local youth portraying the popular musical “Annie.” The upcoming full-scale production show will take place in July at the Bartlesville Community Center. “We have an enthusiastic cast ready to bring this story to life on stage,” she said. “It’s a low-tech show that showcases great acting and singing and teaches a bit of history along the way.”

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Now in its sixth decade, the Bartlesville Symphony continues to present a wide range of concerts, often with world-class soloists, while still retaining its unique community-centered feel and orientation. Indeed, the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is a cordial mix of volunteer and paid musicians, some of whom have been with the symphony since its very earliest of days, and most of whom have participated in the symphony for 10 years or more. “I think part of what makes the BSO special is that the expectations can change from concert to concert. We are a symphony, and playing great symphonic music is at the core of what we do. But we also branch out into other styles and unexpected combinations,” said Lauren Green, music director and conductor. And above all, he said that the orchestra strives to find the right mix of special music — ranging from classical to pop — that’s accessible to everyone. Green gets great personal pleasure out of the all the styles of music the BSO presents, he said. Along with the challenges that the genres bring, there’s also the satisfaction of inspiring audience members. “I think part of what makes the BSO special is that the expectations can change from concert to concert. We are a symphony, and playing great symphonic music is at the core of what we do,” he said. “But we also branch out into other styles and unexpected combinations.” As maestro for the community orchestra for 40 years now, Green said he’s privileged to be at the “head of any orchestra, let alone

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needs of the community. “We are blessed to have hundreds of volunteers, an amazing staff and a dedicated board who ensure that OK Mozart achieves its mission,” said Mihm.

this one that is so special.” “The BSO has become such an important part of the cultural fabric of Bartlesville. The players are enthusiastic and very capable and the audience is so supportive. We are blessed to perform in a wonderful hall such as the Bartlesville Community Center,” said Green.

Theater Bartlesville Bartians of all ages have shared their acting talents and creativity on the Theater Bartlesville stage for decades. And the spotlight continues to shine bright, too. The community theater, which dates back to 1925, hosts several shows three full-length productions, plus a popular dinner theater, bringing first-rate performances of entertainment and enrichment, explained managing director Joanie Elmore. “Theater Bartlesville gives the opportunity for residents of this community to participate in the arts as actors, singers, dancers and audience members,” said Elmore. The cozy, 100-seat venue at 312 S. Dewey allows audience members to enjoy a show in an intimate and personal setting. “We offer veteran community talent and new beginners a chance to bloom and become artists themselves. We provide comedy entertainment as well as shows that contain dramatic, musical and historic content,” said Elmore. “We take pride in offering high quality shows with high quality actors and actresses in a friendly, community environment.”

The BAA’s new home at the Price Tower Design Center (formerly known as the Annex building) is in the center of town and next door to Bartlesville’s most famous landmark. “When we collaborate with the Price Tower, and mix their perspectives and ideas with our own, we have a better outcome than we would by working by ourselves,” said Jenkins. “People are interested in collaborations. I hope they are watching to see what comes next.” The BAA also continues to give scholarships to students, hold exhibits and shows, offer the month long summer art camp, provide

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Bartlesville Art Association For over three decades, a group of the city’s most creative residents have bonded behind paintbrushes and sketching pencils at the Art Center Building at the entrance of Johnstone Park. However, the building has suffered repeated flooding over the years due to its proximity to the Caney River, making it unsuitable for continued use. Fortunately, the Bartlesville Art Association recently moved to the spacious and climate-controlled Price Tower Design Center, located just north of the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright tower at 510 Dewey Ave. BAA President Amy Jenkins said the move is vital to the organization’s continued success and believes the new location will allow the group to be further invested in the arts community and more accessible to prospective members.

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stipends for local teachers, host workshops and classes and more. New members are offered a free “Art 101” beginner-level class taught by expert BAA members. “We offered a free “101” class with membership in 2017, and over 40 first time members and many returning members signed up,” said Jenkins. “We had several different painting classes, calligraphy, fabric dyeing, colored pencil, and jewelry making. A drawing 101 class will be held in July. We will offer more 101 opportunities next year.” She believes that the arts are vital asset to the Bartlesville community. “They distract us from our daily schedules, and bring enjoyment. Art in our community makes a good first impression on visitors,” said Jenkins. “It is a joy to see beauty and talent, and it can elevate the creative bar for the whole city.”

Arts and culture thrive in Bartlesville thanks to stalwarts such as the Bartlesville Community Center and the Price Tower Arts Center.

Other arts organizations • Bartlesville Civic Ballet provides training opportunities for the youth of Washington County and surrounding areas by offering two productions each year — “The Nutcracker” in December and a spring ballet in April. Visit for more information. • Bartlesville Choral Society is a 70-voice


community chorus that has been a vibrant part of the northeast Oklahoma arts scene since 1977. The society presents three concerts a year, showcasing a wide variety of music from large classical works to programs of shorter varied choral works to pops concerts. Visit for more information.

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

• Bartlesville Community Concert Association brings live performances each year to the Bartlesville Community Center. On May 4, the season closes with a “Tribute to the King.” The BCCA has also presented many educational outreach programs, master classes and matinee performances to students in the area. For more information, visit • The Price Tower Arts Center, housed in Frank Lloyd Wright’s only fully realized skyscraper, offers outstanding collections and exhibitions of art, architecture and design. Guided tours are available to the public. Hotel accommodations are available at the Inn at Price Tower and fine dining is also available at the Copper Bar. Reservations are recommended. The Price Tower is a World Heritage Site nominee. • Heritage Theatre Cafe and Pub brings plays, music and good food to downtown Dewey. Inside the restaurant and pub, patrons can enjoy a movie, live theater, karoke, live music and delish menu options. Visit them on Facebook for current events. Emily Droege has been the feature writer for the Examiner-Enterprise for six years. She was born and raised in Bartlesville and earned her bachelor’s degree in history and master’s in applied history at Oklahoma State University.

C&M Collision Repair Center has been Voted Best of Bartlesville! 5 Years and counting- C&M displays excellence in vehicle repair

If you have had an accident and did not visited C&M Collision Repair Center, you have no idea what you are settling for. But if you have been to C&M Collision, then you understand why they are voted the best in the area. C&M Collision Repair helps you with your insurance claim from start to finish. After you call the insurance company and let them know you were involved in an accident and that you are taking it to C&M Collision, then C&M will take care of the repairs from there. If you are covered for a rental car, C&M Collision has Hertz on sight. If you don’t have rental car coverage, but need a rental car, C&M Collision has special rates for customers who get their vehicle repaired at C&M Collision. And if you don’t want to rent a vehicle, they have loaner cars for free. You will notice the difference in C&M Collision Repair from when you first pull up in front of the shop. The collision shop is located at 117 S. Morton Ave., just west of downtown Bartlesville, and the paint shop is across the street. Both buildings have a beautiful block and stone frontage. There is a reason for the separation: keeping the collision end of the repairs away from paint department makes sense to get extra clean paint work. When you go through the glass door, you will see another difference in C&M Collision’s big, clean, bright office to get an estimate with a kid-friendly environment. For those who are chemical sensitive, you will also notice that there is not a paint smell. C&M Collision has a staff of knowledgeable and friendly employees waiting to help customers. C&M Collision Repair Center has stayed on top of the collision industry for over 40 years by embracing new technology to keep up with new automotive technology. Over the years, they have added 2 paint booths, a paint curing system which was the first in the United States, 2 frame machines, and 2 digitalized frame measuring computers, which were the first in Oklahoma, and still the only digitalized measuring systems in the Bartlesville area. All of this, and more, makes C&M Collision Repair Center the best choice for collision repair in the Bartlesville area — and the voters agree. visit their website — or their Facebook page.

(918) 336-4883 • Located Downtown Bartlesville •

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


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Find your place at Tri County Tech. 6101 Nowata Rd | Bartlesville OK | 918.331.3333 Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


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Antique shopping hub

Kay’s Vintage Antiques and Collectibles is located on Don Tyler Avenue in downtown Dewey. Chris Day/Bartlesville Magazine

Treasures to be found in downtown Dewey BY EMILY DROEGE


hen it comes to quality antiquing in a warm and welcoming environment, all roads lead to Dewey. Less than a 10-minute drive north of Bartlesville, the community enjoys a reputation as an antique shopping hub. Patrons will no doubt find treasures from floor to ceiling and all around the downtown area. Stores like Linger Longer Antiques and the Old Fashioned Soda Fountain, Kay’s Vintage Antiques, Mimi’s Antique Market, as well as Time Travelers, offer bargains and must-haves for any niche shopper looking for a favorite childhood game or vintage record. Linger Longer Antiques and the OldFashioned Soda Fountain Delicate sets of china, glass bottles, vintage commercial signs and a whole lot more fill up Pat Cleveland’s Linger Longer Antiques and Old-Fashioned Soda Fountain. Inside the spacious area, hundreds of shoppers take a stroll down memory lane every month, spotting a “must-have” antique or collectible among the aisles of retro clothing, jewelry, pottery, furniture and much more. “It’s amazing how many people come in

and say it’s nice to see a real antique store. This is a nice, quiet place to look around,” said Cleveland. For 362 days a year, visitors from all around the world browse through the more than 30 vendor booths around the store at 814 N. Shawnee. “We’ve had customers come in regularly since the day it opened, and I have some of my vendors who’ve been here since the very beginning,” she said. “And if they don’t buy one thing, they’ll hopefully go out happy,” said Cleveland. “We’re closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. We’re open Sunday afternoons after church.” Cleveland opened her beloved shop 24 years ago and proclaimed the old-fashioned soda fountain as its drawing card. “There were three things that I wanted when I started this and that was the antique shop, the soda fountain and the lunch room. We used to have a lunch room over here for about five years, but it got to be more than I could handle,” said Cleveland, adding that space is now used as a community meeting room. At 81 years old, Cleveland credits her family for helping make the business a

success for more than two decades. “I have really good helpers. I have 19 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren and friends and neighbors,” she said. “And if our customers don’t buy one thing, they’ll hopefully go out happy.” Linger Longer Antiques is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Mimi’s Antique Market In a clean and well-organized setting, shoppers can find antiques, glassware, toys, dishes, household items inside Mimi’s Antique Market. Around 40 vendors fill the space with everything from Frankoma pottery to Star Wars memorabilia. Sharon Wilson opened the shop at 402 E. Don Tyler Avenue back in 2006, and it’s safe to say her entrepreneurial dream has been fulfilled. “I’ve just always liked things from different eras, and while I was growing up, I liked older things. I wanted to start a business of my own. It just so happened that this kind of fell together,” said Wilson. She said she enjoys meeting new shoppers from throughout the region

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


such as Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri, plus building relationships with regular customers. “We’re getting some traffic from the Pawhuska Mercantile and they’re coming from all over the place. But we do have a lot of repeat customers, too,” she said. “I suppose my biggest customer base is local. Dewey is getting well known for its antiques and boutiques, and we’re the place to come to.” Wilson has up to 40 vendors whose booths are filled with collectible glassware, vintage toys, old records and various military items. “That’s really popular,” said Wilson, commenting on the store’s military-focused vendor. “He’s got old German helmets and Japanese helmets and American things, too. The booth is literally chalked full of military items and people buy from him almost daily,” said Wilson. She added that many of the shoppers are on the lookout for barn wood furniture and rustic items today. “That seems to be a trend now. People like to shop for rust. It’s like gold,” she said. “We have a lot of old record albums, too. And those were not all that popular when I opened up the store 11 years ago, but they’re beginning to become more popular now, particularly with shoppers in their 20s.” Mimi’s Antique Market is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10

There are many antique treasures to find in Dewey. Pictured is Time Travelers Antiques.

a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Kay’s Vintage Antiques and Collectibles An old-fashion medicine kit, with all the medical equipment still intact, a military casket, and a lock and key from a prison in the late 1800s are just some of the treasures Sandra Marshall has sold at Kay’s Vintage Antiques and Collectibles. Marshall’s passion for antiques began while searching for quality nick-knacks at different estate sales while on vacations throughout the area.

“I soon began going to local estate sales on a regular basis, talking with dealers and learning about antiques as I upgraded my antiques in my home,” said Marshall. Eventually, she had the opportunity to open up her own store at 323 Don Tyler Avenue with pieces like wooden mannequins and an old baseball uniform from Arnold Moore Funeral Home on display. Today, visitors from as far away as Japan flock to Marshall’s shop in downtown Dewey. She said more than half of the customers are out-of-town shoppers, though she gets several regulars from Tulsa, Owasso, Kansas City, Wichita, Omaha and Eureka Springs. Marshall’s interest in antiques has evolved into “repurposing” collectibles with an emphasis on lighting and furniture. “My husband and I are interested in collecting and selling items from businesses in Washington County that have gone out of business and are selling their store fixtures,” said Marshall. “My real passion for antiques began with salvage pieces, vintage Christmas decorations and furniture. My inventory has now grown into adding antique glassware, kitchen collectibles, industrial and linens.” Kay’s Vintage Antiques and Collectibles is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and “by chance” on Sunday.

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Time Travelers Antiques and Collectibles A vibrant, bright blue “police call box” or TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) lures antique addicts and casual shoppers inside Time Travelers Antiques and Collectibles on a daily basis. “The police call box has been a pretty big draw. People love to come look at it,” said Jerry Simpson, owner. “We just redid the paint job. It was a light blue so people would notice it and then I thought it looked like a great big porta-potty from a distance, so we changed the color.” Inside the store at 1120 N. Osage Avenue, rows and shelves are stacked with collectibles, knives, vintage toys and games, jewelry, toys, unique decor and more. “People ask for everything from telephones to nuts in here. There’s no way to gauge what they want,” Simpson said. “The inventory in here is just almost impossible to go through, unless we shut down for a couple of days. I like going through here sometimes just to see what all we have.” And what exactly is the story behind that big blue box outside the shop’s doors anyway? Simpson said that had the 600-pound TARDIS was especially made to match the store’s name and in tribute to the British science fiction program, “Dr. Who.” He said the sturdy time machine is available to buy at $1,800. Time Travelers Antiques and Collectibles is open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 Tuesday through Sunday. Check out out the dozens of other antique stores in the Dewey area, including Bar-Dew Antiques at 129 N Osage Ave., to Campbell’s Antiques at 418 E. Don Tyler Ave. Emily Droege has been the feature writer for the Examiner-Enterprise for six years. She was born and raised in Bartlesville and earned her bachelor’s degree in history and master’s in applied history at Oklahoma State University.

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Tallgrass Prairie

Tallgrass Prairie Preserve’s original bison herd of 300 is now maintained at around 2,100 — considered the optimum size for space available for them to roam. Photo courtesy of the Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma

2,000 bison roam in natural ‘home on the range’ BY MIKE ERWIN


pread across nearly 40,000 acres northwest of Pawhuska, Tallgrass Prairie Preserve represents the largest protected remnant of a unique prairie environment that once covered 170 million acres of central North America, extending all the way from Mexico into Canada. But, this complex tallgrass ecosystem — with its rich diversity of plants and animals — all but disappeared in the span of a few generations. As the United States expanded westward in the 19th Century, a vast majority of this prairie land was plowed under and converted into farmland. The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve project started in 1989 when a non-profit conservation organization, The Nature Conservancy, purchased 29,000 acres of the historic Barnard Ranch. Subsequent land acquisitions and the 1993 infusion of a

herd of 300 bison resulted in an ecological sanctuary and preserve which the Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma now invites the public to visit and enjoy. In addition to offering a scenic drive with select overlook locations, the TPP has numerous public hiking trails. Two years ago, the sanctuary’s name was officially changed to “The Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve” to honor one of its longtime benefactors. The original Tallgrass bison herd has grown to a well-regulated size of approximately 2,000, which remain free to roam on the vast sanctuary. Visitors are warned that the bison — while not aggressive — are still wild animals. Therefore, the preserve’s one rule for visitors encountering the bison is this: Stay in your car. To reach Tallgrass Prairie Preserve

from downtown Pawhuska, drive north on Kihekah Avenue and follow the signs approximately 18 miles to the preserve headquarters, which are located in the former Chapman-Barnard Ranch facilities at 15316 County Road 4201. The telephone number there is 918-287-4803. The preserve is open daily from dawn to dusk with no charge for admittance and can be accessed via county roads. There are free ranging bison herds, scenic turnouts, hiking trails, picnic tables, breezeway information and public restrooms at the Historic Bunkhouse. The gift shop/visitor center is operated by docents and is typically open daily from March through mid-December from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Mathews’ Cabin Two years ago, The Nature Conservancy

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


of Oklahoma became the official owner/ caretaker of the historic cabin and gravesite location of renowned Osage author/ historian John Joseph Mathews. The Conservancy hopes to eventually restore the rustic cabin. For the time being, periodic public tours are offered to the historic site — which Mathews occupied while writing some of his works. “We are honored his family entrusted this historic site — and their heritage — to us,” Tallgrass official Harvey Payne said. The Nature Conservancy is a global, non-profit conservation organization that works to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. Its more than one million members have effectively conserved over 15 million acres in the United States, and an additional 102 million acres worldwide. Since 1986, the Conservancy has successfully protected

more than 100,000 acres of Oklahoma’s magnificent landscapes and unique biodiversity.

Bison facts Though “buffalo” is commonly used, “bison” is the correct term for the mammals on the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. According to scientists, true buffalo are confined to Africa and Southeast Asia. Before the settlements of modern civilization, around 30 million bison roamed across North America. By 1890, fewer than 600 plains bison were left alive. Bison are the largest native animals on the North American continent. Full-grown bison bulls stand about 6.5 feet at the shoulder and can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. Adult bison consume more than 30

pounds of grass (air-dry weight) in a day. Bison can jump 6 feet vertically. Because they reportedly can jump more than 7 feet horizontally, “bisonguards” on the Preserve are 14 feet wide. (This is double the standard width of a cattleguard.) Bison can run at speeds up to 35 miles per hour. Bison are powerful swimmers, navigating with all but hump, muzzle, and top of the head submerged. Both sexes have horns; the cow’s are smaller. A bull bison can be identified from a cow by wider, thicker horns; a wider skull; and a generally more massive structure. The gestation period for bison is 9.5 months. Bison calves are generally born in the spring and weigh 30-40 pounds. The bison was named the state mammal of Oklahoma by the legislature in 1972.

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Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

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The business of Real Estate is as important to Janet and her team as Oil and Architecture are to the City of Bartlesville. Coldwell Banker ranked the top 100 cities in the Vermillion. “The Bartlesville area offers buyers an United States, and Bartlesville was named number 30th opportunity of home ownership. The Vermillion Group as a booming suburb in America! The survey was part of provides services to Buyers of all income levels.” Coldwell Banker’s Best Places to Live series. If you are a Buyer looking for 100 percent financing, Coldwell Banker honored The Vermillion Group there are opportunities to buy in the surrounding last month on two very important achievements, Janet communities such as Dewey, Copan, Ochelata and Vermillion’s group was named in the 2016 “ Top 100 Ramona areas. Realtors” in Tulsa People Magazine throughout the Janet goes on to say, “I love this beautiful area of our Tulsa Greater MLS which encompass most of Northeast state and I am thrilled to be doing business where I live Oklahoma and has over 3600 Realtors! and raised my family.” The Vermillion Group was also honored for their continuous production levels in the category of 1015 Million in sales. Sales include Residential, New Construction, Land and Commercial throughout 5 different counties including Osage, Tulsa, Rogers, Nowata, and Washington Counties!

Janet Vermillion has been taking care of the needs of her clients and customers in the Real Estate industry for over 20 years. She is a trusted Real Estate Advisor to hundreds of people. Coldwell Banker Select’s office is located at 2311 SE Washington Blvd. in Bartlesville. For all your Real “It makes me proud to be a part of a community Estate needs, you can call Janet at (918) 230-1915, that is being honored as a top suburb!,” said Janet email

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017



Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

changing pawhuska

Drummond up business

The Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile draws thousands to Pawhuska BY NATHAN THOMPSON


ot since the days of wildcatters and oil barons making deals under the Million Dollar Elm in the early 1900s, has Pawhuska seen anything like this. But this time, it’s not for oil riches that thousands come to town every day. It’s for the richness of great food and a one-of-akind experience at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile on the corner of Main Street and Kihekah. Ree Drummond shot to fame with her food blog, cookbooks and nationally televised show “The Pioneer Woman” on Food Network. From her and husband Ladd’s sprawling cattle ranch west of Pawhuska, she has reached millions of followers from all over the world. In 2012, the Drummonds purchased the former Osage Mercantile, a run-down, old building in the center of Pawhuska’s historic downtown district. Ree Drummond, who refers to her husband as “Marlboro Man” on her blog, wrote they thought they had gone crazy when they purchased the building. “Marlboro Man and I lost our marbles and bought an old, dilapidated building on Main Street in our small town,” she wrote. Fast forward four years, and on October 31, 2016 the “lost marbles” turned into a place of magnificent glory. “The Merc” is a mixed-use retail/restaurant/bakery coffee shop that thousands of people visit daily — Sometimes waiting hours to get in and have a meal with a recipe picked by Ree herself. “Everything we have here is based on what Ree decided she wants to have for her fans,” Taylor Potter, director of operations for The Mercantile, said. “Whether it is the coffee, the baked items, the delicious food in the deli, or the eclectic mix of items in the retail store, Ree hand-selected them all.” The Pioneer Woman Mercantile brings in anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 people every weekday and double that on the weekends, said Kurtess Mortensen, general manager and executive chef of The Merc. Vistors from all 50 states and over 20 different counties have converged on Pawhuska, more than doubling the city’s population daily.

Crowds line up outside of Ree and Ladd Drummond’s The Mercantile in Pawhuska. All photos by Mark Blumer

“It’s been a frantic few months,” Mortensen said. “It’s been incredibly busy here in Pawhuska, as we’ve doubled the size of the town in single days and tripled it in other days. It’s pretty spectacular business and it keeps on rolling.” Mortensen moved to Bartlesville from Las Vegas where he was the executive chef for many outstanding restaurants. His move to Bartlesville and working with Ree Drummond opening The Mercantile has been the experience of his life. “This is so exciting and we have a great product and experience to offer Ree’s fans,” Mortensen said. “I never thought I would be helping open a restaurant in the middle of Osage County in Oklahoma. This has been such a great experience. I feel like I’m home.” Vistors to The Merc’s retail store will find Ree Drummond’s latest picks of cookware,

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


dining wear, clothing, cook books, stuffed animals, finger puppets and decor items all within a beautiful two-story building with hardwood floors and original murals on the walls. But the biggest draw by far is the smell of fresh-baked goodies upstairs, baristas brewing up custom drinks for java lovers and, of course the food in the deli. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner the chefs at The Merc are eager to please all fans of The Pioneer Woman’s dishes. For breakfast, visitors can get items as simply delicious as biscuits and gravy, all the way to an Osage County treat, “The Cattleman’s Breakfast” — featuring a 12-ounce USDA Choice ribeye steak, three eggs, breakfast potatoes, a freshly baked biscuit and homemade jam. From hearty meals like the Oklahoma original chicken fried steak, to enchiladas, Chicken Parmesan and “P.W. Lasagna,” diners are sure to have a full stomach after eating in the deli/ restaurant. Other favorites come directly from Ree Drummond’s blog and television show, like the “Marlboro Man Sandwich,” stacked with tender beef cube steak made from ribeye, piled high with sauteed onions on a soft hoagie roll. For the coffee lovers, Drummond has sourced Tulsa-based bean-roaster Topeca Coffee to be the java of choice. A signature drink is the “Spicy Cowgirl,” featuring Topeca espresso with chocolate, cayenne pepper and sweet vanilla cream over ice. The professional baristas will brew up any hot drink for visitors too — from espresso to cortado, or cappuccino to macciato — a flavor for any coffee lover is available. Even if that’s just a normal cup of Joe. On the second floor of The Merc, the smell of fresh baked goods waft down the restored staircase with tempting items like cinnamon rolls and the gooey-deliciousness of a bourbon pecan sticky bar. And don’t forget butter, butter, butter.

All photos by Mark Blumer

“We literally go through a ton of butter each week,” Potter said. “It’s incredible, but Ree insists on cooking with butter.” It’s Ree Drummond’s down-home feel and Oklahoma style that attracts people from all over the country and world, for that matter. But if you decide to come eat at the deli/restaurant during the peak serving time, be prepared to wait a couple of hours before being seated in the restaurant. “It is so worth it though,” said Johnna Meeks, who was visiting The Merc from Billings, Montana. “The wait is comfortable and expected, and the food is beyond amazing. We travelled here specifically to go to see The Merc, and while we’ve been here, the people of Pawhuska and Bartlesville have been so great. What a wonderful area to visit. I’m so glad we did it.” Mortensen said the atmosphere and Oklahoma hospitality are exactly why The Merc was founded. “We want people to come from all over — and they have — to enjoy what Pawhuska, Osage County, Bartlesville and Tulsa have to offer,” he said. “Ree is such a dynamic person and just seeing people come here to enjoy what she has created is magical. We are so happy to welcome everyone to our frontier.” The Pioneer Woman Mercantile is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. The Merc is closed on Sundays. For more information about The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, or to contact the staff, visit www. Nathan Thompson is the education, business and state government reporter for the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise and Pawhuska Journal-Capital newspapers. He studied broadcast journalism and meteorology at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.


What is your favorite place for a sit-down dinner in Bartlesville and what is your favorite dish at that restaurant?

“I love the Q with sweet potato fries at Painted Horse.” — Laura Coulter

“My favorite fast casual restaurant is Shorties, their Asian beef is absolutely amazing and goes great with the spicy thai noodles in a taco bowl!” — Kyle Ppool

“Painted Horse Firecracker Shrimp or Hilton Garden Inn Fish tacos ... with a Colorado Bulldog to drink.”

“Maria’s Tacos and of course a Johnny Burger at Frank and Lola’s.” — Rhonda Hudson

— Susie Lagal

“Eggberts. They have the best breakfast and their staff is SO friendly.” — Morgan Lawrence

“My favorite fast casual restaurant is Shorties Grille. I always have a tough time narrowing down the choices, but my go-to is carne asada tacos on flour tortillas with mac & cheese and elote. Then I put the mac & cheese inside the tacos. It’s the beefy tacoroni some might remember from the food truck days!”

“Samantha’s quinoa patties, red pepper hummus for an appetizer, and peach bread pudding. Wonderful atmosphere and service. We had an anniversary party in their party room. It was perfect!” — Deb Gordon

“I like the Onion Patty Melt at Frank and Lola’s ... and their salsa is the bomb.” — Josie Peacock

— Christopher Jones

“Sushi One. I love the sushi and miso soup with a beer.” — Karl Franks


Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

“I like the Nachos and Beef Enchiladas at Monterey’s Little Mexico.” — Joe Sears

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017



Steer Roping Capital of the World For wraps and a hooey, Pawhuska is place to be BY MIKE ERWIN


awhuska’s claim to the title “Steer Roping Capital of the World” based on an historical association with champion ropers which pre-dates the birth of modern rodeo … and continues to the present day. As a sport, steer roping — also called steer tripping — descended from early-day matched ropings between top cowboys from area ranches. Although it’s now assigned step-child status at the national level, steer roping is still considered one of rodeo’s original events. The premier local event is Ben Johnson Memorial Steer Roping was first held in 1954 to honor the recently-deceased father of actor Ben Johnson — an Osage

Pawhuska’s Chet Herren, shown competing in the Ben Johnson Memorial Steer Roping in his hometown arena, finished third in last year’s Ben Johnson event. He also placed third in the 2016 Steer Roping World Championship Standings of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Pawhuska Journal-Capital photo

County native who, like his father, was a world-class roper. Traditionally, the BJMSR has been held on Father’s Day weekend. This year’s 64th-annual Ben Johnson roping will be Saturday, June 17, at the Osage County Fairgrounds’ Ben ‘Son’ Johnson Arena. The event is sponsored by the Osage County Cattlemen’s Association as part of its annual convention, which has been held here for 82 consecutive years. Academy Award-winning actor Ben

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Johnson was born on Osage County’s Chapman-Barnard Ranch, where his father worked for many years. The elder Johnson earned numerous roping championships in his lifetime. Ben (Son) was a 1953 team roping world champion who also competed in several of the early BJM ropings. The local arena is unofficially named for the younger Johnson, who died in 1996. Last year’s local and national results

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


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positively reinforced the “Steer Roping Capital” claim. Ben Johnson Memorial winner Rocky Patterson went on to earn his fourth Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association National Finals Steer Roping World Championship. The 2016 BJMSR runner-up was 18-time world champion Guy Allen — whose brother, Pawhuska Fire Chief Gip Allen, is a two-time Ben Johnson winner. Third place in the Ben Johnson event went to Pawhuska’s Chet Herren, who was runnerup to Patterson in the PRCA world standings. Herren would have won the Pawhuska event had he not missed his final steer. A day later, the Ben Johnson result was reversed when Patterson missed on the last attempt of the Shoat Webster Classic at Kyler’s Bar K Arena — which gave Herren the Webster title. Herren and Patterson also finished first and second, respectively, in the 2016 standings of the Osage Steer Roping Club — which sponsors more than a dozen area roping competitions a year. The Osage Steer Roping Club’s 2017 season began with the Shane Hudson Memorial on Saturday and Sunday, March 1819, at Bar K Arena, located approximately 12 miles southwest of town. On April 22-23, the club’s Ted Wells Memorial starts at 1 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday at Bar K. Osage Steer Roping Club and Lone Star Steer Ropers Association are both sponsoring the Kenny Shores Memorial on Saturday and Sunday, May 13-14, at U Cross Arena in Coleman, Okla. OSRC also will co-sanction a Lone Star Steer Ropers Association Roping on Monday, May 29, at Fightin’ 7 Arena in Stephenville, Texas. Saturday and Sunday, June 3-4 — Ed Goad Memorial at Bar K Arena. Starts 1 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. Sunday, June 18 — Shoat Webster Classic. Starts 10 a.m. at Bar K Arena. The club’s premiere event includes $4,500 Added Money, with $500 going to Division C, $1,000 to the B Division and $3,000 added for A ropers. Saturday and Sunday, July 8-9 — Jack Lucas Memorial at Bar K Arena. Saturday start TBA, Sunday at noon. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 12-13 — Jason Dilbeck Memorial at Bar K Arena. Start time 1 p.m. Friday and noon Sunday. Friday, Sept. 22 — OSRC Finals event preliminaries for B, C Divisions start 1 p.m. at Bar K Arena. Saturday, Sept. 23 — Finals of A, B and C Divisions start 10 a.m. at Bar K Arena. Awards Banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. in Osage County Fairgrounds’ Ag Building

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Music, heritage and culture

OK Mozart Festival, Western Heritage Weekend and Oklahoma Indian Summer BY TIM HUDSON

The Oklahoma Indian Summer festival is the state’s largest intertribal event and cultural exchange.


rea residents and visitors will have a lot to choose from this summer in Washington County. The OK Mozart Festival 2017 is set to feature several noteworthy performances in a variety of genres new to the festival. Probably the biggest name on the nineday festival, which is scheduled for June 8-16, is the harmony-rich sound of Wilson Phillips on June 9. According to OKM board chair Mary Lynn Mihm, the group is a vocal trio comprised of sisters Carnie and Wendy Wilson and Chynna Phillips. Their songs, “Hold On,” “Release Me” and “You’re in Love” topped the billboard charts in the ’90s and their debut album became a Grammynominated smash hit. Most recently, the three appeared in the hit comedy,

“Bridesmaids,” singing “Hold On.” The festival itself kicks off with a street concert featuring the U.S. Army Band, followed by western blues band Honey Blue free to the public. Later that evening, “High Stakes” cowboy crooner Michael Martin Murphey lights up the Bartlesville Community Center accompanied by the world-class Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra. Best known for the hit “Wildfire,” real-life rancher Murphey has topped the pop, country, bluegrass and western music charts. Prepare to sit back, relax and enjoy the harmony of cowboy campfire songs serenaded by the symphony. Classically trained, golden-voiced Chris Mann, star of “The Phantom of the Opera” in its North American tour, takes to the BCC

stage on June 10 accompanied by the BSO. Other performers include the world premiere of composer Jerod Tate’s “Muscogee Hymn Suite,” commissioned and performed by the Tulsa Symphony, and Mojo, a popular Oklahoma jazz band. The Miró Quartet will perform at Ambler Hall on June 12-15 and the inspirational Burchfield Brothers will perform at First Baptist Church. The Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble artists of Oklahoma City will bring audience favorites from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, as well as modern works. June 16 will be the always popular picnic-style performance at Woolaroc for an evening of Walt Disney movie favorites. For information on OKM, visit www.

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


Another big festival in the area is the Western Heritage Weekend on Sept. 23-24 in Dewey. According to organizers, the city of Dewey will keep the spirit of the Old West alive with the 13th annual Western Heritage Weekend. Voted True West magazine’s “Reader’s Choice for Best Old West Event” in 2016, Western Heritage Weekend events reflect the best in family fun and historical entertainment. Dewey will come alive with the sounds of longhorn cattle and stagecoaches during this two-day festival. Saturday’s events begin at 9 a.m. with the Miles for Mammograms “Outlaw Dash” 5K and Fun Run benefiting Family Healthcare Clinic. The starting gun for the race will be fired by one of the many Old West reenactors. Festivities this year include live music, children’s games, merchandise and food vendors, and the ever-popular Stick Horse Rodeo. Cowboys and gunfighters will wander the streets, with a bank robbery and gunfights by the Tom Mix Gunfighters. Admission is free to the Tom Mix Museum and Dewey Hotel Museum, though donations are appreciated. The high point of the day is the Longhorn Parade. “No matter how many times you see them — when those longhorns come walking down Main Street, it is always a thrill,” said Bill Woodard, a Dewey native and

Wilson Phillips, a vocal trio comprised of sisters Carnie and Wendy Wilson and Chynna Phillips, will perform during the 2017 OK Mozart Festival in Bartlesville.

Tom Mix Museum board member. On Sunday the venue changes from downtown Dewey to Prairie Song Village, a re-created Old West town approximately five miles east of Dewey. Gates open at 9 a.m. with a cowboy breakfast available from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in Songcatcher Barn. Cowboy Church will be held at 10 a.m. in the arena. Merchandise and food vendors will open at 10 a.m., with tours of Prairie

Song buildings from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A gunfight is set for high noon at the bank and in front of the saloon after the Wild West Show. The Great American Medicine Show returns featuring Polecat Annie and Professor Farquar. The Wild West Show starts at 1:30 p.m. when the cowboys round up the longhorns and drive them into the arena. Featured performers include Amanda Payne —

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Dewey will keep the spirit of the Old West alive with the 13th annual Western Heritage Weekend, which includes a longhorn parade and Wild West Show.

The One Arm Bandit & Company; Richard Heinrich – trick roper; and Slim Garner – rodeo clown, all returning to the arena. Also returning are crowd pleasing favorite trick riders Haley Ganzel and the Tricked Out Trickriders with Dusta Lee performing her death-defying feats. Area cowboys and cowgirls compete in Ranch Rodeo activities like bronc and bull riding and wild cow milking, and a precision performance by

the Oklahoma Drill Team, an area youth organization, completes the program. For more information, call 918-534-1555, email, visit or find “Western Heritage Weekend – Dewey, OK” on Facebook. As usual, the Oklahoma Indian Summer festival will bring attention to the area from all across the United States, and Director

Lori Pannell says the 2017 edition will be no different. The festival features food and craft vendors, the state’s largest intertribal event and cultural exchange and also features a powwow with both competitive and noncompetitive dancing as well as a juried Native American and Western Art Show and Market, showcasing the talents of more than 30 artists. According to Pannell, more than 15,000 visitors from across the state and beyond take part in Oklahoma Indian Summer and have an estimated $1.8 million impact on the local economy. This year’s festival will again be at the Bartlesville Community Center, at the corner of Cherokee Avenue and Adams Boulevard in downtown Bartlesville. “We really feel like the festival is a national draw and we’re excited about the festival every year,” she said. “We want the festival to be a finger on the pulse of what’s happening right this second in Native American culture … and we want to share that with people across the nation.” “And on top of that there will be food,” Pannell said. “So be sure to get an Indian taco while you are there.” Admission to the festival is free and more information can be found by visiting the Oklahoma Indian Summer website at www.

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Native flavor

Indian Taco Championship returns to downtown Pawhuska BY MIKE ERWIN


owntown Pawhuska’s National Indian Taco Championship is a Native American-themed festival held annually since 2004. This year’s event is set for Saturday, Oct. 7. The NITC was named Best Food Festival of 2015 by Red Dirt Report. It also received the Oklahoma Conference on Tourism’s 2016 RedBud Award 2016 as the Outstanding Event of the Year. Ramona Horsechief claimed her fifth National Indian Taco title in 2016, upholding her nickname as “The Pawnee Fry Bread Queen” and winning the $1,500 first prize. Debra Lookout of Pawhuska is another past NITC winner with multiple championships. Also last year, the local Osage Sisters entry

which includes Dana Daylight, Jacque Jones and other friends and family members — received the People’s Choice Award for the fourth time in a row. The People’s Choice honor is determined

by a vote of festival-goers who pay a judging fee that entitles them to purchase discounted samples of Indian tacos from any of the contestant booths. Which ever contestant receives the most tickets is the People’s Choice winner and receives a $1,000 prize. In addition to the featured cooking competition, the event includes Indian Powwow Dancing and a Native Drum Contest. The festival also has a crafts fair and various other vendors, while carnival-like kiddie rides add to the atmosphere. For more information about the National Indian Taco Championship festival and other local events, call the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce at 918-287-1208.

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


Art by Michaela Steinacher

33rd OK Mozart Music Festival

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Behold the magic of Woolaroc Museum, wildlife preserve a lasting monument to Frank Phillips’ vision BY MIKE TUPA


ven though Frank Phillips died 66 years ago, the Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve remains a monument to his vision and a thriving salute to both the past — and the future. More than 90 years ago, Phillips established Woolaroc as a place of renewal and feral beauty at its best. Indeed, if West Virginia is “almost heaven,” Woolaroc is a close second. No less a worn and weary traveler than world-renown entertainer Will Rogers said the following — as is quoted on the Woolaroc website — about Phillips’ 3,700acre ranch resort: “When you are visiting the beauty spots of this country, don’t overlook Frank Phillips’ ranch and game preserve in Bartlesville. … It’s the most unique place in this country.” Whenever Phillips felt burdened by the stress and pressure of running an oil empire — which he established in the hidden heart of Green Country — Woolaroc awaited him like a comfortable pair of slippers. Within less than 15 minutes, he could escape the demands of his corporate office, drive a few miles southwest of Bartlesville and walk through the front door of his ranch. Once there, he could stroll the paths of Woolaroc and witness nature put on its calmest and unadorned, rugged beauty — a family of buffalo grazing for their dinner meal, elk prancing in the dusky dust and the countless tree leaves reflecting the beauty of the current season. The preserve has changed little in the nearly 70 years since “Uncle Frank” last visited it. Every autumn, the trees still turn gold like

A buffalo forages for grass at Woolaroc. Chris Day/Bartlesville Magazine

they did when he still was there to watch them. Spring still paints the trees green, the pastures rich with new life and the flowers in a kaleidoscope of colors, just as they did when he was alive. Perhaps nothing might bring a bigger smile to Phillips’ face than the teeming calendar of museum events that keep throngs of people making pilgrimages to this favored spot. “To me, it’s easy,”Woolaroc CEO Bob Fraser said in describing the facility’s ambiance. “I refer to it as the magic of Woolaroc. The

history and magic is around every corner from the time you drive through the front gate. I always think when you drive through the front gate is where you enter the museum. … The look on children’s faces when they’re getting off the bus and running up to the museum is incredible and special.” The primary structures for visitors include the Lodge Home, where Frank and Jane Phillips lived on the ranch, the 50,000-square-foot museum and the Bunkhouse.

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In referring to the Lodge Home, Fraser said: “So little has changed, it literally looks like it did the last time Frank and Jane walked out of it.” In addition to the edifices, visitors also can walk one of three trails around the preserve. The longer trails can cause visitors to think their in the middle of Osage country with no civilization around, Fraser said. Shiloh Thurman serves as the Museum Director. Regular summer visiting hours from be on Tuesdays through Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., from May 29 through Sept. 4. Following are some of the Woolaroc happenings for the remainder of 2017: Spring Trail Ride, May 20: This horseback excursion covers 15 miles of terrain the general public might never — or very rarely — witness. Lauren Florence Art Exhibition, June 1-July 31: The works of Lauren Florence will be on display in the Bunkhouse Gallery. Florence — a former Bartlesville resident — will put on display 20 to 25 pieces of her work. They also will be available for purchase. A members only opening is planned for June 1. SSAS Cowboy Shoot, June 2-3: This offering — officially titled, the 2017 Pursuit into the Osage Nation SSAS even — will take place at the Mountain Men Camp. At the regular cost of admission, guests will be able to watch the activities. OK Mozart Outdoor Concert, June 16: Sweet sounds will ride the breezes of the park during this melodious show — which will be part of the OK Mozart’s 2017 Festival — staged at Clyde Lake. Kidsfest, June 24-25: There be no extra charge to get into the park for a day-long event that features crafts, games, entertainment, food and re-enactors. Intro to watercolor workshop – Lauren Florence, July 7: For a $95 fee, participants will spend six hours learning more about the art of watercolors. NO experience is necessary. The Woolaroc Event Center will host the class. Registration is due by July 2. Animal Barn open on weekends, Sept. 4-24: The facility features several animals from a little baby llama, calves, baby rabbits, baby chickens, baby horses, and so on, which the public can pet. Although mostly geared toward children, adults seem to enjoy it just as much. Cow Thieves & Outlaws Reunion, Sept. 30: The genesis of this event stretches back to 1927, when Phillips hosted both the respectable, the working cowboys and the not-so-respectable elements of the American West at his ranch. This “reunion” takes guests back to that wild-and-exciting period by reliving its history and heritage. This also is the main fundraiser for the Frank Phillips Foundation, which owns and operates the Woolaroc properties. This

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The 50,000-square-foot museum presents a unique array of Western art and artifacts, including Native American pottery, beads and blankets. Chris Day/Bartlesville Magazine

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13811 US HWY 75 DEWEY, OK 74029 year will be the 90th anniversary of the event. The Best of Best Art Show: Oct. 6-31: Eight of finest, best known artists in the United States will put 120 or 130 pieces of their works on display in museum, in what will be an art show and sale. This is a national scale show. The public showing will be Oct. 8, and there will be no extra charge other than the normal fee to get into Woolaroc. Fall Traders Encampment, Oct. 6-7: Held at the Mountain Men Camp — near Crystal Lake — the event recreates with historical accuracy what a settlement of this type would have looked like in the 1840s, including tents, tipis and crafts. There is no addition fee charged for visitors to walk through the camp. Wonderland of Lights, Nov. 24-Dec. 3: This will be available to view from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays More than 750,000 lights will cover the grounds and buildings of Woolaroc. Admission will be $4 for adults and $1 for children 11 and younger. Among the extras are live entertainment, wagon rides, Santa Claus, hot cider/hot chocolate and cookies (for sale) and the elusive Holiday Horseman. For more information on these events, or others, or just to find out more about Woolaroc, call 1-918-336-0307, ext. 10, during business hours.

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Trifecta of Old West heritage

Kenneth and Marilyn Tate have built an 18o0s-style village on their ranch east of Dewey.

Prairie Song, Dewey Hotel, Tom Mix Museum keep history alive BY TIM HUDSON


he city of Dewey has a triple threat of Old West-style attractions year round, in the form of Prairie Song, the Dewey Hotel and the Tom Mix Museum. Certainly a jewel in the crown of Washington County is Dewey’s Prairie Song. The western village is the dream of owner-operators Marilyn Tate and her husband Kenneth and is located 6 miles east of Dewey on Durham Road. The village is a collection of old buildings similar to an 1800s style village. The public attraction features a saloon, post office, general store, jail, blacksmith shop and much more — most of which have been personally built by Kenneth Tate. The saloon and the depot are the site of numerous gatherings during the year from corporate Christmas parties to wedding showers. It has hosted several music festivals and, in recent years, a yearly Wild West Show in conjunction with Dewey’s Western Heritage Weekend. The one addition, added in 2015, is a replica gas station that the Tates say is a bit of an anachronism. “We couldn’t build a station like that at Prairie Song because it’s too modern,” Marilyn said. “It wouldn’t fit with the old west buildings.” She says that the idea began with an old former station in the Dewey area. “Between B&C Auto and Quench Buds there’s a little rock building (which) was one of the first, if not the first, filling station in our area,” she says. “We had at first tried to buy it but that didn’t work out.” She says there would have been problems trying to move the old stone structure. Not to be deterred, however, by either the immobile nature of the original building nor 48

sitting in the middle of that pasture.” When asked if the project will signal a new direction for a portion of the beloved Prairie Song, Marilyn says not to give Kenneth any ideas. “Don’t encourage him!” she laughs. “He’ll go out and build a 1920 style town!” Marilyn says that, as usual, preparations are being made for the 2017 version of Western Heritage weekend. “We are already having meetings and making plans for this year’s event,” she says. “We’ve excited already.” More information on Prairie Song may be found at or on Facebook at Prairie-Song-Museum Construction began on the Dewey Hotel in the spring of 1899, making it one of the oldest buildings in Washington County.

the constraints of Prairie Song’s time frame, Kenneth simply moved to another section of the Tate’s ranch and started building. “There’s a little triangular corner going to Prairie Song so that’s where it went,” she says. “We’ve always had two old gas pumps, the kind with the glass at the top, so we had that to start with.” She says that the notion of the stone filling station has really brought in some interesting building materials. “It’s made our of native stone and some of those stones on there … I tell you God is awesome with what he has left here in earth, with those patterns that are in those rock … there’s a vein like I’ve never seen in any rocks anywhere,” she says. “Right now he’s putting the pumps up and then it will be just finishing touches. He will but putting some sod around it so there will be nice green grass. It does look cute

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

Tom Mix Museum The Tom Mix Museum has been a big attraction annually for one of Dewey’s favorite sons, actor and lawman Tom Mix. In total, Mix made 291 films from 1909 to 1935, most of which were silent, to become one of the biggest stars of his era. Prior to his success in films, Mix worked a variety of jobs in Oklahoma Territory, including as a ranch hand at the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch, which was located near what would become Ponca City. It was that time that he performed in a Wild West Show that the brothers created. A museum to Tom Mix is located in Dewey and Tom Mix Day was incorporated into Western Heritage Weekend. The aim of the weekend is to “keep the spirit of Tom Mix and the former Dewey Roundup alive.” Visitors to the museum can expect a treasure trove of Mix memorabilia, which includes guns, chaps, saddles and a theater

playing classic Mix films. It was also recently listed, along with Bartlesville’s Price Tower, as one of the top 15 Historical Sites in Oklahoma by Best of Oklahoma media. More information on the Tom Mix Museum may be found at www.tommixmuseum. com or on Facebook at TomMixMuseum74029

The Tom Mix Museum honors one of Dewey’s favorite sons, actor and lawman Tom Mix.

Dewey Hotel The Dewey Hotel is certainly its own historical center. Jacob H. Bartles, pioneer, rancher, business and civic leader of Washington County, started construction of the Dewey Hotel in the early spring of 1899. The architecture is Victorian of the late 19th century period. The three-story building is comprised of 31 rooms and is one of the oldest buildings in Washington County. It was the home and hotel to Jacob Bartles and Nannie Journeycake Bartles. It began as a family-style hotel with meals, served in the large dining room. The dining room became a fashionable place for Washington County residents to have their Sunday lunch. On the first floor, visitors experience the lobby, parlor, Jacob Bartles Roundup office, dining room and kitchen. The second floor has the seamstress room, toy room, the Bartles suite, the Kane Room, the O.A. Partridge Room, hotel

bedrooms and two rooms furnished by the Indian women’s clubs in which authentic dress of the Indians of this area are shown. ​The third floor is more reminiscent of the early day settlers and cowboys. The rooms have board and batten walls and ceilings. The turret holds the infamous poker room where the lights could be seen late into the night. Many fortunes were won and lost there. Tours are self-guided, but docents are available to provide information and

answer guest questions. There is a gift shop stocked with local history books, photos and souvenirs. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday from April to November. Closed Sunday, Monday and holidays. Adult admission is $3. Dewey Hotel Museum is located at 801 N. Delaware Ave. in Dewey and may be reached at 918-534-0215 or online at or on facebook at www.

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just for kids

Grab your ticket to fun

Bartlesville’s kid-friendly attractions delight young visitors

Bartlesville Kiddie Park A Bartlesville jewel is celebrating a big birthday this year, with a kid-friendly atmosphere that harkens revelers into another time. Kiddie Park in downtown Bartlesville’s Johnstone Park is turning 70 this year, and the pint-sized amusement park has never been better. The classic carousel’s horses received a glimmering coat of new paint this year, the Ferris wheel recently received lighting upgrades and the bumper cars are faster than ever. Locomotive 66, numbered in the tradition of Phillips 66, steams around the park giving kids and kids-at-heart a fun ride — complete with whistle blows, bells, and a tunnel where everyone screams as they journey back to the train station. In 1947, two years after World War II, a small amusement park opened on the corner of Frank Phillips Boulevard and Santa Fe Avenue near present-day Schlumberger. Despite the proliferation of video games and team sports, the simple fun of Kiddie Park continues to provide a step back in time. In its present location in Johnstone Park 50

through Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. until Aug. 12. Kiddie Park is closed Sunday and Monday, and will also be closed July 4. To celebrate the park’s 70th birthday, a big celebration is scheduled for May 27. With tickets priced at only 50 cents, an enjoyable evening can be had for very little cash. Speaking of, the park does not accept debit/credit cards so patrons will want to hit an ATM before visiting. And the last train ride is free.

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since 1953, Kiddie Park features 17 rides including biplanes, water boats, bumper cars, Ferris wheel, roller coaster, a newlyrepaired carousel and the signature train ride. Starting May 5, for the first three weekends in May, the park will be open from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. On May 26 after school has been dismissed for the summer, the park will be open from 7 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and Tuesday

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

A full 18-hole mini golf experience awaits children and families at Sooner Park, located in east Bartlesville on Madison Boulevard just south of Tuxedo Road. Opening on May 1, the fun goes on daily through the end of September. Normal hours are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sooner Junior Miniature Golf has received many upgrades, featuring new and improved holes to challenge putting skills. The course is operated by the Kiwanis Club of Bartlesville, as a service to the children of the area and as a fundraiser for scholarships given by the organization.

Sooner Park Play Tower

Pricing to play is an affordable treat — with children under 5 only costing $1, youth 6-12 $3, students with ID are only $4 and adult tickets cost $5. Seniors over the age of 55 can play for $3.

Bartlesville’s Depot Train Display What kid, big or small, doesn’t love a train? Located on display tracks adjacent to the Bartlesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, 201 SW Keeler Ave., Bartlesville’s Depot Train Display showcases a locomotive, caboose and oil tank car. The lone survivor of more than 300 of its type, the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe No. 940 locomotive stands as an impressive icon of a bygone era. Built in 1903, the steamer spent 51 years traveling through five states. From 1949 to 1952, it breezed through Bartlesville during trips between Chanute, Kan., and Tulsa. Upon retirement, the 940 was fenced inside a display in Johnstone Park from 1956 until December 2009, when it was relocated to the Bartlesville Depot. Visitors can climb aboard the cab, ring the bell and — every Saturday — blow the powerful whistle. Accurately restored both inside and out, the 1948 AT&SF Caboose No. 2259 features a coal stove and a conductor’s desk and

Sooner Park Play Tower

chair among other interesting artifacts. In service from 1948 to 1985, the caboose weighs 30 tons. The latest addition is the AOX 930 oil tank car, built in 1914 for the Associated “Flying A” Oil Company and later owned by Phillips Petroleum Company. Following a threeyear restoration, the car was moved onto the tracks. Bartlesville’s Rotary noon club spearheaded a fundraising campaign to help complete several additions to the display. The train display now includes a new video kiosk, benches and interpretive panels.

In 1964, Americans got their first glimpse of the Ford Mustang, a brash boxer named Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) and “Gilligan’s Island.” On Feb. 28 that same year, Bartlesville residents got their first glimpse of the Sooner Park Play Tower. Renowned architect Bruce Goff was commissioned to design the 50-foot-high structure by Mary Lou Patteson Price, whose husband Harold founded the H.C. Price (pipeline) Company. Countless children and adults created fond memories for almost three decades until deterioration forced the city to close access to the staircase. It sat idle until the summer of 2014. Just like on that February day 50 years earlier, the tower was loaded onto a trailer and hauled through town. Public and private funds allowed Bartlesville-based Service and Manufacturing Corporation to restore the landmark to its original, colorful glory complete with 12 cables adorned with red, yellow and green beads. With a second chance at life, one of Goff’s few public works of sculpture was reopened in the fall of 2014. Once again, the young and young-atheart are able to scale the spiral staircase, dawdle on the observation deck and savor the stunning view of the city.


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Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


chef’s table

The Painted Horse

Mark Spencer brings creative tastes to downtown crowds BY NATHAN THOMPSON


ark Spencer always wanted to own a restaurant named ‘The Painted Horse,’ and he finally got the chance in 2013. The downtown Bartlesville hotspot, Painted Horse Bar and Grille, located at 110 SW Frank Phillips Boulevard, is dedicated to the memory of his great-grandmother. “She loved to paint horses,” Spencer said. “At nine years old, she painted a picture that was absolutely gorgeous and called it ‘The Painted Horse.’ I love that picture and it’s my most treasured possession.” Spencer has over 30 years experience in running restaurants across Oklahoma and Arkansas, but he saved the name ‘Painted Horse’ for his iconic downtown Bartlesville location. The rustic nature of the historic building just made it the right place to use that beautiful name. When you walk into the Painted Horse Bar and Grille, the decor is modern, yet nostalgic of years go by. A large, welcoming bar crafted 52

out of aged wood with the carved figure of a Native American is the first thing eyes are drawn to when entering the restaurant, but soon the colorful paintings of horses on the walls surrounding the restaurant come into focus. “You won’t find grandmother’s painting here though,” Spencer said as he looks around his restaurant. “These are all great paintings, but grandmother’s ‘The Painted Horse’ means too much to me. It’s safely at home.” The brightly colored decor and dark overtones of wood within the Painted Horse Bar and Grille create the perfect atmosphere to enjoy a delectable meal with a business friend or a great, romantic evening with a significant other. In fact, Spencer’s restaurant was named the 2016 Examiner-Enterprise Reader’s Choice Award for Best Business Lunch. Spencer said he is constantly innovating

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

his menu to bring new, creative tastes to the crowds that flock to the Painted Horse Bar and Grille. From Oklahoma classics, like a chicken fried steak, to world treasures like a curry made with Korean Beef Shanks, the restaurant’s eclectic menu and extensive collection of beer and adult libations are sure to bring fans from across the region. “The kitchen staff loves it,” Spencer said. “Its a lot of fun for the kitchen to prepare all of these different dishes, and it is important to keep the menu fresh for our guests. We try to make a visit to the Painted Horse something everyone can enjoy. We can have the best decor and the best staff, but if the food is off, that memory for our customers sticks. We try to make it as creative and tasty as possible.” On Thursdays, Spencer makes one special dish available that diners cannot get any other night of the week — The Painted Horse Indian Taco.

Photos by Nathan Thompson

The brightly colored decor and dark overtones of wood within the Painted Horse Bar and Grille create the perfect atmosphere to enjoy a delectable meal with a business friend or a great, romantic evening with a significant other. In fact, Spencer’s restaurant was named the 2016 Examiner-Enterprise Reader’s Choice Award for Best Business Lunch. Hearkening back to his Native American roots, Spencer makes The Painted Horse Indian Taco a classic dish, but his own modern twist. The delicious dish starts with Spencer’s family recipe for Indian fry bread served hot and fresh. “The recipe for my fry bread is a closely guarded secret, it has been handed down from my family for generations,” he said. “We introduced it here again and it has been a hit.” Once the fry bread is laid on a bed of fresh greens, the building of the Indian taco begins. Next, Spencer adds a generous helping of pork chili, another original recipe, made from fresh cuts of pork shoulder, pork sausage, beans, tomatoes and spices. A layer of shredded green and purple cabbage adds a beautiful color and earthy taste to the Painted Horse Indian Taco, followed by juicy and flavorful diced roma tomatoes.

An Indian taco is not complete without cheese and Spencer’s recipe doesn’t disappoint — using a shredded blend of both mozzarella and cheddar. Freshly chopped scallions add a refined mild onion flavor to the Painted Horse Indian Taco, followed by a rarely known but delicious topping. Jicama is a hearty, flavorful Mexican root vegetable — probably the most exciting vegetable most people haven’t heard of, or don’t eat. Spencer adds thinly sliced jicama, with a wonderfully juicy, sweet and nutty taste. To finish off the Painted Horse Indian Taco, Spencer adds a drizzle of his devilishly delicious ghost pepper aioli sauce over the entire open-faced taco. The completed dish is one that combines all these amazing ingredients into a classic — and classy — Indian taco. Even though the Painted Horse Indian

Taco is only available on Thursdays, Spencer has other specials that bring in the crowds too. For example ‘Wingsdays’ on Wednesdays brings a mix-and-match chicken wing day, where each wing is only 75 cents a piece. The Painted Horse Bar and Grille serves Asian Thai Wings, Old-school hot wings and a special wing of the day. Most weekend evenings, you can also find live entertainment as you dine, drink and socialize with friends and family. Spencer said as an added treat, an updated menu debuted in March. The Painted Horse Bar and Grille is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 9 p.m., Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 12 a.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. until 12 a.m. The restaurant is closed Sunday. Nathan Thompson is the education, business and state government reporter for the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise.

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


looking back

Gateway to the past Osage County and Osage tribal: Pawhuska’s historical museums BY MIKE ERWIN

ABOVE: Industrial-sized objets d’art creations by Osage artist Carl Ponca line the walkway to the entrance of the Osage Nation Tribal Museum. Pawhuska Journal-Capital photo

LEFT: The variety of exhibits at the Osage County Historical Society Museum correspond with the area’s rich and diverse past.


awhuska offers two excellent historical museums, including the first and oldest tribally-owned museum in the United States.

Tribal Museum Dedicated in May 1938, the Osage Nation Tribal Museum offers an extensive collection of photographs and historical artifacts, in addition to traditional and contemporary works of art. The Osage Museum’s featured exhibit for this summer is “Enduring Images: Osage Photographic Portraiture,” an extensive collection of historical photographs drawn from a major recent donation and the museum’s massive permanent collection. More than 70 specially-selected treasures 54

of Osage antiquity which will also be on display include a choker necklace, eagle feathers, a hand mirror, smoking pipes and a cradle board. Museum officials added that they are planning several “Movie Nights” during the summer months. Feature films will be shown free of charge to a public audience which has assembled on the grounds outside of the museum, they explained. The Osage Nation Tribal Museum is located at 819 Grandview Ave. Telephone: 918-287-5441. Regular hours of operation are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

OCHS Museum Osage

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017




Museum — located at 700 Lynn Ave. in the former Santa Fe Railway Depot — boasts outstanding exhibits on Boy Scouts, Western history Pioneer life, Native American culture and the early-day oil industry. The museum’s Boy Scout exhibits descend from the first Boy Scout Troop in the United States being founded in Pawhuska in 1909. Chartered by the Boy Scouts of England, the local troop was formed before the Boy Scouts of America had even organized. Statues of a Boy Scout in the original uniform and troop members on a campout are just a couple of the interesting items located on the grounds outside the museum. A one room school house south of the museum has been completely restored and contains desks, chalkboards, etc.

Two Santa Fe rail cars — a combination passenger/freight/ mail car and a cattle car — can be found on the north side of the museum. The Western Life exhibit includes branding irons and ranching memorabilia, as well as a chuck wagon that was actually used on a nearby cattle operation. Inside the museum are displays of World War I and II uniforms and memorabilia, as well as tributes to some historic people from Osage County. Special exhibits on the county’s early-day oil boom towns and football teams also can be found in the museum’s showcases. The county historical museum sells an impressive assortment of books on a wide variety of subjects of local interest. The museum facility was expanded a few years ago as repairs were made following a fire that came close to destroying many of the accumulated treasures. Last year, the Osage County Historical Society was honored as one of the state’s outstanding non-profit organizations. Regular hours of operation for the OCHS Museum are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The telephone number is (918) 287-9119.

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Athletic pursuits Gary Knupp drives the ball during opening round play in the 2014 Dink’s Men’s City Golf Championship tournament, hosted by Adams Municipal Golf Course.

Clubs, leagues, teams for kids of all ages BY MIKE TUPA


igh school athletics occupy a high priority in the minds and hearts of area residents. But, there is a wide swath of other sports activities — for kids of all ages — to pass the hours with competitive fun. From the adult/teenage softball leagues at the Artunoff Fields to T-Ball for the tricycle set, the urge to play — or to spectate — is ground deep in the soul of the City of Legends. Following are a handful of some of opportunities to be more than an armchair quarterback:

Bartlesville Tennis Association Formed in 1952, this endeavor exists to introduce the sport to the young, as well as create chances for the more mature to compete. The BATS provides tennis lessons during the summer — at just $25 per week — to kids up to 12 years of age. The BTA also is considering reintroducing lessons for adults. Another primary function for the organization — which currently includes 38 members and their families — is to assist in putting on area high school tennis tournaments. During the spring and fall, the BTA puts on a doubles league, and also has a singles ladder competition. For more information about the association, call Mike at 918-335-0224. Bob Gaut is the BTA president.

Family YMCA of Bartlesville This long-time institution of Bartlesville offers cheerleading, basketball teams and football teams for young people. The basketball leagues are for Pre-K to sixth grade, for both boys and girls. The tackle football program is part of 56

the Indian Nations Football Conference organizations. It offers teams from early elementary through seventh grade. The League games generally take place from late August through October. In conjunction with the football and basketball programs are chances for youth to sign up as cheerleaders. The YMCA currently doesn’t offer any adult basketball leagues.

Boys & Girls Club One of Bartlesville’s longest-enduring kid sports programs is the flag football league operated by this organization. There are two divisions, one for first-and-second graders, and the other for third-and-fourth graders. The league wraps up the third week of May. The YMCA also offers a youth basketball fundamental class on Tuesdays and Saturdays, for members of the club. The fee is #15 and Nate Castillo provides the instruction.

Washington County Youth Baseball/Softball The ballfields at the Price Complex — which has served local children since the 1950s — spring to life with the buzz of chatter and batters from mid-to-late April through a good part of June.

Bartlesville Area Amateur Baseball Located on the south end of the Price Complex is the BAAB Fields, for 14-andunder teams. The league generally features five Bartlesville-based squads, plus one or more out-of-town teams. Play begins in lateApril and concludes in late June with the city championship tournament.

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

American Legion Baseball This program offers three teams for boys 19-and-under. The youngest team has a 16-and-under limit; the middle team is 17-and-under, and the oldest team is 19-andunder. The American Legion program is more than 80 years old in Bartlesville — and has been sponsored the past 76 years by Doenges Ford — the longest-ever running corporate sponsorship of an American Legion team.

Phillips 66 Splash Club The club exists for children all the way from toddlers to high school seniors. The Splash Club began in 1950. It has produced several U.S. Olympic Swim Trials qualifiers and All-American collegians. It is divided into short course and long course seasons.

Phillips 66 Gymnastics Club Revved up in 1966 — when Bartlesville hosted a national gymnastics competition — the club features girls from Pre-K to high school seniors. The club has produced a multiple of regional, state and even national champions, as well as several members that went on to excel on the college level.

Golf course associations Both Hillcrest Country Club and Adams Municipal golf Course also both offer associations for women and men. Adams also features a senior men’s association.

Washington County Soccer Club The WCSC offers both recreational and competitive options for players. Registration is closed for the VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017 season and teams are being formed. For more information, visits the WCSC website.

Visit Dewey From jewelry and purses to fresh arrangements and blooming plants, Ramona’s truly has something for everyone. This unique shop in Dewey is stocked with great gifts and fragrant flowers. They also boast gourmet food items, plush in all shapes and sizes and some home decor items. The Owner/Floral Designer has over 16 years experience in floral designing and delivers from Caney, KS to Ramona, OK and everywhere in between.

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If you are looking for fresh Stillwell Strawberries, VG Market Place is the place to go. You will also find tasty jams, jellies, honey and Mexican vanilla. Among the old favorites of pickles and pickled beets, you will find the new arrivals including Sweet Dill Pickles and My Dad’s Salsa. Owners Vern and Gloria will be adding fresh fruits and vegetables when in season. Red Dirt Soap Company, locally owned, provides you with bath and skin care products that are 100% natural and handmade. We make bar, liquid, shave, and foamer soaps, facial cleansers, shampoos and conditioners, lotions, pet shampoo. pain relievers, baby products, laundry soap, bug repellents, wax melts and more. To include Made in Oklahoma items.

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Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017



What is your favorite thing to do in the Bartlesville area, and why is it at the top of your list?

“My favorite things to do lately include my two boys. I love seeing attractions and events through their eyes. They enjoy exploring Woolaroc and the Price Tower and seem to find something new each time we go. Doing things with my family make the history and fun in the area even more special!” — Maria Gus

“Since I have a lifelong interest in the arts, I prize the opportunity at the Price Tower to give of my time, talent. Since the Price Tower has been nominated by the United Nations to be a World Heritage site, it is an essential permanent work of art in our community.” — Randy Thompson

“My favorite place to visit in Bartlesville is Woolaroc. To me, it represents Oklahoma beauty, with the rolling hills, the lake and the herds of buffalo. From the lodge, where you can see how people lived way back when, to the art collection and petting zoo, it truly has something for everyone.” — Abigail Singrey

“I love spending time at the Bartlesville parks with my husband and pup. From our house we can enjoy a walk down Pathfinder to Cooper Dog Park and Lee Lake. We love being outside and the extensive trail system keeps us active!” — Annah Fischer 58

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

“My favorite thing to do in Bartlesville is to walk to the local coffee shop. Along the way I invariably receive a honk or wave from a friendly face. I always find friends and colleagues to visit with once I arrive. The delicious options for snacking and sipping are an added bonus!” — Mirelle Onukwube

“Although it’s hard to limit my answer to just “one” favorite thing to do in the Ville I’d say walking around downtown waving, chatting up people or just dropping in on people is my favorite. Saying “hey” — getting a hug — enjoying the people … It is so life-giving to me.” — Jason Elmore

“There are so many things that we love to do in the Bartlesville area; it’s really hard to narrow it down to just one. But, if I did have to narrow it down, I would say that my family and I really love to feed the ducks and walk around Jo Allyn Lowe park. The ducks and geese are friendly and fun and you just won’t find a more beautiful spot.” — Heather Davis

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Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017



The World’s Largest Amateur Rodeo Cavalcade a week-long Pawhuska tradition; set for July 17-23 BY MIKE ERWIN

Pawhuska’s Cavalcade returns to the Osage County Fairgrounds on July 17-23. Pawhuska Journal Capital photos


or one week every July, the Osage County Fairgrounds in Pawhuska is “where the pavement ends and the Old West begins.” Billed as “The World’s Largest Amateur Rodeo,” Cavalcade has become a midsummer tradition in the town that also claims the title of “Steer Roping Capital of the World.” This year’s 71st-annual International Roundup Clubs’ Cavalcade is scheduled for Monday through Sunday, July 17-23. Cavalcade is produced and presented by volunteers representating more than 100 roping and riding clubs from Oklahoma and Kansas. Members of those and other clubs participate in seven consecutive days of rodeo competitions at the fairgrounds’ Ben 60

(Son) Johnson Arena. The week’s first arena performance is Monday evening’s Cavalcade Queen Horsemanship Contest, which goes a long way toward determining who will wear the crown for the coming year. Each queen candidate also participates in a fashion show and other competitions, which conclude at the Cavalcade Finals on Sunday. Morning rodeo sessions are conducted Tuesday through Friday, with evening performances held Wednesday through Saturday. Each evening performance starts with a 7 p.m. Grand Entry of all the competing clubs. The Sunday Finals begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday night’s Downtown Street Dance serves as Cavalcade’s welcoming event. On Saturday morning, the Cavalcade Parade

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

begins making its way through downtown at 11 a.m. Cavalcade’s judged or timed rodeo events include Bareback Bronc busting, Barrel Racing, Breakaway Calf Roping, Bull Riding, Chuck Wagon Races, Flag Racing, Pole Races, Pony Express Races, Team Roping, Wild Cow Milking and Wild Horse Races. Some events offer age divisions for 12-and-under, 13-to18 and 19-and-over. The top-placing individuals and teams earn prize money, in addition to garnering honors for their respective clubs. But local officials are quick to point out that Cavalcade is much more than just rodeo competitions. “It’s about family and community and coming together having a good time,” said

Jeff Bute, who has served as Cavalcade chairman for the past 10 years. There are fifth-generation Cavalcaders in some families, according to Bute, whose four-year-old granddaughter recently participated in her first Cavalcade competition. “That’s the type of thing that can really warm your heart about the whole thing,” the event chairman said. Pawhuska’s all-amateur rodeo originated in 1947 as the brainchild of Alice Adams, a retired lady bronc rider who was serving as the arena secretary. Following each of the evening rodeo performances, there’s a “Dance Under the Stars” featuring well-known musical entertainers. The band lineup for Cavalcade 2017 was announced recently as follows: For the Tuesday night (July 18) street dance, Mark Chamberlain & The Whiskey Poet Society will be the featured entertainment. On Wednesday, July 19, Read Southall Band is to play for the first Dance Under the Stars at the Fairgrounds. Jon Wolfe is scheduled to perform at the OCF’s dance park Thursday evening. Friday night’s band for the “Dance Under the Stars” will be Whiskey Myers. And, following the Saturday night rodeo performance, Cavalcade-favorite Jason Boland & The Stragglers are to perform at the week’s dance finale. More information on the annual event can be obtained from the Cavalcade Rodeo homepage on Facebook. While merchants in other U.S. cities try to offset anticipated midsummer slumps in retail business by scheduling “Christmas in July” and similar promotions, the seventh month is traditionally the best of the year for Pawhuska businesses — thanks largely to the thousands of competitors and spectators in town for Cavalcade. “We put a city inside of a city,” Bute said. Mike Erwin is a reporter for the Pawhuska Journal-Capital.

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017



May 4 — Travis LeDoyt Tribute to the King: 7:30 p.m., Bartlesville Community Center. Memorable hits form Elvis Presley. Tickets, www.bartlesvillecommunitycenter. com, 918-336-2787 or the BCC box office. 5-7 — “The Addams Family: A New Musical”: 7 p.m. May 5-6 and 3 p.m. May 7, Bartlesville High School Fine Arts Center. Tickets, $15/adults or $10/students/staff, at the door. Info, 918-336-3311 ext. 5088. 6 — Whistle-and-Ride Celebration: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Train Depot, downtown Bartlesville. Oil Flyer excursion rides (10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.), tour the No. 940 locomotive and Santa Fe caboose. Tickets must be purchased in advance in person, 201 SW Keeler. 6 — Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra’s “The Rat Pack”: 7:30 p.m., Bartlesville Community Center. Celebrates the classic performances of Sinatra, Davis and Martin. Tickets, www.bartlesvillecommunitycenter. com, 918-336-2787 or the BCC box office. 6-7 — Stray Kat car show: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon Sunday, downtown Dewey. Custom cars and hot rods. Sunday blessing of the rides, art show, pinups, live band, more. Info, www.straykatkustoms. com 13 — Oldies ‘n Goodies Car Show: downtown Bartlesville. Registration, $20, from 8-11 a.m. Judging at noon. Awards at 3 p.m. Hot rods, classic cars/ trucks, low riders, customs and more. Info, www. or find them on Facebook. 13 — The Good, The Bad and the Barbeque: 6 p.m., Mullendore Cross Bell Ranch, Copan. Fundraiser for Elder Care. Hosted by Mullendore family at legendary ranch. Barbeque dinner, music and dancing, live/ silent auctions. Info, Deirdre McArdle, 918-336-8500 or 20 — Legacy Hall of Fame: Hilton Garden Inn. Hosted by Bartlesville Community Foundation. Honors Ambler family and Mark and Debbie Haskell. Tickets, 918-3372287. 20 — The Canine Carnivale: Cooper Dog Park Benefit. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cooper Dog Park, Adams Boulevard just east of Silver Lake Road. For more information visit 20 — The Doggie Dash: Benefit for Washington County SPCA and Animal Rescue Foundation. MJ Lake. Registration opens at 7 a.m. Morning dog walk, 8:30 a.m.; 5K race, 9 a.m.; Afternoon dog walk; 1 p.m. For more information, visit

The Whistle-and-Ride celebration is May 6 at the Train Depot in downtown Bartlesville.

ArrowheadVetClinic/ 20 — Woolaroc Spring Trail Ride: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Cost $50 per person, which includes lunch and dinner. For more information, visit 20 — Art of Motion presents Dancing Outside the Box: 7 p.m. Bartlesville Community Center. For more information, visit 20 — Live Prince Tribute: 8 p.m., Heritage Theatre Cafe and Pub, 306 E. Don Tyler Ave., Dewey. For more information, visit www.heritagetheatrecafeandpub. com/events

June 2-3 — 2017 Pursuit into the Osage Nation SASS Cowboy Shoot: 9 .m. to 4 p.m., Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve. 3 — 26th Annual Dewey Antique Show: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Washington County Fair Building, 1109 N. Delaware St., Dewey. Over 106 booths, dealers from six states. Info, 2-4 — SunFest: Sooner Park. 35th anniversary celebration of annual arts and crafts festival. Music, art, food, activities. Info, 8-16 — OK Mozart Festival: Multiple times/locations. Celebrating all genres of music. Showcase events that feature local points of interest, additional music shows, children’s activities and more. Info, 23-24 — Quiltfest: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Washington County Fair Building, Dewey. Hosted by Bartlesville

Jubilee Quilters’ Guild. Features hundreds of quilts, vendors mall, donation quilt, auction, bed turning, technique demos, quilters boutique, door prizes. Admission, $7/person, children under 12 free. 24-25 — Kidsfest at Woolaroc: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Woolaroc. For more information, visit www.woolaroc. org

July 18-20 — Camp Woolaroc: An adventure in learning for ages 6, 7, 8. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration is $75 per camper. For more information, visit 20-23 — Annie: Children’s Musical Theatre of Bartlesville Main Street production. 7 p.m. July 20-21; 3 p.m. July 22-23. More information, visit cmtonstage. com. 25-27 — Camp Woolaroc: An adventure in learning for ages 9, 10, 11: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration is $75 per camper. For more information, visit

August 19 — Samaritan Sports Spectacular: Tailgate party fundraiser for Samaritan Counseling and Growth Center. 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets: $30 each; $240 for table of eight. For more information, visit 26 — BIG Event: Big Brothers Big Sisters annual themed dinner and auction. 6-10 p.m. Hilton Garden Inn, 205 SW Frank Phillips Blvd.


DEWEY ANTIQUE SHOW Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 8:00 A.M. till 5:00 P.M. Washington County Fair Building 1109 N. Delaware St. Dewey Ok. Information Contact:

Gail: 918-333-5200 Leah: 918-440-3375 Sponsored by: Antique and Collectibles



Over 106 Booths, Dealers from 6 states. Great variety of treasures and prices! Something for everyone!


Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017

• Rocks & Gems • Fine Diamonds • Custom Jewelry • Native American Pieces • Sterling Silver 3540 SE Washington Tues-Sat 10-5:30

Bartlesville, OK 918-333-2814

Bartlesville Magazine VISITOR’S GUIDE 2017


U.S. Hwy 75 North of Ramona, OK 918.535.3800 |

Know your limits. Gambling problem? Call 800.522.4700.

Profile for Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise

Bartlesville Magazine Tourism Edition  

This is a comprehensive guide to Bartlesville Oklahoma and the surrounding area for tourism ideas for the entire year.

Bartlesville Magazine Tourism Edition  

This is a comprehensive guide to Bartlesville Oklahoma and the surrounding area for tourism ideas for the entire year.