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  • Overholser MansionOverholser Mansion Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Henry Overholser came to Oklahoma City in 1889, and became involved in almost every area of the city's continued growth, until his passing in 1915. Building more than 35 buildings in the early city, these included; the US Courthouse, the state fairgrounds, and two opera houses; and was the founder of the Board of Trade, and was its first president, that today is known as the Chamber of Commerce. Henry became involved in the County Commission, the first trolley cars and the original water works. The same year he came to the city, he married Annalone Murphy, the daughter of the state's first territorial treasurer, the couple was soon involved in the social affairs of the city. Henry bought the first three lots that would become the Classen's Highland Park Addition, that today is called Heritage Hills. Their beautiful mansion is 11,000 square feet, with a 4000 square foot carriage house and were completed in 1903, with elaborate furnishings, interior Antwerp oak woodworks and stained glass. The mansion was an excellent example of the city's development and wealth. They had two children, a son that passed on shortly after his birth and a daughter, Henrylone, born in 1905. She would grow and marry David J. Perry in 1926; who then took over the mansion and lived there until her passing in 1940. David was a pioneer aviator and later on became the campaign manager of Senator Mike Monroney. The Perry's didn't have any children, so after Annalone gave the estate to Henrylone in 1937, and she passed on, David became the owner in 1959. The Oklahoma Chapter of American Institute of Architects, private citizens and the Historical Preservation Incorporated raised enough money to buy the estate and furnishings in 1972, which then gave them to the state of Oklahoma. The three story French chateau style house is full of the original furnishings that include English carpets, French stained glass windows and Brussels lace curtains. There is some suggestion that the house is haunted, and has been investigated by the Oklahoma Paranormal Research Alliance on three different occasions with some variations in their equipment; making it an interesting place to visit for these reasons as well as the chance to see what marvelous antiquities are still there. The house is also a beautiful example of early city architecture.

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  • National Cowboy and Western Heritage MuseumNational Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is found in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with over 28,000 western and Native American artworks and relics. It is home to the most expansive collection of American rodeo, barbed wire, photographs, saddlery and early rodeo trophies in the world, focusing on and saving the heritage of the American west. Each year it turns into an art gallery in the Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition and Sale in June with the group's artists sell their works for the museum's fund raiser. The museum was started in 1955 as the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Museum, based on an idea by Chester A. Reynolds who wanted to bring honor to the cowboys and their era. Later in the year, the museum was renamed the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Museum and in 1960, renamed the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center, getting full accreditation in 2000 on the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. To honor the founder, a Chester A. Reynolds Award is given for a person or facility that contributed to the preservation of American west history and heritage. The facility is over 200,000 square feet that contain over 2000 works of western art and the William S. and Ann Atherton Art of the American West Gallery. A magnificent 15,000 square foot exhibit space houses landscapes, sculptures, still lifes and portraits by 19th and 20th century artisans. This includes more than 200 works by Albert Bierstadt, Robert Lougheed, Solon Borglum, Charles Marion Russell, Charles Schreyvogel, Thurmond Restuettenhall and Frederic Remington. There are more than 700 articles by Edward S. Curtis and 350 plus from Joe DeYong. In the wonderful American Cowboy Gallery, the lives and traditions of the working cowboy and early ranch history is included, which was fashioned after a 1950s rodeo arena, America's native sport. In the Joe Grandee Museum of the Frontier West Gallery there are over 4500 artifacts that belonged to western artist Joe Grandee, also the Native American Gallery that showcases the marvelous works by western tribes that added to their everyday lives, reflecting the histories and beliefs; and the Weitzenhoffer Gallery of Fine American Firearms, containing over 100 pristine examples of Winchester, Colt, Marlin, Remington, Sharps, Parker Brothers and Smith & Wesson that helped to tame the wild west. Prosperity Junction is found here, that is a 14,000 square foot authentic turn-of-the-century Western prairie town, where visitors can walk the streets, look inside the many store windows to see what was sold and walk into some of the fully furnished structures. Each year, A Night before Christmas, has historical costumed figures helping to celebrate the holidays.  Each year, the museum gives "The Wrangler", a beautiful original bronze figure that was created by sculptor John Free, to principal creators of the winning entries of special categories that include Western literature, television, film and music. Some of the many past winners include; Tom Selleck, Owen Wister, Pernell Roberts, William S. Hart, Ben Johnson, Tom Mix, Joel McCrea, Tim McCoy, Harry Carey, Hoot Gibson, Howard R. Lamar, Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter, Gene Autry, John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Richard Widmark, James Stewart, Buck Taylor and Ken Maynard.

January 11, 2011