Oklahoma's Oil Barons

Day One

Morning – The oil industry has played an important role in Oklahoma history dating back to 1882 before the Land Run. When Oklahoma became a state in 1907 it was the largest producer of oil with an annual production of over 40 million barrels. The first commercial well in Oklahoma was struck in 1897 in Bartlesville where we begin today learning about Frank Phillips and Phillips Petroleum Company. First stop is at the Frank Phillips Home, a 26-room mansion that was built by Phillips and his wife, Jane, in 1908. Not only will you see original furnishings but you will learn more about the Phillips, their guests, and servants while touring the home (allow 1 ¼ hours).


Afternoon – After lunch we tour the Phillips Petroleum Museum to learn the story of the company's transformation from a small Bartlesville business to a global enterprise. Learn about the Phillips employees and how the company fostered a feeling of family within the company.  You'll also discover breakthrough technology that has made Phillips Petroleum stand out in the petroleum industry (allow 1 hour). Next, stop is Woolaroc Ranch, Museum & Wildlife Preserve, the country retreat of Frank Phillips. The name Woolaroc is derived from the woods, lakes, and rocks of the Osage Hills. We find the lodge much as it was in years past with wildlife mounts and art of the Phillips. The Woolaroc Museum next to the lodge was started as a hangar for the Woolaroc airplane and today contains not only the airplane but Native American and Western art, and one of the world’s finest collections of Colt firearms (allow 2 hours).


Evening – This evening enjoy dinner at one of Bartlesville’s restaurants before checking into the hotel and settling down for the night.


Day Two

Morning – After breakfast at the hotel we will visit Johnstone Park where Nellie Johnstone, the first commercial oil well in Oklahoma is located. Also on display at the park is an oil patch cannon that was used when oil storage tanks caught on fire. Departing Bartlesville we head west to Pawhuska, headquarters for the Osage Tribe. Upon arrival in Pawhuska we will visit the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church often referred to as the Cathedral of the Osage. Completed in 1915, the cathedral contains 22 stunning stained glass windows. One of the most historically significant windows depicts Osage tribal members with Father Schoenmaker (allow 45 minutes). At the Osage Tribal Museum we will learn more about the Osage Nation and how the oil industry affected the tribe when oil was discovered on the Osage reservation (allow 1 hour).


Afternoon – This afternoon we arrive in Ponca City where we will have lunch on our own before touring the Conoco Museum. This state of the art museum tells of Conoco’s founders E.W. Marland and Isaac Blake along with the thousands of employees that have given Conoco a successful history that dates back 125 years to the Cherokee Outlet (allow 1 hour).


Evening – Enjoy dinner at one of Ponca City’s restaurants before checking into a hotel for the evening.




Day Three

Morning – We begin the day at the Marland Grand Home, first home of E.W. Marland, oilman, philanthropist, and 10th governor of Oklahoma. Marland came to Oklahoma in 1908 and started drilling for oil, but it was not until June 1911 that he struck oil. The first mansion of Marland was completed in 1916 with a central vacuuming system, automatic dish washer, and the first indoor swimming pool in the state (allow 1 hour).


Afternoon – This afternoon we arrive at the Marland Mansion also known as the “Palace on the Prairie.” During our catered lunch in the mansion we will be joined by some notable characters, such as E.W. Marland and Lydie that recreate Ponca City’s past and tell us their story. We will hear about the rise and fall of Marland Oil and how Lydie, Marland’s adopted daughter, came to be his second wife. After lunch we will tour the 55-room mansion that was completed in 1928 with 10 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, three kitchens, Waterford crystal chandeliers, an elevator, and hand carved details (allow 3 hours).

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