Oklahoma Wildlife Preserve: Woolaroc | Reader's Digest

Oklahoma Wildlife Preserve: Woolaroc

from Off the Beaten Path | 318
Woolaroc, Oklahoma© 2009 Woolaroc Museum, Bartlesville OklahomaWoolaroc Museum celebrates the history and culture of various Native American tribes and the peoples who populated this land. Woolaroc was the name oil baron Frank Phillips created for his bucolic retreat in the Osage Hills, taking the letters from “woods,”

On State Hwy. 123, 12 miles southwest of Bartlesville, Oklahoma

This lovely 3,700-acre property in the rugged Osage hill country was acquired in the 1920s by Frank Phillips, cofounder of Phillips Petroleum Company, for a wildlife preserve and a family retreat. Now owned and managed by a foundation created by Phillips, Woolaroc (woods, lakes, and rocks) is open to the public. On the grounds are a world-renowned museum established by Phillips, the Native American Heritage Center, and the rustic but spacious lodge where the Phillipses entertained the nation’s leaders and celebrities.

The museum, which portrays the story of man in the New World, contains 55,000 items from prehistoric times through the middle of the 20th century. Its displays of Native American blankets and Navajo and Plains jewelry are outstanding. A permanent exhibit of Western art (one of the world’s finest) includes paintings, sculptures, and other works by Frank Tenney Johnson, Charles M. Russell, and Frederic Remington.

Next to the museum is the Native American Heritage Center, a longhouse with exhibits illustrating Native American culture and achievements. From the center the Enchanted Walkway leads to the 11/2-mile-long Thunderbird Canyon Nature Trail.

Open Tues. – Sun. Memorial Day–Labor Day; Wed. – Sun. year-round. Admission charged.

www.woolaroc.org

(918) 336-0307