On November 4, 1879, William Penn Adair Rogers was born in Oologah, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory. The son of a Cherokee senator, judge, and cattleman, Will Rogers grew up to become one of the most famous and popular world figures of his time.
He first gained attention with his roping talent, and was even listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for roping a horse and rider with three lassos at once. His skill earned him work as a trick roping star on vaudeville stages. While performing he would often make jokes, and the audience soon became more interested in his folksy humor and wise tongue than his talent with the rope. Talented and funny, his star power was undeniable. Rogers would go on to become a Broadway star, a popular humorist, star of over 70 Hollywood films, author of six books and over 4,000 syndicated newspaper columns, a radio commentator, and even host of the 6th Annual Academy Award Ceremony in 1934. A world traveler, Rogers was a friend to presidents, kings, and everyman. As he put it, “I never met a man I didn’t like.”
Despite his stardom, Rogers always remained close to his Cherokee roots, maintaining a home in Claremore, Oklahoma in addition to his home in LA until his untimely death in an airplane crash in Alaska in 1935. This museum is housed on land originally purchased by Will Rogers in 1911 as the future site of his retirement home. Following his death, Rogers’ widow and children donated the land for the development of the museum.
Photos Copyright Christina Berry, All Things Cherokee
Will Rogers Memorial Travel Details
The museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the summer, spring, and fall. In the winter, it is closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and military, and $3 for children.
Directions: The Will Rogers Memorial is located in Claremore, Oklahoma. For specific directions, click the “Directions” link in the location bubble of the map above and enter your starting location on the left.
GPS & Map: 36.32065774818664,-95.63161969184875