Tales from the 2016 Road: The Other Half Gives

July 3, 2016, Ponca City-  I spent about forty minutes visiting this spacious northern Oklahoma town’s three major landmarks, all associated with the oil magnate, E.W. Marland, and his family.

Prior to arriving here, I stopped at the roadside memorial to Chief Joseph, logistics chief of the Nez Perce, in the mid-Nineteenth Century.  The captive Nez Perce, native to Idaho, had been brought here, to Tonkawa, in 1877, and made to remain there, until 1884.  They were allowed to return to Idaho, then, and given the choice of becoming Christian and staying in Idaho, or retaining their old ways, and being moved to Colville, Washington.  Chief Joseph and his band chose the latter.  Below, is the photo of the memorial to him.


Memorial to Chief Joseph, Tonkawa, OK

Ponca City, in Osage country, has among the earliest ties to the petroleum industry in Oklahoma.  It is, nonetheless, among the state’s most spacious and well-appointed communities.  Here is a look at downtown.


Grand Avenue, Ponca City

City Hall is also strikingly modern.


Ponca City Hall

There are two homes, built by E.W. Marland, which feature prominently in Ponca City’s civic life.  Marland’s  Grand Home, built by him in 1916, now serves as the city’s cultural center and Indian Museum.


Veranda, Marland’s Grand House, Ponca City


Full view of Marland’s Great House, Ponca City


Original Marland Oil Company Flag Staff, Ponca City

Ernest Whitworth Marland had a sincere respect for the sacrifices made by women, on the prairie, and had this statue built, in their honour.


Pioneer Woman Statue, Ponca City

The Marland Mansion, where the family lived after 1916, is the centerpiece of a city park, and is maintained in the spirit of the early 20th Century.  I toured the grounds, as the interior is not open on Sundays.

The Marland children, George and Lydie, are honoured with statues, at the northern and eastern ends of the property, respectively.

The mansion itself was built in grand, European style.  Ernest was a generous man, and did not spare himself or his family of that largesse.



Marland Mansion, Ponca City

There is a wealth of flora on the grounds.


Rhododendron bush, Marland Mansion, Ponca City

There is an extensive walking trail around the grounds, which I did not have time to explore, given my invitation to a Fourth of July gathering, east of Joplin.

The pond, though, lends a serenity, and a wildness, to this most epicurean of parks.


Pond, Marland Mansion grounds

The park is a refreshing place for Poncans to gather, so in my view, E.W.’s largesse has had a good long-term effect.  Now, as long as we keep moving towards cleaner energy….

NEXT UP:  Christmas in July

7 thoughts on “Tales from the 2016 Road: The Other Half Gives

  1. as i remember once upon a time i wanted to get there. it is nice you sent pictures of what it is. 😀 I am glad you seem to have changed horses of conveyance, i hope you enjoy the new to you one and keep themememories of that last. they are gifts of time . I believe you hit conneticut of some such way north. if you are still there keyon’s gristmill is in rhode island and it is the oldest mills of colianial times america. white corn which blended with rye not yellow corn with rye is rye an injun – a colonial taste in bread. white corn has quit a tooth to it compared to soft lucious yellow corn so when making strickly corn bread you’ll have an interesting note to history and tastes as yellow corn wouldn’t have been for but the officiers. johnny cake john henry lotsa stuff named john that end up with a corn hint to them some how. I don’t know why that is. if you are also still there http://www.marktwendell.com tea of boston and surroundings is a delight. I could only have it mailed here. and new hamsphire and it’s surrounds there surely have a corn chowder waiting for you. — if you’re likely nearly halfway back? well then i hope the smokey mountains is part of your trip home. is so some honey as if you can tell the honeys of areas are unique to themselves. also i know you may skip the inclusions to certain foods but perhaps you’ll have another round of the midwest crock of green beans! slow cooked heaven and onion.


  2. Love the mansion. We just passed through Oklahoma in the last week and a half on our way to and from your neck of the woods. Didn’t have much time. Wasn’t a vacation but a driving our grandchildren home trip, long & exhausting but fun. 🙂


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