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6 August 2012 / leggypeggy

Woolaroc—the spirit of the American West

Poor John and me with Big Charlie and LIttle Georgie. Outside the entrance to the Woolaroc Museum.

I have a soft spot for Woolaroc. Actually, it’s more than a soft spot—Woolaroc is one of my favourite tourist destinations in the USA. Maybe it’s because of my dad, who probably never went there.

Let me explain.

Woolaroc is near Tulsa Oklahoma (it really near Bartlesville). Frank Phillips, who started the Phillips 66 petroleum company, founded the ranch in the 1920s because he wanted his friends to be able to have a taste of American country life.

It started with the house/lodge and later a small building to display the aircraft that won the Dole Air Race to fly to Hawaii in 1927.

Today Woolaroc has a comprehensive western museum, a comfortable lodge and plenty of wildlife.

One of my sisters lives near Woolaroc. The first time I went there was about 25 years ago and dad was on my shoulder. Dad had been a pilot and he admired Mr Phillips. Not because of the flying competition but because Mr Phillips was a quiet and generous philanthropist. Dad always said that anyone who gave to charity without noise and fanfare was worth his time and admiration.

Mom remembered that. When dad died unexpectedly in a car accident (I was 18), mom invested a good chunk of the insurance money in Phillips 66. It gave her good returns and helped her to look after a bunch of daughters. I remember her selling shares to carpet and curtain various rooms in the house.

This visit to Woolaroc was a complete pleasure. I spent a lot of time enjoying the exhibits, and even more time running around after the human dynamo—my 15-month-old great-nephew Little Charlie. Couldn’t have done it without the help of Poor John and my nephew, Big Charlie.

We didn’t see much wildlife (probably too hot for them to come out of the shade), but we explored every inch of the museum and had enough time to pop into the lodge. I love that lodge.

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Leave a Comment
  1. lmo58 / Aug 6 2012 5:28 pm

    Hi Peggy,
    It’s easy to understand why you have such warm feelings about Woolaroc. The photos you’ve shared look really special and I’m pleased you enjoyed your visit.



    • leggypeggy / Aug 6 2012 10:26 pm

      It really is a wonderful place. I’m about to post more pictures of the museum, plus some of the lodge.


  2. skippersy / Aug 10 2012 11:36 am


    Woolaroc looks like a worthwhile place to visit some day…. a new one for me. Congratulations, you finally posted a very good photo of you and Poor John. So tell us, what is Poor John’s and your Indian name?

    Little Red Feather aka Sy S.
    (an Indian friend gave me this name)


    • leggypeggy / Aug 11 2012 12:28 am

      Oh Little Red Feather, I think you’d love Woolaroc. It really is a special place. As for our Indian names? No one has ever given us Indian names, although mine could be Frizzy Yellow Hair and Poor John could be He Who Always Wears a Hat. 🙂



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