Over the course of my travels, one unexpected delight I have found is discovering the collections of deceased rich men. Most of the time, these people moved to the middle of nowhere in search of the American Dream and found it in oil, or steel, or some other type of new turn of the century technology. That’s how I came across Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve, the ranch retreat and collection of Oil Mogul Frank Phillips.
Woolaroc is hidden in the Osage Hills of Northeastern Oklahoma. Established in 1925, the ranch is a 3,700 acre wildlife preserve, home to many species of native and exotic wildlife, such as buffalo, elk and longhorn cattle. Woolaroc is also a museum with a focus on the Wild West, Plains American Indian Artifacts and Colt Firearms.
The name WOOLAROC is derived from three words—the woods, lakes and rocks that make up the beautiful Osage Hills of northeast Oklahoma where Woolaroc is located. Originally, the name was intended for only the Lodge ranch house, but Frank liked it so much it quickly became the name for the entire ranch.
When I entered the museum, I was immediately transported back in time, being surrounded by statues, artwork, blankets and tools that were used by the American Indians of the area. It was humbling to stop and appreciate the culture that was here before the Europeans colonized the area. Also, to take a step back and see how far technology has come only in the last 150 years. All in all, material from approximately 40 different tribes is displayed in the collection.
Surrounding the museum, is a 3,700 acre wildlife preserve which is home to over 30 species of animals and birds. It is a working ranch that maintains the animals in a natural, protected setting. After entering the grounds, there is a 2 mile drive through the preserve up to the museum. The animals are wild though and roam the entire grounds, so there is no guarantee which ones you will see.
The prominent species at the Woolaroc Ranch are the American Bison (buffalo), elk (wapiti) and longhorn cattle, which are truly native to this area and were found here in the days before Columbus. Other species include the Japanese Sika deer, North European fallow deer, water buffalo, llamas, aoudads, ostriches, Sardinian donkeys and pigmy goats.
Closest Supercharger Catoosa Ok, 54 mi
777 W Cherokee St, Catoosa, OK 74015
Woolaroc Wildlife Preserve and Museum
1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd, Bartlesville, OK 74003