Pioneer Woman Museum: Ponca City, OK

Today, we’re talking about the Pioneer Woman Museum in Ponca City! My first visit to this museum was during my first semester of graduate school. I needed to visit an archive for a project for my Historical Methods class which was related to my research. I study women’s history so what better place to visit, right? Give me all the herstory!

I love the phrase used by the museum, “I see no boundaries.” This phrase embodies the pioneer spirit and is a great reminder for all visitors to the museum. There are no boundaries to what you can achieve. Keep trying! πŸ™‚

Travel Tip: The great thing about Ponca City is that it’s located about 45 minutes north of Stillwater! So if you’re traveling to Stillwater it wouldn’t hurt to drive an extra 45 minutes to visit this museum as well as the other cool sites in Ponca City!

Museum History

The Pioneer Woman Museum opened in Ponca City, Oklahoma in September 1958. The museum was expanded in 1996 to its current capacity. The museum features and explores the rich contributions of Oklahoma’s pioneer women to state and national history.

The Pioneer Woman Statue

The Pioneer Woman Statue was commissioned in 1930 because Ernest Whitworth Marland who wanted something to honor his mother and grandmother. Marland was a millionaire oilman, philanthropist, US Congressman, and the 10th Governor of Oklahoma.

Travel Tip: The Marland Mansion is also in Ponca City and you can tour the historic home. I haven’t been to it yet, but I’ve heard that it’s impressive! Road trip, anyone?

Marland held a competition for the statue design and Bryant Baker’s design won the most votes. The statue is 17 feet tall and weighs 12,000 pounds! If you add the base to the total height – it is 33 feet tall. It’s massive and very impressive, y’all!

The pioneer mother bravely takes hold of her young son’s hand and leads him forward. I was very moved by the piece. I even bought a mini version of the statue in the gift shop to sit on my desk and I was devastated when it got broken when I moved 😦 I need to go back to the museum to visit again and get a new one!

β€œIn appreciation of the heroic character of the women who braved the dangers and endured the hardships incident to daily life of the pioneer and homesteader in this country.” -Statue Inscription
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Museum Exhibits

The museum features a wide array of items pertaining to women’s history in Oklahoma and the West. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a lot of photos when I was there in 2018… But I did take a photo of the bedstead!

Most of the photos I took were pretty research specific and covered old documents in the archive. So next time I visit I will take more photos and hopefully update this article! Thank you for understanding πŸ™‚

Concluding Thoughts

The Pioneer Woman Museum is one that you definitely need to go see. I’m almost positive that you will leave this place inspired!

Happy Traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! πŸ™‚


Visit

701 Monument Road 

Ponca City, Oklahoma 74604

Phone: 580-765-6108

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