This fun day trip takes us to the largest city in Kay County, Oklahoma, nestled between the Arkansas River and the Salt Fork of the Arkansas, and just a few miles south of the Kansas border. Named after the Ponca, a midwestern tribe of Indians, it was originally the name of a clan of the Osage, Kansas, and Quapah tribes. The term can be translated to mean "cut throat". Originally called "New Ponca" the city was created in 1893 in large part by oil, and through the effort and investment of oil magnate E. W. Marland. Marland, later the Governor of Oklahoma, contributed significantly to the development of the city and much of it bears his mark today.
We shall see several of the buildings that E.W. Marland built, including his famed Mansion with 43,561 square feet of living space, one of the largest residences in the Southwest and known as the "Palace on the Prairie." We will also see the Marland Grand Home. A more modest 16,500 square feet it houses the first indoor swimming pool in Oklahoma and modern conveniences nearly unknown to Oklahomans at the time.
Our tour also includes a visit to the Poncan Theatre and a tour of the Head Country BBQ plant in Ponca City and afterward lunch at Danny's BBQ Restaurant, the former owner of Head Country.
We tour the Marland Grand Home, above, built by the oil magnate between 1914 and 1916 in Renaissance Revival style, originally with extensive formal gardens to the east and a separate carriage house. The home cost $350,000 to build at the time, the equivalent of about $8.5 million in 2016.
We also tour the famous Poncan Theatre. In 2008 some original movie art, posters and paintings that used to travel with movie releases were found in a closet at the Poncan Theatre many dating back to the 1930's when the theater was built. The value of the collection is not known with certainty but it is an impressive find and many of these posters can now be seen in the Poncan Theatre by guests who drop in. Discover Oklahoma has an interesting article dated Sep 2016 on this wonderful collection. Click here!