Woolaroc. Woods, Land and Rocks. Woolaroc. In the mid 1920s, Frank Phillips literally struck it rich when drilling for oil in the hills of Osage country. He so loved this area that he bought the land, including the well sites, that paved the way for him becoming a multimillionaire. His dream was to build a game preserve and a beautiful lodge to enjoy and share with friends, family and the public. He was intrigued by the Wild West and desired to preserve as much of our western and Indian heritage as possible so he also built a museum that houses a world class collection of western art, artifacts and special exhibits.
The preserve covers about 3600 acres and, when first building the preserve, Mr. Phillips brought in many exotic breeds. Unfortunately, a lot of them did not survive due to disease, severe weather and predators. Buffalo were becoming quite extinct, but Mr. Phillips was able to purchase a herd from South Dakota that thrived well. He was one of a small group of investors who was responsible for bringing this breed back from extinction. I think he would be pleased. Most of the preserve is drive-thru only as there are still buffalo, deer, zebra, ostriches and other wild critters that live on the land in pens and pastures...for the most part. Our first stop was a hands-on mountain man camp that was not here the last time we were here....25 or so years ago. Who could resist? We parked our truck and walked down into the little valley area, which was surprisingly comfortable and breezy.
The powder and such is pretty mild so that even children can experience the joy of shooting a target. It still gives off a pretty loud bang so one is encouraged to wear the protective coverings over your ears while mountain man just plugs his with his fingers.
This is just one area of the Woolaroc preserve. Next week, I'll share with you about our quick visit up to the lodge and museum. You might enjoy this little video about Woolaroc that was taken during the late fall or winter months. The surroundings weren't as pretty and luscious as they are now but you will at least get an idea of what this place is all about.
Enjoy and have a beautiful weekend!