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Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Rogers County, Oklahoma


"Birthplace of Will Rogers"

Page Contents for Oologah, Oklahoma

Statistics & Facts

History & History-related items

City Attractions

Historical Events


Statistics & Facts

The Oklahoma state capital is Oklahoma City.
The population of Oologah is approximately 828 (1990), 1146 (2010).
The approximate number of families is 352 (1990), 418 (2010).
The amount of land area in Oologah is 2.09 sq. kilometers.
The amount of surface water is 0 sq kilometers.
The distance from Oologah to Washington DC is 1073 miles.
The distance to the Oklahoma state capital is 122 miles. (as the crow flies)
Oologah is positioned 36.44 degrees north of the equator and 95.71 degrees west of the prime meridian.

History & History Related Items

Will Rogers said he told people that he was from Claremore because no one but an Indian could pronounce Oologah. Locals say it Ou'-la-gawh. The Cherokee word means dark cloud. Not only is the town name hard to pronounce, folks can't! agree on how it should be spelled. Prior to statehood, it was often spelled Oolagah. Although the official spelling is now Oologah, some historic buildings still use the other spelling. The Dog Iron Ranch actually predates the town, which grew up when the railroad came through about 1890. A stroll down the original brick sidewalks on Cooweescoowee Avenue on a warm afternoon will take you back almost 100 years. The main street takes its name from the Cherokee name of John Ross, principal chief of the Cherokees at the time of the Trail of Tears. Oologah was part of the Cooweescoowee District of the Cherokee Nation. Coo-wee-scoo-wee is reported to be a large white aquatic bird (perhaps mythical) and some observers think the name sounds like a bird call. The historic brick buildings in downtown Oologah were built in the years preceding statehood in 1907. The Bank of Oologah was restored in 1985. The bank had failed in 1932; the vault was the only feature remaining. Now, visitors stop back into banking in Indian Territory days. The bank project inspired the rebirth of historic downtown Oologah. Other restorations in the decade have breathed new life into several historic buildings.
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Birthplace of Will Rogers
Will Rogers would feel right at home at the Dog Iron Ranch where he was born in 1879. The birthplace, located just 3 miles northeast of Oologah, is now a living history ranch. The house was moved up the hill when Oologah Lake was filled. Amish craftsmen built an era-correct barn in 1993 as part of the process of establishing a turn of the century living history ranch on the site. Now, longhorn cattle graze pastures, just like they did in Will's childhood. As would have happened more than a century ago, ranch visitors are as likely to be greeted by a lamb, a goat, a goose or even a peacock as they are by a longhorn. It's a speci! al treat for city kids never really exposed to farm life before. The birth place is open daily. RV hookups are available on the ranch grounds. For more information, call the ranch at 918-275-4201 or the Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore at 1-800-828-9643

The Oologah Historical Museum features artifacts reflecting everyday area life from turn- of-the-century to present day.
The front part of the museum building has its roots in the 1890s, and is believed to be the oldest commercial building in the downtown district. It was originally Mart Reed's General store, one of the old-fashioned type stores that traded groceries for chickens, eggs and pigs. The building was restored and opened as the Oolagah Historical Museum in 1988. The room is decorated as a Victorian front parlor and features photographs and items from pioneer Oologah families.
The large exhibit hall behind the front room was added in 1992. Exhibits are grouped by theme and include farm and ranch, military, school, home, childhood, Will Rogers, business life and early town government. The museum also has some early tax records and other books available for research.
A painting by Claremore impressionist Bary Moeller portrays Will Rogers and downtown Oologah in the early days. Posters and art prints featuring the painting are available. A gift corner features Oologah memorabilia, postcards and books.
During the summer, Tropical Sno snowcones and soft drinks are available at the concession window. For more information, call the museum at 918-443-2790

One of the most beautiful lakes in Oklahoma is located just a half hour northeast of Tulsa. Oologah Lake is one of the best sailing lakes in the southwest, with 29,500 acres of water lying north and south. The lake is popular for all types of boating and water skiing, with 14 public boat ramps. In addition, Redbud Bay Marina offers a fishing dock and boat rental including popular personal watercraft.
Oologah lake boasts shallow water fishing in the north half, deep water fishing in the south half, and also excellent fishing below the dam in the tail waters. Large mouth bass, white crappie, white bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue gill, sand bass, walleye, striped bass hybrids and blue catfish are all available in Oologah Lake.
Oologah is especially popular as a camping site. The lake also has an equestrian trail and group equestrian camp site, nature trail and outdoor amphitheater. Public hunting areas have quail, prairie chicken, turkey, squirrel, rabbits, dove, duck, geese and deer.
Oologah Lake was built by the Corps of Engineers and dedicated in 1963 as a flood control and navigation project. But today, it provides year-long relaxation and enjoyment! For more information call the lake office at 918-443-2250 or Redbud Bay Marina at 918-341-5190.
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Oologah Historical Events

The 7th grade academic team won the state title in 1997. Two high school drama students advanced to national competition in 1997.
Submitted by Jim Carpenter, Oologah resident.

1995, 12 August
Will Rogers and his favorite quarterhorse, Comanche, pause again for a drink at the old town pump. The scene is recreated in The Cherokee Kid monument in downtown Oologah.
The Indian Territory town centered around the pump, a source of water for the community and for teams of horses bringing goods and people to the railroad depot. Will was no exception, stopping for a refreshing drink and a little conversation at the pump.
In 1992, the Oolagah Historical Society Commissioned Talala artist Sandra Van Zandt to sculpt the bronze monument. The monument was unveiled on Aug. 12 1995, in memory of Will Rogers on the 60th anniversary of his tragic death. Academy-award-winning actor Ben Johnson from Pawhuska, Oklahoma unveiled the monument. Assisting Johnson was Jimmy Rogers, Will's only surviving son.
Submitted by Jim Carpenter, Oologah resident

Oologah Schools

The Oologah-Talala Public Schools are recognized as one of Oklahoma's best, with outstanding facilities, excellent faculty and high academic standards.
The district includes 179 square miles in the northwest quarter of Rogers County. Enrollment last year was 1,470.
The campus includes elementary, middle and high school buildings, plus facilities for athletics, vocational agriculture, green house, lighted tennis courts, auditorium, indoor swimming pool, cafeteria, football stadium, track, and baseball field. A new girls softball field and girls locker room are under construction.
School programs include a variety of sports, chorus, band, FFA, Vo-tech, speech, drama, debate, cheerleading and honors programs.
Students consistently score above the state average in math, reading, language and social studies. Half the district's high school seniors go on to college with an average ACT score of 22.7. The 7th grade academic team won the state title in 1997. Two high school drama students advanced to national competition in 1997.

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