By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: May 2012
Lois Hawkins, Rogers County Historical Society’s 2011 president, dressed for the occasion of their first Vintage Affaire held at Claremore’s Belvidere Mansion last spring.
Vintage clothing, antique dolls, cottage style and shabby chic décor, homemade body butters and soaps, floral décor and more will be part of the Rogers County Historical Society’s second annual A Vintage Affaire, set for Saturday, May 19 at the historical Belvidere Mansion in downtown Claremore.
“We are hoping A Vintage Affaire will grow each year and be a popular spring event for Claremore, with new or home-based vendors getting a chance for some visibility,” says Morgan Williams, Rogers County Historical Society’s membership vice president. “This year, we have some local vendors, such as the Orange Owl, and other merchants coming in from Grove, Siloam Springs and Bartlesville.”
In exchange for a $40 (tax deductible) donation to the Belvidere, vendors can get a 10-by-10 spot to sell their merchandise. “We take no commission from sales,” says Williams.
Admittance to the event is free, and guests can shop for antiques and collectibles, tour the historic Victorian mansion, eat indoors in the tea room or enjoy a picnic lunch outdoors where the vendors’ booths are located. The event will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.
“We are also pleased to have qualified appraiser Mike Ratcliffe on hand again this year,” says Williams. “Guests who have treasures of their own are encouraged to bring them for a professional evaluation.” Mike Ratcliffe’s appraisals meet all federal regulations for charitable donations. Prices are $10 per item and $25 for three items. “Mike has generously agreed to donate the proceeds from his appraisals to the Belvidere,” she adds.
Purchased in 1991 by the non-profit Rogers County Historical Society, the Belvidere receives no federal, state, or local funds or grants. “All of our projects and much of the restoration has been accomplished by volunteers working very hard and long hours, and with private donations and endowments. Both the gift shop and the tea room are volunteer-run and non-profit, with proceeds going toward maintenance and repairs,” says Williams.
“Not every small town has a treasure like the Belvidere right in the heart of downtown. This is a great opportunity to participate in a worthwhile project, support local merchants and take in a little history at the same time,” she adds.
Last year’s event included a children’s area. Plans at this time are to add some make-and-take craft projects for kids. “This would be such a fun outing for grandparents and grandkids,” says Williams. “Little girls love the tea room and looking around inside the mansion and gift shop.”
Boys will enjoy the old elevator from the Mason Hotel on the grounds outdoors. “Little boys, mine especially, just love to hide inside,” she says. “With three floors and 9,000 square feet to explore, the mansion alone makes an interesting day trip. There will be something fun and interesting for everyone, whether you want to shop, eat or just walk through.”
“The Belvidere Tea Room will be open for lunch, and we will have tables set up outside so guests can eat on the verandah or indoors. The ground floor of the mansion and grounds are wheelchair accessible, and there is ample parking nearby,” says Williams.
The Belvidere is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Tea Room Restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. RCHS is in the process of continuing to restore the Victorian-era mansion, which also houses many genealogical and historic records. The 1902 vintage residence is located two blocks east of downtown Claremore at 422 N. Chickasaw Ave.
After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at www.carolaround.com. When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.