By: Value News | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: October 2011
Jerry Cunningham renovated the old farm building at 2002 Holly Rd., which now houses part of his extensive collection of Pepsi memorabilia.
The Rogers County Historical Society is celebrating its 20 year anniversary in 2011. One of their earliest fundraisers has been the Fall Old Home Tour. Proceeds from the tour have gone to various community enhancement projects, most recently the continued restoration of the Belvidere Mansion. This year’s Fall Old Home Tour will be Saturday, October 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will showcase four historic Claremore homes. Tickets are $12 and are available at the Belvidere Mansion in advance and during the tour.
The homes on this year’s tour include:
The Milam/Clark home at 1775 Camden Street. Anyone who drives the back way to RSU can’t help but notice the house on the hill with the gorgeous terraced gardens. Built in 1941 by J.B. Milam, the house was purchased by LC and Evelyn Clark in 1958. The multi-level home was built for entertaining, and the dining room still has the original furniture moved there by the Milams in 1941. Evelyn, a master gardener, maintains the two acres of landscaping, which has been featured on several garden tours.
The Old Homestead at 2002 Holly Road. Most people instantly recognize this “house on the curve” as they head toward Owasso on Highway 20. The two-story colonial farmhouse was built by a Mr. Brown on his wife’s Indian allotment land in 1909. In 2008, the home was purchased by Jerry and Susan Cunningham. Jerry, a retired architect, renovated the old farm building, which now houses part of Jerry’s extensive collection of Pepsi memorabilia. Inside the home is eclectic, containing everything from classic antique furnishings to more contemporary toys and art. Susan, an artist and sculptor, has added murals, stenciling, creative window treatments and art glass to personalize the home with a whimsical flair.
Andersonville Cottage, one mile east of the Will Rogers Turnpike at the intersection of Hwy. 20 and Lake Road 417. In 1945, Marvin and Ada Anderson opened Anderson Machine Works and purchased ten acres of land and the cottage from Hilda Miller. Just a few years after moving to the cottage, tragedy struck and Marvin Anderson died, leaving Ada to manage the machine shop and raise their four children. She supplemented her income by raising cattle and hogs, and began buying up the land surrounding the cottage until she had accumulated 40 acres of persimmon trees and blackberry vines. Today, Ada’s daughter Pat maintains the Andersonville Cottage, her childhood home, as a bed and breakfast. The inside is full of charming and authentic antiques and cottage decor.
The Hass/Heiligman Home at 1832 Military Drive. This lovely English Tudor-style home was built in 1931 by Morris and Idabel Haas. Mr. Haas came to Claremore in 1901 to open the first ladies “ready-to-wear” store, and together with other entrepreneurs built several businesses downtown. Elizabeth Hass-Heiligman inherited the house from her father, preserved much of the interior, and passed along some of the furniture and china from her mother to her son, Richard, and daughter-in-law, Billie. Richard and Billie Heiligman are the most recent family to live in the home. The backyard oasis is beautifully landscaped and features a koi pond, pool, cabana and deck overlooking acres of pecan trees. Beautifully furnished with antiques and family heirlooms throughout, the home also has a guest bedroom with photos from every generation on the wall. Much of the original 1940’s wallpaper is in perfect condition and can still be seen in the bedrooms.
According to Home Tour committee member Morgan Anderssen Williams, “This tour teaches people so much about the history and lives of the previous owners. This community has so many beautiful treasures, and the Home Tour lets people in to appreciate them.”
The Rogers County Historical Society is a non-profit organization of community volunteers dedicated to preserving the heritage and landmarks of Rogers County. RCHS receives no grants or funding from any federal or state agency, relying only on private donations and fundraisers such as the Fall Old Home Tour.