By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: April 2015
A mystery needs to be solved. Can you help find the murderer? Committee members discuss the upcoming fundraiser for the Rogers County Historical Society—a murder mystery written by Mark Ogle—which will be held at the Belvidere Mansion during April. (L to R): (Seated) Patrick Deaver, vice-president of the RCHS; Hoytanna Benigar, RCHS president; Mark Ogle; and (standing) Kathy Wilken, Belvidere Tea Room manager.
Mixing fact with fiction, “The Apartment House,” a play written by Mark Ogle, will be performed at Claremore’s historical Belvidere Mansion during two upcoming April weekends. The murder mystery begins with a prime rib dinner downstairs at 6 p.m., followed by the play at 7 p.m. in the ballroom. Dates are Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11, as well as Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18.
The play is set in 1946. Financial woes have forced the mansion’s owners to turn it into an apartment house. What secrets does this old mansion hold? Is it haunted? Who is living there? What stories do they have to tell or hide? For one resident, it proves deadly!
“The real Belvidere Mansion was converted into an apartment house in July of 1946,” says Ogle. “Two of the characters in the play are based on real people, my uncle and aunt, Sam and Louise Webb, who as newlyweds were the first apartment residents in the mansion.”
Each person attending will be able to test their detective skills as they try to solve the murder, determine the motive and vie for the coveted Super Sleuth Award.
Directed by Dan Huey, the play boasts a cast of 17, many of whom have performed in previous plays by Ogle, who is known throughout the community for his murder mysteries.
“We’ve done murder mysteries in the past and decided to revive this tradition,” says Kathy Wilken, Belvidere Tea Room manager. “Because of space limitations downstairs, we’re limited to 60 people each night.”
All proceeds from this fundraiser will go into the restoration and preservation of the Belvidere as well as other Rogers County Historical Society projects. The RCHS also supports the Totem Pole Park.
Tickets for the evening are $50 each. Reservations are required. Call Patrick Deaver at (918) 688-0651 or email him at eat0@eau0eav0eaw0. “We are in a transition phase,” says Deaver. “From now on, all ticket reservations for special events must be made through me.” Deaver is the vice-president of the Rogers County Historical Society.
Don’t wait until the murder mystery, however, to check out this historical mansion. The tea room is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You’ll find salads, sandwiches, soups and seasonal specials, as well as desserts and specialty teas on the menu. You can also take a tour or shop in the gift shop from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., where you’ll find competitively-priced merchandise from over 50 different vendors, as well as unique hand-picked vintage and antique items. While lunch reservations aren’t required, if your group is larger than six, Wilken recommends calling ahead. “We host church groups, organizations and business meetings and have a private room available for these groups.”
The Belvidere also provides rentals for private parties, including weddings, receptions, bridal and baby showers, family reunions and special event destinations. According to Wilken, over 2,000 people visit the Belvidere each year. To make a reservation, call the Belvidere at (918) 342-1127. The mansion is located at 121 N. Chickasaw Ave. To find out more about the Belvidere Mansion and upcoming events, check out their website at www.rchs1.org.
For more information, contact
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.
121 N. Chickasaw Street | Claremore