Claremore Daily Progress

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November 29, 2013

Cherokees sponsor system to protect Will Rogers collection

CLAREMORE — Cherokee Nation officials sponsored the installation of a $15,000 heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system for the Will Rogers Memorial Museum.

“We are teaming with the Will Rogers Memorial Museum to help protect the personal items of Will Rogers, probably the most famous Cherokee citizen ever. This investment will continue our mission to preserve Cherokee heritage and history,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “We hope this will make patrons more likely to stay longer and enjoy the museum’s offerings in a fuller and more satisfying way. More importantly, however, the new heating and cooling system will keep invaluable artifacts of the Will Rogers collection preserved in a climate-controlled environment.”

Since 2006, Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation businesses have contributed more than $200,000 to the museum. These funds have made possible major repairs and upgrades at the museum and the Will Rogers’ Birthplace and Ranch in Oologah.

One of the most significant upgrades was in the memorial’s Heritage Gallery, that includes his Cherokee ancestors who came from Alabama. In addition, there are exhibit cases used to display items on loan from the Cherokee Heritage Center.

“The Cherokee Nation has given generously to fund programs at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum and Birthplace Ranch,” said Steve Gragert, Will Rogers Memorial Museum executive director. “We highly value our partnership with the Nation, and we look forward to a continued strong relationship to sustain and share Will’s legacy.”

Most recently, the Cherokee Nation made a $25,000 sponsorship toward The Event, held Sept. 19 at the museum and Sept. 20 at the Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa.

To learn more, visit cherokee,org.

For more information about the Will Rogers Memorial Museum, including hours and admission, visit


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