While “All for one and one for all” may be a motto most closely associated with the Three Musketeers, the same can be said of Claremore’s museums.
Last week, Claremore’s four museums came together to form one entity representative of them all: the Claremore Museums Coalition.
“Myself and the other museum directors — Wayne McCombs, Tad Jones, and Dr. Danette Boyle — all got together with Tanya Andrews at Visit Claremore, and presented her with the idea of marketing all of the museums together,” said Andy Couch, MoH (Claremore Museum of History). “Out of this collaborative partnership was born the Claremore Museums Coalition, an entity consisting of city’s four museum — the J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum, the Will Rogers Memorial Museum, the Oklahoma Military Academy (OMA) Museum, and the MoH.
“This newly-formed coalition would be a way to help market Claremore as ‘Museum City’ — an idea we ran by Tanya, who agreed that the idea would be the perfect way to showcase what we have to offer visitors,” he said.
To commemorate the formation of the group and branding of Claremore as “Museum City,” the Claremore Museums Coalition will be hosting a “Night at the Museums” event next week.
“What we’ve put together to get people to start thinking about the museums together instead of separately is a scavenger hunt involving all of the museums,” Couch said. “People will be given a questionnaire and be able to find the answer to two of the questions at each of the museums. They can then turn in their completed questionnaire for a chance to win a goody basket with various items provided by a variety of Claremore merchants.”
Couch said there is no cost to participate in the scavenger hunt, nor is there any particular order of visiting the city’s museums to obtain the questionnaire answers.
“We’re wanting people to not think of each museum as separate from one another, but to start thinking of all of them as extensions of what makes Claremore great,” he said. “The J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum is the biggest gun collection in the country, with more than 14,000 weapons, the Will Rogers Memorial Museum highlights the life of Oklahoma’s favorite son, the OMA Museum tells the story of the more than 10,000 cadets who attended from 1919 to 1971, and the MoH tells Claremore’s history — each of these has a one-of-a-kind collection of items and stories that are uniquely Claremore.”
“This coalition is a combined effort by all the museums in Claremore to promote the entire city and Rogers County,” said Wayne McCombs, J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museums. “Many of our area residents have not been or it’s been a long time since they visited these top tourist attractions.
“Our goal for this ‘Night at the Musems’ event is for our local people to reacquaint themselves with our tourist attractions, so they can pass it on to their friends or family who may be visiting this summer, so they can also take advantage of what Claremore has to officer,” he said.
Following the Night at the Museums event, other Claremore Museums Coalition events will be hosted on a quarterly basis, Couch said.
Claremore Museum of History is located at 121 N. Weenonah, the Oklahoma Military Academy Museum is on the second floor of Meyer Hall on the RSU Campus, the J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum is at 320 N. J.M. Davis Boulevard, and the Will Rogers Memorial Museum is located at 1701 W. Will Rogers Boulevard.
Claremore Museum Coalition’s Night at the Museums event is 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22 in Claremore.