1400 Gilcrease Museum Road
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74127
Phone (918) 596-2700
Hours: Gilcrease Museum is open 7
days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Christmas Day. Suggested admission
donation is $3 for adults, $5 for a family.
Access: The museum and 23 acres of
thermal gardens provide barrier-free access. Free tours of the museum
are offered daily at 2 p.m. Private and special needs tours, as well as
garden tours, can be arranged with two weeks prior reservation. Please
call (918) 596-2712 for information.
The original, square-shaped, sandstone
mansion was built in 1913, by Flower Nelson, a Tulsa lawyer, who had originally
bought the 80 acres of land parcel from the Mackeys, in 1909. The original
structure had 9 first floor rooms, and a Verandah. The large master bedroom
was on the first floor. The property also had a barn and a garage.
Today, one can visit the Kitchen &
Breakfast Room, Butler Pantry, Dining Room, Piano Room, Hallway/Entry,
Living Room, Den area, Bathroom in Den area, and a South Bedroom.
In the 1943, the house became a home
for orphan Indian children from nearby reservations, until Thomas Gilcrease
moved back into the home in 1949. A second floor was added in 1943 with
4 bedrooms was built to accommodate the Indian girls and another building
was built for the boys.
Today, the staircase from the first
floor leads to the North Hobby Room, the North Bedroom, 3 South Bedrooms,
1 being the main one, which has a bathroom.
When Thomas Gilcrease moved his entire
art collection which was quite large at this time, back to Tulsa, he eventually
built a museum to house it all on his property, near the mansion, opening
it up for the people of Tulsa.
Over the years, Mr. Gilcrease created
23 acres of gardens, which are examples of the types of gardens seen during
various times of the American West. The lovely, large gardens were a favorite
place for Mr. Gilcrease, who was an avid bird lover.
Thomas Gilcrease, who was born in
1890 and raised a member of the Creek Nation, was allotted 160 acres of
Indian land around 1900, which was destined to become part of Oklahoma's
major oil fields. Thomas Gilcrease was a gifted businessman, and at the
age of 32, Thomas established the Gilcrease Oil Company, which was the
start of his fortune, which he made in the oil business.
Thomas Gilcrease fell in love with
this sandstone mansion, and offered the Nelsons a good deal for the house
and the 80 acres of land on which it sat. So, the Gilcrease family to
move back to the Creek nation homeland. This mansion became The Gilcrease
House, where Thomas and his first wife, Belle Harlow, (Osage Tribe member)
raised their 2 boys, Thomas Jr. & Barton, and was owned by Gilcrease family
from 1914-1962. Except for a few years in the 1920s and 1940s, the family
lived in this home.
Though Thomas Gilcrease was a great
businessman, and an honest & generous person, he was unlucky at love.
He and his first wife divorced in 1926. He married again in 1928 to Norma
Smallwood and they had a daughter, Des Cygne. This marriage ended as well
Thomas Gilcrease had a passion for
art and the history of the American West, and started collecting in 1922,
and over the years he added to his collection via seeking out single works
and purchasing large amounts from dealers and other collectors. Thomas
Gilcrease found himself traveling a lot around Europe in the 1920s and
1930s which inspired him to start his own art museum. He opened his growing
collection to the public in San Antonio in 1943, but he moved it all back
to Tulsa in 1949 when he decided to go back to his favorite stone mansion,
the Gilcrease family home.
In the 1950s, oil prices took a dive.
Thomas Gilcrease found it more and more difficult to maintain his collection
and was experiencing a building debt. Finally, he thought about selling
his entire collection as one unit, in order to keep it together. Well,
the people of Tulsa got together and voted 3 to 1 for a bond which paid
A very thankful Thomas Gilcrease then
deeded his collection to the city of Tulsa, and committed oil revenue
money to assist Tulsa in the running and maintenance of the museum, until
the bond was paid off. In 1958, the Gilcrease Foundation gave the museum
buildings and the grounds to Tulsa as well. When Thomas Gilcrease died
in 1962, he bequeathed the final group of art work he had collected in
his last years to the museum, and the house and his gardens became part
of the museum and grounds.
1) The apparition of Thomas Gilcrease
likes to visit his art in the museum buildings, which is why there was
a high turnover of security guards, until some people with a tolerance
to nighttime visits by an entity who loved his art collection, were found.
2) Thomas Gilcrease also likes to
putter around his house, both floors. His presence has been felt, heard
and seen by the living, as he enjoys his eternal retirement in his favorite
* He has appeared as a solid apparition
usually only once in front of the employees and curators who manage
the house and museum over the years, as if to say hello.
* Employees have heard footsteps
all around the house, have observed doors open and close by themselves
and occasionally hear a big bang coming from one of the upstairs rooms.
3) Thomas Gilcrease has been felt,
heard and seen in his extensive gardens as well.
4) The entities of about 7 Indian
children, who once lived here/visited here/lived nearby also call
this mansion home. Perhaps they died due to the disease epidemics which
periodically swept Tulsa over the years before the life-saving vaccines
were a reality.
5) The Indian children also love to
play in the vast garden area as well.
6) Another unknown male entity keeps
Mr. Gilcrease and the children company in the mansion.
1) OKCGC/PRG, together with their
good friends at Paranormal Investigation Team of Tulsa (PITT) worked together
in an all night investigation in Thomas Gilcrease's mansion. Fox 23 news
facilitated the investigation and documented this first visit. April 20th,
2002 - Team members included Teri French, Tina Stevens, Darren Sanchez,
Ron Cosgrove and Becky Cosgrove
* In both upstairs rooms; North
Bedroom 10 & South Bedroom 13, had "odd readings and feelings." Many
"visual anomalies" were filmed in these two areas.
* In North Bedroom 10 upstairs -
An EVP of a whisper was recorded, after calling out Mr. Gilcrease's
name. Someone gently tugged on a researcher's hair just outside room
* Downstairs, at the entrance to
the living room, Darren caught an 'echo mist' on film, taken by his
2) Paranormal Investigation team of
Tulsa PITT came back a second time and the joint was jumpin' with paranormal
activity. May 11th, 2002 - Team members present: Teri French, Tina Stevens,
Darren Sanchez, Cindy Elledge, Valerie Greenshaw and Craig Shackelford
with guests Mr. & Mrs. Bartcop along for the ride.
* Upstairs North Bedroom - Picked
up a great EVP - "Help!"
* South Upstairs Bedroom - Very
active. Darren asked questions to unseen children entities, asking them
to let him find something from long ago. Fifteen minutes later, Darren
found an Apport on the floor of the downstairs South Bedroom, an old
earpiece. Fifteen minutes later, another rapport was found in this same
upstairs bedroom - a broken wooden wagon wheel from a very old toy!
* Piano Room downstairs - was extremely
active - Picture taken of the room produced a "great glowie photo."
When trying to get a response from the entities in this room, an extremely
loud bang was heard from an upstairs bedroom.
* During a Sit-down in the Foyer
- A rather vocal argument between two male voices was heard coming from
the kitchen/butler pantry area which grew in intensity. Words were
muffled, but the anger was felt by the team. Terri went to the kitchen
window to look outside to see if the guard was arguing with anyone and
needed help... Nope, it wasn't him. As she left through the butler's
pantry, she felt the angry presence of an entity right behind her. She
turned around and said, "Don't sneak up on me like that!"
The team felt they had worn out their
welcome with this one entity, and left after apologizing for taking so
much time. They left some toys in the closet for the children entities
to play with. They are always respectful of the entities' wishes when
they do an investigation.
Sources include: researchwebcam.com * Paranormal Investigation
Team of Tulsa Gilcrease
Museum Web-Site * AmericanCowboy.com, The Spirits of Route 66, by Ellen Roson & Dianne Halicki.