Friday, June 7, 2013

#61: An Unusual Museum

J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum, Claremore, OK

This has been a long-time favorite museum for SuperD. When we were first married and moved to Claremore, SuperD raved about the gun museum. He insisted that I had to visit it with him. Of course, I indulged him and spent what was perhaps the most boring minutes of my life inside this building. You can imagine how thrilled I was when he suggested that we take the kids. The nice man at the information desk seemed really excited about the private collection of over 20,000 artifacts, including over 14,000 firearms. It is the largest gun museum in the world, he told us. One of the exhibits that SuperD used to go on and on about is the collection of 1200 beer steins from around the world. It figures - guns and beer. What more can a man ask for?

I guess one gun just isn't enough. Mr. Davis received his first gun at age 7. For the next 78 years, he devoted his life to collecting guns and learning more about them. By 1929, he had collected 99 types of guns, and he put them on display in his Claremore hotel. In 1965, he transferred ownership of his collection to a trust which he and his wife had started. The trust entered into an agreement with the state of Oklahoma. The state paid $1 and agreed to house, preserve, and display Mr. Davis' collection so that the public could continue to view it, free of charge. The museum is run by donation.

This was our second Claremore stop which housed a mausoleum. Mr. and Mrs. Davis were laid to rest in a small room at the museum, overlooking his precious collection which includes firearms, beer steins, statues, music boxes, swords, knives, Native American artifacts, household antiques, boot jacks, cattle brands, Presidential buttons, animal horns, trophy heads, and World War I posters.

Look to your left. What do you see? Guns.

Look to your right. What do you see? More guns.

Oh, and here's a Samurai sword for variety.

You would think that if you've seen one Samurai sword, you've seen them all. Apparently not.



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