Washington County boasts a bevy of historical daytrip destinations.
Prairie Song depicts a frontier town circa 1880, but it’s actually a working ranch.
Although the scenic Talimena Drive in southeastern Oklahoma is well worth the mileage, there’s a great autumn day trip to be had closer to home in Washington County.
Just north of Bartlesville is a place called Prairie Song, 402621 W. 1600 Road in Dewey. Although it looks just like a frontier town circa 1880, it actually dates to 1983, when owner
Kenneth Tate built a cabin on his sprawling acreage.
Tate has built more than 20 additional buildings since, all containing period-authentic furniture and farm implements. Call ahead, 918-534-2662, to schedule a personal tour as it is a working ranch.
Dewey also is home to the Tom Mix Museum, 721 N. Delaware St. Mix, an early Western movie star, worked and lived in Dewey before he reached Hollywood fame. Many of the items on display were personally owned by him and his family. A little movie theater also is on site so that people unfamiliar with Mix’s work can see it firsthand.
Back in Bartlesville, you can learn about the city’s rich oil heritage. You’ll find the Frank Phillips Historic Home, 1107 S. Cherokee Ave., and the Price Tower, 510 S. Dewey Ave., the latter being Frank Lloyd Wright’s only realized skyscraper.
The tower was built for the H.C. Price Co., another Green Country oil empire. The penthouse office, which is viewable on the official tour, is a stunning example of Wright’s artistic design. It also has a few hotel rooms available, which provide a stunning view of the Oklahoma landscape.
Today downtown Bartlesville is experiencing a revitalization and boasts several great restaurants. Frank and Lola’s, 200 E. Second St., is considered classy but casual and serves a variety of local fare with a full-service bar to boot. If you’re looking for something with more of a classic feeling, stop in at Murphy’s Steak House, 1625 S.W. Frank Phillips Blvd. It has been around since the 1940s and is famous for its hot hamburger — gravy over all.
If you still have some time and the kids want a place to play outside, Sooner Park, 200 N. Madison Blvd., has plenty of wide-open space and a space-age play tower originally built for the Price Family by famed architect Bruce Goff. It’s a whimsical enclosed staircase with an observation platform that gives a great view of the surrounding area.