The Emmett Kelly Museum and The Tulsa Historical Society

Some points of interest in my travels. Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Welcome back. Unsure what to get someone for Christmas? How about a gift of travel to the Emmett Kelly museum in Sedan, Kansas? Emmett Kelly was a famous clown in in the 1930s, 40s and 50s who performed with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus and also appeared on Broadway and in the movies.  His signature character was “Weary Willie” a sad clown whom Kelly portrayed without the traditional whiteface makeup that other clowns were wearing at the time. Kelly was born in Sedan in 1898 and today the museum that is dedicated to his life and work is housed in the historic Sedan Opera House. I took the opportunity to check it out when I was in town last week and it is well worth a trip.

Built side by side in 1919 by oilmen Dave and Sam Travis, these two homes were constructed in what was a remote and mostly undeveloped part of Tulsa but today 32nd and Peoria is one of the city’s main drags. The Travis brothers left Tulsa in the mid-1920s but their homes would become landmarks. Dave’s residence eventually became the home of the Tulsa Garden Center and Sam’s is now the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum. In addition to the interesting exhibits about Tulsa at the Historical Society, both homes are surrounded by beautiful gardens and walking paths making this a great destination for a day trip.

After some research I discovered that the Historical Society is involved in other projects outside of the museum and one of these is maintaining the oldest private cemetery in Tulsa. The neighborhood at 32nd and Utica is full of homes and businesses now but back in 1848 this was a rural area when Tulsa’s first cemetery was established here after a cholera outbreak. There are roughly fifty markers in the graveyard and the Historical Society makes sure that they are well maintained, preserving the memory of these early Tulsans. It is called the Perryman Cemetery after Lewis Perryman who built a log cabin in the area after running a successful cattle operation, all in a time prior to the Civil War.

I will be at the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum on Tuesday November 29th at 7PM for a Tulsa premiere of Footprints in the Dew: The Last Ten Tapes. It is a small theater so please get your tickets early at, click on “events”.

The early reviews of the film are coming in from audiences and so far they are very good. A sold out showing in Sedan was followed by a showing to several hundred enthusiastic people in Ponca City which means that the December 8th showing in Dewey will be a hot ticket. Call the Heritage Theater, Café and Pub for reservations at 918-440-2393 You can also enjoy dinner and drinks while you watch the movie in this unique setting. If you haven’t been in downtown Dewey lately, you’ll find several new shops and as I’ve already said, with Christmas around the corner you may just find that gift you’ve been looking for.

Till next time, I’ll see ya down the road…..



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