You don’t have to visit Europe to see castles or grand Victorian estates. One resides here in the railroad town of Claremore, Oklahoma. A testament to history and the charming life of the early 1900’s. The Belvidere Mansion was completed in 1907 by John M. Bayless where he and his wife, Mary Bayless lived with their seven children. The immaculate three-story building took several years to finish. Inspired by the castles of old, the structure has four turret style towers and a ballroom which covers the entirety of the 3rd floor. Clearly fans of entertaining, the Bayless family had a portico built on the grounds to hold guest carriages and a large front porch, grand entrance, and balcony. The charm is in the details of this building. Tiled floors and pressed tin ceilings make the space shine from top to bottom. The trim of the house was brought from the 1904 St. Louis World’ s Fair. The house boasts marble wainscoted walls, inventive pocket wooden doors and many fireplaces. The ballroom was home to an innovative skylight that allowed fresh air into the home on hot summer nights.
The house changed hands many times before it was rescued and restored by the Rogers County Historical Society. Legend has it that in its grand history the Mansion became haunted with a variety of spirits belonging to the original owners and 1940’s tenants. Today the Belvidere Mansion is open for tours and holds the famous Pink House restaurant. History is alive and well in this stunning piece of architecture.