Belvidere Mansion/Gift Shop

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 1900s. The Belvidere Mansion was built in 1907 by the John M. Bayless family where Mary Bayless, John's wife, lived with her six children, after Mr. Bayless's untimely death in June 1907. The immaculate three-story building, inspired by castles of old, has four towers and a ballroom that covers the entire third 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 wooden pocket 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. 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.