Ponca City Information
Ponca City Attractions
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The one time home of Oklahoma's 10th. Governor, Ernest Whitworth Marland, the magnificent "Palace on the Prairie" was his dream home. As a boy, Marland had dreamed of having a castle surrounded by a moat, and the mansion with its swimming pool and lakes was the realization of that dream. Constructed from 1925 to 1928 at an estimated cost of $5.5 million, the Marland Mansion was modeled after the Davanzatti Palace in Florence, Italy. Master architect John Duncan Forsyth, along with artists, decorators, and sculptors of international reputation combined their talents to create the resplendent showcase. Built of locally quarried limestone, the mansion contains approximately 43,561 feet distributed over three floors. There are 55 rooms, including 12 bathrooms, 3 kitchens, 1 elevator, and 1 dumbwaiter.
The original 2500 acre estate included 5 lakes, a game refuge, a nine-hole golf course, polo grounds, stables, kennels, gate houses, boat houses, a lodge, garages, an art studio, administration building, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool, in addition to the mansion and guest house. On the exterior of the mansion, unique corbels support an ornate balcony in which the Latin inscription "A man's home is his castle" is carved in stone.
The mansion housed Marland and his wife, Lydie, for a short time. As his fortunes waned, they moved from the mansion to the guest house and only opened the mansion for special occasions.
Six months prior to his death, Marland sold the mansion and surrounding buildings to the Carmelite Fathers. After seven years they sold it to the Sisters of St. Felix. Renaming the estate Assumption Villa, the sisters added Angela Hall, a chapel, dormitory and administration building.
In 1975, the City of Ponca City, with help from Continental Oil Company, purchased the estate to preserve the heritage of the Marland era and opened the Mansion to the public.
(Now lets leave the parking lot and return to the main gates. Turn right on Monument and continue north 4 blocks to Hartford Avenue. Turn left on Hartford and go to 14th. street. Turn left on 14th. Street and taking the outside lane, go to Whitworth Avenue. Turn right on Whitworth - go to the the fourth house on the right.....)
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