Will Rogers Hotel

The Historic Hotel Will Rogers, Claremore, Oklahoma

The historic Hotel Will Rogers was dedicated on February 7, 1930, when Louis Abraham, Walter Krumrei, and Morton Harrison financed the facility. Their plan came together after Louis' father came to Claremore to take mineral water baths and was miraculously cured of rheumatism. He fell in love with Claremore, but felt that it was held back as a health resort for the lack of suitable hotel facilities. The fireproof structure of concrete and steel, unique for its time, cost $321,000 to build when it was completed with its Spanish interior decor and stylish furnishings.  The six-story hotel with its 78 rooms and seven apartments was designated as a bomb shelter during World War II.  

Mineral water baths became an important part of the grand hotel's service. The mineral water, called radium water, was discovered in 1903 on the eastside of Claremore while prospectors were drilling for oil and gas. The greenish-black, rotten-egg-smelling water was analyzed and contained 13 minerals, including sulfur, salt and iron. Will Rogers joked that the water would "cure you of everything but being a Democrat."

The hotel was known for exquisite service. Bellhops were waiting to assist with luggage when guests stepped out of their cars. There was maid service, and the Hotel Will Rogers was known for the wonderful meals prepared in the coffee shop.

The hotel closed in 1991 before reopening as an apartment-style retirement community.

Subpages (1): Hotel Today