Pawnee Bill Mansion To Be Closed for Repairs After 5.8 Magnitude Earthquake

Sunday, August 12th 2018, 9:23 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

For the first time in history, nearly every item inside the Pawnee Bill Mansion will be taken out of the home. Everything from bedroom furniture to the silverware will be packed away so restoration crews can make repairs after the state's strongest magnitude earthquake on record caused serious damage.

"The furnishings that you see in the house have literally been here for 108 years," said Historical Interpreter Anna Davis.

Each piece of history in the mansion is handled with great care as employees pack up the belongings of Pawnee Bill and his family. The performer specialized in Wild West shows in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

From now until next spring restoration crews will be working on repairs in all 14 rooms. Plans were already in the works to stabilize the foundation but when the 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck two years ago it made the damage worse.

09/05/2016 Related Story: USGS: Pawnee Earthquake Strongest Ever In Oklahoma

"When I went to look at the cracks, they were much larger, just open wide," said Historic Facility Director Ron Brown.

The museum will stay open and a few popular items will be on display like a piece of artwork known as the "ghost painting" which looks different depending on where you stand.

"You will see the best of the mansion," said Brown.

It's a lot of work but the mansion will only be closed for a short time when you consider the future generations these historians are planning for.

"We hope that this house is around for another 100, 200, 300 years," said Davis.

"They want to save this for all Oklahomans. Future Oklahomans," said Brown.

The entire restoration project is expected to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you would like to help out with the cost, Click Here for information on how to donate.