Meet the Man Behind the Collection
“World’s Largest Privately Held Gun Collection”
Located in Claremore, Oklahoma
John Monroe Davis received his first gun at the age of 7. His fascination with guns only grew from there! In 1916, Davis traded 2,000 acres of Arkansas timberland for a hotel in Claremore, Oklahoma. By 1929 he had accumulated over 99 types of guns, which he displayed on the walls of the hotel. In addition to guns, he also collected knives, swords, steins, saddles, music boxes, musical instruments, political buttons, WWI posters, John Rogers statuary, and Native American artifacts. The walls of the lobby, ballroom, and hallways of the Mason Hotel were crowded with the collection.
With the hotel right on Route 66, word of his gun collection spread far and wide. People came from all over the world to see Claremore’s gun collection, buy, sell, trade, or just talk guns. In 1965, Davis transferred ownership of his collection to the JM Davis Foundation. In turn the Foundation leased the collection to the State of Oklahoma at the cost of $1 for 99 years. Part of the deal was for the state to build and maintain a modern facility to house the collection and would be open to the public at no charge. The first section of the gun museum opened on JM Davis’ 82nd birthday, June 27, 1969. Mr. Davis passed away in 1973; he is entombed on the museum grounds, forever with his guns.
The Gun Museum has a great variety of memorabilia and artifacts that will interest everyone from the avid gun collector to Route 66 travelers and families! There is a vast collection of rifles, hand guns, and very unique firearms that you won’t find anywhere else! The Outlaw section features firearms and artifacts from some of the most infamous criminals including Bonnie and Clyde and Pretty Boy Floyd. View beautiful steins and WWII posters that J.M. Davis also collected. The Claremore Gun Museum has such a great variety it will take you days to see everything the museum has to offer!
The Claremore gun museum is open to the public 10 am-5 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays. The gun museum is located at 330 North JM Davis Boulevard, on the original stretch of Route 66 in Claremore. The gift shop has a variety of historical books, souvenirs, and Route 66 memorabilia. They also have a great photo op for those Route 66 travelers!
330 N. JM Davis Blvd
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