See what’s behind the scenes in ‘Hidden Spaces’ tour at Marland’s Grand Home

Ponca City Now - October 2, 2018 9:37 am

There are places in Ponca City waiting to be explored, such as the basement underneath Marland’s Grand Home.

The Friends of Marland’s Grand Home Hidden Spaces Tour is set for 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at 1000 E. Grand Avenue.

The basement of the property is not open to the public on regular daily tours, so this tour will be a rare opportunity to explore 10 different hidden spaces of the building, including the basement and rooms on the other floors.

In addition, for those who attend, there will be a drawing for a wonderful book, “The Neighborhood” written by Paula Denson, and the popular Ponca City cookbook, “FMGH 100 Year Commemorative Cook Book”.

There is no charge for the FMGH Hidden Spaces Tour. Please keep in mind, though, that there are stairs — a lot of stairs.

In addition to the tour, the E.W. Marland Life Story movie will be available to view. Come and explore with us.

Stories about the Marland’s servants will also be told during the tour.

“Not only is the basement interesting, so are snippets about the Marlands’ servants,” said Mindy LittleCook, FMGH volunteer. “We rarely hear about the folks who took care of this magnificent home, the stunning gardens and the owners, E.W. and Mary Virginia Marland. These servants would move about the home as if they were not visibly present, while taking care of their daily duties with care to a fine detail. Most likely they knew E.W. and Mary Virginia more than anyone else.”

Marland’s Grand Home is a 100-year-old home museum that lends a window to another era of the infancy of Ponca City and continues to house three museums — Native American, 101 Ranch and DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution).

Unfortunately the site is experiencing decline in terms of its structure. Jayne Detten, Assistant Director of the Marland Estates, has been keeping up with the needs of Marland’s Grand Home. Recently, she was asked about the condition of the basement, more precisely the popular pool area on the tour.

“As manager and curator of Marland’s Grand Home, I see significant damage happening in many areas daily,” Detten said. “One of our greatest concerns involves the pool area, which is the public’s favorite location in the home. The 100-year-old below-grade walls and tile work are failing due to water infiltration. We are in desperate need of waterproofing and repairing the exterior portion of the walls to prevent the groundwater from coming in. The interior walls are crumbling due to the infiltration and also need repair and reconstruction. The damage must be halted and corrected in the next few years or we may lose the pool space entirely.”

To restore and save the home, the FMGH Board is in place to assist the city with costs. FMGH board member  Donna Trewitt gave insight to projects that have been provided through contributions and fundraising.

Friends of Marland’s Grand Home was formed in 1997 to help support the MGH. They have helped with interior decorating, refinishing the wooden floors, purchasing vintage furnishings, remodeled the kitchen, replaced the heat and air system, restoration and framing of the Hunt painting and purchasing display cases to name a few,” Treweitt said.

“In December, 2017, FMGH paid for an architectural study. It determined the damage done to the home by water that was no longer directed away from the home, but was running toward the home,” she said. “The water has penetrated the walls of the room in the basement where the underground pool is located. This caused extensive damage to the foundation and masonry of the home.”

The Friends of Marland’s Grand Home have only one purpose in mind and that is the preservation of the Grand Home,” said Joe Glaser, President of MGH.  “This we have done numerous times in the past and will continue on, especially with fundraisers for the much-needed repairs.  We would greatly appreciate any and all help the good citizens of this city might want to provide toward this worthy project.”

For more information about Marland’s Grand Home, visit and like us on Facebook. The historic house museum is open from Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Marland Grand Home is on the National Register of Historic Places.


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