Who was J.M. Davis...and where did he get all those guns? What's the story here? Well, it seems when John Monroe Davis was seven years old he took his medicine like a good boy. As a reward his father gave him a muzzle-loading shotgun that cost $1.50 ( not a small amount in 1894). This began a fascination with guns that just never stopped. That first gun is still in the collection. In 1916, Davis traded 2,000 acres of Arkansas timberland for a hotel in Claremore, Oklahoma. Davis moved into the Mason Hotel and took over management. He continued to add to his collection one gun at a time. By 1929, his collection had reached 99 guns. He decided to display the guns on the lobby walls of his hotel. But guns weren't the only thing Davis collected. He also collected: knives, swords, steins, saddles, music boxes, musical instruments, political buttons, World War I posters, John Rogers statuary, and Native American artifacts. All of which found a place of display within the hotel. And this was just in the beginning. Lobby walls became crowded, the ball room was filled to capacity. Upstairs the long hallways were lined with guns and memorabilia. Seven private rooms were filled to capacity. With the Hotel smack in the middle of Route 66, word of Davis' collection spread far and wide. A steady stream of people came from all over the world to see the collection, buy, sell, trade or just talk guns.He became internationally known as a gun expert. The man and his collection became the subject of numerous magazine articles. In 1965, with an eye to the future, Davis transferred ownership of his massive collection to the J.M. Davis Foundation Inc. In turn the Foundation leased the collection to the State of Oklahoma at the cost of $1. for 99 years (with the option to renew). Part of the deal was that the State would build and maintain a modern facility to house the collection, and that the collection would be open to the public at no charge. The first section of the museum opened to an enthusiastic public on Davis' 82nd birthday: June 27, 1969. Since that time the entire structure has been completed with over 40, 000 square feet of floor space. Gun displays alone total to over one mile in length. In 1973 J.M. Davis died. He is entombed on the museum grounds: he is still with his guns.
Mmmm, wheel guns! They are by far my favorite side arm. So beautiful in form and function.
The beloved 1911! Quite possibly the best hand gun platform that has ever existed.
Happiness is a belt fed weapon!!
The Davis tomb was guarded by a beautiful Gattling gun that some moron didn't get a good picture of. I'll let you guess who that moron is.
Never in all my life had I seen such an amazing selection of bikes all in one place. I've been to so many shows and seen so many bikes. It's always the same thing time after time. Billet here, bolt on's there. Every once in a while you'll see something innovative and different, but too often it feels like an after thought on a compilation with no overall theme, direction, or cohesiveness. This show, however, was so totally different. Every bike here was of such exceeding quality. And the variety of styles was incredible! Brad was absolutely spot on with the invitations. The award was left up to the spectators discretion, a task which was wholly impossible for any person who actually comprehended what was before them. After circling the floor dozens of times for what felt like an eternity, I came to the conclusion that I simply could not pick a single machine above the rest. I decided rather to vote for the builder. The person who impressed me most with his genuine demeanor, and all around niceness. Now I'm not going to give away who it was, but suffice to say he is a top shelf dude who has built a successful career, a beautiful family, and woven a quality fabric of good deeds, good friends, and good vibes. And oh, by the way, he builds a positively spectacular two wheeled freedom machine!!
Christian, Gearhead, Conservative, Republican, in that order. If you view my blog you will likely see pics, text, and video relating to family, motorcycles, religion, friends, art, politics, or anything else that sparks my interest.