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A History of Marland’s Grand Home

1940 to 1960 - Part II

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of 12 monthly articles on Marland’s Grand Home. Information was taken from a personal interview by Marland’s Grand Home Assistant Director Jayne Detten, with Pat (Paris) Moore of Ponca City, and later articles from The Ponca City News archives. This article is continued from the April edition of centennial articles on the Marland Grand Home.

The Jay and Jessie Paris family lived at 1000 East Grand Avenue for 27 years, from 1940 to 1967, and they had one daughter named Patricia (“Pat”) Ladd Paris.

Second Floor

Pat occupied the upstairs southeast corner enclosed sitting porch as her bedroom, instead of the adjoining true bedroom space. This porch room had large glass/screened windows, which could be opened to catch a breeze. It was much cooler than the traditional bedroom space, and it was also connected to a bath. Pat shared this bath space with her parents, whose northeast corner bedroom was also connected to the same bath. Despite the size of the large twenty-two room home, all three members of the Paris family used the same upstairs bathroom. The home had five bathrooms in total, two in the basement, two on the second floor, and one on the third floor. An additional first floor powder room bath was added later, by the Paris family, to accommodate first floor needs.

Many times, during the hot summer months, the Paris family members would sleep on cots on the top of the west-side garage flat roof. To access this area, one would climb out the large west enclosed glass porch windows and then step through the screens. “The west flat roof, over the attached garage, was used for sleeping at night instead of the east-side ground floor terrace. If sleeping on the east terrace, one would be greeted earlier than desired by the upcoming sun,” stated Pat Paris Moore

Third Floor

The third floor south-side space included two small bedrooms and a central shared bath space in between. This upper area was most likely house staff quarters during the 1920s era. The third floor north-side space was the walk-in attic. In the 1940’s, the Dodgers farm club hosted a team which played in Ponca City. One of the players, Dale Hendricks, lived with the Paris family in one of the third floor rooms. The Dodgers team often swam in the basement pool for refreshment.

 

Basement Area

The swimming pool was used regularly by many guests. Pat remembers the water in the pool being very cold, due to the water heater in the boiler room not functioning properly. “The warmest temperature the water ever reached was right after the pool was refilled,” laughed Pat. Pat and her friends, along with her father, would drain the pool, get in the empty cavern and scrub all the walls and floor until they were clean. In those days, the pool was not chlorinated as adequately as in today’s standard for sanitation, so the pool was cleaned on a regular basis and then refilled. The pool had a diving board and a trapeze, which hung over the pool, both of which hurled guests into its depths for fun.

The pool room had a dressing space, a shower, and a sink for guests to use. Adjoining the swimming pool was the larger dressing room space, which included a bathroom and four small stalls for changing into swim suits. “The larger dressing room area was also used to store the horse saddles, so it always smelled of leather,” said Pat.

Also in the basement area downstairs were two Ping-Pong tables stationed in the center room. The west room, as today, was the billiard table and bar. The east room mirrored the west room and was basically unused space.

 

The family dog was a St. Bernard. Pat and her dad would bring the dog into the basement area, via the southwest outside descending stairwell, where there was a bathroom with bathtub. “This is where my dog, Tuffy, participated in his bath routine,” recalls Pat fondly. Other wildlife kept in the basement area included a small flock of baby turkeys, which Jessie Paris kept until they were too large to stay.

 

Changes in Store

Pat Paris married Bob Casey, and they had four children, Kelle, Mitch, Jay, and Hal.

Jay Paris passed away in 1963 at an early age. He had been named Ponca City’s “Most Useful Citizen.” Jessie Paris remained at the home for approximately eight more years and then moved into the Pioneer Apartments on Monument Road close to the Pioneer Woman Museum.

 

Welcoming a New Phase

In 1967 the City of Ponca City purchased the 3.36 acre property from Jessie Paris for $85,000. The Marland-Paris House soon became listed on the National Register of Historic Places and became a collection space for fine American Indian artifacts and artwork that had previously been on display in the Indian Museum, located in the basement of the Ponca City Library. The library had become too small for the growing collection, so the Marland-Paris House was to make an ideal new location for the collection.

When Jessie Paris moved out of the home in the late 1960s, their family’s ornate music box, nostalgic rattan furniture, a hand-carved desk, Chippendale dining room suit, two crystal chandeliers and several mahogany tables remained in the home and were purchased by the City of Ponca City.

The site was now poised to become a Ponca City landmark which would serve the community well for the next 50 years.

 


 

1940-1960 Part I HISTORY INDEX 1960-1970