November 27, 2017
New Director Named for the Pioneer Woman Museum
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) announced that Kelly Houston has been appointed to head the Pioneer Woman Museum in Ponca City. The position was vacated when the former director Robbin Davis accepted the position of director at the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center (CSRHC) in Enid. Houston most recently held the position of director of the Cherokee Strip Museum and Rose Hill School in Perry.
Kelly Houston has served as director at the Cherokee Strip Museum (CSM) since 2014. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Oklahoma State University. From 2003 through 2006 Houston worked as an interpreter at CSM managing the very popular Rose Hill School program. The program has been in operation for more than 25 years, allowing grade school students to experience a day in a 1910 one-room schoolhouse. In addition to scheduling the schools, Houston served as the schoolmarm, guiding the students’ participation.
During her tenure as director, Houston worked with Main Street of Perry on a grant from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service’s Museum on Main Street program and Oklahoma Humanities to bring the exhibit “The Way We Worked” to the Perry community. She has been working with the members of the Cherokee Strip Historical Society to remodel areas of CSM and update the exhibits. Houston will continue to be involved with CSM until the renovations are completed.
“We are very pleased to have been included in the selection process that led to the hiring of Ms. Houston and look forward to working closely with her,” said Mary Beth Moore, chair of the Friends of Pioneer Woman Statue and Museum. "We are confident we have found the right person to keep the museum moving forward.”
The Pioneer Woman Museum was dedicated September 15, 1958, just east of the Pioneer Woman statue at 701 Monument Road in Ponca City. Unveiled in 1930, the statue was a gift to the state from Ernest Whitworth Marland, an oil man, philanthropist, Congressman and the 10th governor of Oklahoma. The museum preserves the legacy of women from all races, creeds and nationalities who have contributed to the development of Oklahoma.
The Pioneer Woman Museum is one of 26 museums and historical sites operated by the OHS across the state. The mission of the OHS is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications, the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.