A Cowboy Castle – Touring Will Rogers State Historic Park

Check out my new place. Isn’t it lovely? Just kidding, I only wish I lived here. This humble abode is actually the former residence of the classic film star, Will Rogers. Nestled in the heart of Pacific Palisades it is a 10 bedroom/10 bathroom manse filled with all the latest technology (of the 1930’s).

Will Rogers custom built this house as a residence for his family. When his widow died in 1944 she left the residence to the state. Now, the house is a part of the Will Rogers State Historic Park which includes the residence, hiking trails, horse trails, a golf course, and a polo field. The grounds are extensive, but on my visit we focused solely on the house.

I am a sucker for historical homes and even more of a sucker for classic Hollywood history. The estate did not disappoint on both accounts. A park ranger leads guided tours of the home and let me tell you, it is pretty amazing. As you may know, often when you go to a historic home, it is filled with “period furnishings.” In other words, most of the residential items are gone and furnishings of the time period are added to suggest how the residence may have looked at that time. Understandable as older generations were not as antique obsessed as ours, but still disappointing. Well, I am glad to report that is not the case with the Will Rogers residence. All, yes all, of the interiors are original. The house sits exactly as it did when the Rogers family resided in it. Isn’t that awesome?!?

Check out the interior –

Portraits of Will and his wife, Betty

 

A yoke re-purposed as a lighting fixture, very green!

 

The cowboy style living room

 

The very latest cooking gadget

 

The modern electric stove

 

An office space in the library/sitting room

 

First editions of The Wizard of Oz, the author was a family friend

It is just too cool. Touring the house is like stepping back in time. What an experience! The outside is quite nice too.

Guess who sat on that patio? Spencer Tracey and Clark Gable! Goosebumps!

So, if you’re a fan of Hollywood history or would simply like to visit a unique and lovely place, take a tour of the Will Rogers residence at the Will Rogers State Historic Park. Admission is free!

Will Rogers State Historic Park
1501 Will Rogers Park Road
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Free home tours Th-Fri 11-2, Sat-Sun 10-4, on the hour
parking $12 (a bit steep, but just think, it’s per car, not person)

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