Around 1802, bands of Osage Indians settled in this area of what is now northeastern Oklahoma. Black Dog was the chief of a band that settled at Pasona, where the city of Claremore later developed. He shared power with Chiefs Clermont and Pawhuska. Clermont, named by French traders, settled with his band in a village known as Pasuga, which was located on an ancient platform earthwork mound in this area.
The Osage village of Pasuga was destroyed by Cherokee in June 1817, during the Battle of Claremore Mound, also known as the Battle of the Strawberry Moon. These Western Cherokee had moved into the region from the southeastern United States and were perpetually competing with the Osage, who looked down on them. At the time of the attack, most of the men were out of the villages to hunt bison on the plains. The Cherokee killed the men in the village, and took more than 100 women and children captive, selling them to eastern Cherokee.
After the Indian Removal Act of 1830 was passed by Congress, this area was designated as part of Indian Territory and the Cherokee Nation were assigned much of this territory. Claremore and the mound were within a part of the Cooweescoowee District in the northwestern part of the Cherokee Nation.
The Rogers family, for whom the county is named, were among the first European-American settlers. Clem Rogers, father of the famous entertainer Will Rogers, moved to the county in 1856. He acquired lands for his Dog Iron Ranch that eventually consisted of more than 60,000 acres. The Clem Rogers home still stands outside Oologah, and is considered an important historical site. Clem Rogers was a major advocate of Oklahoma statehood; he was the oldest delegate to the state’s Constitutional Convention in 1907 at age 69. He and other members of his family were buried at the Will Rogers Memorial.
Claremore’s (link http://www.claremore.k12.ok.us/) growth was aided by the popularity of Sulphur springs among Americans in the late 19th and early 20th centures. They believed bathing in such springs to have medical benefits. George Eaton had settled with his family in the Claremore area in 1874, and conducted farming and cattle raising. He later branched into the mercantile business, real estate, and oil exploration. While drilling just east of Claremore in 1903, Easton struck an underground pool of water that smelled of sulfur. Eaton built a bath house and promoted the pool area as Radium Town. Radium Town was centered on 9th Street between Seminole and Dorothy. Bath houses were built by promoters all over this area of Claremore, and for a time attracted travelers and tourists for the waters.
The city has many historic homes and other buildings, with several located in the old business district. In 2002, Claremore received a grand from the state’s Oklahoma Main Street program to redevelop its business district with improved urban design and enhancement of historic properties. Renovation work on the downtown was completed in 2007.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.3 square miles. The city is located in Green Country, a popular nickname for northeast Oklahoma that stems from the region’s green vegetation and relatively high amount of hills and lakes compared to central and western areas of Oklahoma. Claremore lies near the Verdigris River with undulating terrain producing hills and valleys. The city’s primary water sources are Claremore and Oologah Lake, both within the drainage basin of the Verdigris River.
The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! Is set in Claremore and the surrounding area, in 1906. The Quantum Leap (TV series) episode “8 ½ Months” is also set near Claremore. The movie Where the Heart is starring Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd fictionally portrays Rogers County and the area surrounding Claremore.
Claremore is a major intersection of heavily traveled highways. Interstate 44 crosses the city to its southeast. State Highway 66 was designated along one of the main east-west roads of the city. State Highway 88 and State Highway 20 intersect within the city limits. Two railroads, the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern Railway and the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway or “Frisco” intersect in Claremore. The traffic problems resulting from the intersection of two major national rail lines has led to discussion among city officials about how best to improve traffic flow. As of 2007, the city plans to elevate BNSF railroad throughout the entire town.