When you think Ree Drummond, the first thought that comes to mind is likely her role as the Pioneer Woman, a cooking and lifestyle show on the Food Network. But when it comes down to her Oklahoma roots that she commonly displays on her show, Drummond isn’t playing around. From her love of the Oklahoma outdoors to the love she’s grown while raising her family there, Drummond has set her roots in the Oklahoma soil, and intends to give back to her beloved state as it has given so much to her.
It’s no surprise that Drummond is adored by millions across the country for her role as the Pioneer Woman, she’s not the only one in the state. As a matter of fact, she’s not even the original one. Located in Ponca City, Oklahoma, a statue exists of the original pioneer woman, that of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Pioneer Woman Statue and Museum have received many a visits from fans of the show to those just passing through the state, but have surely seen an increase since the existence of Drummond’s show.
The statue and museum, which goes to replicate and respect the efforts of women in the pioneer ages of the 19th and 20th centuries, when civilians began heading west to settle and develop the land. During this time, it was the women who tended to and help up all ends of the family, unknowingly setting the stage accomplishing women to of that era, and the eras to come.
Drummond, who resides in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, just 43 miles east of Ponca City, recently opened a Pioneer Woman-inspired store, The Mercantile, in Pawhuska, something that’s drawing out crowds by the masses, and also sending them to Ponca City.
In an interview with Tulsa World, Robbin Davis, director of the Pioneer Woman Museum and Statue, hasn’t let Drummond’s representation as the Pioneer Woman go unnoticed, stating,
“What we do here at the museum is honor the pioneering spirit of women . . . That’s what Ree has done through social media and on television. The pioneer women lived life on the frontier in rural America. Ree’s doing the same thing. They bloom where planted.”
As for the city of Pawhuska, Drummond’s efforts and valiant successes continue to grow. With the opening of The Mercantile and the continual existence of her booming restaurant, Drummond has brought thousands to the small town of Pawhuska, and not only to her designated business ventures.
With it’s opening about two months ago, it’s estimated that nearly 20,ooo people, per News on 6, have come to the town to visit the store, something that originally shocked to The Mercantile’s General Manager, Kurtess Mortensen, who told Oklahoma’s News on 6 that they never expected its reach to be so far-stretched.
Success has branched out to the store’s neighboring shops, as well, creating the potential to further expand what downtown Pawhuska has to offer.
News on 6 spoke with Pawhuska’s City Manager Mike McCartney, who gave Drummond raving reviews on what she’s sparked within the town, noting that her endeavors have peaked interests for other businesses to move in. “We’ve had several people come not only to the city, we’ve sent them to the chamber, to the economic development director.”
Other business owners in the town have noted a remarkable surplus in visitors and demand, noting that they used to have the luxury of closing shop for the holidays and on Mondays, but now see that as a thing of the past, something they’ve deemed as a good problem to have.
All in all, the efforts of the Pioneer Woman prevail; and those of the past, present and future will be witnessing history from all different walks of life.
This post was originally published on January 4, 2017.