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WEEKLY HIGHLIGHT

Wentz Camp, Kay County, Oklahoma

[photo] Cedar GroveWith Romanesque “medieval style” cabins and other facilities designed for campers, Wentz Camp, built between 1928 and 1953, was associated with nationally recognized oilman and philanthropist Lewis/Louis Haines Wentz, who built the camp for the children of Ponca City, Oklahoma. Also recognized as a place showcasing an outstanding example of Romanesque Revival architecture, the centerpiece of the camp is a 150 foot by 50 foot Olympic size above ground pool. Lewis (Lew) Wentz came to Oklahoma in 1911 and, after partnering with Pennsylvania oilman John G. McCaskey, founded the Wentz Oil Corporation and by 1926 was rated among the seven richest men in the United States. Later prominent in the Oklahoma Republican Party, Wentz championed the cause of helping crippled children.  When he built Wentz Camp he hired Leonard H. Baines, who became the architect for the pool, cabins and camp entry, and George J. Cannon, a local Ponca City architect, to design the mess hall. Wentz Camp was built and run by Lew Wentz until his death in 1949---Wentz left the camp to the City of Ponca City and it has remained a city-owned recreational facility. The facility has been in continuous use since it opened in 1930.

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[photo] Cedar Grove

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