Belvidere Mansion

This circa 1902 three-story Victorian mansion is located two blocks east of downtown Claremore

and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Banker and entepreneur John M. Bayless was born in 1851 in Green County Tennessee, moving with his family to Cassville where he grew up working on his parent’s farm.  After graduating from Hiawassee College of Tennessee in 1875 he returned home to Cassville with 40 just cents in his pocket. Two years later in 1877 he married Francis J. McCarey. In 1878 daughter Francis was born. Sadly, Mrs. Bayless died just one year after their marriage.

The following year Mr. Bayless met and married Mary Stubblefield. From 1880-1895 they had a total of 7 children.

Mr Bayless built several historic buildings, but the Belvidere is the only one that still stands. He died on June 2nd 1907 on the operating table of appendicitis, just 6 months before the family was due to move into the mansion.e w an.  Mr. Bayl

The house is brick with a tile roof and has four towers, one on each corner.  The two front towers are round, but the back two are square. A portico on the north side provided cover for the guest carriages as they arrived for gala parties.

A large porch covers the front entrance with matching balcony directly above. Much of the trim woodwork and pocket doors were brought from the 1904 St Louis World’s Fair.

The floor is covered in tile laid by Italian craftsmen. The walls are wainscoted marble and pressed-tin. A central open chimney vents warm air to the upper levels from the ground floor gas fireplaces.

The third-floor ballroom has been completely restored.

RCHS took possession of the Belvidere in 1991 and continues to restore and maintain it through donations, fundraisers, and Tea Room and Gift Shop sales.


The Belvidere in 1907, as imagined by artist Pat Crume


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