Eight historic houses tell the story of OKC


Oklahoma City is a younger city than most, but at 131 it’s full of historic homes, some of which are open to public tours.

Here are some houses that are worth seeing:

Manoir Overholser, 405 NW 15

Henry Overholser was a founding father of Oklahoma City who participated in various business ventures, capital improvement, and the Oklahoma State Fair. Built in 1902 by Overholser and his wife, Anna, the Overholser Mansion is considered the first mansion built in Oklahoma City.

At the time, Overholser owned some of the city’s largest theaters and wanted his home to be a place to entertain the city’s powerful. The mansion and all of its belongings were sold to the Oklahoma Historical Society in April 1972, and the mansion has been the subject of extensive preservation efforts ever since to ensure it is as welcoming today as it is. was for visitors in 1902.

Following:Historic Goodholm Mansion, moved twice to avoid destruction, reduced to rubble by owners

The hand-painted canvas ceiling can be seen in this photo of the dining room at Overholser Mansion.

Tours take place at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. One must reserve. On Saturdays, visitors can come without reservation from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tours last between 45 minutes and an hour. Admission is $ 10 for adults, $ 7 for seniors and military, $ 5 for students and children, and free for children under six.

Haunted House, 7101 Miramar

The former Haunted House restaurant now houses a boys' house.

In the woods, accessible by a dirt road, stands a 4,890 square foot house built in 1930 that was better known as the Haunted House restaurant until it closed in 2015.

The restaurant’s name is inspired by the 1963 murder of Martin Carriker, a car dealership who lived in the house with his wife, Clara, and stepdaughter, Margaret Pearson.

Prosecutors charged Pearson with the murder after finding she had Carriker killed by two tinkerers. She was found not guilty and returned home, only found dead inside while being seized.

Marian Thibault and her husband, Arthur, bought a house in a wooded area of ​​northeast Oklahoma City, the site of a murder, and turned the house into a restaurant they operated for half a century.  The restaurant is now a boys' house.

Arthur and Marian Thibault bought the house in 1964 and operated it as a Haunted House restaurant for half a century. After a brief attempt to reopen as a restaurant, the house was purchased to expand services by the Speck Home for Boys. The house is not open to the public.

Following:Former Haunted House restaurant now a home for the boys

Governor’s Mansion, 820 NW 23

The Governor's Mansion was built with the same style of limestone used at the neighboring State Capitol.

The Oklahoma legislature chose a location along NE 23, just east of where the Capitol was to be built, for what would become the governor’s mansion.

The Capitol was completed in 1919, but the mansion was not funded by lawmakers until 1927 when, in the midst of an oil boom, $ 100,000 was allocated for construction and furnishings. Lawmakers provided an additional $ 39,000 for landscaping and additional outdoor buildings.

Designed by Layton, Hicks and Forsyth, one of the state’s pioneer architectural firms, the mansion was built in the Dutch Colonial style with limestone used on the exterior to complement the appearance of the Capitol.

The mansion is undergoing renovations and tours are expected to resume once the work is completed.

Harn Homestead, 1721 N Lincoln Blvd.

The Harn Homestead is an unspoiled representation of some of the city's early developments.

The Harn Homestead, nestled between the State Capitol and downtown, takes visitors back to the early days of Oklahoma City, when it was still a lowland town aspiring to be the state capital.

Harn and his wife, Alice, moved from Mansfield, Ohio to Oklahoma City where he was tasked with sorting out property claims after the 1889 race. His federal appointment ended in 1893. Harn wanted to stay in Oklahoma City while his wife wanted back to Ohio.

In 1897, Harn purchased 160 acres of land to create a permanent home for his family. To appease his wife, Harn gave her a selection from any house in the National Home Builders catalog. She chose a Queen Anne-style home with a quirky little porch and a half-octagon-shaped living room and upstairs bedroom.

The remaining 10 acres of the original property were donated to the city to be turned into a museum. In addition to the Harn House, the farm houses six other buildings, including a barn, a one-room school, and the first two-story house built in Oklahoma City.

Tours are available by appointment only from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Manoir Urschel, 327 NW 18

Early 1930s photo of the Heritage Hills home of Charles F. and Berniece Urschel at 327 NW 18 in Oklahoma City.  Oilman-philanthropist Charles F. Urschel was kidnapped from this house late on the night of July 22, 1933 and was ransomed by George for $ 200,000. "Submachine gun" Kelly and Albert Bates.  Urschel died on September 26, 1970 in San Antonio, Texas.

Oklahoma City businessman Charles Urschel was playing cards with friends at his Heritage Hills mansion on July 22, 1933, when the game was interrupted by notorious Machine Gun gangster Kelly.

Kelly kidnapped Urschel at gunpoint and led him to a hiding place in Texas. Urschel was released when the family paid the gangster’s claim for over $ 200,000. Kelly was captured two months later and spent the rest of her life in prison. The mansion remains a private house.

Following:Machine Gun Kelly meets his equal after Heritage Hills kidnapping

Lyon / Manoir chandelier, 300 NE 3

Melvin Luster was 73 when he posed for this photo in 1983, discussing his efforts to save the family estate in Deep Deuce.  The house, along with a smaller shotgun house to the left and a store to the south, is all that has survived on the block.

The Lyons Mansion, 300 NE 3, also known as the Luster Mansion, is a two-story house built by SD Lyons with the small fortune he made from his Sun-Ray Toilet Preparation Co. Behind the house he There is still a matching brick structure that housed the Lyon cosmetics company, which marketed products such as Sun-Ray Face Bleach, “pressing oil” for hair, face powder and perfumes.

Much of the original facilities are still intact in the former Hôtel Particulier in Lyon.

The property is a significant representation of the thriving Deep Deuce, the commercial and cultural hub of the city’s black community, which vanished when the area was carved out to make way for the construction of Interstate 235. The property was acquired by the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, which is awaiting a study on how best to preserve the monument.

Following:Home of Deep Deuce tells the story of a young black entrepreneur

Manoir Goodholm, Choctaw

The Goodholm Mansion is shown when it was built in the Maywood neighborhood.

When it was first built in 1901, the three-story Goodholm Mansion was one of the city’s finest homes, touted by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber as an example of future grandeur for the future capital of the state.

Over a century later, perhaps no house has made so many trips to the state, leaving it to rest in a field surrounded by mobile homes in far eastern Oklahoma County, where it is located. still today. The house was bought by a mover from the State Fair Board and moved to a field in Choctaw where he remains unoccupied.

Manoir Hefner, 201 NW 14

St. Luke's Methodist Church owns the former Hefner Mansion at 201 NW 14.

Robert A. Hefner was a lawyer, mayor and judge of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma whose family moved into a Greek Revival mansion in Heritage Hills in 1927. The house was originally built in 1917 and has remained the Hefner House until 1970 when he donated it to become the home of the Oklahoma Heritage Association. The house was sold in 2007 to the nearby Methodist Church of St. Luke, which now uses it as meeting space and offices.

Editor-in-Chief Steve Lackmeyer is a 31-year-old journalist, columnist, and author who covers downtown Oklahoma City, related urban development and economics for The Oklahoma. Contact him at [email protected] Please support his work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a subscription today at Subscribe.oklahoman.com.

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