Kerr Country Mansion/Conference Center & Museum
Now known as the Kerr Country Mansion and Conference Center, the home is a secluded bed-and-breakfast inn and meeting facility for business or pleasure travelers. Amenities include 20 rooms and more than 40 beds, three meeting rooms, a large dining area, plus a swimming pool and sauna.
Robert S. Kerr served as Oklahoma’s first native-born governor from 1943-1947 and as a U.S. senator from 1948 until his death in 1963. He was president of Kerr-McGee Oil Industries, Inc. He was responsible for development of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, which provided the direct shipment of Oklahoma goods by water to any point in the world. Kerr also championed the conservation of natural resources, as reflected in his book, Land, Wood, and Water, copyrighted in 1960.
A museum at the home contains displays tracing the development of eastern Oklahoma from pre-history through the Spiro Mounds Builders era; the reputed visit of Viking explorers, native Choctaw Indian inhabitants, pioneers and World War II memorabilia. A re-created office of Senator Kerr features the statesman’s desk and personal items, including his Bible, in which the senator wrote on May 24, 1936: “I hope that I may live in such a way that I will not be compelled to spend my declining years with the ghosts of many failures.”
Visitors are welcome to tour the 11,000-square foot home, which was built in 1960 and constructed of materials that are native to the area such as stone, oak, pine, and cedar. Throughout the interior are beautiful architectural appointments and detailing, from Japanese-style wooden grillwork to gilded cherub bathroom fixtures, that epitomized the gracious lifestyle of Senator and Mrs. Kerr.
Conference Center operated by: Carl Albert State College
Museum operated by: Oklahoma Historical Society
Location: 6 mi SW of Poteau, off US-59; signs direct
Apr 1 through Mid-Nov.
Tue-Fri 9a-5p, Sat-Sun 1-5p
Mid-Nov through Mar 31:
And major holidays.
Special openings for groups can be arranged by appointment.
Admission: Free; donations welcomed
Country Inn Room Rates: $45 to $70