All the dirt, news, culture and commentary for Oklahoma's second century.

Explore the Overholser Mansion's 114 year old mysteries

overholsermansion.org
Fertile Ground Compost Service

OKLAHOMA CITY – The 1903 Henry Overholser Mansion will host its Mysteries of the Mansion tour at 7 p.m. on May 18.

Mysteries of the Mansion tours are held on the third Thursday of each month.

Visitors can experience an extended, after-hours, guided tour of the property with a chance to examine archived materials and learn about the rich history of the Overholser Mansion and its former residents.

Guests will also hear stories about the mysterious paranormal activity and occurrences many have witnessed while visiting the Mansion.

Tickets to Mysteries of the Mansion are $20 per person.

Advanced reservations are encouraged. To make a reservation, please call (405) 525-5325.

Outside of the Mysteries of the Mansion tours, the Overholser Mansion is open for guided tours Tuesday through Saturday.

Tours are given on the hour at: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. and last approximately 35-45 minutes.

Admission rates are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors (55 and over), $5 for students/children, and children under the age of 6 are free.

​Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more.

Parking is available on Northwest 15th Street immediately in front of the mansion.

For more information, visit their website.

History

When Henry Overholser, considered by many to be the “Father of Oklahoma City,” purchased three lots in the newly developed Classen’s Highland Park Addition in 1902, many people questioned why he and his wife Anna would build a home so far “out in the country.” After all, the heart of Oklahoma City’s business and social life was located over a mile to the south and the rail lines ran only to 13th street, two blocks south of where the land stood. The plots of land looked remarkably similar to the flat and treeless landscape that greeted Henry Overholser and Anna Murphy when they each arrived, separately, thirteen years prior shortly after the Run of 1889. 

Built in 1903, the Overholser is considered Oklahoma City’s first mansion. The Queen Anne and Chateauesque architectural styles of the house were regarded as out of style and stood in stark contrast to the Mission, Craftsman, and Prairie styles of architecture that had become prominent of the time.  However, when Henry and Anna opened the doors of their home to guests, their choice of style was not questioned.  The following appeared in the February 28,1904 issue of The Daily Oklahoman, shortly after an opening event:

The house is a sermon on beauty. It is uplifting and ennobling as works of art are ever. The taste with which it has been decorated and is being furnished is flawless and shows a praiseworthy mastery of the subject, and the whole Overholser house is an incomparable example of the possibilities of beautiful homebuilding.

The home remained a center of social life for decades--hosting weddings, dinners, and literary events.  It was also the place of the birth of their only daughter, Henry Ione, in 1905. Throughout this time, the home remained in the hands of the Overholser family—after Henry died in 1915, his widow Anna continued to live in the house until her death in 1940.  The house then passed to Henry Ione and her husband, David Jay Perry. The Perrys had no children, and when Henry Ione died in 1959, David Jay Perry was left as the sole heir to the mansion.

Realizing the historic value of the Overholser Mansion, Perry sought to see it preserved as a living tribute to the 89’ers—the group of people who arrived during year following the Oklahoma Land Run. 

On June 22, 1970, the Overholser was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Less than two years later, on April 14, 1972, David Jay Perry achieved his goal of preserving the mansion by selling the house, including all of its contents, to the Oklahoma Historical Society.  At the ceremonial deed signing, Perry stated that it “was Mrs. Overholser’s wish that it go to the city or state. She would be pleased.”

​Today, the mansion is owned by the Oklahoma Historical Society and managed by Preservation Oklahoma, Inc. Preservation Oklahoma (POK) is that state's only private, non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting, supporting, and coordinating historic preservation activities across the state.

Enjoy this? Please share it!

Help support Red Dirt Report

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

Member of the Oklahoma Press Association
Member of Investigative Reporters & Editors
Member of Diversity Business Association
Member of Uptown 23rd

Rotary Club of Bricktown OKC
Keep it Local OK