After the Mansion was constructed in 1928, no funding was left for the planned garage or landscaping. A small, temporary garage was built using leftover building materials and remained on the property until a two-story garage was added over a year later. The Mansion was surrounded by bare clay until landscaping was completed in 1931.
The Mansion’s original operating budget in 1928 was just $300 per month, hardly enough to cover the bills for electricity, water and gas. The original First Family was required to submit receipts, and the cost of groceries was not reimbursed—even for state functions.
During his gubernatorial campaign, William H. “Alfalfa Bill” Murray promised to rent the Governor’s Mansion to generate income for the state while he and his family lived in the Mansion’s garage. By the time he was inaugurated in 1931, he changed his mind and became the third governor to reside in the Mansion.
In 1932, Governor Murray ordered groundskeepers to stop mowing the Mansion lawn. He then had five acres plowed and planted with seed potatoes, which he allocated to 10 needy families nearby.
The First Ladies Rose Garden was planted in the 1930s, and many of the First Ladies have cultivated roses in the garden. Today, First Lady Sarah Stitt is working to relocate the Rose Garden on the Mansion grounds to make it more handicap accessible.
In the early 1950s, First Lady Willie Murray’s weekly open houses attracted so many visitors that tour hostesses were often in shortage. When a crowd of more than 1,200 showed up one day, the Mansion’s cook, houseboy, and guard were given hostess duties for the afternoon.
Nineteen families have lived in the mansion since 1928.
The Mansion has 25 rooms: nine on the first floor, eight on the second floor, three on the third floor, and five in the basement.
There are five fireplaces in the Mansion.
The architectural style of the Mansion is Dutch Colonial, made of Carthage Limestone with a Spanish style red tile roof. This was a very unique style at the time.
Several rugs throughout the Mansion were made by New River Artisans Company in North Carolina—the same company that made the rugs for the White House.
The main rug in the Mansion’s foyer has 36 federally registered Native American tribes and 3 tribal towns in Oklahoma woven around the perimeter.
The antique Baccarat crystal chandelier that hangs in the Mansion dates back to 1850 from France. It contains stylized pineapples in the interior, which are the symbol of hospitality.
A 19th-century Montgolfier French hand-cut crystal chandelier, a gift of the people of Chickasha, hangs in the Oklahoma Room (living room).
The beautiful chandelier in the Mansion dining room was manufactured by Smileys, Inc., of Sand Springs, Oklahoma. First Lady Shirley Bellmon purchased the chandelier to replicate one used by the former Governor, James Howard Edmondson, and former First Lady Jeannette Bartleson Edmondson during the 1959 renovation.
The antique buffet displayed in the dining room is original to the Mansion.
One of the most famous portraits displayed in the Mansion is of The Reverend John Atkinson. It is an original painting by Gilbert Stewart, a world-renowned artist who painted the famous portrait of George Washington that Dolly Madison carried out of the burning White House during the War of 1812. That portrait still hangs in the White House today.
The rug in the Mansion’s dining room is over 110 years old and was made in the Middle East.
The Mansion’s swimming pool is designed in the shape of Oklahoma, and the panhandle is the hot tub.
The Mansion grounds includes its own helipad.
The Oklahoma State Seal is featured in the floor design of the newly renovated Mansion kitchen.