|Masoni Temple's large auditorium where Plays of Initiation are held|
|Backdrops at Masonic Temple in McAlester|
A painting of former member Will Rogers is displayed in the palatial lobby along with a donated Frederick Remington statue. Upstairs, the beautiful Egyptian themed auditorium is still used for the morality plays but also for local concerts and events. Behind the scene are prop rooms filled with heavy silk and satin costumes, shelves of crowns, sandals, wigs, and swords.
|Chapel contains a Koran, Bible and Torah|
|Ceremonial Hall at International|
Headquarters of Rainbow Girls
Signs of McAlester’s history play out in the town beginning with its name. J.J. McAlester used his knowledge of nearby coal reserves and his wife’s Native American heritage to purchase land. He then convinced the railroad to build the track from Kansas to Texas through his holdings. The town was later named for him. In the Old Town section to the north of downtown McAlester, his original Mercantile Building still stands and houses the popular Whistle-Stop Bistro that deservedly does a booming lunch business.
Carl Albert Freeway is named for the hometown boy made U.S. Speaker of the House. It is no surprise then that McAlester is home to an ammunition plant and center. You probably wouldn’t want to be here during a war, though, as most of America’s bombs are made nearby.
|Storefront for Lovera's Italian Grocery Store|
McAlester will never be a major tourist destination but its proximity to Eufala Lake brings in enough visitors to support a nice variety of experiences. It’s definitely worth a turn off the major highways.