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Gardner Mansion & Museum, Broken Bow

3.5
#21 of 25 in Things to do in Broken Bow
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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Gardner Mansion & Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
12 reviews
Google
3.7
TripAdvisor
  • This place is a must see! The best part was a guided tour by the owner. Dr. Stiles is a retired vet and history/archeology buff. The home has been in his family for generations, bought on auction... 
    This place is a must see! The best part was a guided tour by the owner. Dr. Stiles is a retired vet and history/archeology buff. The home has been in his family for generations, bought on auction...  more »
  • Great collection of area artifacts, with many stories to tell ! Guided tour of old home with a large collection of fossils, antiques, an memorabilia. Each item has a story, some items with an... 
    Great collection of area artifacts, with many stories to tell ! Guided tour of old home with a large collection of fossils, antiques, an memorabilia. Each item has a story, some items with an...  more »
Google
  • My family and I visited the museum on our trip to Oklahoma. We loved it. The owner Mr. Stiles( I believe that was the last name) was great. We loved the stories of his childhood in the home and the stories regarding the mansion. It was definitely worth the small fee of 5.00 per person to tour his home and listen to the history of house and area. It was a little drive from town, but easy to find and I worth the short drive.
  • I have been to plenty of museums & historical houses all over this country, but this one is the most unique because it combines the two. My husband wanted to check this place out and boy am I glad we did. The place is not fancy by museum curating standards, but the collection of things to see is world class! The house was built in 1884 and there is a myriad of things inside that make it definitely worth stopping by. I'd call the number for directions because google maps was wrong and the road is definitely hard to spot- (and bring either cash or check because there surely isn't a credit card machine there!). A gorgeous Japanese magnolia tree graced the outside, but the best part was the very bright & friendly 85 year old owner who gave us a personal tour. We were easily there an hour (and we only left because it was nap time for the 3 year old) I loved the rocks, fossils & historical stories the owner told, and my husband loved the civil war era guns, animal relics, & Indian history. My first reaction was that he need to find a rich benefactor to properly house and professionally display all of these really nice things in his collection, but as I left I realized that there is something spectacular about the natural setting of having them in a historical house, and the stories told by a man who knew details about it all. It's not some sterile environment where you read placard after placard, hear recorded voices to tell you about the history, and then buy overpriced fake items in a hoity toity gift shop. You might need to hold your three year old to keep her from touching something she shouldn't, or keep clear of the wasps, but I decided that I prefer the price to be simple and the experience to be authentic. We saw things that run the gamut from 2000 year old Caddo pottery, to a 120 million year old Dinosaur vertebra, to some ladies shoes from the 1920's, to a vice made to hold leather while it's being carved, to his grandmother's China collection from Japan, to HUGE crystals & fossils of every kind. We saw a bullet hole in the roof/floor, a huge fossilized root, some native American beaded shakers, about 10,000 arrow heads, ancient tools, his wife's quilt collection, and a large skin of a rattlesnake that he put in a bucket and froze so as not to mess up the skin! Next time we drive up from Dallas I will bring my extended family.

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