Historic Downtown Poteau
Downtown Poteau contains a great wealth of history, from the old Indian Territory Federal Courthouse to the twin offices of the Oklahoma Immigration Company. The city has been home to outlaws, bootleggers, railroad barons and wealthy merchants. It was even home to the Lakeview Landrun. Today, traces of this history can be seen throughout the old downtown district, from the old bank building that was robbed by Bonnie and Clyde to the Noble-Bird building, which housed one of the largest druggists in Eastern Oklahoma.
The McKenna Building, once home to the old Indian Territory Courthouse, is still standing and the upstairs hasn't changed since the early days. While many know of Judge Parker's famous court, bandits and outlaws captured in Indian Territory were sent to Poteau's courthouse before they made that final fateful trip. Even the old jail house, built later in 1913 is still in pristine condition. As you stroll down the main street, colorful and interesting shops can now be found in the very buildings that the early pioneers built. Bridgman's Furniture, one of the oldest furniture stores in Oklahoma, is still ran by the Bridgman family and occupies almost an entire block of downtown Poteau. The Purple Plume is a high-class fashion and accessories store that is very well-known throughout the region. The world-famous Warehouse Willy's serves some of the best food to be found for miles around. This restaurant is decked out in images and items from the distant past. Peppercorn Antique Mall houses some of the finest antiques in the area. The antiques found here range from glassware to turn-of-the-century furniture.
While the list of fascinating stores can go on, perhaps one of the most interesting attractions in historic downtown Poteau is the LeFlore County Museum at the Hotel Lowrey. This museum, once complete, will house artifacts dating from the ancient Caddoan empire through modern times and is said to be one of the largest of it's kind in Eastern Oklahoma. At Historic Downtown Poteau, their goal is to preserve and promote the unique history of Poteau, while at the same time revitalizing the downtown area.