Old Town is McAlester’s original town site, where J.J. McAlester (a character in the novel and John Wayne movie, “True Grit”) established its first general store. Old Town Association celebrates this heritage each fall with the Wild West Festival, complete with entertainment, merchants, games, and food.
At the intersection of North Main Street and Krebs Avenue, two blocks of storefronts that served as downtown when the first train arrived in McAlester are now home to a variety of antiques and collectibles stores. Old Town features McAlester’s original courthouse and post office sites as well as two restored antique filling stations. Aptly named, the Whistle-Stop Bistro is a favorite local eatery just across the street from the original general store.
The J.J. McAlester Mansion sits on the eastern edge of Old Town and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The mansion was completed in 1885 and restored in 1998. The home is a private residence, but tours are available by appointment. To schedule, call (918) 423-8620. To learn more McAlester history, schedule a tour of the Tannehill Family Heirlooms & Gun Museum by calling (918) 423-5953.