We concluded our stop at Petit Jean State Park (near Morrilton, AR) with a tour of the Mather Lodge.
As we walked through the new lobby and restaurant waiting area, we could see the results of the $4.3 million renovation and addition.
The history of the Lodge was summarized in rexnelsonsouthern fried.com: "During the Great Depression, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps were established at Arkansas’ first six state parks. CCC Company V-1781 was formed on Petit Jean Mountain on July 15, 1933. The company employed World War I veterans.
The dining room (the room with the tables in the two photos below) and kitchen were added in the 1960s.
The next four photos show some architectural details in these two rooms in the old section of the Lodge.
It was strangely similar to that announcement made before the showing of some 1950s horror movies: "Just keep telling yourself: 'It's only a movie.'"
Now the content of that message was not the same, but I kept reminding myself:
"Remember this is 'only' a state park."
The Mather Lodge far exceeded our expectation of a lodge in any state park. It was reminiscent of the lodges in some of the major national parks.