The Large Parlor has been the gathering place for many formal events, both official and personal. The room has been the setting for several weddings, with the wedding party gathering around the mantel. The room has remained basically unchanged through the years, with the exception of the addition of the plaster cove molding, the carved mantel and the mirrored overmantel. First Lady Janey Briscoe added the large, English crystal chandeliers in 1978, replacing the smaller ones that now hang in the Upstairs Hall.
From 1914 to 1979, a state piano was used in the Large Parlor. Even before 1914, Governors often brought a piano into one of the rooms to provide music for formal entertaining. The fireplace in the Large Parlor has often been used as an altar for Mansion weddings. The brides often descended the stairway and met their grooms who would enter from the Small Parlor. Mrs. James Stephen Hogg, who died shortly after her husband left office, lay in state in the parlors prior to her funeral. In the 1940’s, Governor W. Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel broadcast his Sunday morning radio show from the Large Parlor. His Hillbilly Band joined him in the broadcasts.
Most of the pieces seen in the Large Parlor today were acquired by Friends of the Governor’s Mansion during the 1979-1982 Mansion restoration-renovation.
- Jean Daniel, Price Daniel and Dorothy Blodgett. The Texas Governor’s Mansion.
Austin: Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, 1984.
- The Governor’s Mansion of Texas: A Tour of Texas’s Most Historic Home.
Austin: Friends of the Governor’s Mansion, 1997.