Mark Wilkerson’s man cave — a compound that sprawls out behind his house, hidden behind a line of trees — started with a treehouse.
Mark built the treehouse in the late ‘90s for his then 3-year-old son. From there, the construction projects continued throughout his home’s adjoining lot.
At the center of the man cave compound is a pool with a poolside bar. At the pool’s edge is a diving rock: a large rock hoisted from near a river and dropped into Mark’s backyard.
Behind the diving rock is a small patio set off by banana trees and wrapped in grape vines. At the edge of the pool is a vintage guard stand.
Traci’s Mecca is the small metal bar with several stools and capped off with swings, an homage to Mark’s wife, Traci Wilkerson.
“Pretty much built it all myself: the carpentry, the electrical,” Mark said. “Rustic, that’s what we’re looking for.”
The crowning jewel of the compound is what his family calls The Retreat, where it is readily apparent they are an Oklahoma State University family and Cowboys fans.
“The Retreat, this was a place for our son when he was in high school and his friends to come hang out,” Traci said. “It was a good place because it gave them a place to be themselves, where we knew where they were, and we weren’t on top of them.”
The Retreat is a building with a bathroom, half kitchen, sash windows and the finest rough-cut cedar walls. It is a shrine to the Cowboys, Muskogee history and family history.
One corner features years of River Rumba Regatta memories. Mark Wilkerson has several Roger Davis paintings in The Retreat. Along one wall is the shuffle board from a now-defunct bar, the Brass Rail Lounge.
Every time the Cowboys play away, it’s the place to be.