In the 1930s, Sul Ross President Horace W. Morelock approached Mrs. Ida Kokernot and H.L. Kokernot about donating some property to the school that would be accessible to the students and faculty as a picnic-playground area. After some consideration, Mrs. Kokernot agreed to secure a deed to 35 acres near the school that included some springs. These particular springs had been visited by numerous personalities in the past, including the Spanish explorer Juan Dominquez de Mendoza in 1684 who named the spring “San Lorenzo.” Later it was called “Charco de Alsate” for the famous Apache chieftain who frequented the area, then “Burgess Springs” when John Burgess, a freighter from Presidio, used the springs as one of his camping places on the way to and from Chihuahua, Mexico, and San Antonio, Texas.
Upon the acquisition of the property, it was named Kokernot Springs in honor of Mrs. Kokernot and H.L. Kokernot. Morelock quickly began meeting the conditions of the deed: all water rights were to be reserved for use in case of severe drought, the area had to be fenced and a paved road to be constructed from the college to the area. Morelock persuaded the Texas State Highway Department to construct a highway, #223, to link the school to the springs. Highway 223 was for many years the shortest designated highway in the state. Morelock then secured an appropriation of $10,000 from the state legislature to develop and fence the area. Through additional college funds and the use of Depression relief labor, Kokernot Lodge, an outdoor theater, and retaining walls to protect the structures from flooding were constructed. In1934, Kokernot Lodge, outdoor theater and the grounds were dedicated for the recreational use of the Sul Ross College students and faculty.
Kokernot Lodge has been used for various faculty, staff, student and community functions and most notably was the home base for the successful summer Sul Ross Art Colony from 1934-1950.
Facility Use Fee for Kokernot Lodge
- Individual or Commercial Use $250.00 Per Day
- Non-Profit Agencies Use $100.00 Per Day
Call Campus Activities at (432) 837-8191 to check availability before submiting a Facilities Use Request for the Lodge. The following forms should be submitted in addition to the Facilities Use Request Form when reserving the Lodge. Sul Ross departments do not need to include these additional forms when reserving the lodge for university use.
No technology services are available at Kokernot Lodge. There is no internet or WiFi access at the lodge. Clients will need to provide or make their own arrangments for any multi media needs.