Oklahoma August 07, 2018
There’s So Much More To This Unique Barn In Oklahoma Than Meets The Eye
If there’s one thing that’s certain in the Sooner State, it’s that you’ll always find a strong sense of community in the little towns that dot the landscape. The town of Arcadia is no exception. Located along Route 66, it’s home to an iconic round barn that’s been the place for social gatherings since it was built.
Visitors along Route 66 will notice an unusual round, red barn as they drive through Arcadia. The barn stands 43 feet high, is 60 feet in diameter, and was built back in 1898. It was quite the talk of the town back than, and it's still a wonder to behold. You'll find it at 107 OK-66, Arcadia, OK 73007.
When local farmer William H. Odor decided to build a round barn, his neighbors thought he'd lost his mind. In order to construct the round shaped-building, he had to soak every board, and place it in a special form to create the curved shape he desired. His building technique worked, and he created a very unique barn.
Around thirty years after the round barn was built, Route 66 came along, and it ran right past the barn. The unusual landmark quickly became one of the most photographed attractions on the highway.
Though the barn fell into disrepair for several years, it was restored in 1992. The cost was originally estimated at $165,000, but Luke Robinson, a local, retired building contractor, and a group of others called the "Over the Hill Gang" collected donations from the community, and provided their time and labor. They restored the barn in just four years, and spent only $65,000 to do it.
Today, you can visit this little gem and get a close-up look. Before you enter the barn, spend some time checking out the old farm implements that line the parking lot. You'll see everything from a potato planter to an old cycle bar mower.
The lower level of the barn was originally used to house livestock. Today, it contains several displays that provide more information about the barn's history. A gift shop offers unique gift items and books. While it's free to visit the barn, donations are always welcome, and every penny goes toward keeping the barn maintained.
When Mr. Odor first built his barn, he planned to use to upper level for hay storage and livestock. Some of the young men who were helping him with construction talked him into upgrading the flooring so that the area could be used for community dances, and it's still hosting a variety of local events. You can even rent the loft of the round barn for events.
While you're checking out the loft, don't forget to look up! The intricate design of the beams used to support the roof of this one-of-a-kind barn is awe-inspiring.
The next time you find yourself near Arcadia, stop in to take a tour. The barn is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m..
Have you ever visited the Arcadia Round Barn? Tell us about your trip in the comments!
If you’re interested in learning more about Oklahoma’s history,
a day trip to this lakeside village will take you back in time.