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Arcadia's Round Barn celebrates the 25th anniversary of its restoration

M. Tim Blake / Red Dirt Report
Arcadia's iconic Round Barn.
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ARCADIA, Okla. -- Heading east from I-35 at the Edmond, exit, you will encounter some gentle hills and curves. This is Route 66, or the "Mother Road," as it is affectionately known.

After traveling east for approximately six miles, you’ll see on your left, the Mixer Ranch. Be sure to keep an eye open for the longhorn cattle that that are raised on the ranch.

Here the highway narrows, and up ahead you’ll encounter a very large sculpture of a pop bottle, made of steel pipe. This is Pop’s, a fairly recent roadside attraction. At night, the sculpture is illuminated with lights that are constantly changing color.

About a quarter mile further, on a commanding hilltop, you’ll see Arcadia’s iconic Round Barn.

The Round Barn is a two-story structure, its walls are painted a bright red, with a green domed roof. The barn has seen it’s share of weddings, barn dances, concerts, and family reunions.

The barn was built before Oklahoma’s statehood, by educator and farmer, William Odor, in 1898. Odor used the lower level as shelter for his livestock, and the second story, or loft, for barn dances and other social gatherings. The barn was sold to Frank and Katy Vrana sometime in the mid 1940’s, and was used as a workspace and hay barn.

Over the years, the barn fell into disrepair and in 1988, it was donated to the newly formed Arcadia Historical and Preservation Society, who’s first mission was to restore the iconic structure. In June of 1988, during a strong gust of wind, the barn’s domed roof collapsed.

The restoration of the barn fell to retired carpenter and history buff Luther “Luke” Robinson, and on April 4th, 1992, after several years of work by Robinson and his many volunteers, the restored Round Barn dedication was held.

Today, the lower level of the Round Barn is a museum for the barn and also for Route 66, which runs along beside the barn. The upper level is an event space, and can be rented for weddings and other special events, such as family reunions and concerts.

On the second Sunday of each month, musician and singer/songwriter Joe Baxter hosts an acoustic music jam in the loft of the barn. The jam is open and free to anyone who would like to attend. This last Sunday, June 11th, the Arcadia Historical and Preservation Society celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Round Barn’s restoration and dedication. A food truck from Pop’s was on site, and Baxter’s rock band, “The Regular Joe’s” reunited for the occasion. Tours of the barn were held, and there was a classic car show on Route 66, across the road from the barn.

It’s wonderful to see the old barn in such great condition, and for everyone who ventures down Route 66 to enjoy. If you’re out that way, be sure and stop in and see the barn, and visit with one of the volunteers in the museum and gift shop.

All photos by M. Tim Blake / Red Dirt Report.

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M. Tim Blake

M. Tim Blake is a photographer with three decades of experience.  His work includes...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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