The Arcadia Round Barn
Construction of the Round Barn began in 1892 by a man named William Harrison Oder. It was completed in 1898. The building not only stored things such as hay, grain and livestock but it was also used as a community center. The barn played host to dancing crowds and musicians. When Route 66 was built through Arcadia, it drew an even bigger crowd to the Round Barn. It was not long before the barn became a Route 66 landmark. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. Since the property was taken over by the Arcadia Historical Society, renovations have taken place twice to since 1992 to restore the decaying barn. It is open to the public and remains a popular stop for those traveling Route 66.
Backstory and Context
The Round Barn in Arcadia sits above a low terrace that overlooks the Deep Fork River. The barn has been a center of community activity and curiosity for over a century. The barn was built by William Harrison Odor. Odor arrived in Oklahoma County in 1892. He began using oxen to clear the ground to construct the barn in 1898. The barn was built at 60 feet in diameter and 43 feet high. Local red Permian rock was used for the barns foundation. The rafters were made from local burr oak timbers that were soaked in water to soften and then banded into a mold. It appears the barn was designed by Mr. Odor himself.
The barn was completed in 1898. It was used to store hay,
grain, and livestock. It also served as a community center. While it was being
built, three young workers thought the barn would be a nice place to hold
dances. The workers then persuaded Mr. Oder to allow them to pay the difference
for hardwood floors opposed to the planed rough floors Mr. Odor had planned on
putting down. For the next 25 years the barn would play host to dancing crowds
When U.S. Highway 66 was placed through Arcadia in 1928, it drew curious travelers to the barn. It did not take long for the barn to become as Route 66 landmark. In 1977 the barn was listed in the National Register of Historic Places even though it was decayed and only partially standing. The Arcadia Historical Society obtained the property in 1988 and began restoring the barn. The roof that had collapsed was repaired by a group of volunteers and original construction methods were used to restore the barn.
The barn was opened to the public in 1992. During this same year, a National Preservation Honor Award was given to the Arcadia Historical Society for its efforts. In 2005 more repairs were made to the barn with funding from the National Park Service’s Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. The barn is still an important community resource and is a popular stop for those traveling Route 66.