Saturday, March 6, 2010

Coming To Oklahoma? Visit The Rt. 66 Round Barn!

Oklahoma has more drivable miles of The Mother Road than any other state, which makes it a prime area for Route 66 fans from around the world. A major landmark on their tour is the Round Barn in Arcadia.

In 1898 a farm family built a unique barn on their land. It was in a circular form, and was a real pain to build, due to the shape.

Here is how to visit and enjoy the old Rt. 66 Round Barn of Arcadia….

On Route 66, just east of Oklahoma City, there is a tiny little town called Arcadia. This will be your stop. Now, it’s not much of a town, and as you pass through, the huge, red round barn will loom up before you. There’s no way you can miss it.

The Rt. 66 Round Barn is on the north side of the road, and is on the west side of Arcadia. There is a pull-off on the south side of Rt. 66 where you can get a good picture. After that, you will want to drive around to the north side of the barn, where there is plenty of free parking.

There are two levels to the barn. You will go into the lower level first. This is where the animals were sheltered and the hay was stored back in the day. Now, though, you will see that the lower level is filled with old, historic pictures of round barns throughout the United States. There are also neat old artifacts and history of Rt. 66. Walk around, find your state’s round barns, and soak up the history.

Be sure and engage the guy behind the old counter. He’s a real character, and full of information about the barn, Oklahoma, and Rt. 66.

There are shirts and numerous souvenirs available with Route 66, the Round Barn and other things on them. Purchasing a souvenir will remind you of your visit years later.

After all this, you will walk upstairs to the upper level of the Rt. 66 Round Barn, where they had parties and barn dances in the old days. This is where the fact that you are in a round barn will really sink in. People walk in and wander aimlessly while they gaze at the beautiful round ceiling. How in the world did they build this?

Each rafter was green lumber and soaked in water to make it bendable. What resulted from these efforts was a true wonder of architecture. The room is dark, and it will be hard to take pictures, but try your best and maybe something will turn out.

All of this is free. Yes, free. You can donate to the Route 66 Round Barn fund while you are there to help with the upkeep if you like, which would be a good thing to do.

Just another way to get your kicks on Rt. 66…..

Oh, and just across the street and a little west of the Rt. 66 Round Barn, there is another must-stop – Pop’s. You will know it by the huge, and I mean huge, lighted pop bottle. Go in and have a burger and a hard-to-find soft drink that you haven’t seen since your childhood. You will never see so many soft drinks in one place again.

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