The inexplicably round barn in Arcadia, Oklahoma was built in 1898 by a local farmer named William H. Odor, and it has fascinated locals and tourists alike ever since. To this day no one is sure how Odor came up with his unusual design, or his rationale as to why this barn must be round.
Despite its vague origins, the Arcadia Round Barn soon proved to be useful for not only housing livestock and grains but for community-wide dances and events. This multipurpose function was achieved by building a loft underneath the open round ceiling, effectively splitting the building interior in two.
The little round barn may have remained a treasure only known to locals had fate not intervened in 1926, when the winding road that the barn overlooked became Route 66. Now it was not just Oklahomans coming to visit the round barn. All kinds of roadtrippers getting their kicks would stop off at the attraction for pictures, and as a result, the Arcadia Round Barn became an integral part of the lore surrounding the Mother Road.
Today, the Arcadia Round Barn is a well-tended landmark and considered one of the most photographed icons along Historic Route 66. The Arcadia Historical and Preservation Society continues to facilitate efforts to ensure this circular centenarian building will be available for passersby to experience for years to come.
Know Before You Go
Turn east off Interstate 35 at Route 66 and travel 6 miles (you'll pass Pops along the way!). You can't miss it on your left upon entering the town of Arcadia. Admission is free and the barn is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Note that the top of the round barn can only be accessed via stairs.