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Arcadia

Oklahoma Flag

Site of the Round Barn

Arcadia, , is best known for its historic round Barn and the Futuristic Pops 66 service station. You should also drive along the original 1928 Route 66 roadbed, enjoy classic buildings (Historic Tuton's Drugstore), or visit its lake and enjoy its rodeo.

There is another town with the same name in California.

Arcadia OK

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About Arcadia, Oklahoma

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 972 ft. (295 m). Population: 247 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).

Arcadia is just 20 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, in the eastern part of Oklahoma County and is also a part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area. Its Motto is: "Unity - Pride - Commitment".

Futuristic and Modern design at the Pop66 Restaurant, Arcadia

Pop Bottle Restaurant and service station, Arcadia
Pop Bottle, Arcadia OK.
Carol M. Highsmith
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Oklahoma has been inhabited for over ten thousand years. Paleo Indians later evolved into the contemporary Native Americans, but the current mix of Indians in Oklahoma was due to the resettlement of those living East of the Mississippi River by the U.S. goverment during the first half of the nineteenth century. During that period natives from Alabam, Ohio, Illinois, Florida and Georgia were relocated in the Indian Territory and granted land in exchange for their original homelands.

Later the policy changed and the government reassigned the land to individual tribal members buying back any surplus lots. These were then lumped together as "open" land and granted to new "European" settlers.

The name, Arcadia

The first settlers found the region's calm and peaceful nature fitting with the Greek region of Arcadia, famous as a synonym for harmony with nature, unspoiled land with natural splendor a garden of Eden.

The homesteaders claimed their lots by the "Land Rush" or "Land Run" system by which those interested in staking a claim for a plot of land set off from a starting point and rode itno the land being "opended" to settlers which was staked out on a "first come, first served basis". There were several "runs" in the early 1890s in Oklahoma.

What would become Arcadia was assigned in the 1889 Land Run. The fertile farm land near the Deep Fork River attracted many farmers both white and African American.

A post office opened in 1890 with Sarah J. Newkirk as postmistress. In 1902 the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad built a line linking Bartlesville with Oklahoma City which led the local farmer William H. Odor (the builder of the historic round Barn) to donate part of his land for a township to be established in March 1903. Benjamin and Sarha Newkirk followed his example and added land of their own in April 1903. Arcadia was born.

The railway station allowed cotton and farm goods to reach the markets and Arcadia grew: by 1907, when Oklahoma became a state, it had 994 residents.

A fire devastated the downtown area in 1924 razing the business district, however one building survived: Historic Tuton's Drugstore.

Route 66 was aligned through the town in 1926 and this increased local revenue as the locals catered to the travelers. The original Route 66 roadbed east of town is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Great Depression was a hard period in Arcadia and workers moved to the larger towns seeking jobs. During the early 1950s, the Turner Turnpike replaced US Highwyay 66 between Oklahoma City and Tulsa as a safer and quicker route. This wiped out local business in Arcadia.

In 1974 heavy rains flooded the area and damaged the railroad tracks. Train service stopped for good after that. In 1983 the town began working towards incorporation (to avoid being absorbed by Edmond) and was recognized as such in 1987. Today many locals commute to work at Oklahoma City.

Where to Stay

Book your hotel in nearby Edmond

>> Book your Hotels in Chandler, 28 miles away or in Edmond (9 mi.)

Lodging Near Arcadia along Route 66

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>> There are some RV campgrounds close to Arcadia.

Weather in Arcadia

The area has hot and humid summers and frequent variations during the other seasons. Winds prevail from the north during winter and the south and southeast during summer.

The annual average temperature is 61.4°F (16.3°C). Winters are cool with a mean temperature of around 39.2 °F (4 °C), and the highs and lows range between 48.5°F (9.2°C) and 25.6°F (-3.5°C).

Spring experiences more rain and strong thunderstorms with hail and tornadoes, which may also take place during summer. The summer average temperature is around 83.0 °F (28.3 °C). The average highs and lows are 94°F (34.5°C) and 71°F (21.5°C).

Average rainfall is 36.52 in. (928 mm) annually, with around 84 rainy days per year. Most rain falls during summer.

Snow: around 7.7 inches fall every year (19.3 cm), most between December and March.

Tornado risk

Bear in mind that Oklahoma City metro area is one of the most tornado-prone major cities in the whole world: some 150 tornados have hit it since 1890. Some of them were F5 on the Fujita scale, making them the most powerfull tornadoes on record.

Arcadia is located in the "Tornado Alley and experiences approximately 10 Tornado watches annually

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
 

Route 66 and Arcadia Oklahoma
Location of Arcadia, Route 66

Getting to Arcadia

Heading east from Arcadia down Route 66 are the towns of: Luther (8 mi), Wellston (16 mi.), Warwick (20 mi.) and Chandler (29 mi.)

To the west, are Edmond (9 mi.) and Oklahoma City (28 mi.)

Map of Arcadia and Route66

in Oklahoma.

Pale Blue: Historic Route 66 alignment; Red line: Interstate highways, where they overlap the old alignment.

  Click to See the Western Oklahoma alignment

Remove or restore State shading
 

Google Maps. Terms. Icons.

Route 66 itinerary to Arcadia

Route 66 logo

Route 66 in Oklahoma

Click to read the Full description of Route 66 across Oklahoma.

Below we detail the interesting remains of Historic Arcadia alignment of Route 66, Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Arcadia, Oklahoma: Attractions & Sights

Things to Do and See

Arcadia Attractions

Arcadia is a typical rural community located on Route 66 with some intersting historic buildings in the town and with its famous Round Barn and Pops Service Station just west of it. To the east is a historical site: the original 1928-29 paved section of Route 66. Enjoy Arcadia and its sights.

Historic Churches

St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church (6th and Main St.), still conserves the original 1937 building built in local stone.

Old Methodist Church (4th and Lee St.), built in 1903 is a single-room, white wood frame building, austeer and simple.

Victorian House

2nd Street (Ruble Home), west of the City Hall.

See its location (Map) and Google Street View

Built by the Crabb family it is a three story Victorian style home with delicate wood trim.

Historic Tuton Pharmacy

201 N. Main Street

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

The Tuton Drugstore was built in 1917 and survived the fire which gutted the town in 1924. It is a local sandstone two story structure that houses an Art Gallery.

See its location (Map) and Google Street View

Events

Arcadia Festival & Rodeo

A good opportunity for all the family to get a taste of the "West" and its traditions.

The 2015 event is the 31st Annual Western Heritage Festival & Rodeo, on Labor Day Weekend, September 4-6, 2015.

It includes a Live Blues Music Festival and rodeo events: Bull Riding, Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, Calf Roping, Barrel Racing and more!

Visit the Town of Arcadia's website for more information.

Drive (or walk) to Main St. and Route 66, on the north side of the road is the Round Barn:

Arcadia Round Barn

107 E. Highway 66, Arcadia, OK.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

A unique barn shaped like a cylinder, with a hemispherical shingled roof built in 1898.

See its location (map) and Google Street View

Open 7 days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM. Free admission. www.arcadiaroundbarn.org.

William Harrison "Big Bill" Odor set up his homestead on the Deep Fork River in 1892 and six years later began building his "round barn". He laid down rock foundations and decided to build a circular structure.

Arcadia's Round Barn

Round Barn, Arcadia
Round Barn, Arcadia OK.
Carol M. Highsmith

It was therefore designed and built by William H. Odor. He first built a sawmill to cut the local bur oak into timber. The green wood was then fashioned into boards which were soaked in water while green and set in special molds to bend them to the desired shape.

Trivia
In 1903 William and his wife Myra donated part of their land to form the town of Arcadia.

Although he only needed a barn for his hay and livestock, he later laid flooring on the upper story so that it could be used for dances by the local community.

When Route 66 passed by Arcadia in 1926, the barn became one of its most famous landmarks.

Why is it round

Odor believed that being round would help the structure resist the frequent Oklahoma tornados.

As time passed by, the barn decayed and was only partially standing by the late 1970s when it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places (1977). When the the barn's roof collapsed in 1988, a group of volunteers known as "The Over the Hill Gang" led by Luther "Luke" Robison dedicated work, time and money to rebuild it in four years (1992).

Barn Facts
  • It is the only real "round" barn in America (other "round" barns are polygons with six or eight sides).
  • It measures 43 feet high and 60 feet diameter. It has two stories.

Tours & Itineraries

All the sites described below are very close to Arcadia. Leave the Barn and head west along Route 66 and after crossing Coffee Creek, on the south side of the road at

Pops 66

Head west along Route 66 and after crossing Coffee Creek having driven 0.6 miles you will spot Pops, on the south side of the road at the junction with N. Westminster Rd.

This is Route 66's most modern and futuristic landmark. It features a collection of over 500 sodas and beverages, 54 types of root beer and +50 cream sodas. So it has food, soft drinks galore and of course ultramodern fuel pumps at the service station.

Website: www.pops66.com

Tour the East...

Head back towards the Round Barn (east) along Route 66. You will reach the "Washington Irving Monument":

Washington Irving Monument

OK-66 and Anderson Road, SW corner. 0.4 mi. east of Main St.

It marks the spot where Washington Irving (1883-1859), an American writer, essayist, historian and diplomat, saw herds of wild horses running next to the Deep Fork River during an expedition in 1832.

Keep going west towards Luther, and 1.5 miles beyond Arcadia's Main Street, the road curves towards the southeast. This is where the Historic Arcadia Section of Route 66 begins:

Historic Route 66 in Arcadia

Route 66 Jct. N. Hiwassee Rd., Arcadia, OK.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

An original segment of Route 66 from 1926.

See its location here: Map.

This "S" shaped segment of road is only 0.9 miles long (1.450 m) but it is very important:

In the days before Route 66 was created, the only highway "network" in the area was the "Ozark Trails" system. It began as a private organization that promoted better roads and prompted counties, towns and states to help build them. By 1915-1918, the Ozark Trail roads had linked Oklahoma City to the northeastern part of the state (Miami) with a reliable dirt surfaced roadway.

Oklahoma state then improved on this primitive highway and converted it into Oklahoma State Highway Number 7. With federal support some sections of OK-7 were paved in the early 1920s (such as the Nine foot wide Ribbon Road between Afton and Miami.

Historic section of Route 66 in Arcadia

Route 66 Arcadia, OK.
Historic 1928-29 paving of Route 66 in Arcadia, Oklahoma
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

In 1922 the road entering Arcadia from the east became OK Hwy. 7, and in 1922 was still an unpaved road. But four years later, the U.S. government created Route 66 using OK Hwy 7 (from Miami to Oklahoma City), and suddenly this section near Arcadia became part of Route 66.

This part of the road is surrounded by local trees (oaks, cottonwood, cedar among others) and gives a glimpse of what travelers of bygone days experienced when driving along U.S. Highway 66.

It was paved between 1928 and 1929 and preserves to this day the two different paving technologies employed at the time:

  • Eastern section: is the "first generation paving" (1928) which employed pure Portland Concrete with a Bates Type surface. It was a simple and cheap solution.
  • Western section: more advanced (1929) used a Modified Bates Type design. It had a two-inch thick asphalt surface paved on top of a 5 in. thick concrete base. It also had concrete edgings that were 9 inches wide. This type of paving required an on-site chemist and was more expensive.

Both types of paving meet in the midpoint of this historic section and the original three-foot high marker of the Federal Aid Project describes both projects.

The road remained in use until the modern upgrade was built to the east, in 1952.

Other nearby Sights

Nearby Route 66 Towns

Visit, to the west, the nearby town of Edmond, and to the east, Luther, Wellston and Warwick.

You can visit the Frontier City Amusement Park, which is 12 miles south along I-35. The Lazy E Arena (10 miles north).

For those interested in history, there is the Historic Downtown Victorian Guthrie (25 miles north) and the National Western Heritage Museum & Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City (20 mi. southeast).

Natural Attractions

National & State Parks

Lake Arcadia

1.5 miles southwest of Arcadia, along Route 66.

A place for camping, picnicking and water sports: swimming, oating and fishing. There are trails for hiking.

Campsites and RV hookups available. More details at the Lake Arcadia website.

Sources

Town of Arcadia website www.townofarcadia.com

Dianna Everett Arcadia, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org

Image Used as per Google Street View Image Api Updated Dec. 31, 2014.

Image by Vítězslav Válka adapted under its CC BY-SA 3.0 CZ License

Map Icons by Nicolas Mollet under its CC BY SA 3.0 License