Historic Tuton Pharmacy Building: Arcadia, OK

Hey friend – welcome back to another post! Today, we’re talking about the Historic Tuton Pharmacy Building in Arcadia, Oklahoma. This charming building measures 25 by 70 feet and holds a lot of local history. So, set’s get started!

*Photos were taken by myself in Arcadia, Oklahoma at the Round Barn and Tuton Pharmacy Building.

History of the Building

First State Bank of Arcadia

After purchasing the corner lot, the First State Bank of Arcadia commissioned this two -story sandstone building in 1917. The building entrance is a double-arched doorway on the Southeast corner. It is framed by two large arch-shaped windows. Originally, the windows had stone sills and headers as seen in the drawing below, but they were sadly removed at some point…

Drawing of the Tuton Drugstore that hangs inside the Arcadia Round Barn.
Tuton Building (May 2022)
Round Barn Base

The First State Bank didn’t stand out in town – many of the original buildings in Arcadia were built with the locally quarried sandstone. But, this wasn’t a huge issue because the First State Bank of Arcadia didn’t occupy the building for very long… They sold their corner building to Benjamin Tuton and George Blake for $3,400.

FUN FACT! The sandstone rock is the same material used to build the base of the Round Barn

Blake and Tuton’s Pharmacy

Below are some 1909 newspaper clippings that talk about previous locations of The Arcadia Pharmacy buildings. I would imagine the Blake and Tuton Pharmacy would have looked similar on the inside!

In July 1919, Benjamin (B.F.) Tuton and George Blake moved their drugstore into the building. Tuton, a pioneer businessman in Arcadia, and Blake operated the Arcadia Pharmacy for many years. In 1921, Tuton bought Blake’s share of the pharmacy. He and his son, Thomas ran the pharmacy afterwards.

Tuton Pharmacy – The Arcadia News – Apr 23 1909 (Arcadia, OK) (Page3)

This building has withstood the test of time. The pharmacy was the only building that survived the fire which tore through the Arcadia Business District in June 1924. Many say the structure survived because it is made out of the local sandstone rock.

Here are a few advertisements examples from the pharmacy!

Keeping the business in the family, Thomas’ wife, Ethel, operated the drugstore after his death in 1934. She successfully ran the pharmacy until 1941. 

Ole Country Store

After the pharmacy closed, the building stood vacant from 1941 until 1945. In 1945, the building was leased to a grocer. The building became the “John’s Grocery Store” / “Ole Country Store” in 1945 and operated until 1979! 

National Register of Historic Places

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 because the Romanesque Revival architecture style. I seriously love this little building and would LOVE to see the inside one day!

Antique Mall

According to an article I read, Ethel and Thomas Tuton’s daughter operated an antique mall on the first floor of the building for a while.

Realtor & Art Gallery

The Chesrow Brown Real Estate company occupied the building for a few years. In May of 2007, the Chesrow/Cesario Art Gallery opened in the building, but it has since closed down. I am not sure how long the gallery was in operation? If anyone knows, send me a message on my contact page! I’d love to know!

Present-Day

Today, the building is empty and has a for sale sign located out front… It’s such a cool building and I hope someone will buy it and honor its history!

May 2022

Concluding Thoughts

I love this little 2-story building in Arcadia, Oklahoma. It’s tucked away behind the Round Barn on Route 66 so you could easily visit both places in one trip.

The map below is inside the Arcadia Round Barn and it shows all of the historic buildings in town with a short description. Scroll through the gallery for closer images. Maybe you’ll find another historic treasure!

I encourage you to look up the local history of the towns you visit – you never know what you might discover!

Happy Traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! 🙂

Visit

201 N. Main Street

Arcadia, OK

Sources

“First State Bank of Arcadia – Arcadia, OK,” waymarking.com

“History,” Town of Arcadia – Website

Town of Arcadia – Website

“Tuton’s Drugstore Building, Arcadia, OK,” route66times.com

Newspapers

Mrs. Blake running the drugstore for a day – The Arcadia Gazette – Arcadia OK – Aug 1 1912 (Page 1)

Blake & Tuton new awning / soda fountain – The Arcadia News – Arcadia OK – Apr 30 1909 (Page 6)

Blake & Tuton New Building Construction south of the hardware store – The Arcadia News – Arcadia OK – Mar 19 1909 (Page 8)

Blake & Tuton moved buildings in 1909 – The Arcadia News – Arcadia OK – Apr 9 1909 (Page 5)

Ad 2 – The Arcadia Star – Arcadia OK – March 8 1906 (Page 1)

Ad 1 – The Arcadia Star – Arcadia, OK – March 8 1906 (Page 1)

Arcadia Pharmacy – CD Blake – The Arcadia Star (Arcadia, OK) – May 27, 1904 (Page 5)

Tuton Pharmacy – The Arcadia News – Apr 23 1909 (Arcadia, OK) (Page3)

Pops: Arcadia, OK

Hey, y’all today we’re going to take a little trip down Route 66! I’m going to take you to Pops in Arcadia, Oklahoma. The Round Barn is less than a minute away from Pops – so you can easily hit both spots in the same afternoon! 

This iconic place is open 7 days a week – minus a few holidays – so you can literally check this place out any time! You can gas up your car, head inside to the old-fashioned diner for a delicious hamburger, and then pick out a unique bottle of soda!

*All photos were taken at Pops in Arcadia, Oklahoma.

History of Pops

The Pops restaurant opened in 2007. The establishment was owned by Aubrey McClendon, a late oil and gas magnate from Oklahoma. The building was designed by Elliot + Associates architects – a noted architecture firm. The building’s architecture has a ultra-modern look! Their design for the Pops location has won them many awards. 

Dirt Soda?!

Pops boasts over 600 kinds of soda – so there will definitely be something for everyone. They have the classics that everyone loves, but then there’s also flavors like Ranch and Dirt. Try them if you’re brave enough! My parents always told me and my sister to not eat the dirt… 

Photo Time!

Make sure to head outside for a photo op with the gigantic bottle! The iconic soda bottle in front of Pops is 66 feet tall and it weighs in at 4 tons. The bottle’s height of 66 feet is a nod to Route 66 which it sits on. The soda bottle can be seen for miles on the prairies of Oklahoma. It even lights up with LED lights after sunset and has the old neon look that Route 66 has become known for. It is truly a spectacular light show! 

Travel Tip: Make sure to check the giant bottle out both during the day and after it gets dark! It’s really cool to take photos both during the day and night! See examples below!  

Concluding Thoughts

This fun place embodies the spirit of Route 66 being free-wheeling, colorful, and most importantly – fun! I don’t know about you, but all this talking has me thirsty… I’m gonna go grab a soda. 

Happy Traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! 🙂


Visit

660 W. Highway 66

Arcadia, OK 73007

Sources

Pops Website

POPS in Arcadia undergoes a change in ownership

Pops – TravelOK

The Round Barn: Arcadia, OK

A round barn? Yes! They really exist! This style became popular in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries because people thought that tornadoes would bounce off the walls and go around the structure, rather than going through it.

*All photos were taken at the Round Barn in Arcadia, Oklahoma.

Arcadia History

The town of Arcadia was organized in 1902 by William Odor, Isaac Dawson, and B.F. Newkirk. The Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad had laid tracks south of the barn on Odor’s land. 

By 1914, Oklahoma County built a crude dirt road between the barn and the railroad tracks. This road became known as State Highway 7. By 1926, the road was still unpaved, but it became a part of a brand new larger national highway system. Do you know what highway it was? It became know as U.S. Highway 66, better known as Route 66. The Mother Road brought in a whole new group of people and the Round Barn quickly became a landmark to see!  Finally, in 1929, the highway was paved! The road was 18 feet wide with a 5-inch concrete base and 2-inch asphalt overlay. 

Round Barn History

The Round Barn in Arcadia, Oklahoma was built by William Harrison Odor. He began the project in 1898 and it took awhile to complete. The foundation was built out of local red Permian rock. The walls and rafters were constructed out of native burr oak boards which were cut while they were green. The boards were soaked in the river to make them pliable so they could be shaped into the iconic curves. The building process took several months.

The workers convinced Odor to let them pay the difference in materials to convert the top of the barn into a loft for dances and social gatherings. The acoustics were amazing. Odor had one condition – only “good music” could be played in his barn.

Odor had to climb to the apex of the barn’s roof to tie the rafters together, himself – because nobody else was brave enough to do it. That point was 43 feet off the ground! It’s a good thing that he wasn’t afraid of heights!

The Barn Switches Hands

By April 1946, Frank and Katie Vrana owned the Round Barn. They used it as a workplace and place to store hay for the next 30 years. They cut a large door into the side of the structure and it severely weakened the building. So much so that the barn began to lean due to the high winds… Oklaaaaaaaahommmmmaaa where the winds come sweeping down the plains! 

Saving the Barn

The Round Barn in Arcadia was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. By this time the barn was in pretty poor shape. The entire thing had decayed and was falling apart. It had also been the target of arsonists and vandals. 

The Round Barn’s condition continued worsening over the next decade. Then in the late 1980s a group of people sought to restore the Round Barn. Beverly White, along with Luke and Ana Robison formed the Arcadia Historical and Preservation Society. 

The descendants of Frank Vrana donated the barn to the Arcadia Historical Society on May 27, 1988. Luke Robison was a retired builder and carpenter and set to work restoring the Round Barn to its former glory. On June 29, 1988 according to an eyewitness – the Round Barn’s roof “just kind of sighed and fell in, like a souffle” due to the years of rot and decay. This didn’t stop the restoration team though! 

Official restoration work began in 1989 performed by an army of volunteers who liked to call themselves the “Over-the-Hill Gang.” Many of the volunteers were retirees! Like William Odor before him, Luke Robison was the man to tie the rafters together at the top of the new roof. 

The Round Barn was completely restored and dedicated on April 4, 1992. 

Then in November 1993, the National Trust for Historic Preservation gave the volunteers an award recognizing their craftsmanship and work in preservation. 

By 2005, the Round Barn was in need of more repairs. A new army of volunteers gathered their tools and got to work. They received funding from the National Park Service’s Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. 

The Round Barn Today

Today, the barn is in great condition as you can see here. It still remains an iconic stop on Route 66 and many tourists visit every year. The Bottom of the Round Barn houses a museum and gift shop for tourists. There are several pictures, old maps, farming equipment, and so much more! They even have a tiny replica of the barn – it’s so cute!

Personally, my favorite part of the museum is all of the old photographs of Odor, his family, and Arcadia. The maps are also super cool!

You can go inside the top of the barn too! Today, the barn hosts music gatherings, proms, and weddings in the loft. The floor is beautiful and it is so fun to peak out the windows and watch the cars drive by on Route 66! Make sure to stand on the platform in the middle of the room too!

Old Farming Equipment

Once you’re done looking around inside, make sure to head back outside and go check out all of the old farming equipment behind the barn. There are all kinds of pieces of equipment!

Concluding Thoughts

The Round Barn is open to visitors almost year round. They host public and private events. I hope you’ll go check out this awesome place! Their address and phone number are below. I will also link their website at the end of this article!

Happy Traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! 🙂


Visit

107 E Highway 66

Arcadia, OK 73007

Sources

Arcadia Round Barn Website