Schultz Barn

Schultz Barn History

redrock

"This information was gathered from various sites throughout the Internet. The numbers behind the sentences correspond to the web page I got the information off of during my research. It is a conglomeration of information that has it's resources on the corresponding webpages. Please visit those web pages as the people there have done hard work in making history more available to all of us." 

Paul Reeves

schultzbarn

Driving along Highway 177 in north-central Oklahoma, your eyes wander across seemingly endless stretches of open prairie and sky. So it may come as a surprise when they fall upon an oversized barn made of rock. You can perceive the outline of this local landmark miles before you actually confront it; and when you finally do you will find it's the largest free-standing rock barn in the state, and possibly the world.[3] You can see this magestic barn on the east side of US 177 between Ponca City and Stillwater, about 22 miles south of Ponca City and start looking for it as you pass the Sooner OG&E Power Station (massive coal burning power plant).

97cbc499-5052-4272-8ede-19b3b2779b66[3]

This sandstone barn was built in 1941 by the Richard Schultz family prior to World War II (Richard was a banker) on what was called The 40 Ranch.[2]. It took 4 years to build this barn which is 55 feet tall, expertly cut and mortised of local sandstone, with two of the stones cut in heart and diamond shapesIt also has stone built extending the barn on each side of the large door on the front—more the makings of a cathedral than a barn, and is 15,000 square feet—with pine and hemlock-fir trusses that make up its intricate, arching skeleton. It's capable of holding 60,000 square bales of hay. [1]

Schultz 002

Deconstructed, the barn contains enough pine and hemlock fir trusses[1] to stretch for 9 miles, and enough stone to build some authentic looking mountain cabins. These facts did not go unnoticed by the barn’s owners, who saw more profit in knocking it down than letting it remain on the 66.8 acres of grassland it had stood on since 1941, of course, there was a way they could make a profit by selling it.[3]

Schultz 003

Determined to preserve the historic site, Bret A. Carter and members of Preservation Oklahoma teamed up to, in Carter’s words, act as a “gratis Realtor for the owners.” In an entry for Preservation Nation’s blog, Carter recounts how he and his team “fielded phone calls from eccentric Californians, and waded through the high grass and weeds to show the building to anyone interested” in an effort to ensure that the barn, deemed eligible for a listing on the National Register of Historic Places, would continue on as Oklahoma’s own prairie cathedral. The team also received help from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s BARN AGAIN! program, which promotes the use of historic barns and agricultural buildings in modern farming practices.[3]

Though not involved in the final sale of the barn and the surrounding property, Preservation Oklahoma received word from the owners that their efforts had not been in vain. In the informational packet that Carter and his team composed for prospective buyers, they imagined varied futures for the barn. Proposed uses included a venue for equestrian training and boarding, a resort, an entertainment center, a hunting lodge, or even a church organization. But Carter gratefully maintains that from all appearances, the barn will continue to serve its original purpose.[3]

Schultz 001

I visited this barn on August 19, 2010 and most of the photos are ones I took on that trip, and found it quite interesting that the name on the end of barn high up on a plaque states "B. Neal" with another plaque above the name stating 1941, so no doubt the barn was built in 1941, but I have to wonder if the name plate was changed from a previous owner? My thought is that the plate with the name is added on later for it does not appear to be carved out of stone like the plate stating 1941 does, so perhaps that was the case.

The old barn is quite magnestic though, and when I was a child in the 1960's, my father told me that there were auctions held there, but I never personally saw any auction being held at the site.

[1] Waymarking (http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM9DFT_Schultz_Barn_Red_Rock_Oklahoma)

[2] Proxibid (http://www.proxibid.com/asp/catalog.asp?aid=5039)

[3] National Geographic (http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/intelligenttravel/2008/10/saving-oklahomas-prairie-cathe.html)

© Lord Gazmuth 2012