Debi and Amanda of the Kirksville Tourism Department share insights on Kirksville's best treasures and offer suggestions about what to do, where to go, and how to play in your own backyard.
The Round Barn, 2313 State highway P, in Kirksville, the home of Round Barn Blues, is 100 years old this year. Dan and Judy Vogt own the barn and house and they have hosted Round Barn Blues each fall and spring for many years.
The round barn was built in 1913 by Orie J. Smith. Mr. Smith built the barn to hold livestock and hay. He painted a large sign on the barn that said, "Orie J. Smith Black and White Stock Farm, Registered Aberdean and Angus Cattle. Instead of musicians that now fill the barn it was originally occupied with mules, horse, hogs and cattle. The lower floor of the barn had seven oblong stalls and the upper floor functioned as a hay loft that made it easy to feed the livestock. Gravity-fed running water flowed into the barn from a pond consturcted 200 feet up hill. Carpenters were paid $2.00 per day to construct the pine wood barn that sets on an 8 foot wall of concrete blocks. The blocks are large and weigh 75 pounds. The barn is 64 feet in diameter and 64 feet high. It took two years to build the barn at a cost of approximately $4000.
The Round Barn was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. It can be seen from the new highway 63 that runs just west of the barn. On May 4th Round Barn Blues will begin with the gates opening at 3 pm. Performers will be Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, Harper and the Midwest Kind, and Hurricane Ruth. On May 30-June2 the Curtain Call Theater Company will present Arsenic and Old Lace, as a dinner theater in the Round Barn. Dinner shows begin at 6 pm Sunday, June 2nd is a non-meal matinee at 2 pm. Contact the Wooden Nickel at 660-665-2760 for information and reservations.
What would Mr. Orie J. Smith think about his round barn still standing and in good repair for its 100th birthday? He would probably be pleased and wish his name were still painted on the side!