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Top Selling Tours & Activities in and around Oklahoma City
from $65.12
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Reviewed August 23, 2017 via mobile

Everyone there was great and friendly. The price is unbeatable. My worry though is preservation efforts seem to be null and void. The buildings are historical gems but you can see these gems disappearing before your eyes if some active restoration does not happen soon. It is a non profit but really everything was dirty and unkempt and basic upkeep was definately not happening. Screens from the centerpiece, the homestead, were hanging by a thread or completely off and on the ground. Our children must be thinking these pioneers are pretty dirty folks and we know that was not true. They were clean and fastidious people even if they had to haul water, they got it done. The barn was a disappointment because i could not see all the sign talked about, namely the separation for the milk processing. This was because it was full of stuff and only one section of the barn was accessible because of this. Had to look through the windows at the schoolhouse and there was not a path to the log cabin but I did go to it anyway. I realIy liked the cabin. I am hopeful more efforts will begin to clean and do the needed restorations to keep these wonderful gems available to us for years to come.

2  Thank Bemmc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MLG5, General Manager at Harn Homestead, responded to this reviewResponded August 25, 2017

This detailed response is meant as a response not only to this reviewer, whose candor we appreciate, but also to any others who have expressed similar concerns when visiting our property. The purpose in writing it is intended to be informative and has been re-read multiple times in the hope that it conveys that sentiment. If it also sounds like a plea for volunteers and public support, so much the better:

Thank you so much for your review. As I always say when a lack of communication is apparent, please note that it is so much more helpful to talk to the staff about your concerns during your visit than to write reviews after the fact. What you would have learned from the staff had you made such in enquiry on the day that you visited us, is that we are getting ready to undertake two substantial capital improvement projects on the property. It is a drop in the bucket (or two drops in this case) in the overwhelming face of all that needs to be done here. But, as you said, we are a non-profit. We are not state or federally funded. And we can only make improvements when we generate enough revenue to do so. We are fortunate to have a prioritized 'to do' list for each building on the property because we were able to get a grant that allowed us to bring in an architect who made these assessments free of charge. But we can't make those actual recommended repairs and improvements without the proper funding to pay for them. So they get done by priority, as we can afford to make them.

Also to clarify, The Shinn Barn signage explains the milk separation process as a history lesson and a nod to the barn's original purpose, but the actual barn was not donated to us with one. So we don't have one on display. The "stuff" in the center section of the barn is for field trips and is actively used by visiting students under direct supervision from our staff and volunteers and their teachers and parents. The third compartment in the barn has direct access to the hayloft in the form of a very unsafe and definitely not OSHA approved ladder which is both a great temptation to visitors and a huge liability no-no to our insurers. So we leave it locked for everyone's benefit. It is also where we store our hay bales, ladders, wheelbarrows, and rope-making equipment. All of which have a pesky habit of disappearing if we don't secure them.

As far as the schoolhouse goes, we usually have small gates at each of the front doors barring physical access to the building, but allowing a better view into the open door than what is currently offered. Unfortunately, these have been less effective than usual at preventing vandalism to the building's original chalkboard and the teacher's desk donated to us by the Will Rogers' estate; leaving us with no choice but to lock the door completely when there is no field trip. We aren't sure why the schoolhouse attracts more mischief than the other buildings when they are open-possibly due to its distance from the front office. But you can only remove soda cans, water bottles (often spilled) from that desk, and erase crude words off of a chalkboard so many times in one summer before changing the way you do things-at least temporarily. Especially when the barrier gate at the front door says specifically not to climb it.

We understand that access is limited to General Admission visitors and we accommodate that with a much lower charge to visit as an individual than it costs to participate in a scheduled field trip when supervision by staff, volunteers, teachers, and parents can allow much more access and engagement on the property. It is not an ideal solution, but this is a small venue with a small budget and it is what currently works best. Though conversations about how to allow more unsupervised access while avoiding damage and honoring donation agreements are perpetually ongoing in the office. The bottom line is we have to do what keeps guests safe as well as what keeps artifacts safe and it is a difficult balance.

Finally, while all feedback is always appreciated, please keep in mind that questionable reviews like this (or the more negative ones left previously) actually do more harm than good when it comes to encouraging others to visit, to schedule class field trips, or make private or corporate donations for the improvement of the property. A tepid or negative review always delivers the intended consequence of discouraging the staff, but in most cases it also creates the unintended consequence of damaging an organization's potential to attract visitors, request funding, and ultimately makes the changes and improvements that were recommended by the reviewer in the first place. The staff acknowledges that while some of the more mean-spirited reviews we have received here actually might hope for that negative outcome, we feel this one was just a honest assessment of our strengths and weaknesses. Which is why we've opted for such a lengthy response to it.

Again, I thank you for your visit and I regret that we did not have this conversation in person. I encourage you or anyone else reading this to be as proactive as you can with your support of local public properties and private non-profits. As your review highlights, we are not getting everything done here even though all three of us put in very busy workdays. The truth is that we CANNOT do it without public support be that time or talent. Descriptive words are wonderful, but rakes, hammer, nails, and dust cloths are even better. Thank you again for your review. We hope it is OK that we chose it as our platform to respond to many similar conversations and we hope this answers any questions that we wish you had asked us in person.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2017

If you need a nice location for a event this would be perfect I have been to several events and they were all different but all fantastic. I love the barn setting is great and there is beautiful landscaping all around .

Thank Mark S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2017

Great opportunity for kids and adults of all ages to experience life in a very different time. It was quite the eye opener for many of the kids in our group how growing up in a completely different time was without many of the amenities that we are all used to now.

1  Thank froggy4ou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2017

This is a taste of early Oklahoma rural life. You have to plan on exploring this historic site because the hours of operation are very limited. However, it is a nice little place to visit.

2  Thank Ebazinam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2016

When my mom visited, we went over to the Harn Homestead for a tour. All but one of the houses (there are 3 plus a school) is self-guided. There is also a modern barn that is used as a wedding venue.

1  Thank Megan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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