As a young teenager, Martha, dreamt of having a “big house with lots of people in it.” Being a poor widow’s oldest daughter, that could only be a dream.
In 1979, God answered another dream of Martha’s… she was wed to her childhood crush, Gary Hall. Gary was “flipping” houses and building new homes. Martha quickly learned about his trade and immersed herself in home magazines. Martha discovered that her dream of a “big house with lots of people” was a bed and breakfast! It took awhile to convince Gary that he wanted to get an old house with lots of people in it. On a birthday night out in Chautauqua, New York, Martha took him to a Bed and Breakfast where Paul and Joann Newman always stayed. Gary loved it! Now it was Their Dream!
The Big Yellow House
Meanwhile, Gary and Martha lived in a little fixer-upper on the west side of the tracks in Edmond while
they hunted for a place to have a bed and breakfast in Cloudcroft, New Mexico where they got married.
Yet everyday, Martha was watching the big yellow house on First and University in downtown Edmond. It was the home of Dr. Arthur Masters Ruhl, M.D. and his wife, Edith, built in 1908. Their only child, Floranna, was born in 1911. In 1928, Dr. Ruhl enlarged his home by having it jacked up 12 feet and then building a new first floor underneath the jacked up house! When that was completed, they sat the original house down on the new first floor, creating a 3 story home. The doctor added the sunrooms on the first and second floors on the south and east at that time.
The doctor died in 1936 and Mrs. Ruhl lived by herself in the big yellow house til 1977. At that time, her grandson, John, moved in with his family. After they moved out, the house fell into disrepair and it was put on the market.
In 1984, an oilman bought the home from Herman and Floranna Ziemer in California. He gutted it to make a office building out of it. His plans fell through and the home went back to Herman and Floranna. Martha watched as the walls came down inside and the grounds were bulldozed.
In 1989, the big yellow house went on the market again. Now, just a shell of a home…broken windows, no life in it. Gary and Martha walked through it and saw a gem! The doctor had put in closets that could hold the commode and a shower. They could use antiques to hold the sinks out in the rooms! There was a extra front door that guests could come and go through. Mom and Dad Hall, Hurshel and Edith, got the dream too. After a visit to the City to okay a Bed and Breakfast, the Hall put an offer on the big yellow house.
Opening in the Fall of 1990, the Arcadian Inn has always been a family-run Bed & Breakfast. Starting with 5 guestrooms on 2nd and 3rd floor, the Inn has now grown to 8 guestrooms in 3 buildings. Martha and Gary found their niche in romantic getaways being the first to add whirlpool tubs for two in each of their guest rooms and serving breakfast privately to each guestroom. As times and culture changes, the Arcadian Inn has grown into a full-time accommodation and attraction in Edmond, meeting the needs of many guests.