Year Listed: 2002
County: Pueblo County
Construction Date: 1870
Threat When Listed: Demolition
Status: IN PROGRESS
Built in 1870, the barn is the sole surviving structure from the Goodnight Rock Canon Ranch, the northern headquarters for the Goodnight-Loving cattle trail that extended from Texas to Colorado. In 1864, the Goodnight-Loving Trail was the most heavily traveled trail of the time in the southwest. This ground-breaking cattle drive helped to develop Colorado’s ranching industry. Goodnight himself is known for his innovations in cattle ranching and breeding, and even been credited with the invention of the chuck wagon. The Goodnight Barn was constructed from sandstone quarried from a nearby canyon and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2002, the barn was in danger of being relocated to the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock, Texas. Once listed on the Most Endangered Places, Colorado Preservation, Inc. secured support from U.S. Representative Scott McInnis to keep the barn in Colorado. An agreement was reached with then owner Transit Mix, to relocate their operation away from the site. Funding was secured from several sources, including the State Historical Fund, for the City of Pueblo to purchase the barn and two adjoining acres and to conduct an assessment of the building’s condition in 2004. An Architectural and Historical Archaeology Assessment was also completed in December 2006. Additional funding was granted by Scenic Byways to study an interpretive roadside pull-off for the site. An informational sign was placed to educate visitors on the importance of the site. The next step is rehabilitating the barn for future use as a possible interpretive site on a riparian trail along the Arkansas River. Restoration steps include replacing the temporary roofing, restoring the cupola, replacing the severely damaged masonry (possibly from the same quarry as the original stone), and deciding whether to repair or tear down the 1940s addition.
A collaborative effort between local governments, nonprofit organizations, Colorado Preservation, Inc. and dedicated citizens created the Goodnight Barn Stakeholders group, which meets to discuss future plans for the building and fundraising efforts. The $42,000 stabilization project began in the fall of 2014.
The Goodnight Barn Historic Preservation Committee is continuously planning fundraisers for the building. They hold an annual Chuckwagon Dinner every fall and regularly give presentations on the legacy of Charles Goodnight. They were named Grand Marshall of the 2016 State Fair Parade, and spurred Goodnight Elementary School to officially change its mascot to the Longhorns in honor of Goodnight. Check the Goodnight Barn Facebook page for the latest information.