Colorado History

Once-Abandoned Historic Goodnight Barn Outside Pueblo Will Rise Again

An old barn just outside of Pueblo that appears to be on the verge of collapse has been shored up thanks to the work of the Goodnight Barn Historic Preservation Committee.

Over the last two years, the committee has stabilized the historic Goodnight Barn and completed construction drawings. Now, it’s got a $200,000 grant from the State Historic Fund and is working on raising matching funds to help with repairing stonework and masonry on the barn, which was built by Texas cattleman Charles Goodnight in 1870.

Goodnight became one of the first ranchers to move longhorn cattle north from Texas to mining country in Colorado, to railheads in Wyoming and Kansas, and to ship beef east beyond Kansas City. He and his partner, Oliver Loving, established perhaps the most important and heavily traveled cattle trail in the West. His Rock Canyon Ranch west of Pueblo served as the northern headquarters of the Goodnight-Loving Trail.

Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, is a fictionalized account of Goodnight and Loving’s third cattle drive. Woodrow F. Call represents Goodnight and Augustus McCrae is Loving.

There’s still much work to be done on the barn, including restoring the arched doors — several of which are original — and creating a climate-controlled interior that will enable some artifacts to be displayed inside.

Project: Goodnight Barn
Address: CO 96, Pueblo
Developer: Goodnight Barn Historic Preservation Committee

This is the ninth in a series of stories about building projects around town. Read more about development in Denver on our Construction Watch page.
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