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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

The Restoration and Preservation of the Goodnight Barn

The+Goodnight+Barn+is+located+on+Colorado+Highway+96.+%28Photo+by+the+Goodnight+Barn+Preservation+Committee%29
The Goodnight Barn is located on Colorado Highway 96. (Photo by the Goodnight Barn Preservation Committee)

Pueblo is a town full of rich and diverse history that many influential characters have painted over time. Many of the significant historical locations in the city have seen efforts made to restore or preserve them by various committees, if not by the city itself, and there exists one such location on the edge of town that fits this description very well.

Located along Colorado Hwy. 96 is the Goodnight Barn, which has been a part of Pueblo’s ever-evolving history since the late 1870s. The barn was built on the ranch land of Charles Goodnight and is the sole remaining structure from Goodnight’s Rock Canyon Ranch. 

Goodnight was a successful cattle rancher who had a very heavy influence within Pueblo as the town was just in its infancy during the time of Goodnight’s residence. He owned one-third of the Gervacio Nolan Land Grant and he was a part of saving America’s large southern herd of buffalo from being wiped out, the descendants of which still roam through Texas today. Goodnight had planned to make Pueblo his permanent home until he had to leave the area and move to Texas, where he lived the rest of his life. 

His barn that had been used as the horse stable and carriage house became the only thing that remained. The barn made the National Register of Historic Places in 1874 and was reused as a storage building by the city for various things over the years. The fate of the Goodnight Barn was unsure for a long time as it began to feel the effects of time weighing down on it until a project was taken on by a local nonprofit organization known as the Goodnight Barn Historic Preservation Committee. The co-chair of the GBHPC, Laurel Campbell, shared the reasoning behind the efforts to save the structure, stating that it is because of the impact that Goodnight had on Pueblo and that it needed to be preserved in its natural state.

“One word people often use after seeing it for the first time that you wouldn’t think someone would call a barn is: gorgeous,” Cambell said.

The restoration project began in 2019 and lasted until 2021 with the barn restored to its original look and feel. The GBHPC raised $1.2 million for the project through fundraisers and state historic fund grants, and the construction involved in the restoration was completed by Block by Block LLC, which is a company that specializes in working with older brick-made buildings, such as the Goodnight Barn. Campbell shared that the barn is “95 percent original” with the only exceptions being I-beams that were installed inside the barn to fix a lean that it had developed over time and some of the wood that had become too far gone to restore as it needed to be replaced. 

Campbell and the rest of the committee have plans to open the Goodnight Barn to the public once the final steps that are needed are finalized. These involve installing a sign advertising the location on the side of Hwy. 96, so that more people who don’t know of it can stop and see a large part of Pueblo’s history. The GBHPC also wants to use the location as a historical venue for events such as weddings and other get-togethers. An example of one of these events is the chuck wagon rendezvous, which the Goodnight Barn has hosted in the last two years with the possibility of another this year. Still, as of now, it has not been confirmed.

The GBHPC also has a high amount of information, history and future plans along with updates that are posted to its website as the project moves forward into new stages. 

This barn was constructed by Charles Goodnight. (Photo by the Goodnight Barn Preservation Committee)
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