Where the Old West meets Pueblo

Taggers struck the old Goodnight barn just west of Pueblo some months ago. The graffiti on the historic building seems such an odd statement, though I suspect the artists know nothing of the structure’s history, nor do they care.

According to various historical sources, Charles Goodnight was the Texas cattleman whose life is said to have provided the loose framework for the book and movie “Lonesome Dove.” The former Texas Ranger drove thousands of longhorn-cross cattle from Texas north to New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming.  He’s also credited with inventing the chuck wagon.

In the 1870s Goodnight settled at Rock Canyon Ranch along the Arkansas River just west of Pueblo where the stone barn still stands in the middle of a now-abandoned gravel pit.

Goodnight later established another large ranch in the Texas Panhandle, and died in 1929 at the age of 93.

Eighty years later someone spray-painted who knows what on the front corner of his barn (click on the photo for a larger view), on property now managed by Colorado State Parks. If nothing else, perhaps the graffiti will draw attention to a truly historic structure that really needs some attention.

3 thoughts on “Where the Old West meets Pueblo

  1. Goodnight shows up as a character in two installments of the “Lonesome Dove” story – “Lonesome Dove” and “Streets of Laredo.” This, however, is just one reason (I suppose) why some people need to learn their history and understand why it’s more important than their below-the-gut drive to spray-paint something they don’t own.

  2. History in the education system has turned into a subject of set facts and events in a time line. That building west of Pueblo stands as a symbol of the fortitude of individuals in the American West and how much our country has changed in both positive and negative aspects. Unfortunately, most individuals see history as a subject that deals only with what was. The problem with segregating history to dusty textbooks is we forget how we fit into the picture. It is great you wrote about the building I just hope respect for history does not disappear. If we do not know were we came from, how can we get were we are going?

    Great article Hal.

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