EL RENO, OKLAHOMA -- The most popular feature of this newly restored horse and mule barn at Fort Reno on Tuesday morning had to be the roof.
"Yeah," agrees U.S. Cavalry Association Director Bill Tempero
As animals and people crowded in to stay dry a U.S. Cavalry regiment presented colors and played Reveille.
Old Barn No. 3 was as full as it's ever been to celebrate a unique restoration by Tempero's organization.
"Today made it all worthwhile," he smiles. "It truly did. It's quite an accomplishment."
Last year at this time Tempero and Fort Reno historian Wendy Ogden could feel the building creak and sway as they walked through.
They went to work and raised money without having to raze the barn.
Ogdens continues, "To take a piece of history and preserve it for my children, for their children, and my great-grandchildren."
Linda Taylor's father, Jack Wilkerson, once worked in Barn No. 3 rearing and training mules for the Army when Fort Reno was a major remount station.
"I'm proud of it," she says. "Very proud that I can be part of it."
Just in time for the 2017 National Cavalry Competition, this barn and its 33 stalls filled up early so teams could get the good spots.
Historians tell us these stalls once held horses like Man o' War and the famous jumper Gary Owen, for whom this bugle tune was written.
On a rainy morning the parade grounds at the old fort are empty, but they echo with 150 years of history, and the continued noises from a busy barn saved for history to come.
The 2017 National Cavalry Competition takes place September 27th through the 30th.
For more information go to http://www.uscavalry.org