The Fort Worth Stock Yard Company's wooden horse and mule barns on this site were destroyed by fire on March 14, 1911, opening day of the Feeders and Breeders show (later Southwestern Exposition & Fat Stock Show). The show opened as planned, with former President Theodore Roosevelt giving the opening address. The company announced plans to replace the destroyed barns immediately with new concrete and steel fireproof buildings. Construction was completed in March 1912 and the new barns measuring 540'x350' had a capacity for 3000 animals. With a price tag of $300,000, the buildings were described as among the finest stables in the world.
Activity here increased considerably in 1914, at the outbreak of World War I. Horses and mules were needed in great supply by European armies, and agents were sent in droves to Fort Worth to buy stock, spending an $11 million. During that time, Fort Worth was designated the largest horse and mule market in the world.
The wide space between the buildings has over the years spawned the nickname "Mule Alley". In recent years the barns have been used for various cultural activities and annual events.
Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986.