Simmons, Arthur, Stables Historic District - Mexico, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 39° 09.799 W 091° 53.428
15S E 595856 N 4335486
Quick Description: Historic district consisting the buildings and structures relating to a large horse training and sales operation in Mexico, Missouri.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 8/23/2013 7:55:05 PM
Waymark Code: WMHXG6
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 0

Long Description:
"The Arthur Simmons Stables Historic District is centrally located in the town of Mexico, Missouri. Originally situated on the outskirts of Mexico in Audrain County, the buildings in the district are now part of a well-developed residential neighborhood. Included in the district boundaries are a large gable-roofed, frame horse stables, two smaller, frame horse stables, a one-story, stone veneer house, two frame outbuildings, two practice tracks, two metal grain bins and a wood fence. The district, which covers approximately six acres, is bounded on the west by Grove Street, and on the south by West Boulevard. Alleys on the north and east sides of the district separate the Simmons property from late nineteenth and early twentieth century houses that face Grove Street and Muldrow Street. The district occupies a level tract of land, much of which is covered by grass.

The principal building in the district is the large, 36-stall, horse stables, which has been known since 1948 as the Arthur Simmons Stables. Originally constructed in 1887 as the Clark and Potts Combination Sales Barn, the building was in continuous use as a horse training and sales facility from the time it was constructed until 2001. There are ten other resources in the district that were associated with the care, breeding and training of horses. The maternity stables, located to the north of the main stables, was built in 1949 and contains 16 stalls.

Two frame outbuildings and two metal grain bins are also located to the north of the main barn. One of the outbuildings was used as a farrier's shop, and the other was used for storage. The Hook Barn, located to the east of the main barn, was originally built for breeder/trainer John T. Hook in the mid-1930s. It contains 30 stalls and was purchased by Arthur Simmons in 1951.

Flanking the main barn on the east and west are two practice tracks. These tracks are surrounded by white wood fencing. The fencing, which also extends around a yard to the east of the Maternity Stables, is counted as one contributing structure. There is also a one-story house within the district boundaries. Located to the east of the main barn, the stone veneer, Ranch style house was constructed for Arthur Simmons in 1951.

The buildings in the Arthur Simmons Stables Historic District form a cohesive grouping of intact resources, which look today much as they did in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Altogether, there are eleven resources in the district: six of which are contributing buildings and five are contributing structures. There are no non-contributing resources in the district. As a group, the resources in the Arthur Simmons Stables Historic District are representative of the nationally recognized horse breeding, training and sales industry in Mexico, Missouri. Although some of the buildings are in need of considerable attention, all of the resources in the district retain a high level of integrity in all areas of consideration: location, design, materials, workmanship, feeling, setting and association...

The Arthur Simmons Stable Historic District on West Blvd. in Mexico, Missouri encompasses one of the oldest, largest and most significant horse training facilities in the United States. As such, the district is nationally significant under in the area of agriculture. The primary building, constructed in 1887 as the Clark and Potts Combination Sales Barn, was instrumental in the development of the city into the "Saddlebred Horse Capital of the World." By the mid-1950s, the facility grew to encompass 11 resources, and was one of most recognized training centers in the American Saddlebred industry. During its 117-year history, the stables produced champion horses and was associated with world-famous trainers and riders such as Tom Bass, John T. Hook and Arthur Simmons. 5 The dedication of early owners to recording bloodlines and producing quality horses helped establish the American Saddlebred Horse as a separately recognized breed. Owners also supplied horses to two presidents, police departments in major metropolitan areas such as New York City and Chicago, and sold horses and mules to the U.S. Government for use during WWI. The stables were in continuous use until 2001 and during this time influenced the breed standards for American Saddlebreds and the method of training and showing the breed. The historic name for the district, the Arthur Simmons Stables Historic District, was chosen because the property did not take its current form until Arthur Simmons purchased the Clark and Potts Sale Barn property and the John T. Hook Stables property and combined them into one large property with multiple stables and outbuildings." - National Register Nomination

The main barn is currently undergoing restoration and will serve as the International Saddlebred Hall of Fame.
Street address:
621 and 701 West Boulevard
Mexico, Missouri


County / Borough / Parish: Audrain

Year listed: 2004

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event - Agriculture

Periods of significance: 1875-1899, 1900-1924, 1925-1949, 1950-1974

Historic function: Agriculture/Subsistence, Domestic

Current function: Domestic, Vacant/Not In Use, Project On-going

Privately owned?: yes

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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