Remount Depot Mess Hall
Fort Keogh Historic District
Breaking and training thousands of horses at Fort Keogh for the U.S. military and Allied French and British forces was crucial during World War I because of the military’s reliance on horse-drawn transportation. This two-story mess hall served employees and civilian cowboys who worked on the ranch. Constructed in 1920 near the end of Fort Keogh’s days as a Remount Station at a cost of $15,000, the wood-frame building featured many windows, high ceilings, hot water, steam heat, and electric lights. The main floor originally had five rooms and the basement three rooms. Records show that the basement housed the heating plant and storage for coal and the commissary. In 1924, ownership of the fort transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Husbandry, by an act of Congress. The mess hall was subsequently remodeled to serve as the USDA administrative headquarters. It served in that capacity until the construction of a new administrative building in 1970. Today, the building serves as a storage area and carpenter’s shop.