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EQUESTRIAN SITE GALLOPS ONTO NATIONAL REGISTER



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EQUESTRIAN SITE GALLOPS ONTO NATIONAL REGISTER

EQUESTRIAN SITE GALLOPS ONTO NATIONAL REGISTER

Fort Ord Station Veterinary Hospital (Horse c1941)

Article Monterey Herald Newspaper
9/28/2014
By Tom Leyde

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Equestrian Site Gallops onto National Register


MARINA, CALIFORNIA There is a lot of history to be seen at Fort Ord, but some of it is not easily recognizable.

Such is the case for six old buildings at Marina Equestrian Center Park. They have become the first buildings on the closed Army base to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The structures once were the Fort Ord Station Veterinary Hospital. Here, Army veterinarians provided medical care for horses and mules used by mounted, horse-drawn and mule-packing units.

National recognition came in June after exhaustive research by members of Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse and others.

The fact that they remain at all is a story in itself. The city of Marina, which owns five of the buildings (the Marina Coast Water District owns the other), was going to tear them down and sell the equestrian center to make room for a development. Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse stepped in and fought for their preservation.

That led to the research by historian Greg Krenzelok that identified the buildings as the former equine veterinary clinic.

"Part of the importance of this history of Fort Ord is where these buildings are situated," said Margaret Davis, executive director of Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse. "The area is intended as a trail hub. People can park, take off on foot for the beach or the (Fort Ord) National Monument and have a place to land."

The plan is to have a horse rental concession on the 35-acre park — Marina's largest — and use profits from the concession to help refurbish clinic buildings.

"It just makes the whole thing pop and come alive," Davis said.

The city of Marina recently spent $200,000 to stabilize the historic buildings. They could become a living history center, but first they must be restored.

"The stage is set," Davis said. "There's a lot of possibilities out there the city is looking into."

The equine clinic buildings are the last remnants of equine history at Fort Ord. In 2011, the former horse stables on Fourth Avenue were demolished. That same year one remnant from the equine clinic was reclaimed.

On Jan. 7, in time for the 70th anniversary celebration of the veterinary hospital, one of the original Ajax horse stocks was returned. It was donated by Coral Armstrong of Los Coches Animal Hospital in Soledad.

Stocks are used to demobilize horses so veterinarians can treat them. The stock was originally in "Ward A" and removed in the 1960s by Gary Deter and his associate. The stock was moved to their Salinas veterinary clinic, where it was used daily for 40 years until the new owner of the Steinbeck Country Equine Clinic replaced it with a new one. Armstrong became the new owner.

Another reason the equestrian center buildings are historical is because they mark the end of the Army's use of horses and the beginning of an all-mechanized military force.

First, a little background.

Since 1922, the 76th Field Artillery Regiment's second battalion at the Presidio of Monterey had been training with the 11th Cavalry. Because units were scattered around the country, it was decided that the full regiment would be reunited and brought to wartime strength as a third battalion. The regiment would assemble at Fort Ord.

For the 76th's permanent home, a major warhorse installation was in order. In June, 1940, the 76th's men and horses moved into a tent encampment and temporary corrals while civilians of the Works Progress Administration built Fort Ord. The workforce built 21 stables for 1,400 horses of the field artillery along with blacksmith and saddler shops and barracks for the troopers. In 1941, the equine clinic was built.

There was a clinic building with a hitching post and two stocks, a colic building, two wards — each with a 30-horse capacity — a surgery building and a small barracks. It was the biggest of 12 equine hospitals built about the same time in the United States.

All was well and good for the warhorses until Pearl Harbor was bombed on Dec. 7, 1941. The Army then shipped off its troops and sold its horses, marking the end of the 76th's Fort Ord presence.

Some of the horses were sold to the movie industry (it was the golden age of Western movie making). But it wasn't the end of the Army's use of horses. The 107th Cavalry moved in to patrol California's coast during World War II.

Mules at Fort Ord saw World War II duty as well, serving in Burma, China and India. One of the soldiers involved on the Burma front was Salinas Valley rancher Pete Pedrazzi, who organized a mule rodeo to entertain the troops during that campaign.

The Army, however, went to an all-mechanized force in 1942 and the only horsepower was under the hoods of jeeps, trucks and other military vehicles.

The public can tour the former Fort Ord Station Veterinary Hospital in Marina on Nov. 8 at the fifth annual Veterans Day Celebration. The event will be co-hosted by Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse and the city of Marina. It starts at 9 a.m., followed by a program at 11 a.m. and tour at 11:15 a.m. This year's event will feature a talk, "The Vietnam War: View From Fort Ord."

Marina Equestrian Center Park is off California Avenue, which is off Imjin Road. For information, call 224-4534 or email fortordhistory@gmail.com.

For more information on the veterinary hospital, see:

fortordwarhorse.com orfortordveterinaryhospital.notlong.com.



Return to: Fort Ord U.S. Army Station Veterinary Hospital (Horse) WW2

FORT ORD U.S. ARMY STATION VETERINARY HOSPITAL (HORSE) WW2
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Fort Ord U.S. Army Station Veterinary Hospital (Horse) WW2


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11TH CAVALRY PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, 1919 TO 1940
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11th Cavalry Presidio of Monterey, 1919 to 1940


76TH FIELD ARTILLERY REGIMENT PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, 1922 TO 1940
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76th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Battalion


THE ARMY VETERINARY SERVICE DURING THE GREAT WAR, WW1
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The Army Veterinary Service During the Great War, WW1


SERGEANT LEONARD MURPHY VETERINARY HOSPITAL NO. 18, A.E.F., WW1
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Sergeant Leonard Murphy Veterinary Hospital No. 18, A.E.F., WW1





U.S. ARMY VETERINARY CORPS HISTORICAL PRESERVATION GROUP

Motto: “Illic est Vires in Numerus” There is Strength in Numbers

“Working Hard to Preserve Our Country’s History wherever it is being lost”

U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Historical Preservation Group is a group of individuals that are concerned about the preservation of the History of the Veterinary Corps, Remount Service and Cavalry or wherever our country’s history is being lost in conjunction with our beloved “Horse and Mule”. There is no cost to join and membership is for life. We believe by uniting together in numbers we will be a more powerful force to be heard. Our membership list is private and only used to contact our members. Email us and become a member.

Greg Krenzelok
gregkrenzelok@msn.com

FACEBOOK: U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Historical Preservation Group

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U.S. Army Veterinary Corps Historical Preservation Group