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Henderson Quarter Horses

Henderson Quarter Horses

Location Class:
Built: N/A | Abandoned: 1990s
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Billy DixonMichael Schwarz


Hidden beneath a lush canopy of trees, tucked in the center of a neighborhood located next to a major highway, rests an abandoned horse stable and a house. The once vibrant property has been stripped of its color, only carpet and a few appliances remain. But in one particular room sits a bright orange pumpkin that hasn’t moved an inch in over a decade.


When I first started exploring back in 2011 I came across AbandonedOK before becoming a team member. One of the first buildings that I saw featured on the website was Henderson Quarter Horses. As I scrolled through the photos, digging into the history of the place, it started looking more and more that whoever inhabited this place had just gotten up one day and left.

The horse stables were still intact with the horses’ names engraved on the outside of their stalls. Old cars, a motorcycle, a vintage fire truck, farm equipment and a little house down the road remained frozen in place. It was clear that nobody had been to the site in approximately 20 years. While I explored the site, the same name kept cropping up on multiple files lying around the property, Joseph Henderson. As I learned more about Joseph I gathered that he was an avid collector of old military machinery manuals, but outside of that, little information could be gathered. A lot of questions I had about the property and Joseph were left unanswered for nearly ten years, that was until I talked to his son, Joe Henderson.


Henderson Quarter HorsesJoe gave me insight to his personal history with the property that had carried his namesake. And to my surprise, it had been more than just 20 years since the property had been abandoned.

“To be honest,” Joe stated, “I’d say no one’s been there since the late 80s. I graduated Highschool in ’86 and then dad sold the property. After that, it went downhill.”

Dr. Joseph Henderson was an anesthesiologist, militaria collector, historian and gun collector. The horses were a passion of his wife, Gay Henderson. Back in the 70s and 80s, the thriving horse farm was home to around 25 horses, some of them bearing world champion titles. Many owners would board their horses here and others came to the arena to see them perform.

Joe mentioned that horses could be a lucrative business. “There were multiple ways to make money with horses if you did it right, one was using them for rides down a trail and to the beach, another was letting trainers come by every week 6 days a week. My dad had a six-horse truck and trailer then 2 years later had a 9-horse semi. He did it right.”


Walking around the property, I am overcome with a sense of tranquility and always felt at peace. There is something beautiful about the serenity and solitude of the place. Among the various farm and military equipment scattered around the property, within the house next to the stables, there are two rooms, mirroring one another like a gateway into another dimension. In one room the ceiling fan has crashed to the floor, the walls are starting to crack and debris from age and the passing of time can be found spread across the floor. Just on the other side of the wall lies the same room but in perfect condition. The ceiling fan remains whole above the ground, the floors are clean and the windows remain intact.


According to a potential buyer I spoke with, the current property owner may finally be selling the property to be turned into more neighborhoods. While it would certainly be sad to see the old property go, a new residential area creates the opportunity for building new homes for families to create new memories. While the old history of the place may be uprooted, that bright orange pumpkin will remain, unflinching to the passage of time.

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Michael Schwarz

Starting from a young age, I’ve always loved exploring. I can remember venturing off and scoping out the houses being built in the developing neighborhood right behind my house. As I got older, I found myself appreciating the work and love that went into architecture and just being excited to pass by the beautifully designed places in downtown.

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