Years later, a windstorm swept away the barn’s roof. When Thagard made repairs, he decided to cover the barn in maroon and white and paint “Gig ’em Aggies!” on its north end as a testament to his Texas A&M pride. In the 1980s, members of the Corps of Cadets added “Whoop” and different class years to the side of the barn facing Highway 6.
“My earliest memory of the barn is helping Thagard hang the original Ol’ Sarge sign in the north gable,” Joe said. “He and Mary were pillars in the town of Reagan, and he was the best Aggie I ever knew. It’s an honor to carry on the tradition of the barn with my own family now.”
In addition to regular lawn care, Joe, Tressa and their children see to the barn’s necessary repairs. “We try to give the barn a fresh coat of paint every four to five years,” Joe said. “Now that our children are out of school and working, however, I update class years and do other touch-ups and repairs whenever I have time or see the need. Every now and then, fellow Aggies will stop by to help if they see us working on the barn.”
Though the barn is on private property, passersby can obtain permission to enter for a family photo with the Aggie landmark simply by contacting Joe and Tressa via text or email.
Several famous visitors, including Reveille VIII and Reveille IX, have posed for photos at the barn. While still under the Kirkpatricks’ care, Coach Jackie Sherrill and the Texas A&M football team stopped by on their way to play Southern Methodist University in the 1980s, giving the couple a hat and jersey to mark the occasion.
While the barn stores hay at times, it is also used as a venue for retreats, Aggie Ring Day celebrations and graduation parties. “It has been exciting to see the barn’s recognition grow over the years,” Joe concluded. “The Aggie Barn is a special landmark that means you are almost home if you’re an Aggie.”
To learn more about the Aggie Barn’s history, or to contact Joe and Tressa, please visit aggiebarn.com.