Friday, December 14, 2012

Deja Vu Blogfest: Virginia Dale Stage Station

It's the Day of the Do Over! This post is my entry for the 2012 Deja Vu Blogfest. I think revisiting fun/interesting/inspirational posts from the year is such a great idea, and I thank DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude 2.0 for putting this blogfest together. Plus, it's about the easiest dang blogfest ever, which scores big points with me these days.

For personal and historical reasons, my June visit to the Virginia Dale Stage Station was one of my favorite local activities of 2012. 

Thanks for visiting, and have a great weekend!


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During the Civil War, the Overland Trail (aka Overland Stage Line) was a vital route for transporting mail and gold. The Virginia Dale Stage Station, north and west of Fort Collins, is believed to be the only station on the Overland Trail that is still standing in its original location. In 1985, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. 

Established in 1862 by the infamous frontiersman Jack Slade, the 150-year-old building is in need of some serious restoration. Last Weekend, the Virginia Dale Community Club held a celebration to kick off its fundraising campaign.


Tucked back off the beaten path, the station doesn’t appear to be a stop on the way to anywhere these days, but it was once a place where passengers could get a meal and stay overnight if necessary. Heading up the dusty unpaved road toward the station, with the air conditioner keeping the 90 degree heat at bay, I couldn’t imagine making that trip in a stagecoach, especially while dressed in the layers of heavy garments women wore back then. (Seriously, ladies, aren’t you so glad to be able to slip on a pair of shorts?)

The visit to the station had personal significance for me, as my dad's master’s thesis was entitled Early Stage Lines in Colorado, 1859-1865. He died many years ago, but I like to think he was there in spirit on Saturday, trading stories with the ghost of Jack Slade.



19 comments:

Chris Fries said...

Happy Deja Vu Day!

Awesome pictures! Old forgotten places like that have a certain kind of eerie magic to them -- you can almost hear the echoes of footsteps in the dust.

JJ said...

Great post! And great pictures! I am now your newest follower.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

What an interesting post! I'm a bit of a history and trivia nerd, so this kinda stuff floats my boat. That sounds like an awesome place to visit. And J.J. is WRONG. I am your newest follower!

Jenny said...

Chris, JJ, Susan--thanks so much for stopping by!

DL Hammons said...

Like Chris said...Happy Deja Vu Day!!

I bet that was a special day for you! Thank you for taking part today! :)

farawayeyes said...

What a fun post. I lived in Colorado for almost twenty years (central mountains) and never knew about this place. Thanks for the visit. I'm quite a distance away now, but would not mind getting up there if I ever make my way back to those parts.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

This looks like a fascinating place -- although I'm a sucker for ANY historical spot.

Mark Koopmans said...

Aloha Jenny,

I've only driven through CO on my way to CA but I did spent the night in Durango, which was brilliant :)

Love the history of CO, so thanks for reposting this historical piece :)

Jenny said...

Thanks for the comments. I've had fun stopping by your blogs on this day of the do over!

Shannon Lawrence said...

How wonderful! I bet your dad would appreciate the thought and the station. I wanted to make it up there this summer to visit the station, but our summer got interrupted. I'm afraid that all of these neat places are going to get burned in the continued fires they're predicting in the west. I hope to make it up there this coming summer, though! Maybe even spring break.

I'm glad you re-posted this, as I did miss it the first time.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse

Jenny said...

Shannon, I know what you mean. The day we visited, we saw the first smoke plume of what became the High Park Fire. Sure wish we would get some snow to help these dry conditions!

Jessica Salyer said...

Looks like a great place to visit. Beautiful pictures.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Ooh, I love history stuff like this!
Thanks for sharing!

Guilie said...

Awesome post! And yes, I agree with Chris--awesome pics! I'm a history addict, so this was really interesting to read. Thanks for (re) sharing!

Cindy Dwyer said...

Isn't it amazing to be someplace historic and try to imagine being there during it's prime? Your great pictures really bring the story to life. Thanks for sharing.

Kari Marie White | Writing By Heart said...

These pictures are lovely. Learning more about the Civil War has recently become a new obsession of mine.

I AM glad I can wear shorts and flip-flops though. The dresses were pretty but I can't imagine how hot and heavy they were.

Jenny said...

Thanks to everyone who stopped by via the Deja Vu blogfest, and thanks to DL for putting it together. I had a lot of fun visiting new blogs and reading comments!

Cynthia said...

Saying hello from the blogfest...nice pictures! Yeah, I couldn't imagine visiting a place like this squeezed into a corset either.

lizy-expat-writer said...

When I was in Canada I visited a fort near Niagara that this reminds me of.
I have passed on to you a Very Inspiring Blog awards. See my site for details. Liz