O: Overland Trail

In the 1860s, the Overland Trail served as an alternative route to the Oregon Trail through Wyoming. Beginning in Atchison, Kansas, it crossed into Colorado before veering north into Wyoming to rejoin the Oregon Trail at Fort Bridger. It was considered a safer route during the Civil War when fewer soldiers were available to safeguard the Oregon Trail. Under the ownership of Ben Holladay, who purchased the bankrupt Pony Express, the Overland Stage Company used the trail to take mail and passengers to Salt Lake City, Utah. Holladay sold the mail contract to Wells Fargo in 1866. After the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, stagecoaches were no longer needed for mail delivery.

There are still a few remnants of the old trail around my neck of the woods. One is nominal, in the form of a north-south road called Overland Trail. There is also this historical marker north of town, which reads: "In 1862, this log house was used as a station house for the Overland Stage Company. Erected by Cache la Poudre Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1916." And below that: "This monument marks the site of the Overland Stage Station destroyed by fire January 8, 1928. Remarked 1962." That station may be gone, but anyone willing to drive a ways farther can visit the Virginia Dale Stage Station, as I did last year. (You can find that post here.)


Ann Hinds said…
The history and the mystique of the Overland Trail and the other routes used by our ancestors continues to inspire. If we get that way again, we will definitely check out this piece of history.

Ermie said…
I've always wanted to ride on the top of a stagecoach - not too far though as I expect it would be a rather bumpy ride. :-)
Unknown said…
Interesting stuff!
Shawn at Reading Practice
Buttercup said…
This is great. Look forward to reading more about Ft. Collins. Thanks for stopping by Buttercup's. Please come and visit often.
Anonymous said…
Very interesting,thanks for pulling it all together. And thanks for stopping by my site.

Rita A. said…
Great Blog. I'm repaying your visit through AtoZ and I'm glad to have found somebody else who enjoys history. Great photos.

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