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THE CHEYENNE ROAD

By "F"

From a letter to the editor of the Rocky Mountain News, printed 28 August 1867

Cheyenne, Dakota Territory

August 19, 1867

Four weeks ago there was no sign of a building of the wood kind to be seen here. There are now nearly 60 completed, and two more weeks will make a big change in the appearance of the city. The new military post of Fort Davy Russell has now been permanently located by the able Col. Stephenson (John D. Stevenson), about 2 mi. distant, with 7 Co.'s in camp. Building materials for the post have been coming in for the past few days, and work will begin in earnest soon.

Upwards of 1,150 lots have been sold here to date. We have a regularly organized city gov't. in perfect running order, with Col. H. M. Hook, formerly of Laporte, as mayor, and Mr. Talpey as council president. They are determined this shall not be another Julesburg. Wells Fargo & Co. will start extensive stables and warehouses here next week.

The lower road, as described by "Cyril" and "Cheyenne," via Little Thompson, Camp Collins, etc., has not the advantage in distance as reported; besides it runs thru a lower and much softer class of soil - the stage tried that route a few days ago and was obliged to abandon it. The road via Big Thompson, Spring Canyon and Laporte, following the base of the mountains is high and gravelly, with plenty of wood, water and grass, and in many respects is far better for freighters than any other route, and no toll exacted at any point west of Thompson.

Mr. James Stewart, genl. supt. of Wells Fargo & Co.'s mail line, Mr. Alex Benham, and Mr. R. J. Spottswood, the celebrated division agent for this division, have just completed their survey of the road to this city, in order to change the road, locating a new one, if necessary, and have completed their arrangements for building new stables, stations, etc., on the line to Laporte. The first station out of Cheyenne is Spotswood's Springs, 10 mi.; next is Round Butte, 10 mi.; thence east to Park Station, thence to Laporte. I am permitted to state, on the authority of Messrs. Stewart, Benham and Spotswood, that the route to Cheyenne via Spring Canyon, Laporte and Park is the best natural road they have ever seen for staging and freighting.

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a printing press and fixtures for turning out a newspaper. A post office will be established as soon as coaches commence running - at present letters must be sent to Laporte. Mr. Stewart informs me he will have a daily line of coaches running here from Denver inside of three weeks. The telegraph line to this point will be completed from Laporte and end of the road in 10 days. Grading parties are daily arriving preparatory to working in the vicinity. Mr. Reed, Supt. of the RR, was here day before yesterday, on his way west and says that the engine and tender were 60 mi. east of here two days ago.

Mr. French and others are here from Laporte, choosing lots for business. Brick and adobes are being manufactured and will be in market in a few days. Much lumber continues to arrive, but prices are high still. Eight portable mills are now in mountains, and will turn out lumber in a few days. Ties are pouring in daily from the Black Hills. Indians are quiet here at present, only a few now and then seen toward the mountains.

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