Near Lusk in Niobrara County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
Along the Cheyenne to Deadwood Stage: Robber's Roost
The Dreaded Crossing. Along the Cheyenne-Deadwood stage route, stories still are told of outlaws and buried gold. Bandits haunted the Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage line during the gold boom that began in Deadwood in 1876. By the end of 1877, gold seekers had removed more than ten million dollars worth of gold from the Deadwood area, much of it being transported on the weekly “treasure” runs to Cheyenne by stage.
Located at the Cheyenne River crossing near here, Robber's Roost was a station of the Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage and Express Company. Built in 1877 on a new shortcut, the crossing was the spot most dreaded by stage drivers: steep riverbanks slowed the coaches to a crawl and provided concealment from which lurking road agents could watch the approach of their intended victims. According to legend, Robber's Roost station was burned by Indians.
(sidebar on left)
A Robbery at the Roost. In September, 1878, near here, station agent D. Boone May and John Zimmerman surprised desperadoes in the act of robbing the southbound coach. The outlaws opened fire and on of them, Frank Towle, was
Erected by Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Roads & Vehicles.
Location. 43° 22.758′ N, 104° 13.266′ W. Marker is near Lusk, Wyoming, in Niobrara County. Marker is at the intersection of CanAm Highway (U.S. 86) and U.S. 18, on the left when traveling south on CanAm Highway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lusk WY 82225, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Stewards of the Grassland Prairies (a few steps from this marker); Cows, Wildlife and Gold (within shouting distance of this marker).
More about this marker. This marker is located at the Mule Creek Junction Rest area on U.S. Highway 85, half-way between Newcastle and Lusk, Wyoming.
1. John Zimmerman
Station Agent May was unable to collect the reward as Towle’s head was too decomposed to identify.
John Zimmerman was my great grandfather and in 1894, some 16 years after this incident, became the first elected sheriff of Teton County, Montana.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 3, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 28, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 805 times since then and 100 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 28, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 28, 2021, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.