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Fort Laramie in Goshen County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

The Rustic Hotel “ . . . No Second-Rate Affair”

Fort Laramie National Historic Site

 
 
The Rustic Hotel “ . . . No Second-Rate Affair” Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 2, 2015
1. The Rustic Hotel “ . . . No Second-Rate Affair” Marker
Inscription.
As the nation prepared to celebrate its centennial in 1876, electrifying news of a gold rush in the Black Hills flashed across the country. A new bridge over the North Platte River guaranteed that the preferred route to the gold fields passed through Fort Laramie.

Post Trader John S. Collins erected a hotel on this location to provide lodging for the gold seekers. Collins christened the new establishment the Rustic. The hotel also served as headquarters for the Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage Company. Cheyenne newspapers reported favorably on the new hotel, noting, “From the ‘tone’ of it, we infer that the Rustic is to be no second-rate affair. The manager will accommodate all with clean beds and first-class meals.” Many travelers who stayed at the Rustic thought otherwise.

“ . . . I did not quite like the look of the bed . . . with its dingy sheets . . . . I had not slept an hour before a disagreeable sensation aroused me . . . . Ugh! The whole place swarmed with horrid little bugs . . . . Of course, sleep was out of the question for me . . . .”
Rose Pender, Rustic Hotel guest, 1883

The Cheyenne Black Hills Company


The Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage line began operation in April 1876, providing service from Cheyenne to Custer City. Ticket prices ranged
The Rustic Hotel “ . . . No Second-Rate Affair” Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 2, 2015
2. The Rustic Hotel “ . . . No Second-Rate Affair” Marker
between ten and twenty dollars. The trip could be made in three days, weather permitting. Stage service extended to Deadwood in September, a distance of 290 miles from Cheyenne.

At first, Indian attacks and stagecoach robberies plagued the new line. The military acted quickly to protect it. The army established camps at strategic locations on the trail and patrolled the most dangerous sections. The stage hauled scores of travelers and millions of dollars of bullion to and from the Black Hills over its eleven-year lifespan.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 42° 12.319′ N, 104° 33.517′ W. Marker is in Fort Laramie, Wyoming, in Goshen County. Marker can be reached from Route 160, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located at Fort Laramie National Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Laramie WY 82212, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sawmill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Rustic Hotel (about 300 feet away); The Post Hospital (about 400 feet away); Fort Laramie National Historic Site (about 400 feet away); A Father’s Grief . . . A Soldier’s Honor
Marker at Fort Laramie image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 2, 2014
3. Marker at Fort Laramie
(about 500 feet away); Cavalry Barracks (about 600 feet away); The Pony Express (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named The Pony Express (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Laramie.
 
More about this marker. The background of the marker features a photograph of the “Rustic Hotel, stables and stage station in 1883.” A smaller photograph at the bottom right of the marker depicts “Employees and guests of the Rustic Hotel in 1883.”
 
Also see . . .  Fort Laramie National Historic Site. (Submitted on August 12, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
 
Categories. Notable Places
 
Army Bridge over the Platte River image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 2, 2015
4. Army Bridge over the Platte River
Use of this bridge, built by the army in 1876, generated much business for the nearby Rustic Hotel. The bridge was a vital link between Cheyenne, Fort Laramie, and the military outposts, Indian agencies and gold fields of the Black Hills of the Dakota Region.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 12, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 164 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 12, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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