Frederick E Shearer.

The Pacific tourist : J.R. Bowman's illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean ... : acomplete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads ... online

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of the Union Pacific Railroad, and the highest
mountain in northern Colorado. The view we
here give is taken from Estes Park ; a beautiful


little park on its north-western slope, and about
twelve miles distant from the summit. This
park is about four miles wide, and six miles long,
is well sheltered, easy of access, and beautifully
covered with pine and spruce trees, scattered
easily about over the grassy surface, which gives
to it a true park-like loveliness. It is partially
occupied by a few families who have taken up
jparmanent homesteads, and has been for a long
time an excellent pasture for large herds of cattle
which live here the entire year. Jt is also becom-
ing quite a pleasure resort, and has many at-
tractive features to interest the health seeker and
tourist. Excellent fishing, in lovely little trout
streams, can be found all over the vicinity. From
this valley is the only practicable route for
ascending the peak. Long's Peak is 14,271 feet
in elevation, and about 6,300 feet above the park.
Its construction is of the boldest and most de-
cided character, with great walls, deep canons ;
and on its sides there are gorges and caverns
among the grandest on the continent. Its sum-
mit is divided into two sharp crests, the western
one being the highest and most difficult of ascent.
It is a famous landmark for a stretch of country
of more than a hundred miles from north to

Buffaloes. Buffalo hunting is a pastime
tourists can now have little hope to indulge in.
Few or no buffaloes ever appear within sight of
the car windows of the overland trains, and the
vast herds which once roamed for thousands of
miles and continually up and down the great
plain, are passing away, or disappearing from their
old haunts to find some nook or corner more
quiet and secure. Thousands of them have been
killed for commercial purposes. The hides are
stripped off and sold for as low prices as $1.50,
while the bones are gathered in heaps near the
railroad station and freighted Eastward to be
used for commercial fertilizers. In one winter
it is estimated that on the lines of the Union
and Kansas Pacific Railroad, there were killed
over 100,000 head.

Astonishment of Indians at the Loco-
motive and Telegraphs. When the first
locomotive was seen passing over the plains, an
Indian guide in the employ of the United
States exclaimed with inexpressible surprise,
" Good medicine, good medicine. Look, look,
at the tu-te" (toot). As he passed under the
telegraph wires, which then were stretching
along the Platte, through which the wind as it
swept made the whirr and singing sound of a
prai*ie harp, this guide heard the sound, and
directly declared that they were talking
"medicines" This was supposed to be the
creations of the Great Spirit, and everything of
supernatural nature was ''medicine"

The Indians have rarely ever molested the
telegraph wires which span the continent
Shortly after the wires were erected, the at-

taches of the telegraph company invited a
number of Indian chiefs to meet them at a
given point, and from thence to travel, one
party East and the other West.

When they had reached a distance of 100
miles apart, each party was invited to dictate
a message to the other, which was sent over the
wires. Then turning backward, they rod*
rapidly toward each other, and two days later
met and compared notes. They were greatly
astonished, and expressed themselves convinced
that the " Great Spirit" had talked to them
with the wires. They decided from that time
it would be well to avoid meddling with the

Soon after a young Sioux Indian was deter-
mined to show that he had no faith in the
Great Spirit's connection with the wires, so he
set to work with his hatchet to cut down one
of the telegraph poles. A severe thunder-
storm was going on at a distance; a charge of
electricity being taken up by the wires, was
passed to the pole which the Indian was cut-
ting, and resulted in his instant death. After
that the tribe never molested the telegraph


"Magic City of the Plains"- 516 miles
from Omaha; elevation, 6,041 feet. Thus truly
is it named, for it is at present the most active
and stirring city on the entire line. Travelers
will here take a dinner in comfortable style at
one of the best-kept hotels between the two
oceans. It is a good place to rest after a ire-
some journey, and it will pay to stop a few
days and enjoy the pure air and genial sun in
this high altitude. The hotel is owned by the
railroad company, and is 150 feet long by 36
wide, with a wing 25 feet square. It has an.
elegant dining-hall, around which hang the
heads of antelope, deer, elk, mountain-sheep,
black-tailed deer, buffalo, etc., all nicely pre-
served and looking very natural. It is two
stories high, the upper floor being well fur-
nished with sleeping-rooms for guests. Chey-
enne is the capital of Wyoming and the county
seat of Laramie County. Cheyenne has had
its ups and downs. Once very lively when the
road was building, then it fell dead and motion-
less. Now it has arisen again, and is the largest
town on the railroad between Omaha and Salt
Lake City, having a population of fully 4,000,
and rapidly growing. There are two causes
for this growth. First, the stock interests
which center here, and, second, the recent gold
discoveries in the Black Hills. It is the termi-
nus of the Cheyenne Division of the Union
Pacific Railway, and of the Colorado Division
of the Union Pacific Railway, giving two routes
to Colorado and New Mexico. During the last
few years there has been a large increase in the


permanent buildings of the city. In 1875 the
Jnter-Ocean Hotel was completed a fine brick
structure three stories high, and other large
and elegant brick blocks, with iron and glass
fronts. In proportion to its population, Chey-
enne has more elegant and substantial business
houses than almost any other Western city. The
town has a fine court-house and jail, which cost
$40,000, a large public-school building, a good
city hall, a brick opera-house, and a palatial
club-house costing some $25,000. This is a
wonderful change for a place known the world
over by its fearful sobriquet of " Hell on
"Wheels. " Churches have come where gamblers
once reigned ; and in five years as many edifices
for religious purposes have been erected.
The Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians,
Congregationalists, Baptists and Catholics,
have all comfortable church buildings. The
school accommodations, owing to the rapid
growth of the city, have recently been en-
larged. At first sight the traveler would
naturally inquire, what there was to build
and sustain a town here ? The soil is not pro-
lific, nor is the country around it. Crow Creek
bottom is quite narrow, and in the most favor-
able seasons, by irrigation, "garden truck"
may be raised, but beyond this every thing looks
barren and desolate. The soil has a reddish
appearance, and appears to consist of decom-
posed granite underlaid in the valleys with
sand, and on the uplands with rock. In fact,
a man who attempts to farm it for a living in
this region of the country is simply fooling
away his time.

Stock Interests. The rich nutritious grass-
es with which the great plains are covered are
here found in all their excellence, and the large
territory east of the base of the Black Hills,
north as far as the North Platte River, and
south to the Gulf of Mexico, is how sustaining
miDions of sheep and cattle. Cheyenne is lo-
cated in the midst of one of the best sections of
this territory, and all around it are the ranches
of stockmen men engaged in growing cattle,
sheep, horses and mules for market. With the
exception of sheep, no hay is cut for these ani-
mals except for those kept up for use. Winter
and summer they thrive and fatten upon nothing
but the native grasses. Cheyenne is the central
and natural trading-point for these ranchmen
and stock-growers. Another large and valuable
element of its prosperity is the railroad trade
the company having here quite extensive
machine and repair shops, with a commodious
round-house. Hunting and exploring parties
also supply themselves with outfits at this
place, and immense quantities of military and
Indian supplies also pass through here for the
posts and Indian agencies north.

To give an idea of the stock business which
centers here, and its rapid increase, let us state

that 375 cars of cattle were shipped in 1874, which
represent 7,500 head. In 1875, the shipments
increased to 525 cars, or 10,500 head; in 1880, to
1,000 cars, or about 20, 000 head, with prospects
for a large increase in 1881 and future years.
It may be well to state here, the shipments
from Julesburg, Sidney, Ogallala Pine Bluffs,
and other points in this grazing belt of the
country, in 1880 aggregated about 50, 000 head,
in addition to the Cheyenne shipments.

This statement does not include the cattle
marketed at home or supplied to the Indian
agencies in the North. One hundred thousand
head of cattle, one hundred and twenty-five
thousand sheep, and six thousand horses and
mules are the estimated number owned and
held in Laramie County alone. The develop-
ment of the cattle and stock interests of this
vast upland region is something never thought
of, nor entered the heads of the projectors of
the railroad. In 1867, when the railroad first
arrived, there were not probably a hundred head
of all kinds owned in the whole territory, out-
side of those belonging to contractors and stage
lines. Now it is a leading interest, and repre-
sents millions of dollars. Like all other frontier
towns, Cheyenne has a history, and it is similar
to that of others. It was once a very fast town,
and it is not very slow now. On the 1st day of
July, 1867, it had one house built and owned
by Judge J. B. Whitehead, on Eddy Street,
between Sixteenth and Seventeenth. That
house stands to-day, and is known as the
Whitehead block. It was built of logs and
smoothly plastered outside and in.

JKouf/h Times. When it was known that
this was to be the winter terminus of the road,
there was a grand hegira of roughs, gamblers
and prostitutes from Julesburg and other
places down the road to this point, and in the
fall of that year and winter of '68, Cheyenne
contained 6,000 inhabitants. Habitations
sprang up like mushrooms. They were of
every conceivable character, and some were
simply holes in the ground, otherwise termed
" dug-outs." Town-lots were sold at fabulous
prices. Every nation on the globe, nearly, was
represented here. The principal pastimes were
gambling, drinking villainous rot-gut whisky,
and shooting. Shooting scrapes were an every-
day occurrence. Stealing anything from any-
body was the natural habit of the thieving
roughs. Knock-downs and robberies were
daily and nightly amusements. But these
things had to come to an end, and their perpe-
trators, some of them, to a rope's end. The
more respectable portion of the citizens be-
came weary of the depredations on property
and life. Vigilance committees were organized,
and "Judge Lynch" held court, from which
there were neither appeals nor stay of execu-
tions. Juries never disagreed, nor were there


vexatious delays and motions for a new trial.
Witnesses were unnecessary , and demurrers of
no account. Nor would "the insanity dodge "
avail. The victims were known and ' ' spotted "
beforehand, the judgments of the courts were
unerring and generally righteous. No gallows
were erected, because telegraph poles and the
railroad bridge across Crow Creek were con-
venient of access. When Cheyenne was only
six months old, so frequent were the murders
and robberies, and the city authorities so pow-
erless, that a vigilance committee was organized.
The first knowledge of its existence happened
thus: Three men were arrested on the 10th
day of January, 1868, charged with having
stolen $900. They were put under bonds to
appear before the court on the 14th of the same
month. On the morning of the day after they
were arrested, they were found on Eddy Street,
tied together, walking abreast, with a large
piece of canvas attached to them, on which the
following words were conspicuous: "$900
stole; $500 returned; thieves F. St. Clair. W.
Grier, E. D. Brownville. City authorities,
please not interfere until 10 o'clock A. M. Next
case goes up a tree. Beware of Vigilance Com-
m ittee. " Within one year after its organization,
the "vigilantes" had hung and shot twelve
desperadoes and sent five to the penitentiary.
Since that time Cheyenne has been ruled by the
law-and-order party, though even these may
seem rather lax to Eastern people not accus-
tomed to the manners and customs of the fron-
tier. Yet the people enjoy " peace. "

On the 13th day of November, 1867, the
track-layers reached the city limits, and on the
14th the first passenger train arrived. The
arrival of the track-layers was greeted with
music, a display of bunting, while the inhabit-
ants turned out en masse to meet them. On
the 14th an enthusiastic meeting of citizens
was held to extend a public greeting to the
railroad officials who had arrived on the first
train, among whom were Sidney Dillon, Esq.,
now president of the company, and General
Casement of Ohio, the champion track-layer
of the continent.

The first city government was organized
by the election of officers, on the 10th of
August, 1867. The first newspaper was issued
on the 19th of September, called the Chey-
enne Leader, and has maintained its exist-
ence ever since publishing daily and weekly
editions. Other papers have since been started,
but they were short-lived, until the publication
of the Cheyenne Daily News, which is a spicy
little daily. As the town is now able to sup-
port two papers, the News (merged into the
Daily Sun) will continue to flourish.

Cheyenne is well laid out, with broad streets
at right angles to the railroad, and has an
abundant supply of pure water. Irrigating

ditches run through the streets. A ditch was
dug from Crow Creek to some natural "hol-
lows," or reservoirs north of the town, which
form beautiful little lakes. From these the
water for the streets is taken by ditches. As a
result, trees and shrubbery will soon ornament
the streets and yards of the city, which will
greatly add to its attractiveness and beauty.
A fine system of water works has been con-
structed. There are a few local manufactories
already in existence, and more will follow, and.
on a larger scale.

Precious Stones. In the adjacent moun-
tains, on the hills and bluffs near by, and
in the valleys of the streams in this vicinity,
a large number of curious and precious-
stones, gems rich and rare, have been found.
They are very plenty in their natural state,
their chief value being in the cost of cut-
ting by a lapidary and mounting by a jew-
eler. In the immediate neighborhood of Chey-
enne the following are found: Moss-agates, in
great profusion; topaz, in colors; garnet or
mountain ruby: they are usually found in the
little heaps of sand thrown up by ants : opals
variegated, rare as yet, and valuable; petrifac-
tions of wood and shells, which, when cut,
polished and mounted, are splendid; amethysts,
onyx, black and white, for cameos and jasper.
All of these have been found in this vicinity,
though some are rare. The most beautiful
moss-agates are found about half-way to Fort
Laramie, on Chugwater Creek. Messrs. Joslyn
& Park, an old and reliable firm of manufac-
turing jewelers, in both Cheyenne and Salt
Lake City, have made this business a specialty,
and possess the largest and finest collection of
stones in the country. Some of them are ex-
ceedingly beautiful. Fine specimens of petri-
fied palm-wood may be seen at their store.
They are both beautiful and rare. The fact
that petrified palm-wood and petrified bones of
the rhinoceros have been found in this terri-
tory, shows that some six million years ago
comparatively recent there was a tropical
climate in this region of the country, when the
palm flourished in luxuriance, and the rhino-
ceros sported in the warm streams or cavorted
around on their sunny banks.

Prospects. At present, the greatest cause
of the growth and prosperity of Cheyenne is
the discovery of gold in the Black Hills of
Dakota. This cause will last until, if that
country will warrant it, a railroad is built
there. The discoveries of gold seem to be ex-
tensive and inexhaustive, and the building of
a railroad from some point here or on the Union
Pacific or Missouri River will rapidly follow.
The Colorado Division of the Union Pacific
Railway gives to Cheyenne very flattering
prospects, and its business men are reaping a
rich harvest from their investments. The

t. Golden Park. 2. Genevieve Park. 3. Ouster Park. 4. Limestone Peak. 6. Harney's Park.


opening of Northern Wyoming to settlement,
the development of the vast mineral resources
of the territory, and the continued prosperity
of her stock interests, will give to the " Magic
City of the Plains " the trade, growth and in-
fluence which her location demands.

Health. As a resort for health-seekers,
Cheyenne has superior advantages. It is about
a thousand feet higher than Denver, with an
atmosphere not only rarefied but dry. It has
good hotels and livery accommodations. Ponies
are cheap, and invalids can purchase them and
ride over the hills and dales at pleasure. There
is also an abundance of game in the vicinity
antelope, rabbits, deer, etc. A bear weighing
over 1,500 pounds was killed near here in 1875.
Its skin has baen preserved, and the bear has
been mounted in good shape. Frequent excur-
sions can also ba taken in the warm summer
weather to Fort Laramie, Cheyenne Pass and
other places, which will expand the lungs and
invigorate the body. The results of several
years' observations at the United States Signal
Station here show that the temperature is more
even, taking the years together, than in many
places East or on the Pacific Coast. The hot-
test days do not equal those which frequently
occur in the East, and in the summer months
the nights are deliciously cool, assuring the in-
valid good sleep under plenty of blankets. Al-
though Cheyenne is a good place to sleep, yet
the people are wide-awake and "owly " nights.

Rapidity of Business at Cheyenne.
On the 22d of July, 1867, the first lots were
offered for sale by the Union Pacific Railroad
Company at Cheyenne 66 by 132 feet for $150.
Thirty days after these lots sold for $1,000 each,
and in two to three months thereafter, the same
lots were again resold at $2,000 to $2,500. On
the 15th of July, 1867, there was but one house
at Cheyenne. Six months thereafter there were
no less than three thousand. The government
freight which was transported over the plains
to Cheyenne from November, 1867, to February,
1868, four months, amounted to 6,000 tons, and
filled twelve large warehouses, and for a long
time subsequently averaged 15,000,000 to 20,-
000,000 pounds annually.

During the fall and winter, there were three
forwarding companies whose business in trans-
porting goods, exclusive of government sup-
plies, averaged 5,000,000 pounds per month.
Stores were erected with marvelous rapidity.
One firm constructed an entire store, twenty-five
by fifty -five feet, quite substantial, in just forty-
eight hours; three hundred firms were in opera-
tion that winter, doing mostly a wholesale
business; of this number, over seventy made
sales of over $10,000 per month each, and with
some firms sales reached over $30,000 per

The first post-office was established October

30, 1867; salary $1.00 per month. In two
months the United States mails had increased
so enormously as to average 2,600 letters per
day, and in two months more this was doubled,
and salary increased to $2,000 per year.
Though business declined as soon as the termin-
us of the road was moved, yet it now has a solid
business. The population in 1879 is about
6,000, and there was invested in new buildings,
in the single year of 1875, no less than $430,000.

The Black Hills Gold Discoveries.

For several years the impression has obtained
that there was gold in the Black Hills of
Dakota, and every exploration under the aus-
pices of the government has tended to encour-
age and strengthen this impression. In 1860,
Colonel Bullock, now a resident of Cheyenne,
was an Indian agent and trader where Fort
Laramie now stands. He saw a squaw in his
store one day with something in her mouth.
He said, "Let me see that. " She gave it to
him, and it proved to be a nugget of gold
worth about three dollars. He said, " Give
that to me." She told him she would for some
raisins and candy. These he gave her, and
afterwards gave her coffee and sugar to its full
value. He showed the gold to his interpreter,
and requested him, if possible, to find out
where it came from. The interpreter did his
best, but the squaw would only say that it was
picked up in the bed of a creek, and that the
Indians would kill her if she told where it
was. During his long experience as a trader
with the Indians, Colonel Bullock frequently
saw small nuggets of gold, but could never
find out where the Indians obtained them, and
the inferences he drew from all the information
he could obtain were to the effect that the
Bear Lodge country, nearly north of the
Inyan Kara mountain, was the region where
this gold came from. According to the most
recent information on the subject, the eastern
boundary line of Wyoming strikes the Black
Hills nearly in the center that about one-half
are in Dakota and the other half in Wyoming.
Harney's Peak and Dodge's Peak are in the
former, while the Inyan Jiara and Bear Lodge
Mountains are in the latter territory.

The Black Hills are mainly confined to a
region of territory lying between the forks of
the Cheyenne Eiver. In addition to the gulch
and placer diggings, already discovered, there
have been a few discoveries of what appear to
be rich quartz lodes of gold and veins of silver.
This region is about one hundred miles long
and eighty miles wide. French Creek, Spring
Creek, Rapid Creek, Box-elder Creek, Elk
Creek, and others, head in these hills, and
flow mainly in an eastern direction, emptying
into the south fork of the Cheyenne. The
north fork seems to hug the liills pretty closely

with small creeks and streams, yet unexplored,
heading in the mountains and flowing into it.
The north fork heads in Pumpkin Butte, a
mountain a little northwest of Fort Fetterman,
on the North Platte River. West of the north-
ern portion of the Black Hills, there are sev-
eral ranges of mountains, and several streams
which flow north into the Yellowstone River.
Ail accounts of this region of country, as far
west as the Big Horn Mountain, unite in the
report of its rich mineral character.

Hoiv to Get to flie Black Hills. Within
the past years of 1877 to 1881), there have been
opened three
distinct routes
to the Black
Hills, and it ia
now easy of ac-
cess. The prin-
cipal route is
via the Union
Pacific Railroad
and stage line
from Sidney.
A longer route
is occasionally
used by steam-
ers up the Mis-
souri River to
Sioux City,
Yankton and
Port Pierre,
and thence by
wagon across
the plains and
" bad lands" of
Dakota. This
route is long
and circuitous,
with not as
good wood,
water or graz-
ing as the
southern route.
From Cheyenne
there is a good
natural road,
which runs to
Fort Laramie, a
distance of ninety miles, over which the United
States mails have been carried for many years.
It passes through a country with good ranches
at convenient distances apart. From Fort
Laramie to Custer and Deadwood City there is
a good wagon road, which has recently been
shortened sixty miles, so that the entire dis-
tances are as follows:

Cheyenne to Fort Laramie, 90 miles; to Cus-
ter City, 210 miles; Hill City, 228 miles;
Golden City, 268 miles; Rapid City, 260 miles;
Rochford, 240 miles; Deadwood, 275 miles;
Crook City, 237 miles.


The Sidney and Black Hills Stage line now
runs regularly daily trips over the road with a
superior outfit for transportation of all classes
of passengers. Hitherto the Cheyenne route
has been the principal one since it has been
the depot of supplies. It is the route used by
the Government Supply trains, is in the prox-
imity of four government military forts and
stations, and along the entire route there is an
ample supply of wood, water and grain. It is

Online LibraryFrederick E ShearerThe Pacific tourist : J.R. Bowman's illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean ... : acomplete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads ... → online text (page 12 of 61)