North Forty News
Don’t miss the 100th Anniversary of the Virginia Dale Community Club’s Annual Open House & Craft Show. It happens on August 14, 2021, from 9 AM to 4 PM at the Historic 1862 Virginia Dale Overland Stage Station. Admission is free, but a donation of canned food, winter hats, or gloves for Harvest Farm in Wellington is appreciated.
Historical Speaker Ken Jessen will present on the club’s founding and families. There will be a pie auction at 1 PM, lunch available to purchase from 11 AM to 2 PM, and crafts and music happening throughout the event. Raffle tickets for the Quilt & Henry Rifle are available.
This recently renovated historic building has some interesting history. Ken Jessen will have pictures and more history to share at the event, but here is some information shared by the Virginia Dale Community Club to get you started.
In 1862, the United States Government commissioned Ben Holladay to move the Overland Trail Mail Route from the North Platte Valley to the old Cherokee Trail, which later became known as the Overland Trail. This was the only route that the mail coaches and emigrants were allowed to use from 1862 to 1868 because of Indian uprisings on the northern route.
Mr. Holladay hired Jack Slade, purported outlaw, to build the Virginia Dale Stage Station in June of 1862. Jack named the station Virginia Dale in honor of his wife, and it became a bustling place of activity. It was not unusual to have fifty to one-hundred wagons with their loads of merchandise and freight camped at Virginia Dale. The popularity of Virginia Dale, as well as the notoriety of Jack Slade, were spread from coast to coast by Overland Stage travelers, emigrants, magazine writers, and newspaper correspondents. In 1866, Ben Holladay sold the line to Wells Fargo, which continued to operate the stage line until 1868.
The completion of the Union Pacific Railroad to Cheyenne in 1866 halted stagecoach travel, and the Overland Trail and the Virginia Dale Stage Station were abandoned. In subsequent years, the building has been used as a residence, general store, post office, and now a community hall. It is the only Stage Station on the Overland Trail Stage Station in Northern Colorado on its’ original foundation and with its’ original logs. It has been referred to as one of “Colorado’s Legendary Treasures” and “Larimer County’s Most Important Historical Site.”
Find the above information, and so much more, at Virginia Dale Community Club’s website: www.virginiadalecommunityclub.org