Posts Tagged ‘Cheyenne WY’

Fire levels Cheyenne's Hitching Post Inn

September 22, 2010

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
A beloved Lincoln Highway landmark, the Hitching Post in Cheyenne, Wyoming, has been destroyed by fire. Various newspapers covered the fire and aftermath, including an initial story by the Caspar Star Tribune.

This article in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle recalls some history:

The Hitch, as it is fondly known, started out as a small motor hotel called the Lincoln Court. Pete Smith opened it in 1927…. In 1946, the Lincoln Court became a charter member of Best Western International. In 1948, the family opened a restaurant at the hotel called the Hitching Post. As more and more rooms were added, the name stuck.

My family stayed at the Lincoln Court about 5 years ago, by then a wonderful mid-century motel, but that older portion had recently been demolished. The remaining and much larger Hitching Post maintained an Old West decor.

The newspaper reported that the motel, lounge, and restaurant served as a longtime second home for Wyoming legislators but had closed amid financial trouble last year and remained vacant. “The hotel has been undergoing extensive renovations and officials of the company that owns it say it was just weeks away from reopening…. The front lobby and an attached liquor store were destroyed.”

The city called in an ATF team of about two dozen agents to help with the investigation, and the blaze was just ruled arson but the investigation is ongoing. Most comments to articles are overwhelmingly nostalgic for what has been lost, with only a few voicing a need for modern retail there.

Thanks to loungelistener for the tip.

A word from Wyoming on windfarms

July 6, 2009

Former LHA president Randy Wagner always makes clear his opposition to windfarms and their impact on the view along Western roads like the Lincoln Highway, so as an Easterner, I asked him to explain. Below is his response.

windfarm

Windfarms are destroying the natural Western landscape and are bringing to an end the wide open spaces that those of us that live here have so long enjoyed. Wherever they grow, they dominate the viewshed like nothing else ever invented by man. While normal man-made visual intrusions, like power lines and oil wells, tend to fade from view in 3-5 miles, windmills boldly stand out for up to 30 miles, always on the skyline. An example would be the once beautiful Lincoln Highway drive from Fort Bridger to Evanston, a journey through a pristine landscape since 1913 that is now a windmill forest. Another example is closer to home: Cheyenne residents have forever enjoyed an unobstructed view of the Laramie Mountains and the Sherman Summit to the west. Now a windfarm blocks the view and the feeling of living in the wide open, unspoiled west is forever gone.

I could go on and on about the facts that wind energy is highly inefficient and can only be economically justified with heavy federal (taxpayer) subsidies; that windmills are very high maintenance items; that they don’t work on those hot, still, muggy days when energy is in high demand; that they are seriously altering the habitat for native wildlife species such as sage grouse and pronghorn antelope; that Wyoming is destroying its landscape to send power to Denver, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Counter viewpoints are welcome.

12 days of blogging the Lincoln Highway out west

May 8, 2009

Photographers Eric Mencher and his wife Kass have been photographing the Lincoln Highway since 1997. Eric is staff photographer at The Philadelphia Inquirer. They began with Pennsylvania and last year completed the entire length from coast to coast. They’ve just begun another two-week trip that will take them from Wyoming into Utah and Nevada.

WY_MencherTheater

You can follow their adventures at lincolnhighwayseen.blogspot.com which Eric will update every day or so. The first entry doesn’t have much yet, only four images shot from their room at the Plains Hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Last year he posted a handful of photos from their trip through Wyoming and Nebraska. You can find them, along with other photos mixed in, at:
thisurbanlife.blogspot.com/2008_05_01_archive.html/.

WY ranch may house turbines, garbage, golf

August 22, 2008

The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle reports that a huge stretch of land west of Cheyenne that includes traces of the Lincoln Highway is being considered for a multitude of projects, from a wind farm to a landfill to a golf course.

The Belvoir Ranch has long included the paths of westward travel, from overland immigrants to fiber optic cable. Then in 2003, the City of Cheyenne bought the land which begins five miles west of town and stretches for 15 miles farther west, with I-80 as its northern boundary.

While some residents see the 18,000-acre purchase as a boondoggle, others see it as acquiring water rights and sites for a landfill, wind turbine farm and recreation. It is also a chance to preserve a microcosm of western cultural history.

Chuck Lanham of the Cheyenne Historic Preservation Board, the guide for a recent ranch tour, pointed out teepee rings at least 140 years old and other archeological features that have yet to be studied….

Ruts across the rolling, shortgrass prairie show the route of the Denver to Ft. Laramie stage line. Other ruts are thought to be Camp Carlin supply wagon tracks to frontier forts. There are vestiges, too, of the old Lincoln Highway, precursor to U.S. Highway 30 and Interstate 80….

Eventually, the early homesteads became part of the huge Warren Livestock Company holdings. F.E. Warren called the main ranch house his “cabin,” complete with tennis courts, pool and a professional horse racing track. Remains are barely visible today.

Because of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, Atlas missiles were installed on what soon became known as the Belvoir Ranch. The above-ground launching facilities were deactivated in 1965, but the concrete structures can be seen south of I-80 at exit 348.

To learn more about the plans, including maps of the proposed developments or photos of the site (as reproduced here), visit http://www.BelvoirRanch.org or call (307) 637-6281.