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Best of Wyoming
Mon December 3, 2012
Virginia Dale Stage Station – 30 Miles South of Laramie
Listen to a bit of Virginia Dale history on the Wyoming Public Media Wyoming Stories link.
The Virginia Dale stage station, made of hand-hewn logs, is among the most important structures in Larimer County dating back to 1862 when the Overland Stage Company relocated its line from central Wyoming to Colorado. It served as “home” station where passengers could stop, rest and get a meal. It is the only one left in the United States in its original condition on its original site.
Courtesy of the Virginia Dale Community Club
The Virginia Dale Home Demonstration Club was formed in 1921 by nine local women in conjunction with the State Home Demonstration Clubs (later known as the Larimer County Extension Homemakers). Initially, the focus of the club was to teach new techniques and short cuts in the areas of gardening, food preservation, cooking, and sewing thus making life easier for the women and their families.
During the 1940's, the club put its efforts into wartime causes such as scrap metal, blood, and war-bond drives. By the late 1940's, the club was searching for ways to purchase or build a community building using its war bonds. Up until this time, it was able to use the Hurzeler/Club House and the Virginia Dale Stage Station due to the goodwill and generosity of Fred and Maude Maxwell, local ranchers and owners of the buildings, but a more permanent arrangement was desirable.
The Maxwells, people with extraordinary foresight, seized the opportunity to do something more for the community and future generations. In 1964, they bequeathed the Stage Station and the Hurzeler House to the club for its use as a community building and a place in which to hold club meetings. The war bonds were used by the club to repair and improve the condition of both buildings.
Through the years, the club changed its name several times. The focus also evolved to emphasize the importance of rural lifestyles and the preservation of the Stage Station and Hurzeler House for the enjoyment of the community and the historical benefit to future generations. The Virginia Dale Stage Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.