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The route of the transcontinental railroad bypassed Colorado in the 1860s because of the impenetrable barrier of the Rocky Mountains. This barrier created equal challenges when the territory was admitted to statehood in 1876. How does one govern a single state bifurcated by geography? Log Cabin, Colorado was a stage stop along one of the first connecting routes between the population centers on the Front Range and the western part of the state, over Cameron Pass. The route through the lower canyon of the Cache la Poudre River was effectively blocked by sheer granite cliffs. For the first 50 years of statehood, this road allowed passage from Fort Collins over Cameron Pass, on to North Park.

The Hotel at Log Cabin, Colorado.

Hotel, Log Cabin, Colorado

The Hotel, Post Office, and Store at Log Cabin, Colorado.

Hotel, Post Office, Store, Log Cabin, Colorado

Settlement at Log Cabin, Colorado.

Garden, Buildings, Log Cabin, Colorado

Stables, barn, outbuildings, meadow at Log Cabin, Colorado.

Stables, Barn, Outbuildings, Meadow, Log Cabin, Colorado.

Historical Marker at Log Cabin, Colorado

Font, Rectangle, Typesetting, Commemorative plaque

Historical Marker at Log Cabin, Colorado.

Sky, Nature, Snow, Natural landscape

Historic Map of the Route, 1881.

Botany, Leaf, Branch, Twig

Along the path of the Overland Stage Route and the Cherokee Trail, access to this part of the West had been long established in history as part of the migratory pattern to Utah, Oregon, and California. Earlier than that, it was part of the area first explored and mapped by John C. Fremont in 1843. The Second Session of the Colorado State Legislature established access to this area as a priority, funding a road to this particular place and path over the Continental Divide.

Development of this route and its stage stations allowed first access to gold fields and to timber development for continuation of the construction of railroad lines in the American West. The headwaters of rivers feeding agriculture and population development became accessible through this route, with an extensive network of canals, then reservoirs, constructed in the early 1900s, all via this stage and freight route. All of this supported the advance of the legal infrastructure that would become the foundation of water management throughout the arid American West.

The hotel, post office, and stables at Log Cabin, Colorado, were at the midpoint of the route between Fort Collins and the next major settlement at Home, Colorado, in the upper Poudre Canyon. The hotel was first established in 1888; the post office in 1903. With the opening of a road through the lower Poudre Canyon finally opened in 1926, this route became unnecessary. The stage and postal service became focused on supporting the local ranching population and the development of the village at Red Feather Lakes.

Lang, Gail (ed.), The Early Hotels. Among These Hills: A History of Livermore, Colorado. Second edition. Livermore, Colorado. Livermore Woman's Club, 2009.

Case, Stanley R.. The Poudre: A Photo History. Bellvue, Colorado. Stanley R. Case, 1995.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Red Feather Historical Society Collection.

Red Feather Historical Society Collection.

Red Feather Historical Society Collection.

Red Feather Historical Society Collection.

Michael O'Neill, 2021

Michael O'Neill, 2021

Fort Collins History Connection.