Wyoming '99: Wednesday
Wednesday we set out for some old family stomping grounds in northern Colorado.
In the late 1860s, W.H. and J.T. Holliday, two brothers, headed for Wyoming Territory.
They came from a family of wanderers: Their mother, Annetta Bogart Holliday, born in New York, was brought to Cincinnati at an early age when her father moved the family west. Their father, Eli, had been born in Cincinnati, but in 1850, after he already had married and had several children, he headed west to California, alone, to seek a fortune in the gold fields. He wasn't too successful or happy, so he came back home (by way of the Panama Canal) and moved the family up into Illinois, settling in a couple of places.
As the brothers came of age, then, it was no surprise when they headed west too. Their father followed them to Sherman, where he died after several months, but their mother, hardy Annetta, brought the rest of the family out regardless, and homesteaded with her daughter and future son-in-law, staking a claim in Virginia Dale, in northern Colorado.
W.H. Holliday had married and had a child already while living in Sherman; from there he moved to Box Elder Creek, probably in Laramie County, Colorado, where he had another child. There seems to have been a lot of traffic back and forth between northern Colorado and southern Wyoming.
W.H. and J.T. continued to prosper, milling wood for the Union Pacific and other construction going on in the area. The barn above was built on Annetta's homestead at Virginia Dale, probably with logs W.H. had cut and trimmed. Note the Lincoln-log corners:
The place was pretty far out in the middle of nowhere back then, and eventually the family moved into Laramie, the biggest town nearby. Actually, even today, there's a pretty long driveway to get from the farm out to the highway:
It's not the ugliest country you've ever seen, though. We had a thousand striking vistas as we drove the dirt roads all around here.
This is on the way back to the neighbors' place (nobody lives there anymore; the house has caved in), back behind the old Holliday place. Click on the picture for a bigger version.