US Post Office Virginia Dale, Colorado


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US Post Office

Mark Twain described Virginia Dale in his book “Roughing It” as a tumble weed of a town. It was spun up out of the foot hills of northwestern Larimer County. Virginia Dale and was officially founded in 1862 by Joseph (Jack) Slade. It became a division point for the Overland Trail route to California and a very important stage coach stop, which ran from 1862 to 1867. Mr. Slade had named the town after his wife, Virginia, but there was nothing gentile about the place. Often raided by the local Native American tribes, because of its direct locality to the famous Cherokee Trail, it was more a place of concern than a comfort stop. Given its notoriety over constant struggles with native people, the town was written about around the country by newspaper editors and other travelers alike. In 1867 the stage coach stop was abandoned, the Union Pacific Railroad became the main transportation of moving settlers out west. So given the serious dangers of ongoing battles with migrating people and the original natives it was no longer considered a safe stop. Virginia Dale still continued to thrive, however, with new inhabitance arriving each month. The first school was opened in 1874 and the first church in 1880, Virginia Dale had all the signs that one day it would grow from a small ranching community to a city. However by the 1990s, there were only a few wooden memories of the town left standing; the Virginia Dale Post Office, stage stop, school and cafe. Through the years people have moved away and today Virginia Dale has been swallowed by neighboring towns, but the area is still home to many cattle ranches.

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