plank-boxelder

box-elder-sta Traveling this way Frank A. Root reported a station and telegraph office a few miles west of Fort McPherson . This was the halfway point between Fort Kearny and Overland City also known as Julesburg.

This station was originally called Box Elder. By 1864 it was known as Cottonwood Springs. William Campbell a Pony Express rider rode east from here, also reporting in 1864 that the station was west of Fort McPherson.

The June 1860 US Census has John North as the Station Keeper for the Pony Express Company.

Information provided by Joe Nardone, 2001.


Attached is a picture of the house taken before my parents remodeled it in preparation for their retirement. We used to take our vacations there in the summer and mother would have all five children and their spouses and grandkids there for Christmas. There are two gigantic loft rooms upstairs and two big bedrooms downstairs in addition to the large living room, dining room and kitchen. The logs are about a foot thick and provided excellent insulation year round.

The story my mother told was that it was originally built as a "ranch store" which provided fresh produce for travellers on their way west. It was constructed of cedar logs harvested at nearby Brady Island. They had to float the logs across the river on a barge. The original owners also provided logs for nearby Fort McPherson and for other settlers in the area. My parents bought the farm from the estate of my grandfather Henry Christian Hartman and used it for many years as a summer and weekend retreat. When Dad, Carl Sommer Hartman, retired they remodeled the house to make it comfortable with central heat, etc, and lived there for several years. Dad remembered his mother sending him and his brother out to collect cow chips to fill in the gaps between logs.

Information and photograph provided by Jean Voller, June 2003.