Historical Details

Hat Creek Dateline: 1878/05/28

Courtesy of Library Archives, 04/24/1991

"Horse Head cut off" done, more traffic coming through
by Ed Cook, Contributing Writer

Completion of construction on the "Horse Head Cut Off" has resulted in quite an increase in freighting activity through Hat Creek. The new route connects the Hat Creek to Custer route with the Sidney to Black Hills route.

Construction of the new road from a point near the Nebraska-Dakota state line on the Custer route to the Horse Head station of the Sidney route was largely financed through subscriptions of Rapid City businessmen.

Trade to Custer and Rapid City had suffered because of the opening of the route north from Hat Creek to Deadwood last summer. This new route was badly needed by the freighters. The Cheyenne to Black Hills route is by far the best route to the mining towns and this new "cut off" makes it even better. The main advantage of the Cheyenne route is the substantial iron bridge over the North Platte River at Fort Laramie. This is especially true during the spring and summer months when runoff from snow melting in mountains causes the river to run high and often overflow its banks. About 90 percent of the freight and passenger travel to the Hills is over this line.

The stage company has always worked closely with the Union Pacific Railroad so that travelers could make good connections between the two routes. The spring stage schedule as advertised in the Deadwood Times by the Union Pacific is as follows:

Sidney coach leaves daily at 5:30 a.m.
Cheyenne coach leaves daily at 5 a.m.
Express packages and mail must be in the office by 9 p.m.
Previous to day of departure.
Tickets to all parts of the East for sale at reduced rates
Envelopes for sale
Company will take every pain to make passengers comfortable.

Including first-class stage lines via Cheyenne and Sidney and the Colorado Central R.R.
Recently completed to Cheyenne
Offers unrivaled advantages to Denver City, all points in Colorado and New Mexico and to the East, West, North, and South

By it, you avoid the snow of the far North and Bad Lands of Eastern and Northern Dakota; the dangerous hunting grounds of the Sioux Indians and the delays and dangers of Missouri River navigation.

These are the only lines open the whole year round and by which nine-tenths of the people in the Hills have come here. The only lines on which the Military Posts and Telegraph Lines are established; the only lines that bring the mails in four days from Chicago, and run daily the whole year. By it you secure all rail transportation from Cheyenne and Sidney and the finest road-bed and equipments in the world--Steel Rails, Miller Platforms and Air Brakes. The finest Pullman Sleepers attached to all Passenger trains. Rates always as low as by any other line. Full information and a new map of the United States, showing the great Overland Route, its connections, etc., with view of scenery, will be furnished on application to THOMAS L. KIMBALL, Gen Pass and Ticket Agt, Omaha, Neb.
Or T.A. Russell, Traveling Agent, Deadwood, D.T.

(Information sources: The Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage and Express Route by Agnes Wright Spring.

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