Virginia Dale Stage Station in danger of being closed

     Once again a handful of older ladies who run the Virginia Dale (Colorado) Community Club are trying to deny public access to the Virginia Dale Stage Station, the only stage station still in existence, and unchanged, on it's original site on the Overland Trail. Most of the other stage stations were burned by Indians during the Plains Wars in the 1860's. The Club tried to sue me in 1997 because of my website about the Stage Station (that was thrown out of court) and have tried since then to restrict access to the community club, and also to the Stage Station. Their new By-laws of the "community" club have the provision that new members must be voted upon to join, and old members voted upon to remain. When the Stage Station property was donated by Mr. Fred Maxwell to the Community Club back in the 1940's, it was his intention that the property be used for "public enlightenment and education." His will also states that he was deeding the Stage Station "to the community for their use, thus preserving for posterity a most historic building." I am all for private property rights, and I realize that the Stage Station is owned privately by the Virginia Dale Community Club. But these old gals have gone too far now in erecting a locked gate across a public county road (Larimer County Road 43F) and have petitioned the County Commissioners to "vacate" (or remove the public right-of-way) that road. As long as the road remained a public right-of-way, it was my feeling that historians, and other interested folks could at least drive on the public road, stay in their car, and take pictures of the Stage Station, which is just a few feet from the road, and view the gravesites, also just a few steps from the county road. I have put a new page on my web site about this, with a letter to the County Commissioners. It's at: I am hoping that you will take the time to click on their e-mail address on that page, cut and paste the letter, adding comments if you care to, and let them know your feelings. I know that many of you on this e-mail list have visited the Stage Station in the past, but with the road closed to the public, that will no longer be possible. I am aware that there are many historic sites on private property, and some are accessible to the public, some are obviously not. Because this is a public county road, and has been for over 130 years, it must remain public, if for no other reason than for visitors to view this historic building, and descendents to visit the gravesites of their deceased relatives. Please feel free to forward this information to other lists to which you belong. Thanks! Elizabeth Visit the Overland Trail