Monday, September 8, 2014

Robber's Roost: Inside a Stagecoach Station



Today's post is brought to you courtesy of Janalyn Voigt. Escape into creative fiction and simple living.


DawnSinger (Tales of Faeraven 1) medieval epic fantasy by Janalyn Voigt
Surprise Giveaway! 

In honor of the relaunch of our site, I'm giving away a free copy of DawnSinger, book one of Tales of Faeraven, my medieval epic fantasy series based on 13th-century Europe, and a signed bookplate. This is one of 16 different giveaways, including a $50 gift card, so keep checking back to discover the others. The drawing is at the end of the month and every day you can earn 3 to 4 entries.

Janalyn


Inside Robber's Roost

Time slows up a bit when you cross the border into Montana. The closer you get to Robber's Roost, the more it crawls. By the time the wooden turnstile gate swung around to admit me, I could have sworn time even flowed backward.
Turnstile gate at Robber's Roost
There I was, transported to 1863, when the logs used to build this stagecoach station were still green. Daly's, it was called, but when the reputation of an earlier outpost at this site attached to it, Robber's Roost it became. Outlaws, they were, and from that earlier building, they'd kept an eagle eye out for hapless travelers on the road from Virginia City, capital of Montana Territory, and the gold at Bannack. Pete Daly managed to survive the invasion until the Vigilantes of Montana ended the lives of many of his guests. Daly swore himself a victim, thus avoiding the noose, and rebuilt.

The new station led a quieter existence, becoming a refuge where travelers could find food, companionship, and a place to bed down.



Nowadays, visitors to this once-teaming stagecoach station are few, and most don't make it inside. The interior can be viewed only by special arrangement, using snail mail. I've wanted to explore a stagecoach station for a long time, so I took the trouble while on a research trip to Montana and now my husband and I found ourselves exploring a slice of Old West history. The member of the Virginia City Preservation Alliance who let us in the building left us for a bit so we could savor the experience on our own.

Inside Robber's Roost, looking out
The thud of our footsteps was the only sound apart from birdsong drifting in from the open doorway. the heat was oppressive but inside it was cool. I didn't know how to use my new Canon camera yet, so I snappped shots using my cell phone. There was the sense that I was capturing a moment in time that would never come again. How urgently we who love history want to preserve it so that others may touch it as we do. We explored the downstairs rooms, which were the entrance, a kitchen area with falling-down plaster, and two small rooms that probably served as bedrooms.

We then faced a daunting prospect.


I've lightened this image to show the details. The original photograph looks a lot like a dark hole with a bit of light at the top. This stairway led into an unknown darkness, and I had to steel myself to climb it. When I did, the first thing I noticed was the solid construction. This stairway would take a lot of boot heels without flinching.

At the top of the stair, I stepped onto floorboards in a huge chamber flooded with light from its many windows. I had expected something more dungeon-like, but this chamber would have been comfortable. People must have slept here, but there were no partitions, and my mind ran back over something I'd read about stagecoach travel. People slept sitting up in the coaches and sometimes on no more than a dirt floor at stations. By contrast, this would have seemed luxurious.

Upstairs at Robber's Roost stagecoach station
After we looked around upstairs, we went outside and found an old covered well.
The covered well at Robber's Roost presents an iconic image of  Wild West days.
I hope I've given you part of what was a moving experience. It's not possible to show you all my photographs of Robber's Roost in this blog post, but you'll find the gallery at my Literary Wayfarer Travel website.

I'd love to hear about your own ghost town visit or a historic site you're longing to visit. Also, remember to enter the giveaway drawing, below. You might just win a free copy of DawnSinger or one of the other great prizes in our month of giveaways. 
author Janalyn Voigt

About Janalyn Voigt

Escape into creative worlds of fiction with Janalyn Voigt. Her unique blend of adventure, romance, suspense, and fantasy creates worlds of beauty and danger for readers. Tales of Faeraven, her epic fantasy series beginning with DawnSinger, carries the reader into a land only imagined in dreams.

Janalyn is represented by Sarah Joy Freese of Wordserve Literary. Her memberships include ACFW and NCWA.

When she's not writing, Janalyn loves to discover worlds of adventure in the great outdoors.

Visit the author site for Janalyn Voigt

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30 comments:

  1. The area around Silverton, Colorado holds many a ghost and many a tale in the old abandon mines of that area. Thank you for sharing your adventures. Sights and sounds await us if we will but explore!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. You're welcome, Melanie. Exploring is what I love to do for adventure. Did you enter the contest through the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of the post?

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  2. Wow! It looks so exciting The pictures are great
    God bless u
    Chris Granville
    granvilleATfrontiernetDOTnet

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    1. Hi, Chris. This building is everything you'd imagine a stagecoach stop to be. Did you get over to see the rest of the pictures? I love the barn and cattle chute. Also, did you enter the drawing through the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of the post?

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  3. Ladies, what an awesome new site! Congratulations! Janalyn, I loved your post. What a great treat to visit such a historic setting. Your pictures are terrific. Don't enter me in the drawing. I'm just happy for you all.

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    1. Thanks for the compliment on my post and pictures, Louise. Do you ever get out to ghost towns?

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  4. Good morning everyone! Love this look into Robber's Roost, Janalyn, especially seeing those pictures!

    And doesn't the new site look awesome???? Love it! :)

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    1. I loved sharing my pictures, Pam, so we have a win-win. :o)

      I agree. The new site is awesome.

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  5. Hi Janalyn, what great pictures! Just looking at them makes me think of all kinds of stories. Love our new look!

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    1. Hi, yourself, Margaret. :o) I'm so glad to have sparked story ideas. If you write any of them, I'd love to read them. Always a fan,

      Janalyn

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  6. I love visiting historic sites like this! Thanks for sharing some of your pictures!

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

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    1. You're welcome, Heidi! Did you enter the drawing through the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of the post?

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  7. Thank you for sharing those wonderful photographs. Wish I could have visited this place with you! Believe it or not, I am writing a book where most of the action takes place at a stage station. If those walls could talk ... but then again, maybe we'd cringe if they could LOL

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    1. You'd have been welcome to tag along, Stephanie. Email me if you want to ask any questions about Robber's Roost or the area. I still have a lot of pictures to upload to my Literary Wayfarer site.

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  8. I just love going on adventures to places like this! It is definitely like taking a step back in time. Thanks for sharing about this awesome place!

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    1. Me, too, Joy. I find the brush with history breathtaking. You are so welcome. I just love taking others on adventures.

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  9. Lovely old place. I wished they kept it up better.

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    1. They have to keep it locked and make visiting by invitation because of vandalism. I like when historic buildings are kept up, if it can be done with accuracy. That can be lost in the translation.

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  10. I enjoyed this post, Janalyn. Thanks for showing us what a stagecoach stop looked like.

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  11. This sounds and looks like it was a fascinating experience; a place where one would wish for the walls to talk! When I visit Salem, MA and their many museums, historical sites, as well as the the cemetery where a lot of the victims of the witch trials were buried I always find I wish for that exact thing to happen!
    kam110476 at gmail dot com

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  12. Congrats on the 'new' blog, love the design!

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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  13. Love the new name and design!!!
    Love the pics you took, looks like a fun trip:)

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  14. Thanks for the pics, Janalyn. They did have that "other time" quality. I enjoy walking around old buildings and recreations of old towns and homestead. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. Thank you for sharing your updated blog - I love the design. griperang at embarqmail dot com

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