Lodgepole and the Union Pacific Railroad
The history of Lodgepole has been closely associated with railroad development and overland travel in western Nebraska. It was originally established as a station when the Union Pacific Railroad was completed to this point in 1867. A company of U.S. soldiers from nearby Sidney Barracks camped here to guard the railroad against Indian attack, and during the early 1860s a Pony Express Station was located a few miles to the east.
Lodgepole derives its name from Lodgepole Creek where Indians reportedly secured timber for their tepee poles. Little permanent settlement occurred until the early 1880s, and the town was platted in 1884. In 1886 it had a population of about 200 people. Stock raising was an important early industry, and many of the state's pioneer ranches were located in the region.
This depot was constructed by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1867 on a site adjacent to the tracks. It replaced an earlier section house and was in use until 1968. In 1971 a gift from Mrs. Doris Bates Rowan, in memory of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. B.J. Bates, made possible its preservation at this location, where it now serves as the Lodgepole Depot Museum.
Pony Express MarkerThis marker depicts the original station at Pole Creek which was established April 3, 1860 and continued through November 20, 1861.
Sioux Army DepotSioux Army Depot was established on March 23, 1942 as Sioux Ordinance Depot. It was the only U.S. Army Ammunition Depot in Nebraska during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The depot was initially under the command of the U.S. Army Ordinance Department and later the U.S. Army Material Command.
Sioux Army Depot's mission during its entire history was the receipt, storage and issue of all types of ammunition from small arms to 10,000 pound bombs, all types of general supplies from small automobile parts to jeeps, and various strategic and critical materials.
The depot occupied 19,771 acres and included 601 ammunition storage igloos, 22 general supply warehouses, 392 support buildings, 225 family living quarters, 51 miles of railroad track, and 203 miles of roads. Depot personnel assigned ranged from 625 to 2,161 civilian employees and from 4 to 57 military personnel depending on Army activity.
Sioux Army Depot was deactivated on June 30, 1967.
Sidney-Deadwood Trail Historical Marker
Miners began to pour into the Black Hills of South Dakota following the discovery of gold in 1874. With the nearest UP rail line at Sidney, the supply lifeline for the mining towns of Deadwood and Custer in South Dakota was the Sidney-Deadwood Trail. Until the railroad reached Dakota Territory, the Trail carried millions of tons of freight northward, and millions of dollars worth of gold south again.
Hwy 30 at west edge of Sidney
Phone: (800) 421-4769
Contact Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce for directions
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