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Archives on the Air 315: Percy Station – Richardson Family Papers

Percy Station - Richardson Family Papers
American Heritage Center
Page of a manuscript describing life at Percy Station. Box 1, Richardson Family papers, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Percy Station, sixty miles west of Laramie, was a Union Pacific Railroad stop. All trains had to stop there for cord wood and water to fuel the engines. The wood was supplied from a timber camp on Elk Mountain.

Passengers disembarked to eat while the train was being serviced. Mary Jane Morey ran the boarding and eating house at Percy Station in the 1860s. It was a hand-hewn log structure with a dirt floor. The tables were made of split logs and candles were used for lighting. Cooking was done in a large fireplace built out of sandstone from nearby hills. Mrs. Morey hired Chinese cooks and kitchen help.

Travelers were sometimes stranded at Percy in heavy snows. The winter of 1868 was particularly bad. Disgruntled passengers had to sleep in the freezing train. Feeding them all was a challenge and prices on provisions skyrocketed.

Learn more about Percy Station in the Richardson Family papers at UW’s American Heritage Center.