This nice little park, established in 1997, shows the civic pride and community spirit of the people of Cheyenne Wells. It sits not far from the center of town.
Medicine Arrow Park facilities include a lighted half mile cement walking parth, lighted regulation size basketball court, kids fort, horseshoe pits, playground equipment, a picnic area and restrooms.
The park is always open to the public. Admission is free.
They don't build jails like this one any more.
The old Cheyenne County Jail was designed by noted Denver Architect Robert S. Roeschlaub in 1892. It saw service as a jail for 70 years. Then in 1962 old jail was converted into the county's museum when a new jail was built nearer the courthouse.
The old jail was originally designed to house both the criminal population of Cheyenne County as well as provide living quarters for the local sheriff and his family. In 1937, a women’s holding facility was added. Previously, law-breaking women were transported to the jail in Burlington. In the history of the jail there was only one reported prisoner who escaped.
A plaque on front of the building states that it is on the National Register of Historical Places.
Open Memorial Day to Labor Day
Mon-Fri, 1-4 pm
Sat-Sun, 2-5 pm
Or by special appointment
A few miles west of Cheyenne Wells along U.S. 40 is a small parking area and this monument, commemorating the Cheyenne Wells Stage Stop. The old Butterfield Stage route that once passed through Cheyenne Wells has now been replaced by US-40 - a modern highway - albeit a lonely one with scant traffic. Pausing here and reading the interpretative display a traveler can only imagine how things must have been 140 years ago.
Bayard Taylor, a famed adventurer and writer passed this way by stagecoach on the Smoky Hills Trail in the summer of 1866. An interpretative display at the Historic Stage Stop gives this quote from his account of Cheyenne Wells on that trip:
"We found a large and handsome frame stable for the mules, but no dwelling. The people lived in a natural cave, extending for some thirty feet under the bluff. But there was a woman, and when we saw her we argured good fortunes. Truly enough, under the roof of conglomerate limestone, in the cave's dim twilight, we sat down to antelope steak, tomatoes, bread, pickles, and potatoes - a royal meal, after two days of detestable fare."
On a front lawn near the Old Jail Museum is this display with a sign that reads "First Horse Tank in Cheyenne Wells." It looks as if it is being used now as a planter, although I was not there during the growing season. The Horse Tank was donated by Dick Kucera.
Thank you, Dick.
The town of Cheyenne Wells sits on the north side of US-40, and the Cheyenne County Fairgrounds occupies the south side of the highway. The fairgrounds is the site of the annual Cheyenne County Fair and Rodeo the last week in July. Events of the week include a livestock auction, fashion review, Princess & Queen Contest, turtle race, free barbecue, Rodeo and Parade plus much more.
At other times of the year the fairgrounds is the site for jackpot ropings, wedding receptions, and other community acitvities.
This sign in front of the Fairgrounds gives visitors a welcome to Eastern Colorado. It reads:
Entering the Centennial State
The Mountain State reaches across the Great Plains to welcome you. This is the Smoky Hills Trail, a shortcut found in 1860 from the Missouri River to the Pike's Peak and Cherry Creek gold diggings. On this route to the mountains wagon trains and stagecoaches brought thousands from water hole to water hole across the dry plains. In the 1870s rails followed the wagon tracks and steam trains were halted by herds of buffalo. Nomad Indians, Cheyennes, Comanches and Kiowas sometimes attacked wagons and outlaws held up trains. Today these dry lands yield immense crops and graze thousands of fat cattle. The Rocky Mountains will soon be visible as you proceed west, traveling in a quarter of an hour or less the distance the wagon trains came in a day.