Rawhide Buttes, visible west of this point, once served as a favorite camping spot for Indians and fur trappers. Several different tales explain the origin of the name. One account holds that this locale served as a departure point from which trappers sent fur pelts, or "rawhides," east to St. Louis. Another story tells of a reckless young man who killed an Indian woman while journeying to California during the 1849 gold rush. Attempting to avoid trouble, his fellow travelers surrendered the man for punishment and then watched in horror as the Indians skinned him alive at the base of the Buttes - thus the name "Rawhide Buttes." In 1874, a military expedition led by Lieutenant Colonel George A Custer discovered gold in the Black Hills of Dakota Territory. Hoping to capitalize on the ensuing rush of prospectors, the entrepreneurial team of John Gilmer, Monroe Salisbury and Mathewson Patrick organized the Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage and Express line in 1876. The company soon began leasing ranch buildings located at Rawhide Buttes for use as a stage station. When Russell Thorp, Sr., purchased the Rawhide Buttes station in November 1882, the bustling stage stop had grown to include a grocery and dry goods store, stage barn, post office and blacksmith shop. The arrival of the Chicago and North Western Railroad led to the demise of stagecoaching.
The last Black Hills-bound stage departed from Cheyenne's Inter-Ocean Hotel on February 19, 1887. With the stage no longer rolling, the buildings clustered at the base of Rawhides Buttes reverted from stage station to ranch headquarters. The end of an era had arrived.