Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

By Gary Collins
Pine Bluffs Post 

Sprucing up the Walker house


Gary Collins/Pine Bluffs Post

The Walker House at the Texas Trail Museum is being prepped for a fresh coat of paint. Dennis Girard is scraping off the old paint and caulking, Wednesday, June 21, prior to the work of painting the venerable town landmark.

It is unknown when the Walker House which sits on the property of the Texas Trail Museum was built, according to documents in the museum.

The land on which the building stands was donated to the town of Pine Bluffs by the Bay State Livestock company in 1886. What is known is that the building was used for years to house railroad workers, harvest crews and high school students.

In advertisements in the Pine Bluffs Post in 1908 and 1909, the house was known as the Section House Hotel and served food family style for 25 cents a meal. At the time it was operated by R. S. Stratton, who was the grandfather of locals, Darlene Spier and Bob Elwood.

According to the museum document, Mrs. Lola Clark was operating the hotel in the 1920s, which was then called The Outside Inn. Mrs. Lee (Velma) Simkins, of this city, is mentioned as working there for 25 cents per hour. The Outside Inn even placed an advertisement in the 1920 Pine Bluffs High School Annual.

The hotel was purchased in 1936 by Fred and Ella Brodine. The Brodines had four daughters, Elsie, Fern and twins Ruby and Ruth. The family eventually remodeled the hotel and turned it into their home.

In 1946, the house was purchased by J. R. and Blanche Walker. They lived in the home until 1980. When Mr. and Mrs. Walker died the remaining family members, Melvin, Bonnie and twins Marilyn and Carolyn, sold the house to the Town.

The town eventually conveyed the house to the museum which did extensive remodeling, with the help of many volunteers, to restore it its original appearance.


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