Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Setting for "The Sagebrush Bride"

Many of my books are set in fictional locations, but that's not the case with "The Sagebrush Bride."  I wanted my part of The Oregon Trail Romance Collection to be as authentic as possible, so I've used real locations.  Even though they look a bit different in the twenty-first century than they did in the middle of the nineteenth, I thought you might enjoy seeing them.

The story starts with Avice looking at Chimney Rock, one of the landmarks in Western Nebraska.  Here's a distant view of that famous site.
And here's a closer view so you can see why it's called Chimney Rock.  It reminds Avice of something different, but it does look like a chimney, doesn't it?

The majority of the story takes place at Fort Laramie, where travelers bought supplies and rested for a day or two before embarking on the most difficult part of the journey west.

Aren't the trees beautiful?  They weren't there when Avice and the other pioneers saw the fort.  This picture shows the old and new guard houses (not places you'd want to spend any time, I assure you) and the ruins of the administration building.  The big grassed area in the center is the parade ground, where the soldiers practiced marching.

As you might expect, Officer's Row was the most beautiful part of the fort.  The buildings you see are the surgeon's quarters, the Burt House and the sutler's store.

Ah, the sutler's store.  That's where Raleigh spends his days and where he and Avice meet for the first time.

What's inside this rather plain looking building?  Many, many things. 
Travelers could buy everything from blankets and saddles to tonics.
I forgot to mention soap and kettles, didn't I?  And then there were shoes and boots.

The sutler's store was one-stop shopping, simply because it was the only store on the post ... or, for that matter, in the whole area.  Is it any wonder Avice made it her first stop when she arrived at the fort?

As for what happens next, all I'm going to tell you is that she got much more than she expected when she set foot inside.  And so did Raleigh.


  1. I love Fort Laramie! I'm sure this is a wonderful story. I love the title.

    1. Cindy -- And we're so fortunate to live close enough to visit Fort Laramie on a regular basis. It's a special place!

  2. That's our plans for Easter. Back drop for pictures of kids, graduation pictures.

    1. What a great idea! I hope the weather cooperates.