Story of Woods Landing
In 1883 Col. Sam Wood started out with his family in a Conestoga
wagon from Atlantic, Iowa, to come to Wyoming Territory. At the
foot of the Medicine Bow Range, he staked out a house site on
the Big Laramie River and built the first house, the site that
now bears his name. Woods Landing became a welcome spot for freighters
and stage drivers, and the saloon Sam Wood opened beside the river
became a popular place for the scores of tie hacks in the vicinity.
Ties cut and hewn in the mountains were floated down river to
Laramie during the spring run-off and the woodsmen celebrated
the end of the tie drive at the riverside saloon. In 1927, a young
Indiana couple, Mayne and Clarence Lewellen, who had come west
to find a cure for Clarence's tuberculosis, bought the property
and began development of what is today's Woods Landing Resort.
They hired a stalwart young Norwegian, Hokum Lestrum to build
a dance hall, which was constructed entirely of hand-grooved logs
(with no nails). The hall was built on top of 24 boxcar springs
and even today is reputed to be the best dance floor in southeastern
Wyoming. The dance hall was placed on the National Register of
Historic Places in 1986.