By Carly-Ann Anderson
June 28, 2017
Hynds Lodge, built by Cheyenne businessman Harry P. Hynds in 1922 for $25,000, was constructed as a lodge at the recreation camp for the Boy Scouts of America. Hynds came to Cheyenne in 1882 and worked as a blacksmith for the Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage Line before acquiring several gambling saloons and making a fortune. After becoming wealthy, he became a philanthropist and supported groups like the local baseball team and the Boy Scouts of America and helped found the Frontier Days Rodeo.
Hynds Lodge is located about halfway between Cheyenne and Laramie on Happy Jack Road (Wyoming Highway 210), and is built into a hill. Large, rough-cut granite stones were quarried locally and laid in courses, and a clay tile roof adds ornamentation. The building features a large kitchen, a lodge space with a large stone fireplace and chimney, sleeping quarters upstairs, and a covered porch with massive stone supports. The south fork of Crow Creek lies nearby with a large granite outcrop and woodlands of cedar, spruce, and pine.
The Young Men’s Literary Club, who donated the land for the building in 1922, operated the lodge for the Boy Scouts until 1935 when the City of Cheyenne took on management of the property. By 1966, after hosting thousands of Cheyenne Boy Scouts and other recreational groups, the Lodge required major repairs. Cheyenne’s Junior Women’s Club started a “Rescue Hynds Lodge” campaign to repair crumbling stonework on the porch and front steps, correct drainage issues, and update the facilities. However, the outward appearance of the building was retained. In 1980 there were more updates, including accessibility amenities. The lodge was then rededicated to the Boy Scouts for use by other public and private groups for recreational purposes.
In 1971, the 9 acres of land the Lodge sits on became part of the 1,005 acre Curt Gowdy State Park, named for a famous sportscaster and Wyoming native. The structure, which is now available for rent through Wyoming State Parks, fulfills its original function as a recreational site and maintains historic and architectural integrity.
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