Robidoux Trading Post Closed; Structurally Unsound And Can’t Be Saved

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     The historic Robidoux Trading Post just west of Gering has been closed as structurally unsound with experts determining it can’t be saved.

       The original trading post was abandoned in the 1850s, but in 1995 the owners of the site, Goldie and Rupert Bigsby, spearheaded a historical reconstruction using 100-year old hand-hewn logs and pioneer construction methods.

       The land was sold during the pandemic and the new owners terminated the lease for the trading post – leading to the structure being moved to its current location in 2021.

       Concerns about its condition led the City of Gering and the Friends of Robidoux Trading Post to fund an inspection by a structural engineer and a company specializing in log structures 

     They concluded the original construction method and the impact of both two decades of weather damage and the 2021 move had weakened the historic logs to the point that too many were failing to be able to shore up the rest.

      The city and the Friends plan to disassemble the Robidoux Trading Post, salvage as many logs as possible, and build a second reconstruction at the current site.

      Friends chairman Barb Netherland says the inspection results were “disheartening to say the least,” but that she thinks there can be a “practical partnership between numerous entities who share a passion and continued commitment” to the trading post.

       Netherland says the goal now is “rebuilding something stronger and better that will contribute to our community, preserve our history, and educate our children and the visiting and traveling public.”

      The first step toward that goal will be working out salvage plans and developing a strategic plan and fundraising for a new historical reconstruction of the Robidoux Trading Post.