Having lunch this past week at Hathaway’s in Cheyenne, I noticed new place mats have a photo of Little America when it was brand new 85 years ago. Below the photo is a short story about a young man who had to spend one night out in the Wyoming cold. Later in 1932, that man would open Little America.

It was first known as “Covey’s Little America” when opened by S.M. Covey. The name “Little America” came from explorer Admiral Byrd's outpost in Antarctica.

Before Interstate 80 was built, Little America had another name, “The World’s Largest Gas Station.” Don't let that conjure a picture of a quirky roadside attraction. It's not.

Covey had built a hotel, restaurant and even a post office just west of Cheyenne with countless numbers of gas pumps dominating the landscape just off the Lincoln Highway. There is still a separate gas station with some truck stop pumps there, but much of the landscape now is a golf course.

According to Americanheritage.com, S.M. Covey said, “the most beautiful roadside sight for me is a sign that says WE NEVER CLOSE.”

Hathaway's is one of few restaurants in Cheyenne that is not closed on Thanksgiving. Many a Turkey Day feast has been enjoyed by travelers, or people who just don't want to cook.