Little but still strong

For one hundred years, the little community of Rocky Point has stood as one big family, gathering to solve one another’s needs and staying close as the years ticked by. Though people have come and gone and the population is smaller than it once was, the same ties bind those who call Rocky Point home today, says Gayle Kuhbacher.

In celebration of Rocky Point’s centenary, anyone and everyone is invited to attend a picnic and dance on Saturday, July 29 at the community center.

“It’s our hundredth year of our being in existence and also the hundredth year of our Happy Hour Club, so we’re celebrating both things,” says Kuhbacher.

The event will include a potluck picnic at noon with meat provided; a video showcasing the area over the years and the stories of Rocky Point residents; as well as volleyball, horseshoes and other activities during the day. In the evening, AT Music of Moorcroft will play during the dance, which begins at 7 p.m.

Rocky Point itself was settled at the beginning of the twentieth century, largely by families moving in from Nebraska.

“Most of the settlers came from Nebraska, which is why they called the country school, ‘the Nebraska School,” Kuhbacher says.

Gayle’s husband’s family, for example, came from Nebraska in 1907 to homestead at Rocky Point; the couple continues to ranch on the same spot today. Over the years, the community has grown and shrunk, at one point having its own miniature downtown area.

“We had a post office out here at one time, right at Rocky Point, there was a little gas station and grocery store and that’s where the mail went out at that time,” Kuhbacher remembers.

Today, around eight families call Rocky Point home, not counting the other residents in the surrounding area. Many of today’s residents still take part in the Happy Hour Club, a group that has been active as long as the community it serves.

“We were organized during World War I in 1917, as far as we can determine. There were five members who started it,” she says.

“They knitted socks for servicemen and supported activities in the community. That’s mainly what we still do up here – we’re not an Extension club any more, we just do things in the community.”

The club met for the first time at the Rocky Point store and, after that, gathered at the homes of various members.

“When we were married in ’69 and I moved out here and joined the club, we still had all our meetings in different homes,” she says. During the winter, the whole family would come along to partake of a big community meal.

For a while, the old Davidson house at Rocky Point was rented for a dollar a year to serve as the clubhouse. The ball field at the house even enabled the local guys to form a ball team.

“In 2001, with the help of all the community as well as we went out to different towns to raise money by selling history books and cookbooks and donations, we put up our own community center here,” she says.

The club has served at rodeos to raise money for the community center, helped with funerals and assisted with the local schools, of which there used to be several in the area. It’s all part of the community spirit that ties Rocky Point together, Kuhbacher says.

“It’s always been a close knit community. We’ve kept going like that, though a lot of communities don’t do that anymore,” she nods.

“But Rocky Point still has our club going and does things in the community and that’s why we wanted to have this picnic, to help celebrate that.”