The Affair at Grover Station

by NJB // // Broomfield, CO

© 2023 Nantucket E-Books LLC

CC-BY-SA 4.0

Photograph of Nicholas Bernhard in a green lumberjack shirt and sunglasses standing in front of the Grover Depot Museum, a red two-story wooden building with “Grover” stenciled in white lettering about halfway up. Photo by Nicholas Bernhard, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

On Saturday, August 26, I spoke at the Grover Depot Museum in Grover, Colorado. Grover is a small town in the Pawnee National Grasslands of northeast Colorado. I was invited by the Pawnee Historical Society to give a live reading of the Willa Cather short story The Affair at Grover Station.

You can read the short story for free on this platform at, featuring a built-in audiobook from Librivox.

The story is narrated by “Terrapin” Rogers, a railroad employee investigating the disappearance of his friend Lawrence O’Toole, the station agent in Grover. A strange event gives him the critical clue in solving the mystery. Grover Station has all the hallmarks of Cather story: the pioneer towns of the Great Plains, rich descriptions of the landscape, and an examination of the characters place, or lack of place, within that landscape.

Cover for the Nantucket E-Books Edition of The Affair at Grover Station by Willa Cather. The Swiss-Style art shows a stylized vector-art depiction of the train depot in Grover, Colorado, in white lines on a red background. The author’s name is at the top, and the title is at the bottom. Cover by Nicholas Bernhard, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

I had a lot of fun reading this classic ghost story next to the actual setting of the story. The volunteers from the Pawnee Historical Society were wonderful, giving me a tour of the depot beforehand. A tent was set up to shield the audience from the sun, and lemonade was provided. I sold copies of my work and Buffalo’s Tales of a Metal Fisherman, proceeds went to the Pawnee Historical Society.

Grover is a fun town. It is one of the most remote towns in Colorado, 22 miles to the nearest highway; it is also home to the smallest rodeo on the professional circuit, held each Father’s Day. I had a blast coming up to do the reading, and hope to do it again.

Photograph of a road to Grover, Colorado. This road is Weld County Road 89. Photo by by Nicholas Bernhard, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
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