A Two Year Old Feature Story Is True On Cheyenne’s 150th Anniversary
The idea was that it’s a wonderful time to spend a weekend in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Actually, maybe this year is a really good summer to visit. Frontier Days was referred to, “With 400,000 visitors and big-name concerts every day, the huge event tends to turn Cheyenne into a 10-day boom town that buries many of the city’s simple pleasures.”
That may have been a little over-stated, but “simple pleasures” we have year round. Old West history is everywhere in Cheyenne. It’s not just western wear shops, galleries, museums, etc…. The Rainsford Historic District has homes and mansions designed by George Rainsford. Rich cattle barons loved his work. During CFD we see more visitors taking a tour, “Take the Trolley Tour. Seemingly every third building was a bordello or gambling hall.” When you see one of those trollies, or handsome cabs, do you ever wonder how many of us Wyomingites, ourselves have ever gotten on?
Maybe you knew this fact - or already heard it in our 150th anniversary. The truth was, “Maj. General Grenville Dodge picked out a place to build a fort following the rule that no liquor could be sold within four miles of a fort. He laid out a town exactly four miles away.” HA! Well, we do know that it was within weeks of that we had a boom town. In fact, Cheyenne got its nickname, “Magic City of the Plains,” because the city just sprang up like magic. At the time, though, apparently as many people called it: “Hell on Wheels.”
The Nagle-Warren Mansion is called an 1888 B&B, but is more like a small hotel with 12 rooms sharing beautiful public rooms with staircases, polished wood, and antique furnishings. “Breakfast is worth a trip alone.” The mansion was the biggest home in town built by Erasmus Nagle. Francis E. Warren later bought it and entertained many notable people, like President Teddy Roosevelt. I wonder how many residents of Wyoming, themselves, have ever booked a special night or weekend there, or at the Historic Plains Hotel.
Happy 150th to Cheyenne and all who make it their home.