It was already dark when we entered the city of Cheyenne and Dad drove around the downtown until we reached our hotel, The Historic Plains Hotel. We were lucky to find a parking on the street close to the hotel, Dad checked in the counter. Inside the building, the interior was pretty much preserved with the only thing that I didn’t like was the low ceilings. Even so it made me happy that we were staying at a historical structure, so to begin this is the start of its history.
“In the late 1800s the City of Cheyenne, Wyoming was called “The Magic City of the Plains,” so it was only appropriate when a luxurious hotel opened in 1911, it called itself the “Plains Hotel.” The concept of the elegant hotel was born at the annual $1 dinner of the Industrial Club (now the Chamber of Commerce) in December 1909.
In the midst of the meeting, Thomas Heaney, club President, interrupted the other discussions to give his opinion that Cheyenne was badly in need of a new and modern hotel. At the time, the main hotel in town was one called the Inter-Ocean which, over time had become outdated and had taken on the more of a role as the city’s principal watering hole.
Though Heaney had said this in a somewhat joking fashion, the other men agreed and by February of the following year, the Cheyenne Securities Company was organized for the purpose of building a new hotel. Moving quickly, the hotel was designed by architect William Duboise and in March, a contract was awarded to build it. Construction started in June 1910 and in March 1911 it was completed at a cost of about $250,000, including furnishings.”
There were a few people in the lobby with a baby grand piano. A man was playing a classical tune while I looked around the paintings depicting the western landscapes and animals of the time. After Dad was finished we went up the stairs to our rooms where in the 3rd floor but since everything seems uneven we walked up the stairs to the second floor. As we walk here is the continuation of the hotel’s history.
On March 9, 1911, the hotel hosted an elaborate grand opening that was attended by men in full evening dress, gallant Army Officers and a host of elegantly gowned ladies. As a band played until the wee hours of the morning, the guests danced and admired the magnificent appointments and furnishings of the new hotel, modern to the smallest detail.
The five-story hotel featured three elevators, 100 guest rooms, lush velvet carpets, fine furnishings, private baths, and telephones in the guest rooms, luxuries not seen in most hotels of the time.
The lobby was lighted through a mission art panel skylight, decorated with heavy brass fixtures and leather furniture, and its floor was finished in tile and mahogany. The staircase leading from the lobby was made of solid marble and steel. The lobby bar gleamed with plate glass and mahogany fixtures. On the Mezzanine level, an orchestra entertained guests.
The hotel soon attracted numerous cattle barons, oil tycoons, and the many travelers making their way to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Guests raved about the amenities and services provided at the hotel.“
We reached the second floor where there was a dining tables set up as if a continuation of the dining were on the ground floor. It was a small area as we climbed another step of stairs and finally reached the third floor. There was an elevator with the waiting area and the piano.
We went in the corridors and it was semi dark and into our room which was totally vintage as you can see on the pictures. We put our stuff down and went out again, this time using the elevator. There were people coming down too so were squeeze inside. The elevator was certainly outdated but still feels the retro feeling of its time. Once we got to the first floor, we went out and looked for a place to eat dinner. A couple of blocks away we went to Carls Jr, and ate there. A familiar establishment in this foreign place.
After that we went back to our rooms and still the location was still very haunting. The rooms we passed by were quiet and seemed empty. We came back to our room and removed the silence, Dad turned on the tv, while for the last time I looked around the corridor before closing the door and chilling legends about the hotel came into my mind. There were plenty of stories but this one was the most popular one.
The Ghost of the Bride
“A bride named Rosie and her groom who were on their honeymoon were among the many guests of the hotel. One evening, the groom went to the lounge to enjoy a few drinks. However, while he was in the lounge, he met a prostitute. Having her husband gone for a long time, Rosie went looking, only to find him and the prostitute chatting and laughing at the bar. Rosie watched as her new groom and the prostitute headed upstairs. She followed them to the woman’s room on the fourth floor and in a jealous rage, shot the two of them using her husband’s gun. After that, she went back to their honeymoon suite and killed herself. The spirits of the three have been frequently seen by employees and guests of the hotel.
Hotel staff has heard laughing and crying coming from the room which was once Rosie’s honeymoon suite. Rosie has been spotted in her blue dress walking along the hotel corridors. The groom, wearing a black dress coat and a white shirt, is most often seen on the fourth floor and the basement. The “other woman” is frequently seen on the second floor, wearing her short red dress with white lace.”
The following morning we woke up refreshed, we went down and have breakfast in its restaurant. It was only 8am and there weren’t plenty of people out yet so we were served well. The server was very nice with her midwestern accent and she asked information about our trip. She found Dad’s story funny since we were driving down to Mississippi and in Dad’s description it seems like Wyoming and Mississippi are neighboring states.
Anyway, after breakfast we walked around the hotel and took several pictures, I also had the chance to practice my piano skills. After that we got our stuff and check out. Conveniently, the car was just outside so we put our stuff there and went around the town. Still a memorable event because its the first time I stayed in a historical landmark.
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