Friday, July 23, 2010
Wyoming’s best B and B combines hospitality, grandeur, comfort, history and location
I’ve toured the public rooms of the Nagle Warren Mansion on previous visits to Cheyenne, and have made a point of driving by every time I’ve been in town, just like the Trolley Tours and the horse-drawn carriage tours do, just to gaze at this magnificent mansion set in a lovely garden. There was no one named Nagle Warren or Warren Nagle. The turreted mansion was built in 1888 Erasmus Nagle, a super-rich merchant in 1888 and bought in 1910 by Francis E. Warren, an even richer businessman, governor and US Senator. Now, it enables guests to feel like aristocrats on the Western frontier during the Gilded Age. I’m enjoying every minute.
The mansion, one of the few such palatial homes remaining in Cheyenne, occupies a prominent corner at 17th and House on the fringes of Cheyenne’s historic core. The mansion is listed on National Register of Historic Places and belongs to Historic Hotels of the Rockies and probably other affiliations I don’t know about.
Jim Osterfoss is the genial host. I’m sure that our paths have crossed sometime in the past. He used to own the Roost Lodge, one of the most affordable accommodations in pricey Vail. Now he owns the very best lodging in Cheyenne, a city where hotel and motel rooms are bargains compared with other state capitals.
I’m sitting in the home’s tower right now, my little netbook placed on the wicker table in the image below. Whenever whenever I’m fishing for a word, I gaze out the window past the parking lots that I wish weren’t here to the tower of the magnificently restored Union-Pacific Depot that I’m glad is here. .
Open the heavy oak doors and pass into a grand hallway with parlors on each side. Wonderful details and interesting antique furnishings (and a few faithful reproductions of old lighting fixtures) load the in with atmosphere and interesting things to look at: a couple of rare nickel-plated bronze mantelpieces, a transition chandelier designed both for gaslights and electric bulbs, a face on a newel post, an elaborate lav off the library that worth going to see even if you don’t need to go. The Nagle Warren Mansion hosts special events too — private receptions with gentle entertainment (top image, below), afternoon teas, murder mystery dinners and the like.
I can’t believe my good fortune is getting a room here on the threshold of Cheyenne Frontier Days, one of the biggest rodeos around. My room is an east-facing charmer under the eaves with a an equally charming bathroom and a lucky view of one of Cheyenne’s other remaining mansions — one that happens to be for sale for anyone who wants to be a neighbor of the Nagle Warren Mansion.