Once deemed the finest hotel between Chicago and San Francisco, the Sheridan Inn opened its doors May 27, 1893.
It was located next to the train tracks and became a favorite stop for passersby who found comfort in its running water and electricity — it was one of the first western hotels to feature such amenities — and excitement in watching William “Buffalo Bill” Cody conduct auditions for his Wild West Show from the front porch of the inn.
Today, visitors can walk that same famed porch, allowing history to come alive in their imaginations.
Notable among the hotel’s guests in its heyday was Ernest Hemmingway who labored over “A Farewell to Arms” in the area in the late 1920s.
As passenger trains became a less popular mode of travel, the inn’s business began to dwindle. By 1965, it was bankrupt. However, the inn was given new hope when Neltje, a local artist and philanthropist, began a campaign to save the historic building in 1967.
The inn went through 50 years of openings and closings, experiencing partial renovations under the nonprofit Sheridan Heritage Center, Inc. from 1990 to 2012. However, the downturn of the economy led to the eventual foreclosure of the inn.
In 2013, Bob and Dana Townsend, an Oklahoma couple with family ties in Sheridan, purchased the inn.
The Townsends have worked diligently to remodel 22 rooms on the second and third floors that will soon be available for guest rental. Eleven rooms on the north side of the inn are estimated to be complete this spring. Once work can be completed on the south side of the inn, crews will work to complete the remaining 11 rooms.
In January, the Open Range Bar and Grill, a restaurant with Western fare and flair, opened in a previous restaurant location on the north end of the inn. It was renovated to double seating capacity and capture the historic feel of the rest of the Historic Sheridan Inn.
The inn is also available for event rental.
• Location: 856 Broadway Street in Sheridan
• Phone: 307-674-2178
• Website: www.sheridaninn.com