One of the beautiful historical buildings we stayed at in the American West was the Warren-Nagle Mansion in Cheyenne in Wyoming. This historic building is now run as an upscale bed and breakfast. The house is one of the few mansions from the 19th century still standing in Cheyenne when the city was one of the richest cities in the world for its size.
The Warren-Nagle Mansion has a great location within a 10 minute walk of downtown Cheyenne and Depot Plaza. Interestingly, the U.S. Marshall’s office was moved from the mansion’s location to make way for the house. With Cheyenne’s Hell on Wheels reputation, I’ll bet that Marshall’s office saw a lot of action.
The mansion was built in 1888 at a cost of $50,000 (twice the projected cost) for an Erasmus Nagle. Mr. Nagle had his hand in many pots and owned interests in everything from grocery stores to gold mines. The plans for the house were drawn up by the same architect who did the Cheyenne capitol building and a lot of the marble facade were offcuts from the Cheyenne capitol building too. Nagle clearly intended for the house to be an impressive addition to the mansions of Cattle Baron Row. Unfortunately, he died a couple of years later and left the mansion to his widow.
Nagle’s widow sold it in 1910 to F.E. Warren, the first governor of Wyoming who later served as its Senator to the U.S. Congress for many years. The Warrens hosted many dignitaries at the house, including Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft. After Senator Warren’s death in 1929, the building did a short stint as a YMCA and then eventually found its way into private hands. The current owner, Jim Osterfoss, bought the mansion in 1997 and turned into a B&B post-renovation. Jim is very much on site and a cheerful, welcoming presence in the house.
The mansion is clearly a landmark in the Cheyenne scene and entered the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 . It was a bit strange having our B&B explained to us when we did the Cheyenne Trolley Tour! They also did an ice-cream social on the Saturday for the neighbourhood where people would come by and have ice cream on the porch while listening to an accordion player. My children thought it was great!
The interior of the mansion has many original features and is very fancy. As befitting a cattle baron mansion, the ceilings are carved leather and the windows have stained glass and crystal panes. Other details include cherry wall panelling, brass fireplaces, ornate doorknobs and parquet flooring.
The mansion is furnished in keeping with its Victorian origins. Each room is individually furnished and named. We had a charming writing desk in a nook in our room.
Although a bit like staying in a museum, nothing felt precious and our children were made to feel comfortable. This B&B was our first stay in our Wild West road trip and it really got us into the spirit of the trip. The garden was small but really pretty. It was a nice place to hang out in the shade away from the Cheyenne sun.
The mansion was busy on the weekend we were in residence. There were lots of couples off for a romantic getaway and we were the only ones who had brought our children. We were supposed to have interconnecting rooms but the key for the connecting room was lost. I’m somewhat paranoid about having the children out of sight on their own. So Mr. N and I wound up sleeping with a child each in the 2 rooms. Hardly a romantic weekend but my daughter and I enjoyed our impromptu slumber party!
Breakfast was served in the dining room. Everyone shared a big table which would not have been my first choice. Supervising appropriate breakfast behaviour in the children is way too much effort on vacation. The people we met at breakfast were friendly and were visiting from all over the United States. The breakfast itself was quite fancy (poached egg on a potato concoction). Needless, to say the children had cereal but we enjoyed our fancy breakfast.
The Warren-Nagler Mansion has 12 guest rooms each with their own bathroom. If you are in Cheyenne, staying at this beautiful piece of history is definitely recommended.