Historic Downtown Walking Tour-Click here to download new brochure
The 2010 edition of the Historic Downtown Walking Tour is based in part on the original walking tour compiled by Christy Love with additional research conducted by Linda Prill, Edre Maier, Jane Rice, Helen Graham, Linda Grosso, Misty Moore and Molly Goldsmith.
While in Sheridan, please visit other sites that are also on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sheridan Inn at 865 Broadway was once operated by William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill). Cody used to sit on the porch north of the inn and watch the auditions for his Wild West Show.
Trail End Historic Center at 400 Clarendon, is the “Kendrick Mansion” and is now operated as a Wyoming State Museum site. Construction began in 1913 and was completed in 1918.
Fort Mackenzie, established in 1899, which is now the VA Hospital, is located north of town on Fort Road.
Bradford Brinton Memorial in Big Horn, miles south of Sheridan is the Quarter Circle A Ranch, once owned by Bradford Brinton. Built in 1892, It is open to the public and contains an extensive collection of western art.
This historic walking tour has been funded by the Downtown Sheridan Association and in part by the Sheridan Convention and Visitors Bureau, wwwsheridanwyoming.org
The photographs are courtesy of Marilyn Spear Bilyeu, the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming and the Rochford Studio CW Collection and Anita Nichols.
Sheridan was plotted as a town by John D. Loucks in 1882 on the back of a sheet of wrapping paper. Sheridan was named after one of John Louck s civil war officers, General Sheridan. The town was approved and incorporated in 1884. With the coming of the railroad, the opening of many coal mines, the settling of the ranch lands and the arrival of the townspeople, Sheridan quickly grew to a populated town of 1,559 people by 1900.
The early wood frame, false front, buildings were replaced by sturdier structures of brick and stone between 1910 and 1920. These are the buildings which you will see on your walking tour. Sheridan s Main Street District was enrolled in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. It is officially known as Sheridan Main Street Historic District #164.
Grinnell Plaza. Mayor John D. Loucks, founder of Sheridan, named several streets after his close friends. Grinnell Street/Plaza was named after Cornelius Howland Grinnell. Cornelius Howland Grinneil came to Sheridan in 1880 starting a livestock industry on land where the city now stands. In 1899 he turned his special attention to building and contracting, laying out the Grinnell Addition to the town of Sheridan, and erecting most of the substantial houses in Sheridan. Along with Hamma and Downer, Grinnell received the contract to dig a canal for a new channel for Little Goose creek, 240 acres were added to the townsite, thus avoiding building numerous bridges over Little Goose Creek.
In 1902 he was elected city marshal and water commissioner. Mr. Grinnell died March 3, 1916.
SHERIDAN, The earlier days…
- In 1897, a telephone system was started under the name of the Rocky Mountain Telephone Company. It was purchased by Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph in 1902.
- In 1909, the top event in Sheridan was the rodeo. At that time, the rodeo included a race for a bride. That year, Hazel Foster was won by Harry Lewis.
- In 1910, Sheridan s population was 12,000. There were two newspapers published, “The Daily Enterprise”, which published six days a week with special editions on Fridays and, “The Sheridan Post” which was printed twice weekly.
- A new Federal Building which housed government offices as well as the Sheridan Post Office had just been built. It is now the P0 Office Building.
- There were six public Schools. At 403 South Main was a private boarding school for girls which flourished in the years 1908-1914.
- There were eleven churches in the town with a combined membership of more than 2,000.
- There were thirteen doctors of medicine in Sheridan and four others were located in towns around Sheridan. Also, there were four dentists and two osteopaths located here.
- A county-supported “Poor Farm” was located on East Burrows Street between Gladstone and Sumner streets.
- George Levi Smith operated Sheridan s only mortuary located on South Main.
- There were five banking institutions in Sheridan. The First National Bank, established in 1892, was located in their building at the northwest corner of Loucks and Main, now Community First National. The Bank of Commerce, established in 1893, was located in its third location in the building now occupied by Golden Crown, originally the Masonic Building. This bank built the unique building now occupied by Crazy Woman Trading Company and conducted its business there until 1904. The bank moved to their present location in 1925. The Citizens State Bank was located at 183 N. Main, the Woolworth Building site. The Sheridan National Bank was located in the building now occupied by the Best Out West Mall. The Sheridan Banking Company, a savings and loan corporation, was located in a building adjacent to the First National Bank.
Sheridan was a good business town; records show:
- a blacksmith shop
- two large department stores
- two soft-drink manufacturers
- a brewery under construction
- a Public Library
- a candy kitchen
- a brickyard
- a smoker s supply that produced hand-made cigars (there were 5 cigar factories in Sheridan at one time)
- a government weather bureau, large brick building on South Main
- three laundries, one of them a Chinese laundry
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