Photo Courtesy of laramiedepot.org
In 1868 Laramie, Wyoming was on the brink of becoming a lively railroad town for the Union Pacific Railroad. The town was a stop for these trains to re-fuel, get repairs and pick up cargo and passengers. The booming railroad town brought in hard working citizens but also some of the West’s most infamous old West criminals; but the town overcame the corruption and upright citizens helped establish the city. There are many landmarks in Laramie that tell stories of the old West and how the city ultimately became what it is today. Here is our top five “Storied Buildings” in Laramie.
Located at 603 East Ivinson Street, the mansion was built in 1893. This was the home of Edward and Jane Ivinson, who were known for their leadership in helping create Laramie’s community and the expansion of the west. The house paints the picture of what of national architecture in America looked like from the 1870s to 1910 and beyond. At the time when the mansion was completed it cost about $40,000 and was the most luxurious home in Laramie. Now the mansion is one of Laramie’s major historic buildings and is open to the public for tours and other events, like tea on Tuesdays.
Photo Courtesy of laramiedepot.org
Laramie Union Pacific Train Depot
In 1868 the first train arrived in Laramie, this was the newest segment of the Union Pacific in the West. As communities settled in the West the Union Pacific brought the settlers into Laramie. When they got off the train the first thing they would see was the station, which at the time included a restaurant and a hotel. In 1917 a fire destroyed the train depot and in 1924 a new railroad depot was built to replace the original depot. In 1930 a footbridge was built over the rail-yard to reduce dangerous street-level pedestrian crossing, which is still used today by cyclists and pedestrians. Located at 1st Street and University Avenue, the depot is now a museum and a reminder of the old western railroads.
Photo Courtesy of wyomingtalesandtrails.com
The Connor Hotel/Apartments
Located at the North East corner of 3rd Street and Grand Avenue, this building was established in 1913 by Fannie Connor. The hotel was a reminder of Fannie’s husband, John Connor who had passed away in 1906 in the Great San Francisco Earthquake. The hotel was the most luxurious hotel of its time in Laramie. Guests were treated to elaborate dinners and lavish rooms. Today the building houses affordable apartments and ground level stores, shops, and restaurants.
Photo by Geoff Dobson 2005
Another early and renowned hotel was the Johnson Hotel, located on the corner of Grand Avenue and 1st Street. The hotel was built by John Johnson. It was located very close to the original Union Pacific Depot to draw the attention of train travelers and bring them in for business. The hotel was considered one of Laramie’s finest hotels. The hotel now houses a local watering hole, Lovejoy’s Bar and Grill, which was named after Elmer Lovejoy. Elmer was a prominent bicyclist and businessman who built Wyoming’s first automobile.
Today when you say the Buckhorn Bar most Laramie residence know what to expect at this watering hole. The Buckhorn has not always been a rowdy college and cowboy bar. During the times of the Union Pacific, saloon and bars were very prominent throughout the town, hard working citizens would unwind and relax at the bar after a long day of work. In 1868 this bar was an old Western Saloon and dance hall. In 1913, this building accommodated Blair and McCune's Saloon; then in the 1930s the Buckhorn Bar was established and still remains as a souvenir of the Wild West.