Tag Archives: Wyoming

Cheyenne Vacation?

Cheyenne Mansion Jan 2015

Recently, while vacationing in Cheyenne, Wyoming (yes, I said vacationing in Cheyenne,) we stayed in an incredible B&B adjacent to downtown. According to our host, the Nagle Warren Mansion is considered one of the best appointed and restored cattle baron Victorian homes in Wyoming. We actually had a business errand to conduct in Cheyenne, but combined it with our 41st wedding anniversary. What a treat! Our 40th had slipped by unnoticed, so a splurge was in order. The beautiful welcoming late 1800s mansion, artfully decorated with period antiques, includes an extremely pleasing gourmet quality breakfast served in a gorgeous dining room with period china and table settings. This was the perfect venue for our celebration, and a great way to step back into western history.

The upstairs turret on the third floor is a cozy reading room. It has the feel of a treehouse and would be sadly underutilized if it was never a children’s playroom. I found it mildly claustrophobic up there, but it certainly added to the charm of the old building. I did not ask about the presence of ghosts, but would not be surprised if they were present. Our room was in the carriage house on the main floor, which was perfect for us. Had it not been for the biting chill winds and freezing ice conditions, the patio outside our room would have been delightful. As it was, the fireplace kept us cozy inside. The hosts did all they could to attend to their guests and make them comfortable. We will definitely go back another time. After all, true Denver Westerners travel through Cheyenne and into Wyoming at regular intervals. Be warned that the road from Colorado is a wind tunnel, often afflicted with nasty weather during the winter months. Gates can be closed in both directions, and they are not afraid to close them to save travelers from unfortunate situations. Without time constraints, we weren’t concerned as long as we were both on the same side of the gate.

More information about the mansion, located at 222 East 17th Street, can be found at

Joyce Lohse,


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Visit the Big Boy

One of the advantages of writing and research is the opportunity to learn about subjects which never before caught my interest and awareness. My research for “General William Palmer: Railroad Pioneer” led me into the wonderful world of trains. I never fully realized the importance of train travel to western development, and I was amazed by the complexity of this fascinating subject.

As weather improves with the approach of summer, I recommend a visit to Cheyenne and the Big Boy. The Union Pacific railroad line is the reason that Cheyenne exists. Its location was critical to north-south lines, which connected Colorado to east-west transcontinental routes for shipping and travel.

About the Big Boy. It is impressive! Only 25 of these 4000 series 4-8-8-4 class* steam locomotives were made between 1941 and 1944. Considered the biggest and most powerful, they were built to pull trains over the Wasatch Mountains of Utah without assistance. Top speed was 80 mph and their last run was in July 1959.

Big Boy #4004 is easily accessible where it rests outdoors in Holliday Park in Cheyenne. Only eight of these big beauties still exist. Feast your eyes on this one, then stop in the train depot in downtown Cheyenne to visit the train museum there, and learn more interesting railroad facts and history. Another Big Boy, #4005, is also on display at the Forney Transportation Museum in Denver.

Locations of 8 remaining Big Boy Railroad Steam Engines:
#4004 – Cheyenne, WY – Holliday Park, US 30
#4005 – Denver, CO – Forney Transportation Museum
#4006 – St. Louis, MO – Museum of Transportation
#4012 – Scranton, PA – Steamtown National Historic Site
#4014 – Pamona, CA – Los Angeles Co. Fairplex
#4017 – Green Bay, WI – National Railroad Museum
#4018 – Dallas, TX – Museum of the American Railroad
#4023 – Omaha, NE – Lauritzen Gardens

*4-8-8-4 class refers to the Whyte notation system of wheel arrangement.
The number describes the leading pilot wheels in front, power or drive wheels
in the middle, and support, or railing, wheels under the firebox and cab.
The 4-8-8-4 class Big Boy is a very large steam engine!

Joyce B. Lohse, 5/12/09

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Posted by on May 12, 2009 in Western history


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