Wyoming has kind of been on our list to visit since we moved to Colorado. Mostly because we just want to see more states and it’s only an hour and a half north of Denver.
We finally made a quick day trip there near the end of August… to get a patio set from the Cheyenne K-Mart. Totally worth it! On the way north we stopped at Johnson’s Corner off I-25 just outside Loveland, CO. Apparently their cinnamon rolls are world famous; it comes out warm with melt-y frosting and was so huge that the two of us were full after eating just half of it. It was kind of awesome.
The rest of our drive was nice until we passed Ft. Collins… it then became expansive, desolate and also beautiful in its own way. That day we had large, grey skies and the slight rolling hills in all directions are dotted with old barns, country houses and an occasional pickup truck or tractor. You’re only an hour north of Denver, but it feels so empty in comparison.
We got the patio set and some cheesy souvenir t-shirts from K-Mart right away and one of the shirts informed us that Wyoming is known as the Equality State since they were the first state to give women the right to vote. Interesting.
We then drove into Downtown Cheyenne and did a little bit of exploring. It was a very cute little town, although pretty quiet & kind of empty, which makes sense since it’s a town of only 56,000. It has that quaint small town feel and some great old buildings and signage.
There was a plaque at the corner of Capitol Avenue & W Lincolnway from the Citizens of Cheyenne, the Cheyenne Historic Preservation Board and the City of Cheyenne stating that Downtown Cheyenne was established as a National Historic District in 1974 and was the core central business district of the city. The “architectural style is best described as eclectic with heavy emphasis on commercial Victorian.”
After reading from the Downtown Cheyenne Historic Walking Tour I also found in their brochure a photo of the above building.
According to the Walking Tour brochure:
“The Tivoli was a restaurant and saloon built in 1883 by a brewery from Denver. Ladies, with or without escorts (very uncommon), were welcome. The structure was rebuilt and given two additional floors in 1892. Prostitution was legal in Wyoming till 1938 and the upper stories of the Tivoli were well known to many. It’s said, during prohibition, there was a popular, fashionable speakeasy in the basement. Wyoming was the last state to ratify Prohibition. Due to disfavor of the dry laws, bootlegging of hooch between Colorado and here ran rampant until the Amendment was repealed.”
A quick search online revealed some historic photos of the above building which I got here: wyomingtalesandtrails.com
As you can see the building has been altered somewhat since the current photos with an additional floor added, a decorative parapet wall covered or removed as well as changes to the lower floor’s cladding which appears to have been changed sometime around the 1930’s (I would guess) due to the Art Deco style details which can be seen in the current photos.
Dark storm clouds were approaching the area by afternoon and so we headed for home. As we neared the state border the clouds released a flood of rain and we decided to stop at the Wyoming State Visitor Center.
If you’re ever in Wyoming, I’d suggest stopping at the Visitor Centers… they will give you free stickers! And they have different stickers at each Visitor’s Center.