1920’s car dealership to chop house

The Dinneen Motor Company building is a prominent two-story corner brick structure in downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming.  It seems like it hasn’t changed since 1927, when it was an auto dealership.    It was enlarged and repurposed beginning in 2011 and is now renewed.  http://www.dinneendowntown.com/history

Historic photo of the Dinneen Motor Company in Cheyenne, Wyoming (courtesy: dinneendowntown.com/history)

Something that caught my eye as we rode around on the tour bus was the beauty of the building.  It seems to stand out as a late-model structure.  I guess, in a sense, it is early-model and late-model.  I didn’t realize when we rode by the Dinneen building that the Rib & Chop House restaurant is also at this location.  We didn’t have time to check it out but maybe some of you have, or maybe you’ll be able to visit the restaurant in the future.  I’m certain it is an outstanding place to dine.  Here is their website.  https://ribandchophouse.com/

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Independence – opportunity

As I ponder the Fourth of July celebrations, my first thought was independence, and how it led to opportunities for those from around the world to come to a place to worship as they choose, with an independent free will created by God Himself, freedom from government dictating how to live.  Government would be by the people, for the people – with the federal government being responsible for safety and security of its citizens, enabling them to prosper and pursue happiness. 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.Preamble to the Declaration of Independence (https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration)

I thought about how conflict arose, and the many lives lost between early settlers and the motherland – Great Britain.  Although there were struggles and loss of life throughout the early years, and each generation thereafter, life, liberty and pursuit of happiness were destined to prevail. 

The individual, independent states formed a republic with representation in the federal government.  The government provided a common defense, allowing the people to be creative – expanding the new nation, building for themselves a new home, wherever their adventures would take them.

With the expansion west, it became evident travelers and settlers needed an efficient, and safer, means of transportation.  The people were on the move to build a greater nation and accept those of all nations who yearn for freedom, although it also came at the demise of the Native American. 

With the great expansion out west, how could organization, peace and unity be established? 

In the 1850s Congress commissioned several topographical surveys across the Western U.S. to determine the best route for a railroad.  However, private corporations were reluctant to undertake the task without federal assistance. The Pacific Railroad Act designated the 32nd parallel as the initial transcontinental route and gave huge grants of land for rights-of-way. 

The act authorized two railroad companies, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific, to construct the lines. Beginning in 1863, the Union Pacific, employing more than 8,000 Irish, German, and Italian immigrants, built west from Omaha, NE.

The Central Pacific, whose workforce included more than 10,000 Chinese laborers, built eastward from Sacramento, CA. 

Photo of poster in Union Pacific Historic Depot Museum (Artist Art Kober, Thunder on the Plains)

“Each company faced unprecedented construction problems—mountains, severe weather, and the hostility of American Indians. On May 10, 1869, in a ceremony at Promontory, UT, the last rails were laid and the last spike driven. Congress eventually authorized four transcontinental railroads and granted 174 million acres of public lands for rights-of-way.” https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/pacific-railroad-act

Union Pacific Railroad Depot – national historic landmark, was built in 1886 and given to the community of Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1993 by the Union Pacific Railroad Company.

The railroad vastly improved development out west and state governments had to be formed. 

Cheyenne was born in 1867 in the path of the transcontinental railroad, when the Union Pacific crews arrived to lay tracks westward. Cheyenne soon laid claim to a higher status than older Wyoming settlements such as those at Fort Laramie, Fort Bridger, and the mining town of South Pass City, changing Cheyenne from a village to a city in a matter of months. The seat of the new territorial government was established in Cheyenne in 1869.

Women were instrumental in settling the west with their new freedoms and opportunity. They too had dreams and aspirations. No doubt they faced many obstacles and persevered, making way for Wyoming to be the first state to grant women the right to vote.

Wyoming began construction of the state capitol building before statehood (becoming a member of the United States), located north of downtown Cheyenne.

Although we didn’t see them during our visit while the renovation was being completed, the exterior approach to the front steps of the capitol features the State Seal in granite as well as two statues:

Esther Hobart Morris, who had a significant role in gaining women’s suffrage in the Wyoming Territory. The statue was sculpted by Avard Fairbanks. The act to grant women the right to vote was passed by the First Territorial Assembly and signed by Governor John Allen Campbell on December 10, 1869. Wyoming became the first government in the world to grant women the right to vote. Morris was also appointed as the first female Justice of the Peace in the territory during 1870. 

Chief Washakie of the Shoshone tribe. The statue was sculpted by Dave McGary. Chief Washakie earned a reputation that lives on today – a fierce warrior, skilled politician and diplomat, great leader of the Shoshone people, friend to white men. Washakie granted right-of-way through Shoshone land in western Wyoming to the Union Pacific Railroad, aiding the completion of the transcontinental railroad. The famed leader and warrior died at the age of 102 in 1900. He was buried with full military honors at Fort Washakie. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyoming_State_Capitol

A replica of Esther Hobart Morris and Chief Washakie is in the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.

So, as we celebrate independence as a nation of all who dream to be free, let’s be mindful of the myriads from all nations and walks of life who contributed to this worthy cause, often having their own lives taken in pursuit of their dreams and freedoms. Let’s take these differences and unify them for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. 

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Cheyenne’s Frontier Days

Frontier Days
Bull-riding statue at The Frontier, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Since 1897 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the “daddy” of the rodeo has been “kicking up dust” with the “world’s largest outdoor rodeo and western celebration,” states https://www.cfdrodeo.com/about-us/.

According to the website, Frederick W. Angier, traveling passenger agent of the Union Pacific Railroad, suggested to the editor of the Cheyenne Daily Sun-Leader, a festival similar to Greeley, Colorado’s “Potato Day.”  As a result of that suggestion, plans for the first “Frontier Day”, were formulated in the Tivoli Saloon at the corner of 16th Street and Carey.

It’s amazing the influence of the railroad in developing the western frontier.  I’ll have more on that in a separate post. 

Frontier Days events included pony races, bronco busting, steer roping and other activities.  At the time, the events were seen as a test of a cowboy’s skill.  YeeHaw!

The inaugural event was so successful it was extended the next year to include two days.  A parade was added.  The rodeo expanded as the years went on and more affiliated events were added. Its reputation increased as well. And today it is one of the most authentic and largest rodeo events in the world.

We rode around the event area and it was rather quiet in June.  Can you imagine the excitement and activities come July 11-18, 2019, when the cowboys, cowgirls, livestock, vendors and all associated people start converging on the site?  I’m sure it is a wild ride. 

Have you attended the frontier days? How about a rodeo?

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

2 Doors Down

How about some excellent food while in Cheyenne, Wyoming?  The 2 Doors Down restaurant in downtown has a local hospitality combined with atmosphere and taste that rivals any five-star eatery. 

We sampled some of the popular items such as the burger, hotdogs and onion rings.  Delicious. 

Oh!  Try the cinnamon rolls too.  They are popular and mouth-watering. 

Management at 2 Doors Down says they are serious about making burgers just the way we like it.  Any burger on the menu can be made with “hand-cut, never frozen, specially seasoned beef, grilled or breaded chicken breast, tender salmon fillet, or a surprisingly tasty, carnivore-approved 100% vegetarian burger.”

The serving team takes pride in checking on the tables for anything needed. 

More information is available on their website at http://www.2doorsdown.net/, including why they are called 2 Doors Down. 

Sanford’s Grub & Pub is across the street from 2 Doors Down. They caught my attention with this truck bed hanging from the entrance. I’m sure it’s a great place to enjoy as well.

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Wrangler

When I first saw The Wrangler building in Cheyenne, Wyoming I thought it was the original Wrangler store, home of the Wrangler jeans.  However, after a little research, I found that Wrangler jeans began in North Carolina.  The three-story red-painted brick building in Cheyenne is “The Wrangler” store that sells a large array of western attire. 

The building certainly dominates the corner of Capitol Avenue by the train tracks. According to Cheyenne.org, it is home to some sort of retail outlet since its erection in 1892. The main building was joined with an adjacent former hotel sometime in the 1960s. The upper floors of the main building itself were also formerly a hotel.

The two buildings provide about 13,000 ranch wear and western clothing, hats, boots and accessories. “How about a diamond-studded Stetson? Or Cruel Girl jeans? Carhartts? A leather jacket from Arello? Or maybe all you need is a good, old pair of Wranglers?” https://www.cheyenne.org/listing/wrangler/287/

So, where did Wrangler begin?  Is an American manufacturer owned by Kontoor Brands Inc., which also owns Lee. Its headquarters is in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina in the U.S. Production plants are located around the world. 

Did you know? Wrangler Jeans were first made by the Blue Bell Overall Company, which acquired the brand when it took over Casey Jones in the mid-1940s. Blue Bell employed Bernard Lichtenstein (“Rodeo Ben”), a Polish tailor from Łódź, who worked closely with cowboys to help design jeans suitable for rodeo use.  He convinced several well-known rodeo riders of the time to endorse the new design. (Wikipedia)

Another image and information about The Wrangler: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Wrangler,_Cheyenne,_WY.jpg

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Giant boots

Can you guess where these giant cowboy or cowgirl boots are located? I sure would be concerned meeting the person who fits these boots.

Wyoming is the state where these boots shine forth.

How about Cheyenne?  Yep, that’s the wonderful place to bring out some of the western U.S.  It’s the capital, and most populous city of Wyoming. The city continues to have the culture, look and feel of the old frontier days when settlers began moving out west.

The eight-foot cowboy boots were carefully painted by local artists to show Wyoming’s, and Cheyenne’s history. People go on scavenger hunts to locate them. The visitors center at the train depot have the maps. That’s a neat idea and fun thing to do when visiting Cheyenne.

Speaking of the depot, here are a few images of train cars passing the boot behind the old train depot.

Blessings along the Way!

Ron