Cheyenne’s Legendary Inter-Ocean Hotel

The Inter-Ocean Hotel in Cheyenne was one of the most noted hotels in Wyoming. It was built in 1875 by Barney L. Ford and given its name for its location between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It was the first hotel in the United States to have electric lights. The Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage left from the hotel. Advertisements for the hotel were published regularly in the local newspapers. It was destroyed by fire in 1916.

Interocean Hotel 1912
Interocean Hotel around 1912

It’s one of those wonders of “days gone by”. But during the final years of the Wyoming Territory, and the fledgling years of Statehood, this was a well-known social center in Cheyenne. The Inter-Ocean Hotel was built by African-American caterer, Barney L. Ford, in 1875. Ford gave his creation its simple name, referring to its location between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

The Inter-Ocean was an immediate popular gathering spot for the community locals and a wonderful destination point for travelers making the journey West. The Inter-Ocean Hotel was the first hotel in the United States to have electric lights, which would generate a lot of curiosity. People came from all over the world to see the new phenomenon at the Inter-Ocean.

Wonders of Wyoming, Dave Walsh | Cowboy State News Network

The brand-new Inter-Ocean Hotel would host U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant just one year after the end of the Civil War, in 1876. The Inter-Ocean would serve as the starting point for the fabled Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage Line in those last years of the Wyoming Territory. And 13 years after Wyoming Statehood, in 1903, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt spent 3 days at the Inter-Ocean Hotel.

After a 41-year run, on a sub-zero night in 1916, the Inter-Ocean Hotel was gutted by fire, and never re-built.

Photo Credit: digitally restored reproduction of an 1887 cabinet card photograph by Cheyenne, Wyoming photographer C.D. Kirkland. 

Inter-Ocean Hotel Cheyenne Resources

100 Years Ago: Fire Destroys Cheyenne’s Legendary Inter …
kingfm.com/100-years-ago-fire-destroys-cheyennes-legendary-inter-ocean-hotel
This week marks the 100th anniversary of an infamous Cheyenne tragedy. Dec. 17, 1916, The Inter-Ocean Hotel burned the ground, killing a family of six. Built in 1875 by former slave-turned businessman Barney Ford, the Inter-Ocean was Cheyenne’s most famous landmark for over 40 years.. The starting point of the Cheyenne-to-Deadwood stagecoach line, it famously hosted Presidents Ulysses S. Grant.

Historic Plains Hotel, Cheyenne Wyoming – Legends of America
www.legendsofamerica.com/wy-plainshotel
In the late 1800s the City of Cheyenne, Wyoming was called “The Magic City of the Plains,” so it was only appropriate when a luxurious hotel opened in 1911, it called itself the “Plains Hotel.” The concept of the elegant hotel was born at the annual $1 dinner of the Industrial Club (now the Chamber of Commerce) in December 1909.

The Inter-Ocean Hotel in Cheyenne Wyoming Places
www.facebook.com/WyomingPlaces/photos/a.115231448497250.12741.113725835314478/867198539967200/?theater
The Inter-Ocean Hotel in Cheyenne was one of the most noted hotels in Wyoming. It was built in 1875 by Barney L. Ford and given its name for its location between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It was the first hotel in the United States to have electric lights. The Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage left from the hotel.

Interocean Hotel, 1875, Cheyenne, WY (With images …
www.pinterest.com/pin/452471093793641731
Interocean Hotel, 1875, Cheyenne, WY. … Saved by Visit Cheyenne, Wyoming. 25. People also love these ideas. Old West Victorian Homes Wyoming Old Houses The Neighbourhood Places To Go The Past Lost Cabin. Then: Residence of John B. Okie, Lost Cabin, Wyoming, 1909.

Inter-ocean Hotel, Cheyenne – Denver Fire Journal
denverfirejournal.blogspot.com/2019/09/inter-ocean-hotel-cheyenne-1917.html
inter-ocean hotel, cheyenne – 1916 On Dec. 17, 1916, a fire at the downtown Inter-Ocean Hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming , killed a family of six and destroyed the building. The father was electrocuted after falling on a power line; the mother and the couple’s four sons suffocated.

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