Okie’s “Big Teepee” at Lost Cabin, Wyoming

Lost Cabin is many things. It’s a town, a very small town in Central Wyoming’s Fremont County. It’s also where you’ll find a house. But this is no ordinary house. Built in 1900, this house, dubbed “the Big Teepee” by Indians, was the fancy homestead of a colorful frontier character by the name of John Broderick Okie. And today, this house is Lost Cabin, Wyoming.

The area took its name from a gold mine that operated in the nearby Big Horn Mountains. The Lost Cabin Mine had a short life in the 1870s, and in fact, after the original prospectors were run off by Indians, the mine was never worked again.

Okie's "Big Teepee" at Lost Cabin
Okie’s “Big Teepee” at Lost Cabin, shown here about 1906, got its name from Shoshone Indians traveling to and from the Bighorn Mountains. American Heritage Center photo.

But, there was a determined local entrepreneur that was working quite nicely with the local clientele, operating a remote mercantile, and thriving. That was John Okie. Okie, once a penniless working Cowboy, would build his fortune with that mercantile, and sheep. Okie once ran 30,000 sheep through the area, and would become known as “the Sheep King”. And in 1900, this Wyoming millionaire would build his dream home.

And it is this home, that is the centerpiece of Lost Cabin. Okie spent an outlandish $30,000 on his frontier palace. The first story is a native stone, the second floor is predominantly constructed of wood that was freighted in by wagon. The mansion is resplendent with elegant Asian chandeliers and carved marble fireplaces. There are beautiful Persian rugs throughout. And the surrounding landscape is just as impressive. There is a greenhouse full of flowers, extensive gardens, and even an aviary that houses 140 exotic birds.

And there was electricity at Lost Cabin. The Big Teepee had carbide lights, electricity, while all others in the area were using kerosene lamps. There was even a power plant built nearby to supply the electricity.

Lost Cabin, WY
Lost Cabin, WY today

John Okie’s Lost Cabin home isn’t open to the public, but you can get a good look at it from the road out front. It’s just off Wyoming Highway 20-26, at the Moneta turnoff, north to Lysite, and just three miles to Lost Cabin. It’ll take you back to the frontier days of the Wyoming Territory, and give you a good look at what luxury, and what some considered decadence, really looked like back then.

An employee of ConocoPhillips, who now lives in the mansion, informed us that his company owns all of Lost Cabin. His residence is one of the few homes which is still occupied. ost Cabin is just three miles northeast of Lysite.

Big Teepee, Lost Cabin, Wyoming Resources

Okie’s “Big Teepee” at Lost Cabin, shown here about 1906, got its…
The Harrison-Levy shoot out in Cheyenne, Wyoming (1877) was the end to a gambling argument between Jim Levy, Irish Jewish gunfighter, and Charlie Harrison, gambler and gunfighter. The argument led to insults, with the men deciding to take their fight outside. W

Lost Cabin, Wyoming
wondersofwyoming.com/lost-cabin-the-big-teepee/. Big Horn, Wyoming 163 km. Point of Rocks, Wyoming 203 km. The Buttes, Wyoming 287 km. Emigrant, Montana 342 km.

J. B. Okie, Sheep King of Central Wyoming | WyoHistory.org
In Wyoming, however, Lost Cabin was continuing to decline and Okie’s interest in business was declining with it. His personal life darkened J.B. Okie’s personality survives in the Big Teepee. It’s well kept, freshly painted, and part of the lawn inside the old cast-concrete fence is kept neatly mown.

Lost Cabin, Wyoming latitude/longitude
Find the latitude and longitude of Lost Cabin, Wyoming, United States to calculate the travel distance between cities. Do you live in Lost Cabin, Wyoming? Help us verify the data and let us know if you see any information that needs to be changed or updated.

Share on: