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Nagle Warren Mansion

‘Duchess’ Nagle Warren Mansion In Cheyenne Prepares For Grand Reopening

in News/Business
21410

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Jas Barbe can remember driving away from Cheyenne a little less than 50 years ago in his 1972 green Chevy Vega with his middle finger in the air, cursing everyone and everything in the state.

He would never come back to Wyoming, he’d had enough. Instead, he was going to travel the world.

“Fifty-one years later, here I am,” Barbe said from the comfort of a reupholstered chair in the lobby of the Nagle Warren Mansion on Friday. “My intent when I first came back here was to be here a year or two and get this place back up and running. I didn’t anticipate certain emotions happening. I feel like I’m back home.”

Barbe is the new innkeeper and co-owner of the mansion, a landmark in Cheyenne and a popular bed and breakfast that closed in 2019 due to the retirement of former owner Jim Osterfoss.

Barbe said Osterfoss actually contacted him that same year about taking over the inn, but Barbe was unable to do so because he was under “several” hospitality-related contracts.

However, in March 2021, Barbe’s busy schedule finally cleared to a point he was ready to circle back to Osterfoss.

“I called to check up on him and found out he had passed [in January 2021],” Barbe said. “But I got to talking with the realtor and found out Jim’s children had taken ownership of the inn. So I got with the kids and became partners with them.”

The mansion is officially slated to reopen sometime in mid-July, as Barbe and his team are still working out a few kinks at the inn, such as the plumbing, which dates back to the 1880s.

The mansion will open with a dozen rooms available. After Cheyenne Frontier Days, the inn will begin hosting special events, such as afternoon and holiday teas, weddings, a supper club and much more.



Barbe has big plans for the nearly 140-year-old building.

Barbe and the crew have spent the last year basically renovating the entire inside of the building, from the floors to ceilings. They have also been painstakingly researching the history of the mansion and the families associated with it, the Nagles and Warrens.

“This was the most expensive house built in America: $50,000 in 1888,” Bare said. “Everything important that happened in Wyoming between the 1880s to around 1930 happened in this house. What would be the future of the Philippines was decided in the room across from me. Buffalo Bill Cody met with Pawnee Bill here.”

Erasmus Nagle bought the mansion for his family in 1888, but died just two years later. His wife, Emma, and son, George, lived there until 1907. Emma Nagle rented the home to Gen. George Randall, who served in the Civil War, from 1907 to 1910 and it was bought by former Gov. Francis E. Warren in 1910.

Warren entertained many a famous guest at the home during his time there, including Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. After his death in 1929, his wife donated the house to the Cheyenne YWCA, which owned the building for many years.

The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Osterfoss bought the inn in 1997 and converted it into the bed and breakfast and now, it has become one again.

The history that emanates from every wall of the home is why Barbe was so attracted to coming back to Nagle Warren. He described it as the “duchess,” a house and inn that is one-of-a-kind.

“We’re protecting this. We’re making sure this city has this in 50 years,” Barbe said. “I want this to be here for your grandchildren. I am creating a refuge of 1900. It’s an immersion, basically kind of like a fantasy.”

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Well-Known Wyoming Innkeeper Jim Osterfoss Dies; Owned Nagle-Warren Mansion

in Jimmy Orr
8313

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

One of Wyoming’s most well-known innkeepers died on Sunday.

Jim Osterfoss, who owned the Nagle-Warren Bed and Breakfast in Cheyenne for more than 25 years, died at the age of 75.

“His passion was caring for his customers, employees and the community as a whole,” read Osterfoss’ obituary.  “He enjoyed serving on numerous community boards relating to tourism and commerce, and other civic entities such as Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions Clubs.  He will be remembered as a loving father, grandfather and friend.”

Osterfoss shuttered the historic building after retiring in November 2019. 

“It’s one of the most important and iconic homes in the State of Wyoming,” Osterfoss told Cowboy State Daily. “President Theodore Roosevelt stayed here. President Taft stayed here. The Vanderbilts and many other titans of the early 1900s stayed here. This was the place to stay in Wyoming.”

Osterfoss was widely admired in many circles including the tourism, legislative, and volunteerism communities.

“God bless you, Jim Osterfoss. You were such a great soldier in Wyoming’s tourism army. RIP, my friend,” wrote Diane Shober, Executive Director of Wyoming’s Office of Tourism, on Osterfoss’ Facebook page.

“Jim was a true tourism professional who taught us all about hospitality, community-building, and being a good person. Cheyenne and its residents will truly miss him,” wrote former Visit Cheyenne Director Darren Rudloff.

“We will miss you old friend,” wrote Chris Brown, Executive Director of the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association. “Thank you so very much for your friendship and tireless efforts on behalf of our industry. Rest in peace.”

Osterfoss’ quick wit was on display during an interview with Cowboy State Daily about his retirement.

He said he wouldn’t “dish any dirt” on the thousands of guests who stayed at his bed and breakfast stating that “whatever happened at the Nagle, stayed at the Nagle.”

When asked if there were any surprises that he discovered at the historic home, he said, “The secret tunnels to the old whorehouses in Cheyenne..”

Really?

The innkeeper paused for a moment and deadpanned, “Gotcha.”

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Nagle-Warren Bed and Breakfast shuts down

in Community
2572

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

One of Wyoming’s most well-known bed and breakfasts recently shut its doors after 22 years in business.

Cheyenne’s Nagle-Warren mansion operated as a bed and breakfast since September 1997 under the direction of owner Jim Osterfoss.

Osterfoss, who has spent more than 60 years in the hospitality industry, said it was time for him to retire.

“It’s just time to move on,” he said. “Innkeeping is not a contact sport but it’s pretty close. Lots of hours and a lot of hard work.”

Osterfoss said he spent 12 years looking for the perfect bed and breakfast and decided on the Nagle-Warren mansion because it was an “excellent historic stage to play on.”

The mansion, built in 1888, is named after Erasmus Nagle, a wealthy Wyoming businessman, and Francis E. Warren, Wyoming’s first governor and a longtime U.S. senator from the state.

“It’s one of the most important and iconic homes in the State of Wyoming,” Osterfoss said. “President Theodore Roosevelt stayed here. President Taft stayed here. The Vanderbilts and many other titans of the early 1900s stayed here. This was the place to stay in Wyoming.”

Osterfoss dipped deep into his bank account to equip the home with modern-day essentials like air conditioning, to update the electrical and plumbing systems and make other improvements, but he said the structure itself was in “amazing” condition.

“It escaped the horrible renovation period that so many historic homes went through in the 1950s and the 1960s,” he said. “It bypassed the period where people faded out woodwork, ripped out fireplaces, and removed rooms.

“The fireplaces are original, the flooring is original, and the extensive woodwork is original,” he added.

Osterfoss said he has put the mansion on the market but is in no rush to close any deal.

“It’s kind of like selling your daughter,” he said, laughing. “I want to find someone who will take care of the place. I want to get to know what their expectations are and they’ll get to know what my expectations are.”

Although he is officially retiring, Osterfoss said he will continue to contribute to the community by holding an occasional event at the mansion.

Osterfoss is a longtime supporter of the Cheyenne symphony and was instrumental in bringing ballet to the Capital City by providing rooms for performers.

“There are a lot of wonderful events in Cheyenne,” he said. “Whoever we can support, we try to.”

Until the mansion is sold, Osterfoss may be found in one of his favorite rooms — a room he calls the tower.

The third floor octagonal room was a favorite location for authors and writers.

“Somehow the writing community found us,” he said. “They fell in love with the place. When they get up there, they really fall into it and all of a sudden they have a book.”

Osterfoss won’t dish dirt on any of his guests over the past 22 years proclaiming that whatever “happens at the Nagle, stays at the Nagle”.

When asked if there were any surprises that he discovered at the historic home, he said, “The secret tunnels to the old whorehouses in Cheyenne..”

Really?

The innkeeper paused for a moment and deadpanned, “Gotcha.”

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Daddy of ‘Em All is BIG for local business

in Economic development/News/Food and Beverage/arts and culture
1644

Tourism officials in Cheyenne are predicting that the city’s annual Frontier Days celebration will bring at least as many people to Cheyenne as showed up for the 2018 event.

Darren Rudloff, president and CEO of Visit Cheyenne, said he understands that ticket sales for the 10-day rodeo are at levels about where they were last year, when about 105,000 people visited the city and reports indicate most hotels rooms in the city are full for the event.

“So far, rodeo tickets are on par with where they were last year, concert tickets are up about 10 percent from what I hear and the weather is going to be great as well,” he said. “So it’s looking like it’s going to be a great Frontier Days.”

Jim Osterfoss, owner of the Warren Nagle Mansion Bed and Breakfast, said his facility is booked to near capacity for the rodeo.

The annual boost for business provided by the extra visitors is always welcomed by businessmen such as George Kallas, who owns the Albany Restaurant in downtown Cheyenne with is brother Gus.

“It’s our Christmas,” he said.

Kallas noted that anyone in Cheyenne during the celebration would be challenged to be bored.

“People come in (to the Albany), they buy package (liquor), they buy food, they buy drink, they go to the (Depot) Plaza, there’s some nice bands on Friday and Saturday night, they go shopping and then they go out to the rodeo,” he said. “And then they go to the night show. And they enjoy all of that. If you can’t find something to do (during) Frontier Days in Cheyenne, there’s something wrong with you.”

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