Old Roulette Wheel
October 3, 2019
While on our most recent vacation from September 10th through September 21th we put about 2,200 miles on Bill’s truck. We had such a great time. I’m still processing photos. As is our habits, we explored a lot of backroads and towns from Taos, New Mexico to Colorado Springs, CO before turning towards Oklahoma to spend the night with some friends and then have lunch with my sister the following day before getting home to Texas. During a drive early in the vacation, we found ourselves in Cimarron, NM (a place we’ve visited twice before). It’s not a big town but has quite a few neat places to visit. We stopped for lunch at the St. James hotel. This is the original roulette wheel that was in the saloon (the table is covered with plastic) when the hotel was new. During renovations, 30+ bullet holes were found in the saloon ceiling.
According to Legendsofamerica.com: “The Lambert Inn, as it was called at the time, started business in 1872. Built during a time when law and order was non-existent, the saloon quickly gained a reputation as a place of violence, where it is said that 26 men were shot and killed within its adobe walls.
The saloon was wildly popular to cowboys, traders, miners and the many travelers of the Santa Fe Trail. The saloon did so well that the owner added guest rooms in 1880, and the hotel was soon considered to be one of the most elegant hotels west of the Mississippi River. Many well-known people stayed there over the years. Wyatt Earp, his brother Morgan, and their wives spent three nights at the St. James on their way to Tombstone, Arizona. Jesse James stayed there several times, always in room 14, signing the registry with his alias, R.H. Howard. Jesse James’ nemesis and would be killer Bob Ford also stayed at the St. James.
Buffalo Billy Cody, who was a goat ranch manager for Lucien Maxwell for a time, met Annie Oakley at the hotel and began to plan and rehearse their Wil West Show. When the owner’s son Fred was born, Buffalo Bill nicknamed him “Cyclone Dick” because he was born during a blustery snow storm, and he was soon asked to be Fred’s godfather.
As Fred grew older, Buffalo Bill would be one of the first to give him instruction in the use of guns. He would spend his entire life upholding the law as a Cimarron Sheriff, a member of the tribal police and a territorial marshal. When Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley left Cimarron to take their show on the road, they took an entire village of American Indians from the Cimarron area with them.
Other notables who have stayed at the historic inn include Bat Masterson, train robber Black Jack Tom Ketchum, General Sheridan, Doc Holliday, Billy the Kid, Clay Allison, Pat Garret, artist Fredrick Remington and writer Zane Grey."
Thank you for your comments and critiques, they are greatly appreciated.
Have an historic day today my friends,
5648Old Roulette WheelSt. James HotelCimarronNew MexicoHistoryBuffalo Bill Codys Wild West Show was Born HereAnnie OakleyLegends of the WestCOPYRIGHTAll Rights ReservedNikonLgood Photography