National Register of Historic Places


Rainsford Historic District

Cheyenne

Date Added to Register

Tuesday, November 06, 1984

Smithsonian Number

48LA611

Read all about it

Constructed between 1885 and the 1930s, the Rainsford neighborhood has its own unique history. Named for George Rainsford, an eastern architect who came west to try his hand at horse ranching in the 1870s and eventually designed homes for his contemporaries in Cheyenne, the neighborhood reflects his love for simplified traditional styles and varied roof shapes. Rainsford's designs were widely copied, borrowed from and expanded upon. A few of his houses still stand within the district, and a great many more reflect his influence. This area was once preferred by Cheyenne Cattle Barons, and represents the natural expansion of the city as it rapidly developed during the Cattle Boom. Rainsford District is an excellent expression of upper and upper middle class housing stock popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and its decline in bust years as larger lots were subdivided and sold for working class housing and multi-family apartment buildings. The homes, primarily of wood frame construction with some brick interspersed, range from single story bungalows and cottages to three story picturesque cottages. The Rainsford District is recognized for its association with locally and nationally significant individuals who laid the foundations for statehood; for its integrity as an historic neighborhood with uniform setbacks, plantings, slate sidewalks and unique character; and for its association with important factors such as the cash flow of the cattle era, the railroad tie to eastern markets, and the cultural and social aspirations of western businessmen which have made significant contributions to the broad patterns of Cheyenne and Wyoming history.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources