National Register of Historic Places

Irma Hotel


Date Added to Register

Tuesday, April 03, 1973

Smithsonian Number


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William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody was instrumental in the founding and development of the town of Cody, Wyoming in the late 1890s. He believed the town would become a staging point and outfitting headquarters for sightseers touring Yellowstone Park, for big game hunting sportsmen, for vacationers making summertime pack-horse trips into the mountains, for clients patronizing the newly developed dude ranches in the vicinity, and for businessmen investigating and developing ranching, mining and other industrial potentials. He foresaw the need for a hotel and envisioned an outstanding facility. The Irma Hotel, named after one of his daughters, opened for business in 1902. At the opening of the hotel one of the most talked about features was the cherrywood bar and back-bar installed in the saloon. It had been made in France and came to Colonel Cody as a gift from Queen Victoria of England in appreciation of a command performance, staged for her court, by the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. The Irma Hotel established a reputation as a center of social activity which it has maintained through the years.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources