100 Years Ago: Fire Destroys Cheyenne’s Legendary Inter-Ocean Hotel
This week marks the 100th anniversary of an infamous Cheyenne tragedy. Dec. 17, 1916, The Inter-Ocean Hotel burned the ground, killing a family of six.
The starting point of the Cheyenne-to-Deadwood stagecoach line, it famously hosted Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Roosevelt. The hotel lounge was also a popular hangout for notorious gunman Tom Horn and other local dignitaries.
The Inter-Ocean's biggest claim to fame, however, would also prove to be its downfall.
Billed as the first hotel in the United States to have electricity, the fire started when an electric line shorted on the third floor.
Hotel guest Roy White and his family were trapped in their room during the blaze. His wife Lily and their four children died due to smoke inhalation.
Mr. White, meanwhile, jumped out of a window, but he was electrocuted after landing on a network of power lines.
Hundreds of onlookers gathered in the early morning hours to watch the once majestic building go up in flames.
After the fire, the land was sold to Cheyenne businessman Harry Hynds, who constructed the Hynds Building, which still stands on the corner of Lincolnway and Capitol Avenue.