A part of Cheyenne’s history is up for sale

The Sturgis House goes up for sale, highlighting a part of Wyoming’s history
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 11:14 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - As part of Cheyenne history, Wyoming has the reputation of being a frontier state where the citizens are tenacious folks that settled the west, and the Sturgis house is a part of that history.

”I think it’s a very adventurous spirit to come out here to Cheyenne. You know we were on the edge of the frontier, but Cheyenne was also an up and coming town. From the very beginning, we were known as the magic city of the plains because Cheyenne just kind of popped out of nowhere on the prairie,” said Suzie Taylor, Reference Archivist for the Wyoming State Archives.

Wyoming’s history included explorers, cattle barons, bankers and rail investors.

These pioneers built mansions along what used to be called Millionaires Row, now Carey Avenue.

“The other end of it is Nagel Warren mansion, the other end is an art gallery diagonally opposed to it is on the same intersection is a big old brick house full of lawyers that used to be the “Hanging Judge’s” house, said Gregory Bailey, Owner of the Sturgis House.

There you’ll find the Sturgis house that belonged to William Sturgis.

”Well, when we first ended up in the house, we didnt realize it was “that” historical. Like what all the fellow who built this house did,” said Deborah Alaine Birchfield, Historian and Lady of the House.

William and his brother Thomas came from a prominent Massachusetts family. They made their way to Wyoming to build their empires.

William ultimately became a cattle baron helping to establish the Wyoming Stock Growers Association and creating the C.W. ranch spanning from Gillette to Cheyenne.

Along with his brother Thomas, they started the electric company and may have helped establish the intercontinental railroad in Cheyenne.

William built the Sturgis house from 1883 to 1884.

The severe blizzard of 1887 killed off Sturgis’s two million dollars worth of cattle, plummeting his wealth.

Sturgis remained in this house with his family until approximately 1901, selling it to cattle baron John Whitaker where it ultimately ended up in Banker Joseph Carey’s hands before Sturgis returned east.

The Sturgis house was handed down to several private holders until the current owners, who one day were cleaning up the house in preparation to sell it, stumbled across a locked cabinet with an old box inside.

What they discovered is a piece of Cheyenne’s history.

”It’s a box filled, I mean, not just a box with a few photos but a box of hundreds of photos and artwork...” said Birchfield.

It contained civil war photo plates and memorabilia. It’s since been given to the Wyoming State Archives, with items returned to the Sturgis Library in Massachusetts.

The Sturgis house goes up for sale this Thursday. It boasts 30 rooms that include nine bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and over 7000 square feet on a quarter-acre lot.

It has been updated with new features while preserving its historical charm, and like Wyomingites, it stands firm in its grit and history.

”It’s not just Cowboys and Indians, yes theres some cows involved but its not just Cowboys and Indians you know Cheyenne has always been a very forward looking town and this is a great reminder to learn from the past and kind of bring that forward,” said Taylor.

The owners believe Teddy Roosevelt stayed in this house, and the Stugis were friends with the Vanderbilts.

The house goes on sale Thursday, April 20th, and boosts a $900,000 price tag, with 30 rooms, nine bedrooms and seven bathrooms. It has over 7,000 square feet on a quarter-acre lot.

For more information on the Sturgis house, click here.

Or you can contact Stephanie D. Van Veckhoven, REALTOR, at 307-275-5897.