Historic Governors' Mansion
Park brochure of Historic Governors' Mansion State Historic Site (SHS) in Wyoming. Published by the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.
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WYOPARKS.STATE.WY.US WYOPARKS.STATE.WY.US WYOPARKS.ORG THINGS TO DO AND SEE FEES FREE ADMISSION, Donations Accepted Self-Guided Tours Kids’ Activities Group Tour Available Upon Request 307-777-7878 Wyoming takes pride in the first residence provided for governors and their families. The home has been the setting for state dinners, first-family christenings, wedding receptions and birthday parties. PLEASE REMEMBER Please do not touch! Help us preserve our artifacts for future generations by not sitting on furniture or touching items as you tour the home. The mansion is full of many beautiful things. Most are very delicate and easily damaged by the oils and dust on your hands. By not handling the woodwork, wallcoverings and furnishings, you are helping us preserve these items for the future. Thank you! The Historic Governors’ Mansion interprets the history of the Mansion, the First Families of Wyoming and Mansion staff from 19051976. Visitors can embark upon self- guided tours of the home and see both the public and private areas of the First Executive Mansion built in Wyoming. Enjoy audio tours, children’s activities and interactive kiosks to guide you through the day-to-day life of the Mansion and its inhabitants. CALENDAR OF EVENTS A full calendar of events includes the Annual Egg Hunt and the popular Tinsel Through Time Holiday exhibit and activities. HISTORY Historic Governors’ Mansion State Historic Site is administered by the Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails; Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. 6/18 Fourteen years after achieving statehood in 1890, the State of Wyoming built its first governor’s mansion in 1904. The mansion was intended to be a home of the people, and was never enclosed by a fence or had on-site security. From 1905 to 1976, the mansion was the residence of 19 Wyoming first families. Governor Bryant B. Brooks and his large family were the first occupants. The mansion was also home to the first female governor in the United States, Nellie Tayloe Ross. Mrs. Ross was elected to fulfill the remainder of her husband’s, Governor William B. Ross, term. The last family to occupy the mansion was also Wyoming’s first three-term governor, Ed Herschler, and his wife, Casey. The Mansion continues its second century as a valuable symbol of the state and its history. LOCATION AND HOURS The Historic Governors’ Mansion is located at 300 E. 21st Street in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a block and a half from the Wyoming State Museum and five blocks from the State Capitol Building. Summer Hours (June 1 – Sept. 30) Monday - Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Winter Hours (Oct. 1 - May 31) Wednesday - Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays by appointment ALL HOURS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE PLEASE CALL FOR SEASONAL CLOSURE DATES: OCT/NOV/JAN. SPECIAL EVENTS The Carriage House at the Mansion can be reserved for special events year round. This historic space is perfect for small meetings, bridal and baby showers and outdoor weddings in the summer. For reservations, call the Mansion at 307-777-7878. SELF-GUIDED TOUR First Floor embroidery. The table lamps have lambskin shades. Kitchen: (Restored to 1937) The kitchen and pantry FirstPorch Floor First Floor Ramp FIRST FLOOR Entrance Hall: Staff Dining/ Porch Sitting Room Kitchen Staff Dining/ Sitting Room Breakfast Room Ramp (Restored to Kitchen 1905) The Breakfast ceramic tile floor Room Governors’ Dining Den Room is original to the home. The three Governors’ Dining Den Room combination, brass ceiling Drawing fixtures are Room Entrance Library similar to Hall Drawing the originals Room Entrance installed during Library Hall construction. Portico The gas arm was lit as a back-up Portico system to provide light. During the past 100 years, numerous dignitaries and well-known public figures, including President Harry Truman, Vice President Richard Nixon, John D. Rockefeller and writer James Michener, were greeted and welcomed to the State of Wyoming in the entrance hall of the mansion. Library: (Restored to 1905) A Library by Wyoming authors was established at the Mansion in 1967 by First Lady Bobbi Hathaway. The collection was moved to the new Governor’s Residence in 1976. Drawing Room: (Restored to 1937) Governor John B. Kendrick in 1915 replaced the original fireplace with this beautiful oak paneled mantle and chimneypiece. Dining Room: (Restored to 1937) The set, purchased in 1937 at the Chicago Furniture Mart, includes a sideboard, chest of drawers, and a cabinet-on-stand. The leather upholstery on the chairs is original. During World War II, Governor and Mrs. Hunt would often invite homesick soldiers stationed at F.E. Warren Air Force to dinner. Governors’ Den: (Restored to the 1950s) This room was last redecorated during Milward Simpson’s term of office. Simpson wanted a room in the mansion to reflect Wyoming’s western heritage. Well-known Wyoming furniture maker, Tom Molesworth, made the furniture in Cody, Wyoming. Molesworth constructed the furniture from native pine and cedar. The upholstered armchairs show the Indian Paintbrush, the state flower, in punch were extensively remodeled during Governor Miller’s administration and restored to its 1937 appearance with its stainless steel counter tops, center cabinet, and state of the art Magic Chef 6300-gas range. The floor is linoleum and the vintage sunflower globe light fixtures are typical of the 1930’s. Located above the doors of the mansion are transoms. The transoms were used to control and enhance ventilation between rooms. Breakfast Room: (Restored to 1937) This room was added in 1937 as a family dining room. The bark cloth curtains are vintage 1930s pattern. SECOND FLOOR Second Floor Second Floor Bedroom Hall: Sun Porch (Restored to 1905) The original stained glass window, Bath Bath Children’s installed when Bedroom the house was built, is the only Fireplace stained glass in Bedroom the mansion. When the mansion was Second State Guest Master Bedroom built in 1904, Bedroom Bath Bath each of the six doorways entered into a bedroom. In 1937 this floor was renovated, the two middle bedrooms were eliminated and in their place bathrooms and several closets were added to the remaining four bedrooms. The photographs on the wall are the first ladies of the Territory and State of Wyoming. Governor Lester C. Hunt established the collection of first ladies during his time in office from 1943 to 1949. Children’s Bedroom: (Restored to 1905) The first occupants of this room were Melissa and Lena Brooks, the two youngest of four daughters of Governor and Mrs. Brooks. When the Brooks family moved into the mansion, the children brought their pet pony from the V-Bar-V Ranch. Melissa and Lena chose this bedroom so that they could hear and talk to their pet pony stabled in the carriage house. State Guest Bedroom: (Restored to 1940s) The use of bedrooms on the second floor changed with each particular first family. One bedroom, however, was always designated as the state guest bedroom. Many people have been overnight guests in the mansion, including Richard Nixon when he was Vice President. Post 1937 Master: (Restored to 1937) Following the 1937 renovation, two closets and a bathroom were added to this corner bedroom, and it became the master bedroom. Original Master (Fireplace) Bedroom: (Restored to 1905) The architect of the mansion, Charles Murdock, intended this room to be the master bedroom and was the only bedroom with a fireplace, and full bathroom. Sun Porch: (Restored to 1960 era) In 1955, Governor Milward Simpson created an open air-patio over the roof of the kitchen and staff dining room. The ceramic tile floor was laid and the retaining wall built. In 1959, during the term of John J. Hickey, the patio was enclosed with aluminum windows and corrugated fiberglass panels. During the administration of Stanley K. Hathaway, the room was refurbished with redwood paneling and Andersen windows. The Hathaways lived in the mansion for eight years, longer than any other first family. Mrs. Hathaway picked the set of HeywoodWakefield wicker furniture to furnish the room. THIRD FLOOR Third Floor: Third Third Floor Floor Bath Maid’s Sitting Room (Restored Sandra to 1905 and Maid’s Hathaway’s Bedroom 1967) The back Bedroom staircase was used by the staff Unfinished and children Storage Room to access the third floor. The staircase Portico is all original, including the landing that cuts one of the second floor windows in half, allowing natural light to come in on both sides of the landing. The third floor original design was a full bath, two bedrooms, one for the cook, one for the maid, and a maid’s sitting room. In 1939 during the Nels H. Smith Administration, a husband and wife were hired to cook and housekeep. An apartment was created in the basement of the mansion for them and all subsequent live in staff. The floor was then used as guest quarters and storage until 1971, when First Lady Bobby Hathaway had the third floor refurbished for their two daughters, Susan and Sandra. The existing bathroom was remodeled, carpeting and wallpaper were added to the bedrooms. The Brooks and neighborhood children often used the attic room, located at the end of the hallway on the third floor, as a stage on which they would perform plays. Basement Basement Coal Chute Staff Apartment Boiler Room Bath Architecture Room Fallout Shelter Laundry BASEMENT Architecture Room: Construction began in the spring of 1904 and was completed that fall. The final cost of the two-and-one half story house with a full basement was $33,253.29; this figure included the cost of the lot ($3,000), the landscaping ($2,036) and all the original furnishings. The house had central plumbing, hot water heat, and combination gas and electrical fixtures throughout. The front facade was enhanced by the portico supported by four Corinthian sandstone columns cut in sections and sculpted and installed on site. Staff Apartment: Johneana Scribner and her husband Charles were the first occupants of the downstairs basement apartment during the Smith Administration (1939-1943). Johneana was the mansion’s full-time cook and her husband was a Union Pacific employee. He would, in a pinch, help Johneana and the First Lady carve turkeys and hams for events at the mansion. Laundry Room: (Restored to 1905, 1930s and 1960s) Laundry was an important part of day to day life at the Mansion. With frequent luncheons, dinners and teas held at the Mansion, laundry was a necessary task. Fallout Shelter: (Restored to 1959) Participating in a Home Preparedness Program in 1960, First Lady Win Hickey chose this room as the family Fallout Shelter during the Cold War. The program called for outfitting an existing room with supplies in case of natural or man-made disaster. The project was paid for from the family’s private funds and Mrs. Hickey received the first Civil Defense “Home Preparedness Award” for the city of Cheyenne.