Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Legend of Buffalo Bill and the haunted Irma Hotel

     We'll be passing through Cody, Wyoming, and the heart of "Buffalo Bill" country. Many say that this American legend's body rests in Denver, Colorado, although to this day it's disputed and many residents of Cody, Wyoming maintain that his body is truly buried on Cedar Mountain in Wyoming. Cedar Mountain is often called "Spirit Mountain" and has a story of it's own we'll explore another day. One cannot travel the West without coming across a legend or piece of history that involves "Buffalo Bill" Cody.

     William "Buffalo Bill" Cody is a legend most in this country know of. He was an American soldier, a medal of honor recipient, and embodies the spirit of America. . His service as a Army Cavalry Scout would earn him the Medal of Honor and catapult him into the role of one of the best known legend of the West and the United States. But while many know the name of Buffalo Bill in some sense, not many know the facts behind the legend. Follow LRS as we explore the man behind the myth, and delve into the mystery of the Irma Hotel in Cody, Wyoming. We'll explore whether or not the ghost of "Buffalo Bill" walks the halls of the Irma Hotel in this edition of LRS Myths, Legends and Tales from the Road...
    William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, was born February 26, 1846 , in the Iowa Territory, and what is now the modern day state of Iowa. He would grow up extremely poor, the son of a farmer. He would earn his nickname after the Civil War, while fulfilling a contract with the Kansas Pacific Railroad, supplying Buffalo meat. He won the name by killing 4,280 Buffalo in eighteen months! While this was extraordinary at the time, he shared the nickname with a man named Bill Comstock. Not to be outdone, Cody challenged Comstock to a shooting match for the exclusive right to wear the nickname "Buffalo Bill". Cody won the match by shooting 69 Bison to Comstock's mere 48. He would forever after be known as "Buffalo Bill" Cody.
     Buffalo Bill served as a U.S. Army cavalry scout, and was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1872 for "gallantry in action" . Following his military career, Cody would make himself famous by starting his " Buffalo Bill's Wild West" shows. The show would eventually become famous and he even toured through Europe.

Buffalo Bill Wild West Show

     Aside from his famous show and the other endeavors he undertook, Buffalo Bill also started the Irma Hotel in Cody, Wyoming which was named after his daughter. The hotel was built in 1902 and Buffalo Bill called it "just the sweetest hotel that ever was" .

Among the hotel's rooms, he included 2 suites and his personal office. The Hotel sports a world famous "cherrywood" bar and is still there to this day.

Irma Hotel Cherrywood Bar

Buffalo Bill would eventually pass away in Denver, Colorado at his sister's house from kidney failure. But the question remains, does his ghost still walk the halls of the Irma Hotel? Many guests and visitors to the hotel have reported strange sounds, being touched by "nothing", and the most famous, a sighting of a man visible only from the waist up wandering the halls. Some witnesses have reported that the man was identifiable, as the ghost of "Buffalo Bill" Cody.

Whether you buy into the legend of the Irma Hotel being haunted or not, it's a stop filled with history and legends. We'll be stopping through Cody on our way to Sturgis, and while we're there we'll for sure be checking out the Irma Hotel. We'll definitely be posting some pictures. So look closely, if you're lucky maybe you'll find "Buffalo Bill" in one of our photos. If not, at least we can say we visited a piece of American history, and you'll get to see it as well. Stay tuned next time, for another portion of LRS Myths, Legends and Tales from the Road...


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