I Found My New House
It seems everybody has a neighborhood in their town that they always wanted to live in. Maybe it’s the mid-century architecture, the mature trees or views of the lake (or mountains or city lights) that have always appealed to them. I’ve known quite a few people who worked hard and saved to make their dreams of living in a specific part of town happen.
I’m like those friends. There’s the coolest lineup of houses in Cody that, while the structures could use a few updates, simply calls to me. No matter how many hours I work and vacations I forgo, however, I will probably never be allowed to live in this neighborhood.
I’m talking about the collection of old homestead cabins near the rodeo grounds and site of the original downtown Cody. Old Trail Town does not actually house anyone even though I promise I would not be a bother, would not dramatically alter any of the original designs except for some reasonable improvements and would keep the number of visitors to a minimum. Dan Miller would only count as one, regardless of how many times he stops by, right?
Old Trail Town is the brainchild of one of Cody’s great characters. Bob Edgar was a soft-spoken man with a passion for Old West buildings, and he spent much of his life tracking down these structures, disassembling them and then putting them back together to create an Old West main street that would put movie sets to shame.
I love taking my out-of-town guests to see the cabin used by Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch. Jeremiah “Liver Eating” Johnston was a real mountain man who was reinterred on the property after a California highway was built through his original resting place. Robert Redford himself was a pall bearer at the ceremony. I always make sure I show my guests the newspaper clippings with Redford in his bellbottoms and long sideburns at the event.
In 2016, William McNally’s cabin which dates back to 1886 was moved by several locals – including Bob Edgar’s brother, Larry – from Meeteetse to Old Trail Town. Larry’s wife Jan and Ricki Ralston then went to town decorating the structure, and it is now open to the public. The cabin looks much more comfortable with a distinct feminine feel thanks to lace curtains, a tea set, Victorian bed and more. Many of Cody’s most notable women such as Dr. Frances Lane, Caroline Lockhart, Cassie Waters, Olive Fell, Agnes Chamberlin, Bronco Nell and Josie Thurston are immortalized with their photos hanging in the cabin.
The Wild Bunch they are not.
I would be happy to cover the cost of adding electricity and plumbing to the cabin if the good folks who run the place would let me move in. I realize these features aren’t authentic, but let’s be reasonable.
Now, I am patient and do not expect anyone to just automatically grant my request. If enough people, however, check out the cabin and offer up their support for my plan perhaps I could move in by Christmas.
Would it hurt you to head over to Old Trail Town, check out the McNally Cabin and put in a good word for me?
Until next week, I am lovin’ life – and contacting moving companies – in Cody, Wyo.