OK, I know I said I’d be having nothing but salads for the entire month of January after all of those holiday helpings, but I’m a Wyoming gal, and a Wyoming gal’s gotta have some beef. I needed a fix. I know we have so many great places for beef here in Cody – the Chop House, the Terrace, Cassie’s, The Proud Cut – but I decided that last Saturday night, it was going to be The Irma Hotel and its famous prime rib. While I was happily devouring my perfect prime rib feast fit for a queen – which by the way, did come with a salad – I got to thinking about royalty, ghosts and this darling little fringed jacket that I simply have to have (as soon as my post-holiday bank account is off its diet too!).
As you probably know, the Irma Hotel Dining Room is famous for more than just its prime rib. There is a room-long cherry wood bar that lines one wall of the dining room. It’s a great gathering place for Cody’s cowboys and cowgirls and just about any day at any time, you’ll see locals and visitors alike sipping on a coffee or a whiskey. If bars could talk, this one would have some stories, I tell you. Anyway, it was a gift to Buffalo Bill from England’s Queen Victoria. I guess he was quite charming to her when he brought his Wild West Show to Europe and performed for the queen. Anyway, next time you’re in The Irma, be sure to check out the bar. I’ve heard it is the most-photographed feature in Cody, and it’s well worth a visit and a drink!
Which brings me to my ghost story. Right next to the bar there’s this old black-and-white photo of the dining room back when it was used as the hotel lobby. It’s one of those old-fashioned photos with weird shadows and fuzzy details. Except, some people say those features in the photograph aren’t really weird shadows and fuzzy details—it’s a photo of a ghost!
Now as I wrote a year or so ago, there have been lots of rumors that the Irma Hotel is haunted, but I’m not sure I believed it until I studied that photo. Yep…there’s something weird going on, and Mike Darby, whose family owns The Irma, thinks it just might be a ghost captured on film. Now you know there have been lots of stories of hauntings in the hotel. Room 35 is where a lot of the weird stuff happens. Guests say the water turns on and off by itself, and apparently a bunch of guests have seen what looked like the bottom half of a cavalry soldier in uniform. The bottom half? Weird, huh? Anyway, next time you’re in The Irma, take a look at that photo and tell me what you think.
During the summer, I love to go down to the Irma and spend time on the big porch. Often there is live music and always I run into friends. There are people from all over the country visiting with locals and enjoying the energy of Cody’s busy downtown. The gunfight re-enactments are “campy” but a fun way to spend more time on the porch.
Wyoming girls need fringe as much as they need beef, and The Irma Hotel’s gift shop, the Buffalo Bill Emporium, is filled with it. Fringed jackets, fringed skirts, fringed shirts…the choices are overwhelming in this outstanding gift shop. There’s enough Western bling in this store to keep me in high Cody style 365 days a year! So as soon I can, I’m heading back down to the store to grab that jacket – the red one with the fringe and rhinestones – so don’t let me hear you bought it!