Wandering WY: The Historic Bishop House
Blink and you might miss it! The Historic Bishop House just a little past present-day downtown Casper, Wyoming is a longstanding reminder of how little western towns everywhere either sunk or rose to prominence outlasting the wild west. Built in 1907, the Bishop House on Second Street held all the promise of being among the first residences near the new Capitol of Wyoming. The prominent Bishop family had been a part of the Casper community since 1892, just four short years after its founding.
The Bishops had moved to Casper in September 1892 when Mr. Marvin L. Bishop was appointed postmaster by President Grover Cleveland. While Bishop was not the first postmaster for the newly minted community, he was credited with bringing stability to the role because of his, service in the office. Since this was an appointed position, Bishop resigned in 1898 to pursue life as a Sheep Rancher. For nearly half a century afterward, Bishop would help lead the woolgrowing industry for both Natrona County and the State of Wyoming. As with all industries, Bishop's success was aided by hard work, good business sense, and the good fortune of transportation for his goods. The railroad stations at Cadoma, Wyoming and Bishop, Wyoming were perfectly positioned for the family's success in the region.
After Mr. Marvin Bishop's death in 1939, his family did not stay in the woolgrowing industry, largely due to the great toll the decade's disastrous economy had taken. The Bishop House itself, however, remained occupied by at least one member of the family until 1997. In March of 2001, the historic building was rightfully added to the National Register of Historic Places.
You can tell by the history why I would be so excited to visit this charming building in Casper, yet this hour-long stop took me nearly 10 years to make happen! If you only have an afternoon to spend in Casper, Wyoming, I highly recommend taking a tour of The Historic Bishop House. You may even get lucky and get the chance to meet a few members of the family who continue to preserve the legacy of their family's role in Casper's foundation.
It is my understanding that they have regularly rotating exhibits meant to give visitors a well-rounded taste of what life has been like in the boom-bust Wyoming community through the decades.
It is even a friendly stop for children! The playroom in the attic is truly something special with many toys adults will recognize from years gone by and children will gaze in wonder as they see what little ones before them used to fill their time.
Don't forget to stop and smell the lilacs! If you're visiting in the spring or summer, the garden is a highlight of the Bishop House experience with bright patches of color and sweet-smelling flowers all around.
Then you can finish your Casper afternoon with a stroll through the many downtown shops and restaurants, many of them also historic.
If you would like to learn more about The Historic Bishop House and options for visiting visit their website today! Be warned, they do have limited hours.
Have you visited The Historic Bishop House? What industries built the town you live in? Did you know about the major role sheep played in the history of Wyoming?