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The way it was: Elkhorn Hotel -- 1915
Patrons of the the Elkhorn Hotel in Shoshoni posed in front of the log structure, circa 1915. Photo courtesy Riverton Museum

The way it was: Elkhorn Hotel -- 1915

Feb 24, 2013 - Staff

The Chicago North Western Railroad got to Shoshoni before either Riverton or Lander in 1906, and the town prospered. While it didn't approach Lander in size or refinement (Lander has been around a lot longer), Shoshoni did rival Riverton in its early days. For years the populations were similar, and Shoshoni had a business community that was more or less the equal of Riverton's in the years before World War I.

Part of it was this building, Moses Bright's Elkhorn Hotel. The log structure has a double-layered roof with a bit of thatch insulation, and at least a half-dozen rooms, each with a window. A larger "club room" was added to the rear, and the hotel did good business with train travelers and others who came to the area to hunt, trap and attend to sheep or other ag business.

A predictable fate eventually claimed the Elkhorn. It was destroyed by fire in 1921, just as so many other wooden structures were in the early days of western towns.

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