St. James Hotel
Spend Some Time in the Old West
The St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico offers unrivaled peace and serenity today, but it wasn't always that way. A community full of frontier history, Cimarron and its vintage Hotel are indelibly marked by the turbulent days of westward expansion in northeast New Mexico. "Cimarron" is the Spanish word used to describe a mustang, meaning "wild" or "unbroken," and the Village of Cimarron lived up to that description. Situated within the largest land grant in American History on the Santa Fe Trail, Cimarron attracted a variety of colorful characters in the Old West. From lawmen to outlaws and everyone in between, the fine food and atmosphere at the original St. James Hotel was, at one time or another, home to them all. Many are said to visit even today. Such Old West notables as The Earp brothers stopped here on their way to Tombstone. Buffalo Bill Cody was a frequent guest and friend of the owners, and outlaws Frank James and Billy the Kid took their rest here.
The old Hotel has 12 restored rooms where guests can enjoy the simple but elegant ease of 19th Century furnishings. Accommodations include a variety of singles, doubles, and family rooms with private or shared baths.
The two-story Annex adjacent to the Hotel has an additional 10 rooms with a variety of sleeping options. Single and double rooms, all with private baths and television, offer attractive and comfortable quarters.
The saga of the St. James Hotel began in Washington D.C. with the arrival of a Frenchman whose life would become intertwined with the people in a place that became known as the Village of Cimarron, New Mexico.
Situated on the Cimarron River and the Santa Fe Trail, the town's location attracted a variety of colorful Wild West characters. From lawmen to outlaws and everyone in between, the fine food and atmosphere at the original St. James Hotel attracted them all.
Who was the Frenchman?
He was chef Henri Lambert. He loved to prepare great food. As his reputation grew he was the chef for many well known people in Washington DC. Around 1864, Henri Lambert traveled west and settled in northeastern New Mexico. Initially the Lamberts made their home in a rough mining community known as Elizabethtown, in the area now known as New Mexico's Enchanted Circle. Henri Lambert tried mining but soon returned to his real profession as a chef.
The gold ore began to play out and by 1871, houses and mines began to disappear in Elizabethtown. Prominent men in Cimarron enticed the Lamberts to move their business.
The St. James Today
First built in 1872, many famous outlaws have stayed at the St. James over the years, including Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Buffalo Bill Cody, Annie Oakley, Billy the Kid and Thomas James Wright. It is said that some of these spirits still haunt these halls today. The St. James hotel has retained its haunted appearance, with its creaking staircase and tilted chandeliers. The rooms remain named for the outlaws who stayed in them. Room 18, which is said to be haunted by T.J. Wright, remains intact and un-booked as if he were still rooming there today.
Cimarron, New Mexico is in Colfax County, on the Eastern slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The village is surrounded by ranches, including the Philmont Scout Ranch, the base for the Boy Scouts of America. Nearby is the Chase Ranch, which is famous for its heart-shaped brand, and is said to be the origin of the Marlboro Man. Ted Turner's Vermejo Park Ranch, the CS Ranch, the Express UU Bar Ranch and the Clearview Ranch surround Cimarron. Also nearby are the Elliot Barker State Wildlife Area and Cimarron Canyon State Park. Within a short drive, is the Ghost Town of Dawson. There are numerous historic attractions in Cimarron.
Enjoy Fine Food in the Tradition of Henri Lambert
Savor your favorite comfort food in the St. James dining room. Enjoy tasty homemade soups, salads, house-baked breads and desserts, which enhance a range of entrees such as steaks, bison burgers, trout, shrimp, and New Mexican favorites. The bar offers a variety of fine wines, beer, and cocktails.
More About the Colorful Guests of the St. James
A kaleidoscope of colorful characters, some as alive now as when they walked this earth, frequented the saloon and or stayed in the hotel. Both the famous ... and the infamous ... made the St. James Hotel their temporary residence or watering hole.
The Earp brothers and their wives stopped here on their way to Tombstone. Buffalo Bill Cody became a friend of the Lamberts and was present when their son, Fred was born. While visiting the St. James he visualized plans for his "Wild West Show"? to include Annie Oakley.
Lew Wallace, former Governor of New Mexico, wrote part of his novel Ben Hur during his visits to this area.
Author Zane Grey began writing his novel Fighting Caravans while staying in Room 22.
Outlaws such as Jesse James and Black Jack Ketchum rested in the hotel. Wander around the downstairs of the St. James. Look at the old photos and learn more about the guests of yesteryear.
The St. James has been featured on numerous television shows about haunted historic places, including:
October 5, 2012
My Ghost Story Episode 43
June 16, 2011
Haunted Collector - Burning Spirits Ghosts of the West
For those looking for adventure, take a break from the hustle and bustle of the 21st Century at the Saint James Hotel. Here you can catch a glimpse of the authentic Wild West under New Mexico's big sky.
St. James Hotel
617 South Collison
Cimarron, NM 87714
Visit the St. James Hotel Website