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House History

Posted by Administrator on Sun, Jun 26 2011 10:38:00

In 1907 Big Horn Lumber owner Harry C. Benham bought land and built a house on the top of Residence Hill. Mr. Benham was an entrepreneur and community leader. The house he built for Carrie and himself was the one of the first on the hill – it was the Queen of the Hill. Today you can enjoy the extraordinary quality and craftsmanship of the house. Most of the oak features a unique grain pattern known as ‘tiger stripe’. As owner of Big Horn Lumber, we surmise Mr. Benham hand selected the wood for his new house.

A century later, in 2006, we began the long delayed task of returning the house to its former dignity and grace. In the words of a young friend “You didn’t remodel this house, you’ve given it a ‘Total Makeover’!”, and we have. We believe you’ll appreciate our restoration and the newer amenities we’ve added.

Then and Now Residence Hill Bed & Breakfast

Posted by Administrator on Sun, Jun 26 2011 10:31:00


Think 1907 in Sheridan, Wyoming.  The Wild West is tamed… well, sort of (it will never be completely tamed).  The nearby Crow Indians have made peace. 

North of town, Fort McKenzie is growing brick by brick, and the Buffalo Soldiers, Calvary of the 25th Infantry, are practicing drill on their proud, strong steeds.

It is almost three decades before the Sheridan WYO rodeo officially begins, but at nearby ranches, cowboys are breakin’ broncs, ropin’ steers and tyin’ calves for branding.

At the Sheridan Coal Company, a couple of seams of coal are being mined, with the promise of more lies below.  Everywhere east of the Big Horns, the spring runoff has swollen the creeks: Big and Little Goose, Piney Creek, Wolf and Prairie Dog race downhill toward the Tongue River and the Powder River Country  so that Rocky Mountain melted snow can carry the paddlewheels from Memphis to Natchez.

Listen carefully and you can hear a hawk calling his mate as he glides without apparent effort, in circles on outstretched wings, seeking with his amazing vision… his lunch.

Listen again and you can hear a 4-8-4 coal fired locomotive of the C B & Q Railroad as it crests the hill east of town, bringing a load of rough oak lumber, leaded glass windows, nails, brass hardware, pipes and wire for a special house.

On a hilltop just southwest of the courthouse, a man sits in his horse drawn carriage with a set of architect’s plans in his lap.  He is Harry Benham, owner of Big Horn Lumber, and he’s ready to build the proud majestic home we now call the Residence Hill Bed and Breakfast.  He tilts his head and smiles when the train engineer hits its whistle, because Harry Benham knows what is on that train for him.

Harry will start building his dream home tomorrow.

You can sleep in Harry Benham's home tonight, but right now, its still 1907 and he’s off down the hill to tell Carrie and the children.

+ - + - + -

Think 1997 in Sheridan, Wyoming.  The Bernard’s are looking for another investment.  They’ve had modest returns on a few rentals and want to grow their portfolio.  They are looking for an easy to repair, easy to rent house at a decent price. They look at several disappointing prospects over a week or two and then are shown an old Victorian which needs a lot of work. A LOT of work! Bev says it would be a lousy rental.  Rob agrees.

But they fall in love with it and buy it anyway.


Fast forward nine years.  Rob and Bev have returned to Sheridan after living in the Middle East for more than half a decade.  There is only a brief discussion about which house they want to occupy.  At 450 South Thurmond, hard livin’ as a rental has taken its toll.  But Rob and Bev have a history of loving the unloved and seeing promise in neglected kids and challenging places.

They dig into and through a century’s accumulated coal dust and spider webs, replace loose windows and a monster boiler that looks like something from a Jules Verne novel.  They refinish floors, re-wire, re-paint and re-almost everything large portions of the house.

And the grand old lady again takes her rightful place as one of the crown jewels of Residence Hill.

Now you can join Bev and Rob and call the Residence Hill B&B your ‘home’, at least while you are in Sheridan.

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