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TOP TEN reasons to visit the St. James Hotel

TOP TEN reasons to visit the St. James Hotel

By Bob Funk, Sr.

People ask: “Why did you purchase and refurbish the historic St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico?”

Easy Answer: “It is a reflection of things I love to include American history, culture, art, and authentic stories of the Wild, Wild West.”

This historic St. James Hotel, first built in 1872 on the recommendation of U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, has it all including culinary treats, period-style lodging, collections, gun fighting tales and ghost stories.


If you have not visited ‘the James’ in a while, put it on your list!

Below are my TOP TEN reasons to visit this unique destination:


The St. James had a notable reputation in its day and was visited by many famous lawmen and notorious outlaws. It was the scene of many gunfights prevalent in the days of the Old West. A favorite saying in the area became "Who was killed at Lambert's (former name) last night?"

During your stay, count the 20+ bullet holes in the ceiling of the original dining room.

 2)   FOOD

Its builder was Henri (later Henry) Lambert who served as a personal chef to President Abraham Lincoln and the culinary experience continues to deliver.

Noted as the best restaurant for miles around (trust the locals on this point), try the regional specials which are affordably priced between $8-$15 per plate.



Satisfied guests posted the following on TripAdvisor. Reviews speak for themselves.




Enter the saloon through the still-standing swinging doors which were used by many famous people over the years, including Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Buffalo Bill Cody, Clay Allison, Black Jack Ketchum, Billy the Kid and Thomas James Wright. Belly up to the bar like a real gun slinger (you choose what side of the law you’re on).


 5)   GHOSTS

If ‘Ghost Busting’ is your thing, look no further than the St. James. NEW MEXICO LIVING states “The St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico, might be one of the most haunted hotels in the state.”

In fact, front desk manager Thea Maestas says guests have reported hearing boots walking on the hallways and tapping on room 17. Read the full article.


You can tell from the Guest Books that the James was visited by Wyatt Earp and his brother Morgan on their way to Tombstone, Arizona (Jesse James always stayed in Room 14).

And Buffalo Bill Cody stayed at the Inn as he took an entire village of Native Americans living nearby on the road with his famed western show.


Another entertainer and the most recognized female sharpshooter in history, Annie Oakley, was a frequent visitor of the Inn.



The outlaw Davy Crockett, a descendant of the adventurer and Congressman Davy Crockett, killed three renegade soldiers inside the St. James bar room in 1876.


Notably, barracks once occupying Buffalo Soldiers still stand along the Santa Fe train tracks near the St. James property (feel free to peek in; it’s open to the public and on the road to the Main Lodge of the UU Bar Ranch).


When the railroad came through and effectively killed the cattle drives which heavily relied on the Santa Fe trail, the St. James fell into disrepair. And between 1926–1985, the hotel passed between many owners. General Manager Teri Caid gets much of the credit for restoring the facility to her former glory helping to keep Western history and legendary stories alive.

 Teri personally invites you to stop in and say “HELLO!”. Whether you are a

a history buff, tired traveler, ‘Ghost Chaser’, hungry Westerner or ski enthusiast on the way to the ski slopes, you are WELCOME!


 Contact Information and Reservations:

Address: 617 S Collison Ave, Cimarron, NM 87714



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