The historic sheridan inn stock

 The Historic Sheridan Inn.

While doing research for Trail End State Historic Site (the Kendrick Mansion), I was looking through old Sheridan city directories and came across several familiar names — of businesses, that is.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, only 33% of new businesses will see 10 years of operation. To find so many familiar businesses that have been around for over a century is really impressive.

The Historic Sheridan Inn, opened in 1893, and The Mint Bar, opened in 1907, are both Sheridan landmarks. But what are our other longstanding businesses?

The first Sheridan Commercial building at 303 Broadway St. was an ornate, wooden, two-story building erected in 1903. After it burned down in 1915, the brick structure we’re familiar with was constructed in 1916 by then-governor John Kendrick.

The White Swan Barber Shop at 221 N. Main St., is not only in its original location but is the oldest continuously operating barber shop in Wyoming. New owner Levi Davis moved here from Laramie this past July to buy the 115-year-old business and is keeping the name because of the history associated with it. 

“It’s been very important to past barbers to sell the business to someone who will continue operating this as a barber shop,” Davis said.

The Post Office News Stand, started in 1910, is still selling cigars at 1 N. Main St., but you probably know it under a different name: the PO News and Flagstaff Café.

Carroll Realty began downtown in 1913, and for almost 50 years has been in the former Crescent Hotel building on the corner of Main and Alger streets.

Sheridan Tent and Awning’s original storefront was at 130 Smith St., which is now the parking lot adjacent to their current building at 128 N. Brooks St. As an aside, they’ve made all three sets of canvas porch shades used at Trail End over the past century: the originals in 1918, and the 1950 and 2018 replicas.

Carroll’s Furniture began in 1919, and for the first time in its history is not owned by the Carroll family. However, after working in the industry for more than 20 years, new owners Chuck and Annie Magera felt they had the knowledge and community support to buy a brick-and-mortar store during a pandemic. They are retaining the store name because it “represents quality, value, excellent service and community involvement,” and they’re honored to carry on the legacy that four generations of Carroll family members built.

While Sheridan Iron Works isn’t currently in use for iron working, owner Derek Gilbert said the name came with the building when he bought it five years ago. Different businesses are now housed inside, such as Go Fast Don’t Die and FORGE Physio gym, but this building and its iconic lighted sign are still a part of the downtown landscape.

These businesses have been purchased by different people over the years, but one thing is very clear: all the owners care about the history and legacy of these spaces. Isn’t it nice to think that residents here a century ago would still recognize some of the same businesses today?

Sharie Shada is superintendent of Trail End State Historic Site, the home of former Wyoming Governor and U.S. Sen. John B. Kendrick.

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