History of the Arapaho Historic Mansion

The 5,000 sq.ft. Arapaho Historic Mansion is 103 years old. In the early years of the Arapaho Ranch, tribal members referred to the Mansion as “The White House”. 

Inside, there is a very grand entry, flanked by a large living room to the left and a large dining room to the right. Although we have most of the original furnishings, the exotic animal hides, tapestries, rugs, and art are long gone.

Two large sun porches wrap around the south and east sides of the mansion and connect with the main floor through four 8-foot-wide French doors. The front sun porch contains all of its original, fully restored wicker furniture, consisting of 2 rockers, 2 lounge chairs, 2 seven-foot sofas, two desks, and several side tables.

The previously floral upholstery has been replaced by Pendleton patterns produced by Sunbrella, a non-fading, non-staining, commercial-grade upholstery used for the sun porch, dining room, and living room furnishings. Jay Lawrence Upholstery of Denver did all reupholstering on the project, and students were trained to restore the wooden pieces. One piece dates back to when Wyoming was a Territory, which would have been on the ranch since Col. Sliney’s time in 1867.

In the future, for handicap access to the mansion and the bathrooms on the main floor, we will add two powder rooms on the back of the mansion, along with ramps and a pergola porch. These are the only structural changes to be made. The exterior and interior surfaces have not been restored yet, nor have mechanical improvements been made. The contractor for this large project is Wattle and Daub Contractors, based in Laramie, Wyoming. As preservation contractor, Wattle and Daub specializes exclusively in the restoration, preservation, and reconstruction of historic structures. Stewart Architecture is developing sight plans and designing new structures and repurposing existing structures. Stewart Architecture’s focus is on building community through sustainable planning and sustainable architecture.

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The mission of the Arapaho Ranch Field Station is to facilitate place-based learning through transformative experiences, as well as preserve the history and culture of the people and the place.