History Of The
“My husband and I are history buffs and it was
so encouraging to see someone restore this
property. It is very impressive.”
A Thriving Hotel Since 1900
The property was later expanded to include the original Cody Circuit Judge Court House, one of the oldest buildings in Cody. Currently displayed in the hotel’s conference room, is a 1910 photograph of Buffalo Bill and the newly elected Park County officers standing on the property outside the court house door.
During the 1920′s and 30′s, the Chamberlin Inn was the place to stay in Cody. Our guest registers display the signatures of numerous actors, authors, politicians, opera singers, movie stars, and tycoons. Names such as Ernest Hemingway, Marshall Fields, Larry Larom, Stanley, and Haliburton have been her guests.
We found Ernest Hemingway’s signature in one of the Chamberlin’s original guest registers. After considerable research by one of our guests, who happened to be a Hemingway scholar, we found that in 1932, while staying at the Chamberlin Hotel, Ernest Hemingway had just completed the manuscript for “Death in the Afternoon”. After a few days of fishing the Clark’s Fork River he mailed the manuscript and several short stories to his publishers. Then he went back to fishing by day and swapping stories with the locals in the Irma Bar at night. We have restored his room to reflect his lifestyle.
Aggie was a pillar of the community. Her hotel dining room hosted the first Cody Club Chamber meeting and she published its history in The Story of The Cody Club 1900 – 1940. In 1926, she organized the first Buffalo Bill Memorial Association meeting in the hotel, where she was elected its first president. She also founded the Cody Women’s Club. An accomplished pianist, she chartered the Cody Music Club. She was instrumental in the building of the Methodist and Presbyterian churches and later donated land for the Cody Airport. Agnes lived to help dedicate KODI radio station just prior to her death in 1947.
Agnes sold the hotel in 1939 and the name was later changed to the Pawnee Hotel by Hattie and George Evans. The Hotel gradually decayed, almost into a state of disrepair, before it was purchased in 1974 by JoJean DeHony. Over the next 31 years, JoJean successfully operated the hotel, landscaped the adjoining vacant lot, and added baths to most rooms.
In October of 2005, the hotel again changed ownership and, as a tribute to Agnes Chamberlin, the name was changed back to the Chamberlin Inn.
New owners Ev and Susan Diehl, long time Cody residents, with the assistance of their daughters Kelly and Marcy and their families, and the contracting expertise of nephew H.R. Coe, began a complete restoration of the hotel and the surrounding properties.