Gillette, Wyoming Photos 2

December 7, 2021 – 02:55 am
Gillette, 1913.

In 1905, Charles R. Goings (1872-1940) purchased the wooden Dodd Hotel. Rooms were available for $1.50 a night. In 1927, Goings replaced the original structure with a modern brick hotel at 111 Gillette Ave. On its room was a large sign.


Goings Hotel, approx. 1951.

The hotel, along with the Montgomery Hotel, provided lodging for, among others, railroad crews. The old front desk with its large "G" on the front is now in the Campbell County Rockpile Museum. In a corner of the lobby was a large "cage" at which freight and luggage could be stored.


Goings Hotel on left. Movie theatre on right, approx. 1951.

By 1916, an electircal system was in place and a movie house opened. At first, the theater relied upon an orchestra consisting of a piano and violn to provide accompaniment to the action on the screen. In the 1920's, with the invention of electric amplification of sound, a system utilizing large phonograph records was installed to provide sound. With the development of sound tracks on the film itself, in 1931 the theatre installed new curtains and a new sound system permitting "Movietone" films to be shown.


Goings Hotel on left. Movie theatre on right, approx. 1959.

Not withstanding the peacefulness of the above scenes, a certain degree of roughness continued to exist. Across from the Goings next to the theatre was, and is, the Center Bar at 110 Gillette Ave. The Center Bar is peaceful now and has received recognition by a national magazine for its decor. The decor includes the use of female mannekins. In its early years the Center Bar was noted for its fights between cowboys and oil riggers. In one fight, a participant attempted to bite off the finger of a police officer attempting to stop the altercation. The bar also had a job jar in which an out-of-work rigger could put his name, and employers seeking workers could put a card. One former mayor recalled the City itself used the job jar to find workers.


School House, approx. 1910.

The first school in Gillette opened in 1891. The first high school graduating class consisted of two students.


School House, approx. 1910.

Source: www.wyomingtalesandtrails.com

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    • Ski Hi Theatre and Drive In 2201 South Douglas Highway, Gillette, WY - (307) 686-7144; The Hangover 9:00pm; Year One 9:15pm.