The Wandering Hermit

They are offering a complimentary coffee or tea, plus a 10% discount on items on May 4th. We appreciate Dan Brecht, owner, for his dedication to help preserve Wyoming history and one of Wheatland’s historic buildings.  

The building is actually ½ of a larger building that includes the building at 877 Gilchrist, just west of the Wandering Hermit.   They share a common brick wall, and the water meter and sewer line for 877 Gilchrist Street are in the basement of the 875 Gilchrist building.

The building was originally home to the Wheatland Hardware Company.

The building is a one-story, flat-roofed masonry commercial building roughly 26 feet east to west by 70 feet north to south.  In its earliest days, the building had a very unique façade which included large amounts of glass windows including transom windows to within a foot or two of the ceiling.  The front of the building has had 2 major renovations that has completely changed the façade. The first of these was to take down a decorative “arch” above the door and to put a stucco exterior finish over the soft brick.  The second renovation was done much more recently and included putting in double pane, darkened windows, covering the façade with a wooden exterior and adding an awning that gives the entire façade a more “western” look.

On the interior the original maple floors and the beautiful tin ceiling remain.  A mezzanine in the back of the building may or may not be original. I believe, based on the construction design and materials, that the mezzanine is a more recent upgrade.  The walls have a plaster finish that may be original, but the lower 6 feet have been covered with various wood finishes and book case shelving.

There is a public space in the rear of the building that is shared by the adjacent buildings that we have converted into a very nice and comfortable patio for summer use with tables, chairs, umbrellas, a small water feature and lots of flower pots.  We have added window flower boxes to the front of the building and put geraniums in them on either side of the front door during the spring, summer and fall months. In winter they are decorated with evergreen boughs or garland.

An interesting historic fact is that George Milne, who was an employee of the original Wheatland Hardware Company committed suicide in the basement when he was demoted from manager.  He was discovered in the basement the next morning by store employees and rushed to the hospital across the street where he died. Mr. Milne was born in Scotland in 1867, managed the Warren Land and Cattle Company ranches for a time, worked as bookkeeper for the Swan Land and Cattle Company in Chugwater, was an assistant cashier of the Wheatland State Bank, and had worked for sixteen years as the manager of the Wheatland Hardware Company.  His death was on February 2,1934.

Previous owners claimed that George, the ghost, often played pranks on them; knocking things off the shelves or moving merchandise from its intended place.