Grand Hotel on the Santa Fe Trail
Welcoming Guests Since 1872!
The saga of the St. James Hotel began in Washington D.C. with the arrival of a Frenchman whose life became intertwined with the people and a place that became known as the Village of Cimarron, New Mexico. A chef, Henri Lambert, loved to prepare great food. As his reputation grew, he was the chef for many well known people in Washington DC. Around 1864, Henri Lambert traveled west and settled in northeastern New Mexico.
Situated on the Santa Fe Trail, Cimarron’s location attracted a variety of colorful characters in the Old West. From lawmen to outlaws and everyone in between, the fine food and atmosphere at the original St. James Hotel attracted them all. A kaleidoscope of colorful characters frequented the saloon and/or stayed in the hotel.
The Earp brothers and their wives stopped here on their way to Tombstone. Buffalo Bill Cody became a friend of the Lamberts and was present when their son, Fred was born. While visiting the St. James he visualized plans for his “Wild West Show” to include Annie Oakley. Lew Wallace, former Governor of New Mexico, wrote part of his novel “Ben Hur” during his visits to this area. Author Zane Grey began writing his novel “Fighting Caravans” while staying in Room 22. The rooms of many guests have been preserved as they were originally in the late 1800’s.