292 Main Street
The Noble Hotel -The Noble Hotel has been a landmark in downtown Lander since it was built in 1918. The grand hotel was built to serve visitors from the East on their way to Yellowstone. Harold Del Monte bought the hotel in 1929 and set out to recreate the Noble as more than a luxury hotel. Del Monte was an avid historian, and he wanted the rooms to “give a brief but true synopsis of some of the exciting events of the early west, as they influenced the town of Lander, Wyoming, and the surrounding Wind River Country.” All of Del Monte’s stories were told through images on the Noble’s furniture. Ten of the hotel’s 57 rooms had western themes, including the Pony Express, Sacagawea and Lewis and Clark, the Mountain Man era, Cattle drives and others.
Del Monte commissioned Paul Hindman of Cody to create the western look furniture. Hindman worked for Thomas Molesworth of Cody, who is widely credited with perfecting the western look. Hindman, a master furniture maker in his own right, created the heavy beds, chairs, tables and desks from magnolia wood, and painter J.K. Ralston painted the scenes.
Del Monte transformed the Noble’s dining room as well, arraying it with Indian crafts including a complete teepee by the door. He commissioned J. K. Ralston to paint the history of Shoshone Chief Washakie. Along with the split cowhide covered furniture, the hand woven rugs and curtains in the rooms, the grand fireplace, mounted big game heads and stained glass skylight, the Noble also housed an extensive arrowhead collection and a huge aquarium with trout.
In 1945 Nancy Mansell O’Neill wrote, “Outside the Noble Hotel looks like an ordinary small town hotel. As you step inside you are immediately in the spacious living room of a motion picture mountain lodge.”
The hotel closed in 1969. New tourism trends, changing tastes and easier access to Yellowstone doomed the hotel. In 1975 the National Outdoor Leadership School moved into the then abandoned hotel. Today it is a vibrant hub of activity for the school. NOLS has refurbished the building, keeping many of the original features including some of the Hindman furniture, the stained glass skylight and fireplace. The Tap Tapley Gallery, a small museum inside the Noble, details the history of Del Monte, the hotel and NOLS.