See the Old West come alive.
Grand Hotel on the Santa Fe Trail
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.
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.
Who was this Frenchman?
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. Initially the Lamberts made their home in Elizabethtown, a rough mining community northwest of Cimarron. Henri Lambert tried mining but soon returned to his real profession as a chef.
The gold ore began to play out and by 1871; houses and mines began to disappear in Elizabethtown. Prominent men in Cimarron enticed the Lamberts to move their business.
A wedding photo of the original owners, Henri and Mary Lambert in January of 1883.