Trail End cost $165,000 to build. This was in a time when one could purchase a three-bedroom house in town with running water, electricity, and a garage for a mere $4,000. For a house to cost forty times that of a normal dwelling, it would have to be something special. Trail End fits that description, both inside and out.
Nearly everything used to build Trail End had to be shipped to Sheridan on railroad cars - from the Montana granite foundation to the Missouri clay roofing tiles. Other materials include: Kansas brick, Honduran mahogany and Michigan oak woodwork, Italian and Vermont marble, French silk damask wall coverings and Persian rugs. The stained glass windows were made in New York City, the limestone trim came from Indiana, and the window screens were shipped west from Maine. About the only locally-produced products were the iron gates - from Sheridan Iron Works - and the exterior canvas shades made by Sheridan Tent & Awning.
ONE COWBOY'S DREAM
Despite his wife's active involvement in its design and construction, Trail End was apparently John Kendrick's idea from start to finish. Located on 3.8 acres of land on the west side of town, is an imposing structure with thirty-plus rooms encompassing just under 14,000 square feet. There are three floors plus a basement, attic, four balconies and four porches.
The home was built in the Flemish Revival style, recognizable by the presence of curvilinear gables (this style is most often seen in the border areas between France and Belgium). Mixed in with the Flemish elements are several from the Neoclassical style including columns, pediments and balustrades.
The front of the house is symmetrical with a formal entrance reminiscent of large estates in Great Britain, New York and Virginia. The sides and back have the more random arrangement of porches, balconies, windows and chimneys typical of late Nineteenth Century Victorian houses.
TRAIL END TECHNOLOGY
When Trail End was designed and built, it incorporated the newest and most advanced technology available, including:
As technology advanced, so did its use at Trail End. In the 1920s, the original ice box in the butler's pantry was replaced by an electric refrigerator, a gas range replaced the cumbersome wood and coal cook stove, and the coal-fired boilers were eventually converted to natural gas.
Americans take most of these inventions for granted today, but to the people who lived at Trail End in 1913 these labor-saving devices were very exciting. They eliminated much of the drudgery of everyday life and made it easier for all, family and staff alike, to enjoy the comforts of home.
TRAIL END STAFF
It took a lot of hands to keep things running smoothly at Trail End. Many domestics (or servants) worked there over the years, but only a few at any one time. Most maids and grounds workers, known as "day workers," would go to work in the morning and return to their own homes at night. Others, however, would choose (or be chosen) to live on site, taking part of their wages in room and board. A cook and housekeeper once lived at Trail End as did several maids and a private nurse employed by Diana Kendrick to look after her children.
Followers of today's rich and famous might be surprised to learn that Eula Kendrick and many other well-to-do married women of the time worked right along with the domestic staff to keep their homes running smoothly. While maids, cooks, gardeners and housekeepers did the bulk of the everyday work, Eula and her daughter Rosa-Maye helped with major projects such as spring cleaning, planting flowers, moving seasonal wardrobes in and out of storage and rearranging furniture.
1889 John Kendrick moves to Sheridan area
1895 John purchases property in Nielsen Heights for future home
1908 Construction of Trail End begins on Nielsen Heights property
1910 Kendrick family moves into Carriage House
1913 Family moves into Trail End on July 28
1914 Family hosts public open house on New Year's Day
1915 Family moves to Cheyenne while John serves as Governor of Wyoming
1917 Family moves to Washington, DC while John serves as Senator
1929 Manville and wife Diana move into Trail End
1934 Eula moves back to Trail End after John's death
1960 Manville and Diana move out of Trail End
1968 Sheridan County Historical Society purchases Trail End
1969 Trail End opens as a community museum
1970 Trail End added to National Register of Historic Places
1979 Carriage House remodeled into community theater
1982 Trail End given to State of Wyoming; opens as historic house museum