Inside the bar of the Hotel Wolf in Saratoga, a model of the building sits next to a stuffed moose head. The Hotel Wolf was built by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s great-great grandfather.

The red brick Hotel Wolf, on the corner of East Bridge and North First Street in downtown Saratoga, now has U.S. Supreme Court connections. Newly sworn-in Justice Neil Gorsuch’s ancestor built it.

Frederick G. Wolf, a retired foreman from the Union Pacific who suffered from rheumatism, built the hotel and gave it his last name in 1893, according to old newspaper articles that adorn the walls of the bar and restaurant.

At the time, local newspaper the Platte Valley Lyre proclaimed that “the new Wolf Hotel is one of the handsomest buildings in Carbon County and don’t you forget it.” The hotel was estimated to have cost $6,000 to build at that time.

Wolf’s great-great grandson, Neil Gorsuch, was sworn in as the newest U.S. Supreme Court justice on April 10. Gorsuch’s mother, Ann Gorsuch, was born in Casper, and rose to be head of the Environmental Protection Agency under Ronald Reagan. Much like EPA head Scott Pruitt today, Ann Gorsuch sought to use the agency to push deregulation of industry. After less than two years, she was ousted by Congress, according to the Casper Star-Tribune.

Neil Gorsuch’s western ties were touted by U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi. “I have met Judge Gorsuch and he has a lot of support from the legal community in Wyoming,” Enzi said in a press release at the time of Gorsuch’s nomination by President Donald Trump. “As a westerner, he has a good understanding of the issues that matter to our state,” Enzi wrote.

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Many Democrats say Gorsuch stole a seat that should have gone to Obama nominee Merrick Garland following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Republicans in Congress refused to consider Garland’s nomination, made in March 2016.

The presidential election was an opportunity for the American people to have a say in who chooses the next Supreme Court justice,” Enzi said in the press release.

Andrew Graham

Andrew Graham is reporting for WyoFile from Laramie. He covers state government, energy and the economy. Reach him at 443-848-8756 or at, follow him @AndrewGraham88

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