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  • Fountain Hotel |

    Hotels in the Yellowstone Fountain Hotel - 1891-1916 ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. Fountain Hotel, from a double-oval postcard by FJ Haynes. Construction of the Fountain Hotel began in 1889 by the Yellowstone Park Association on a small rise on Fountain Flats, close to the Fountain Paint Pots, facing Fountain geyser. It has sometimes been called the Fountain Geyser Hotel. It replaced the old Firehole Hotel, located nearby at the junction of Nez Perce Creek and the Firehole River, which was abandoned in June. It became the first overnight stop for travelers from both the north and later the west entrances of Yellowstone. The Fountain Hotel opened in 1891, the same summer YPA opened a new hotel on the shores of Lake Yellowstone. The structure cost $100,000 and featured electric lights, steam heat, and piped in hot water from a nearby hot spring. Capacity was 350 guests and the interior walls were calcimined with material from the paint pots. Eventually the exterior was painted yellow. The park hotel association now had three 1st class hotels in the park to serve park visitors - the National Hotel at Mammoth and Lake Hotel. Reau Campbell, in his Campbell’s Complete Guide to Yellowstone, 1909, describes the Fountain Hotel: “There are electric lights and steam heat, with the cheerful accessory of a log fireplace in the lobby. The house is three stories, with rooms light, cheery and well ventilated. The dining-room is particularly a cheerful one. It has been said that the walls of the rooms were tinted with material taken from the Paint Pots, and from their soft colors we may believe it. The fine sulphur baths of the Fountain are in grateful remembrance of all who have had the good fortune to enjoy them; the water comes from one of the hot springs near the Paint Pots at an elevation sufficient to send the water to the bathrooms on the second floor of the hotel.” The Fountain Hotel.—This elegant and modernly constructed hotel, is pleasantly situated on the east side of the valley, commanding an extended view of the surroundings. Its appointments are tirst class throughout, electric light, steam heat, and the only hotel in the Park having natural hot water baths. It is the first hotel reached by visitors entering the Park from the west. The adjacent streams are stocked with “Loch Leven” and “Eastern brook” trout, and with the many natural curiosities in this vicinity one can profitably spend several days at the “Fountain.” [Haynes Guide, 1898] Map of the Lower Geyser Basin. From Campbells Guide to Yellowstone, 1909 The Fountain Hotel, No. 115. Published by Haynes-Photo in 1908. In the mid-late 1800, "Taking the Waters" was a popular past-time for folks who believed the mineral hot spring waters were a restorative to body and mind. The water that was piped into the Fountain Hotel was also believed by many to have these properties. If you look closely at the photo at left (click to enlarge), one can see the pipeline (center) that ran from Leather Pool to the hotel. The 1905 YPA brochure claimed, ​ "Here also one may obtain the privilege of bathing in the naturally heated waters of Mother Earth, for the baths at the Fountain Hotel are supplied from a pool of hot sulphur water nearby. These baths will be found extremely refreshing and invigorating, and Doctor Howard Mummery, F. R. S., of London, gave it as his opinion that the hot water that supplies the baths at the Fountain Hotel contains properties that will most effectually act as a remedial agent in case of kidney complaints. Bright’s disease and all kindred ailments. These baths should be continued for one or more weeks to obtain the full benefit of their medicinal value." Top: Rare view/sketch of the lobby of the Fountain Hotel. YNP Scrapbook] Bottom: Front of hotel with stagecoaches. Los Angeles Co. Museum, SCWHR-P-002-2498 Top: Fountain Hotel with Coach [YNP Archives #147588)] Bottom: Rare view of the back side of the hotel. [YNP #20129827] The Bears of Yellowstone ​ One of the popular features of Yellowstone National Park was the legion of bears. Early on, bears were attracted to the hotel dumps at all the park hotels, Mammoth excepted. The first "bear shows" originated at the Fountain Hotel garbage dump, perhaps a 100 yards in the woods behind the hotel. According to a 1904 Yellowstone Park Asso. brochure, this iconic bear photo, "was made by the young son of a former manager of the Fountain Hotel." The manager is believed to be Ellis J. Westlake, who served from 1896 through 1900. His son's name was John, who would have been 16-20 years of age during that time. At some point the "Association" and YP Transportation Co. (both were partly controlled by Hary Child in 1901), began using the photo for the bear-in-Circles logo. The original photo showed the bear standing amidst a plethora old tin cans, but they were eventually "photoshopped' to look like cut logs. F.Jay Haynes published the postcard shown below in 1908, and also in latter years. From Our Friends, the Bears, by James E. Tower, Good Housekeeping, 1901 ​ “At the Fountain Geyser hotel the black bears allow the Kodak fiend to get within thirty or forty feet of them, while feeding. I saw seven bears there in a group, including a mother and two cubs. Not even the rattling of the stage and the sound of human voices prevented a large black bear from coming in full view of a stage load of us, in the woods near the Grand canyon. The expression on a black bear’s face when a snap-shot intruder creeps to within thirty or forty feet, is a study. He gives the visitor a side glance, munching the while on his food, as much as to say: "Well, I guess you’re harmless: this piece of meat is too good to leave, and there wouldn’t be a thing left of you, anyway, if you should get too fresh and compel me to make trouble.” Dooley, a silver-tip cub tied to a tree at the Grand canyon hotel, was so wroth because I snapped my camera at him that he "had it in for me,” as the boys say, the rest of the day: glaring at me, turning his back when he thought I was trying to photograph him. He snapped at visitors - quite pardonably. He was to return to the woods and his mamma in the fall, for silver-tips cannot be tamed, it is said.” Bears feeding at an unknown park dump, tourist nearby, ca1910. [Museum of the Rockies, MOR #92-41-2 From: Book of a Hundred Bears , Frederick Dumont Smith, Rand McNally, 1909 ​ And here we saw our first bears. All the Park hotels have a garbage pile, where the refuse from the kitchen is dumped once a day, and here the bears come from the woods for meals “a la cart(e).” The garbage place at the Fountain is some distance from the hotel, and that summer a particularly ugly old she-grizzly and two cubs had taken possession of it, and it was considered unsafe to go near them. Two of the soldier guards stand there with their riHcs anti heavy service revolvers to keep us from approaching too closely and to guard against the bears. This reassures us. We know they are wild bears; that there is no hippodrome about it. Your first sight of a real wild bear there in his native woods gives you just a little thrill. It is not like a caged or menagerie bear. You realize that there are possibilities of danger and when, just at dusk, they came galloping down the hill—three of them, a mother and two half-grown cubs—it was an event. The mother was very suspicious and, when she stood up to sniff for danger, she looked as big as the side of a house. PIPER IS LOST IN THE PARK Missing From the Fountain Hotel Since Monday Night He Mysteriously Disappeared THOUGHT TO BE INSANE Not a Trace of Him Can Be Found and It Is Feared That He Has Fallen Into Some of the Many Bottomless Holes. All Hope of His Rescue Given Up A Squad of Cavalry Has Been Tirelessly at Work on the Search. Special Dispatch to the Standard. - Livingston, August 2, 1900 Another day has gone by and still there has been found no trace of J.R. Piper, [L. R. Piper] the man who wandered away from the Fountain Hotel in the national park last Monday evening. Searching parties, consisting of soldiers, stage drivers, hotel employees and tourists, have scoured the country in the vicinity of the Fountain hotel since Tuesday morning, but they have been able to discover no trace of the missing man. It seems as if the earth had opened and swallowed him, and, indeed, it is not unlikely that he has stumbled blindly into one of the many pools or bottomless cauldrons of seething mud that are so numerous in the Midway geyser basin. So read the headline of Montana’s Anaconda Standard newspaper of August 3rd, 1900 - a Yellowstone mystery that has never been solved. No trace of Piper’s body was ever found and nothing was ever heard of him again. Leroy Piper was a mild-mannered bank cashier at a bank in St. Mary's, Ohio. Piper's "rich uncle" had died the previous year in California, and Piper was on his way west to help straighten out affairs, and hopefully collect his inheritance. Riding a Union Pacific train, he and a few friends stopped at Salt Lake City to make a side trip to Yellowstone Park. They rolled into Yellowstone Station at the west entrance and proceeded to Fountain Hotel for the first night. On the evening of July 30, 1900, Piper wandered downstairs to the dining room. He ate a leisurely dinner, purchased a cigar from the lobby newsstand and stepped into the night to enjoy a pleasant smoke and fresh mountain air on a peaceful evening . . . . . . and disappeared into the mists of time - never to be seen again, and nary a trace of him was ever found. Still a Yellowstone Mystery to this day. The Man Who Wandered Away:- A Yellowstone Mystery, an article by this author, is a vailable in "Annals of Wyoming " Autumn 2008, Vol. 80, No.4 Left: Fountain Hotel in 1896, Keystone-Mast photo Right: Touring car with Fountain Hotel in background, undated. Prior to the opening of the Old Faithful Inn in 1904, guests often stayed two nights at the Fountain with a day trip to Old Faithful in between. After the Inn opened, the stay was only for one night. With the advent of the motorized bus fleet in 1917, travel times were shortened considerably and the trip from Mammoth or West Yellowstone to Old Faithful could be made in a single day, eliminating the need for facilities at Fountain. The hotel closed after 1916, a mere 25 years of operation. It stood empty and deserted for over 10 years when permission was received to tear it down. It vanished into the past in 1928. Today, little remains of the old hotel - a few crumbled concrete foundation walls, water pipe fragments, concrete supports for the old generator cabin, remains of the old bear dump with sparkling pieces of old glass, pottery, and rusted cans. Left: Article about objects found during the demo of the hotel in 1928. [Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Mn., 17Aug1928] Right: Photo of the foundation supports for the old generator house. Photo by author 2005 SLY MOUSE GHOST OF PARK HOTEL The Davenport Iowa Democrat and Leader, June 13, 1928 Yellowstone Park, Wyo - (AP) At six o'clock of every cold, raw, winter evening a bell in room 203 of the Fountain Hotel would ring. Every night at six o'clock a frightened, but conscientious caretaker made his cautious way to room 203, only to find it empty. Finally even the caretaker's earnestness could not stand the spectral twilight calls, and he fled the hotel in the company of a park photographer. The old hotel was remodeled the next spring, and the workers found that a mouse had made its nest in the wall of room 203 over the wire leading to the bell. It had nibbled off the insulation as that every time it touched it the bell rang. The regularity of the ghostly rings testify to the excellent character of the rodent. Even this explanation has not entirely put down the evil reputation of the hotel, and native, park rangers and general park employees have held for 20 years to their belief in the "haunt." Demolition of the building this spring, however, is expected to lay the ghost forever.

  • Canyon Hotel & Lodges |

    Yellowstone - Canyon Hotels & Lodges Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author. Canyon Hotel ​ 1st Canyon Hotel This crude wooden structure was located in thick timber above Lower Falls, near the current Brink of Lower Falls parking lot. It was built in 1886 by the Yellowstone Park Association (YPA). This building housed the office, dining room, kitchen, and lobby. About 70 guests could be housed in nearby tents. It was permitted by the Army for the 1886 season only, but remained in use until a larger hotel was opened in 1890. ​ [Photo courtesy of Montana State University, Haynes Photo Collection] 2nd Canyon Hotel This hotel was located on the hill above the Grand Canyon, near where the current Xanterra horse operation is operated. The building contained 250 guest rooms and featured steam heat. Problems with the foundation necessitated repairs in 1896 and 1901. Twenty-four rooms were added in 1901. The hotel was in operation until 1911 when it was incorporated into the construction of the new Canyon Hotel. Top Left: Front of 2nd Canyon Hotel, Haynes post card No. 144 Top Right: Close-up of front of 2nd hotel, Wyoming State Archives, Stimson Collection Bottom Left: Colorized slide of the image to the right. Bottom Right: Haynes Photo, YNP #143227 3rd Canyon Hotel ​ This grandiose structure opened in 1911 with 375 rooms that accommodated 500 guests. It incorporated the 2nd Canyon Hotel into its floor plan, located on the left end of the hotel. The hotel was designed by Robert Reamer and construction continued through the winter of 1910-11. The cost was over $750,000 and financed by the YP Hotel Co. and Harry Child, who obtained loans from the Northern Pacific RR. Capacity was expanded to 600 guests in 1922 and a new wing was added in 1930-34 increasing total capacity to 900 guests. The perimeter was reported to be one mile long, and orchestras played nightly in the expansive lounge area. The hotel closed down after the 1958 season and guests were forced to stay in the new Canyon Village Lodge cabins. This magnificent building burned down in 1960 during demolition, the cause of which was never officially determined. Magnificent New Hotel in Yellowstone Opened Butte Miner, August 5, 1911 (Special Correspondence to the Miner.) Grand Canyon Hotel, Yellowstone Park, Wyo., Aug. 2 - The formal opening of the great lounging room of the new Canyon hotel in Yellowstone park, which marks the completion of the $700,000 structure, was celebrated tonight by a ball, in which the guests of the hotel, campers in the park, fisherman, hotel employees and everybody else within a radius of 50 miles, joined. The hotel is unique among all the resort hotels in the world, and the mammoth lounging room is the most striking feature. This room, 186 feet by 95 feet in dimensions, is finished in natural birch and furnished with large upholstered and willow pieces of original patterns designed by Mrs. H.W. Child. The floor coverings are rugs, especially made in Austria, the large middle rug being 56 feet by 25 feet. The color scheme is green and brown, with an occasional dash of red. The lighting effects are secured by a series of specially designed lanterns suspended from the great beams overhead.. . . [The hotel] was built under incredible difficulties, and every pound of material within this great structure, which stretches along the mountain side for 700 feet and is full five stories in height, was brought in by freight wagons and sleds from Gardiner, 40 miles away, and for several months through snow drifts 10 to 12 feet in depth, with the thermometer far below zero for weeks at a time. The hotel has 450 rooms, 75 bath rooms and every modern convenience, including electric elevators. Left Top: Exterior View, Detroit PC 71062 Right Top: Exterior view, Bloom Bros. PC YP60 Left Middle: Entrance ramp, Haynes PC No.220 Right Middle: Lounge from Office, Haynes PC No.10172 Left Bottom: Tea Room, Haynes PC No.217 Right Bottom: Hotel Office, Haynes PC No.10150 Canyon Camps & Canyon Lodge ​ ​ The Canyon Camp was built on the Shaw & Powell Camping Co. site, located near the current Uncle Tom's Parking Lot. It was operated by the Yellowstone Park Camping Co. from 1917-1919, the Yellowstone Park Camps Co. under Howard Hays from 1920-24, and taken over by Vernon Goodwin that year, who retained the same name. In 1928, Harry Child bought out all the camps operations and they began being called ‘Lodges’ with the name changing to Yellowstone Park Lodge & Camps Co. until 1936. Goodwin was retained and managed the camps operation. The hotel, transportation, boat, and camps operation’s were reorganized and the name was changed to Yellowstone Park Co. Top Left: Canyon Lodge Exterior, Haynes PC 15040 ​ Top Right: Canyon Lodge Cafeteria, 1951. YNP #29658 ​ Bottom Left: Canyon Lodge Lobby, YNP #133440 ​ Bottom Right: Canyon Lodge Demolition, late 1950s. YNP #59672 ​ New tent cabins were erected in 1923-24 and the log lodge building was greatly expanded in 1925. Twenty-four new 12’x14’ cabins and five 12’x12’ permanent lodges were constructed in 1927. The lodge and cabins were closed down in 1957 with the opening of the new Canyon Village. The area was later cleaned up and rehabilitated and only a few relics can now be found in that area. Many of the cabins were moved to the Lake area. ​ When Canyon Lodge was closed in 1957, many of the structures were moved to other locations in park, while some were demolished, and others were sold off, as was the case of the old Lodge Lobby, which was disassembled and moved to Nevada City (Virginia City), Montana by Charlie Bovey as part of his historic restoration/recreation of a historic Montana mining town. This modern new lodge was built, and opened in 1957 under the provisions of the Mission 66 plan, mandated by the Interior department. Yellowstone Park Co financed the construction to the tune of 5 million dollars and 500 boxy, flat-roofed cabins were eventually built. The lodge building featured a lounge, coffee shop, cafeteria, gift shop, and modern decor. The lodge is still in operation and is run by Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Quite a few of the original cabins have been demolished, while many others have been remodeled. Canyon Village ​ This modern new lodge was built, and opened in 1957 under the provisions of the Mission 66 plan, mandated by the Interior department. Yellowstone Park Co financed the construction to the tune of 5 million dollars and 500 boxy, flat-roofed cabins were eventually built. The lodge building featured a lounge, coffee shop, cafeteria, gift shop, and modern decor. The lodge is still in operation and is run by Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Quite a few of the original cabins have been demolished, while many others have been remodeled. ​ Left Top: Canyon Village Main Lodge. Haynes PC K57157. Left Middle: Lodge Lounge. Haynes PC K57060 Left Bottom: Lodge Lounge, Haynes PC 57069 Right Top: Lodge Dining Room, Curteich PC 8C-K595 Right Middle: Lodge Cafeteria, Haynes PC K57120 ​ ​ To provide additional guest rooms, Cascade Lodge was built in 1992 containing 37 rooms and is located in the cabin area. Dunraven Lodge was constructed nearby six years later and features 44 rooms. Since then, three additional lodges have been added, Washburn Lodge, Moran Lodge, and Rhyolite Lodge, replacing many of the old 1957 cabins.

  • Yellowstone Park History Athenaeum |

    NEW!! "Geyser Bob Site Search" is live. Located on the Geyer Bob Home link. Search the whole site for your research needs. CLICK HERE to Begin Welcome to . . . ​ Geyser Bob's Greater Yellowstone History Athenaeum ​ Providing a bounty of historical information and archival photographs of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming and the surrounding gateway communities in Montana, and Idaho. The most complete source of information on the historic hotels, camps, stores, gateway communities, and early concessionaires in Yellowstone! Heading 6 * athenaeum : (ath·e·ne·um) noun 1) an institution for the promotion of literary or scientific learning. 2) a library or reading room. ​ This new website is a work-in-progress, and will eventually replace my web site. Unfortunately, for the second time in 20 years, I (and others) are essentially being booted off from HostGator. The first time was when Yahoo dis-banded their Geocities web platform. This current issue is due to the Plesk Parallels platform no longer being supported by HostGator. Eventually my .org web site (mine and many others) will be turned off, but no timeline has been made available at this time. ​ So, bear with me as I slowly try to recreate and improve my Yellowstone histories with Luckily this new platform is much simpler and easier to use, and will create a more consistent theme across the many pages. Happy Trails, Robert V. Goss, aka Geyser Bob Email Me [Note: This is not a link, you will have type the address into your email.] About ​ For those of you new to my web site, it has very little (if any) information about Geysers. There are any number of web sites out there that can help you out with that sort of information. This is about Yellowstone's vast history of the tourist industry and those persons and companies that supported it. ​ Geyser Bob was a stagecoach driver for 30 years (1883-1913) in Yellowstone National Park. He was known as a teller of tall tales and a prevaricator extraordinaire, with just enough truth thrown in to cause many greenhorns, pilgrims, etc., new to the West, to actually believe him. ​ A newspaper writer in 1888, once described him: "There was until recently a driver in Yellowstone Park named Geyser Bob, whose reputation as a liar had gained him great renown. He was rocked in the cradle of prevarication, nurtured on distorted facts and arrived at vigorous manhood the champion all-round liar of the Rockies." ​ He seemed a likeable enough sort of fella, so I purloined his moniker as my web nom de plume. I hope he won't find offence. Ole Bob (Robert Edgar officially), once related a story of how he got his name (there are many): "One day a cultured lady from the East, who was receptive to any story told of the park, plied Bob with innumerable questions. She asked Bob if any one had ever fallen into a geyser and lived. ‘I told her that one time I was walking near the Giant geyser at Old Faithful basin and slipped in,’ said Bob. ‘The water carried me through the channel underground so fast that I did not have time to get burned and washed me up into the crater of Old Faithful and then threw me out. The lady believed the story and thought it was so good that she pointed me out as a world’s wonder and the boys christened me ‘Geyser Bob.’”

  • White Motor Bus Specs |

    Auto Stages in Yellowstone Yellow Busses White Motor Company Models & Specs. ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. TEB - 11 Passenger 1917-23 3/4T, 140” wheelbase truck with 45hp GEC engines, 4-spd transmissions, and open-side bodies. Front tires were 34” x 5” pneumatic with 36” x 6” on the rear. There were four pairs of doors opening onto seats for three passengers, allowing for 11 passengers and the driver. Although in practice, only one passenger sat in front with the driver. The left-hand doors were sealed to prevent opening onto traffic. The transition between the hood and dash was squared off, while the windshield was a solid 2-piece unit (upper & lower). Kerosene running lights were located below the windshield and under the frame supporting the rear boot. They were powered by acetylene bottles on the driver’s side running boards. A canvas boot covered the rear wooden platform that was supported by a steel frame. A canvas top was supported by detachable bows at each bench and celluloid side curtains could be put up in inclement weather. Plate numbers 1-135. 108 vehicles purchased from 1917-1923. (Image YNP Archives #115013) 15/45 - 11 Passenger 1920-25 Similar body to the TEBS, except the transition between the hood and windshield was rounded and the windshield was split into four pieces - upper/lower and left/right. The wheelbase was slightly longer (143-1/2”) with an updated chassis and improved 4-cylinder GN motors. The later 1923 models had 50hp GR motors, as did later deliveries. Front tires were 34” x 5” and rear 36” x 6”. Other amenities were mostly identical to the TEBs. The 1922 models had Scott bodies, while the 1923 and later models had Bender bodies, without LH doors. The rear contained an enclosed trunk instead of a boot. Four oval-shaped windows graced the tonneau cover on the sides at the rear. A canvas top was supported by detachable bows at each bench. Celluloid side curtains could be put up in inclement weather. Acetylene bottles were carried on the driver’s side running boards to power the headlights. Plate numbers 137-349. 214 vehicles purchased from 1920-1925 . Model 50 - 25 Passenger 1923 There were six side doors opening onto seven wide benches to seat 25 passengers plus the driver. The Bender body had a 198” wheelbase with a 4-cylinder GN motor. The roof was solid and luggage could be stored on the roof rack, accessed by a folding ladder from the rear of the bus. Side window curtains could be rolled down in inclement weather. It was the first model to feature electric lights. They had Budd steel disc wheels and electric lights. It utilized 36” x 6” tires all around, with duals on the rear. As the heavy buses were slow at climbing hills, they were mostly used on the West Yellowstone to Old Faithful run. Plate numbers 930-931. (Originally numbered in the 330s) 2 vehicles were purchased in 1923. [Photo: YNP Archives] Model 614 - 14 Passenger 1931 There were four doors to seat 14 passengers. The roof was open with a roll-back canvas, with roll-up glass door windows. The luggage area was enclosed in the rear with two side-opening doors. There was a single, slanted windshield. It was powered by 75hp overhead valve 6-cylinder White 3A engines, with four-wheel Lockheed hydraulic brakes, 4-speed manual transmission and glassed-in Bender bodies. The bus was wider and more comfortable than the other buses used and were primarily run on the longer Cody to Lake Hotel route. The ccanvas top could be rolled back in nice weather to allow passengers to stand up for better view or photographs. Plate numbers 351-358. 8 vehicles delivered in May 1931. [Photo: YNP 114504] Model 706 - 14 Passenger 1936 There were 27 of these 14-passenger buses introduced in 1936. They had two squared-glass windshields, roll-down glass windows and lantern-style rear running lights. The bodies were produced by Bender bodies with an open roof and roll-back canvas tops that tied down along the edges. Each seat had grab handles for passengers to hold on to while standing to view the park through the open roof. The 1937-38 models had improved 16Ah motors. They sat on a 190” wheelbase chassis and were powered by a White 318 six-cylinder 16A engine. Renowned industrial designer, Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky was responsible for the radiator cowling and grill design. Plate numbers 361-460. 98 vehicles purchased from 1936-1939. 7-Passenger Touring Cars These cars had a 137-1/2” wheelbase with 37” x 5” tires all around. They had a model GM 4-cylinder, 16- valve motor. They featured four doors, front bucket seats, a rear bench seat, and two rear jump seats, as well as a canvas convertible top and a storage compartment under the rear seat for side curtains. VIPs as well as more affluent visitors to Yellowstone toured the park in vehicles of this type, which were later supplemented by Lincoln touring cars. [NOTE: Information & details on these vehicles is inconsistent & incomplete] ​ Plate numbers 700-717; 720-767. 65 ?? vehicles purchased from 1917-1925. [Photo Yellowstone NPS Collection] ​ ​ 8-Passenger Touring Cars No Photo Plate numbers 718-719 2 vehicles purchased in 1920. Touring Cars in Yellowstone 1917-1939 Lincoln - Ford - Buick Lincoln Touring Cars - 29 Known Vehicles ​ 1925-1927 - Lincoln 7-Passenger Sport Touring [23] Nos. 801-822; 824 33” x 5” Tires; 136” W.B.; Style 124 body w/rear luggage carrier 1926 - Lincoln Sport Phaeton [1] No. 822 33” x 5” Tires; 8-cyl Motor; 136” W.B.; Style 123B body w/ rear luggage carrier 1926 - Lincoln 7-Passenger Berline [2] Nos. 825-826 33” x 6.75” Tires; 8-cyl Motor; 136” W.B.; Style 147B body w/ rear luggage carrier 1928 - Lincoln 7-Passenger Sport Touring Car [1] No. 828 33” x 5” Tires; 8-cyl Motor; 136” W.B.; Style 124 body w/ rear luggage carrier; 4-wheel brakes. 1922 - Lincoln 7-Pasenger Sport Touring Car [1] No. 827 33” x 5” Tires; 8-cyl Motor; 136” W.B.; Leland Body 1931 - Lincoln Limousine [1] No.829 Ford Touring Cars - 17 Known Vehicles 1925 - Ford Model ‘T’ Touring Car [3] Nos. F50 - F52 30” x 3.5” Tires, Electric starter; Electric lighting 1925-1927 - Ford Model ‘T’ Slip-On Roadster [8] Nos. F1 - F8 30” x 3.5” Tires, 100” W.B.; Electric starter; Electric lighting 1927 - Ford Model ‘T’ Roadster [2] Nos. F9 - F10 30” x 3.5” Tires, 100” W.B.; Electric starter; Electric lighting 1928-1929 - Ford Model ‘A’ Roadster [3] Nos. F12 - F14 30” x 4.5” Tires, 103.5” W.B.; Electric starter; Electric lighting 1931 Ford 14-Passenger Car [1] No. 359 Buick Touring Cars - 7 Known ​ 1935-1938 - Buick 7-Passenger Touring Cars [7] Nos. 831-835; B1, B3 Left: Lincoln Touring Car, probably used by Wm. "Billy" Nichols. [YNP #185328-94] Right : Western States Buick Distributors at Yellowstone, showing off their various models, 1922. [YNP #19388] For additional information, visit the Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust Above Right : A Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. Lincoln Passenger Touring Car, faithfully restored by the Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust.

  • Firehole - Marshall's |

    Hotels in the Yellowstone Marshall's & Fire Hole - 1880-1891 ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. Marshall's Hotel - Marshall House ​ George W. Marshall received a 1-year mail carrier contract in 1879 for the Virginia City to Fire Hole to Mammoth Hot Springs route in Yellowstone Park. He noted in his diary that “the Government discontinued [the mail route], at a great loss to me….” Way stations had to be erected or arranged through the Madison Valley, along with spare teams, tenders, etc. It would have been a sizeable investment to get started. He formed the Marshall & Goff Stage Co. with J.A. Goff in 1880 that traveled the mail route, no doubt making use of some of these same facilities. He built a 2-story log house with a 6-room extension at the Firehole River near Nez Perce Creek in 1880 that served as mail station and small hotel. Their first passengers, Robert and Carrie Strahorn, arrived at the unfinished hotel in early October. That year he also erected a mail station at Norris, possibly in the meadow near the soldier station. The Helena Weekly Herald reported on Aug 26 1880, “This week the coaches on Marshall & Goffs mail and express line to the National: Park were started. The coaches are commodious lour-horse vehicles, and the stations are at convenient distances, so that tourists can now make the journey by easy stages to Fire Hole Basin.” The following year, Marshall was operating as the Virginia City & National Park Stage Line. Left: Article about the Marshall & Goff stages. (Click to enlarge) Helena Weekly Herald, Aug 26, 1880 Marshall's First Hotel, 1884. In June 1885, Marshall began construction of a new hotel on the other side of the river, today's Nez Perce Picnic Area. 1881 Map of the Upper & Lower geyser basins. The Fire Hole Hotel (Marshall's) is the center Star. Lower Star is the Old Faithful area, and Star at left is the Riverside Mail Station. Road to left of center Star leads over Mary's Lake pass and down to Hayden Valley, providing access to Lake and the Grand Canyon. (Click to enlarge) [Dept. of Interior Map, Library of Congress] Robert A. & Carrie Adelle Strahorn were Marshall's first passengers in early October of 1880. Robert provides a brief description from his book: A DELIGHTFUL RIDE. “The stage coach, which above all others in my estimation, deserves a friendly handing down to history, was that of the G. W. Marshall Line, which was the first public conveyance to enter Yellowstone National Park. It started on its first trip into the Park from Virginia City, Montana, at daylight of October 1st, 1880, and had, besides the driver, the writer hereof and his joyous and appreciative better half as self-appointed and sole participants in such agreeable pioneering duty. The ride from Virginia to Lower Geyser Basin, now a matter of only about 16 hours, is a fitting prelude to the pleasures of the Park tour itself.” [Strahorn.RE, Montana and Yellowstone National Park, 1881] From Robert A. Strahorn, in Montana and Yellowstone National Park , 1881 ​ PIONEER HOSTELRY. “The National Park House, Lower Geyser Basin, forty-five miles from Henry Lake, or ninety-five miles from Virginia, was reached too late at night to admit of further sight-seeing, and it was with no little reluctance that we closed our eyes in the midst of marvels of which we had heard so much without seeing some of them. We found the pioneer hotel of the National Park to be a neatly and solidly built two-story hewed log structure, then nearing completion, and designed to afford accommodation for from thirty to forty guests. It is romantically located at the foot of high cliffs of the range we had just crossed, with the Forks of Firehole River and a pretty natural lawn in the foreground and a cold rivulet dashing by the door on the right. It is the property of Mr. Marshall, the stage man, who promises a complete and homelike hostelry and good fare for future visitors.” EXPENSES IN THE PARK . "Mr. G. W. Marshall, at the National Park House in Lower Geyser Basin, will transport parties to various points or outfit them at following rates; Three-seated carriage and driver, 88 per day; single-seated rig and driver, 86 per day; saddle horses, 82.50 per d ay for 3 days or more, or $3 for single day; pack animals, 82 per day; attendant who will act as guide, packer and cook, and furnish his own animal, 84 per day. Bedding, tents and board will be furnished to parties on Park tours at very reasonable rates; board at hotel, 83 per day, and at Henry Lake House at same rates; parties of 20 or more can engage board at either hotel at 82.50 per day each. Parties who desire to outfit and board themselves while making excursions in the Park, can buy all necessary provisions, ammunition, fishing tackle and bedding of Mr. G. W. Marshall at a reasonable advance (for freightage) over prices at Virginia City, or cooking utensils, bedding, tents, etc., will be leased on favorable terms to proper parties. From these figures tourists can calculate within a few dollars what a 10 or 12 days’ tour of Wonderland will cost. Our estimate of the entire expense of the trip for one person from Omaha to the Park and return, including horse hire, board or provisions, etc., for 10 days in the Park is from $225 to $250." Thomas Henry Thomas ​ Welshman Thomas Henry Thomas visited Yellowstone the summer of 1884 to explore and sketch and paint watercolors of nature’s Wonderland. His articles and illustrations were published in London’s The Graphic newspaper on Aug 11 and 18, 1888. Thomas (31 March 1839 – 9 July 1915) was a Welsh artist particularly active in Cardiff. He was also interested in botany, geology, history, and archaeology which were often the subjects of his art works. He was a Fellow of the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art which was established in 1881, and was a leading force behind the founding of the National Museum of Wales. He continued on to describe Marshall’s Hotel and the local clientele: (Click text box to enlarge). His painting of the exterior and interior of the hotel in 1884 is to the right. Courtesy of the National Museum of Cardiff , Wales. Thomas described the Fire Hole area: “But Henderson’s is not a house to tire of. Our illustration will give in idea of the prettiness of the position—on a narrow island, with a shallow river of slightly tepid water, being chiefly derived from the hot springs, flowing round it, and backed by rocky hills crowned by pines. Beside the house is a hot pool, the water from which is led to the bath-house and into a washing-trough in the hotel, over which sacrilege no doubt the ardent naiad of the spring weeps copiously.” Marshall's Hotel, also known as the Marshall House, Fire Hole Hotel, and National Park Hotel, was the 2nd hotel to operate in Yellowstone (McCartney's Hotel was the first). Marshall began giving tours of the park in 1880 and his tours were the first known to originate from "within the park." The Marshall House also housed the Firehole Post Office, established September 13, 1880. After receiving a 10-year lease from Interior in January 1884, Marshall built a new hotel across the river from his original hotel, near the current Nez Perce Picnic Area. Marshall assigned half the lease to G.G. Henderson in April and the following year sold out to him. The Helena Independent Record observed on June 22, 1884 that, “[Marshall] has begun the erection of his hotel on his lease at Firehole basin in the National Park. He is now accommodating tourists at his old station.” The story will continue below as the Fire Hole Hotel George Washington Marshall Born in Illinois in 1846 (1838 according to his tombstone in Three Forks, MT and 1835 according to two of his obituaries), George Washington Marshall ventured west to California in 1860, where he engaged in the blacksmith trade, operated a livery business, and bought cattle for slaughter. He moved in 1868 and managed a hostelry in Utah and stage stations in Nevada. He married Sarah Romrell in 1875 and in 1876 operated a stage line in Montana between Butte City and Eagle Rock, Idaho. Marshall retired from the Yellowstone hotel business in 1885 and moved to Bozeman. He died Dec. 16, 1917 inn Three Forks, Mont. Sarah Ann Romrell Marshall Sarah Ann Romrell was born July 1, 1859 in St. Louis, Missouri. She married George Marshall in 1874 and later moved with her husband to Yellowstone. In 1880 the Firehole Post Office was established and Sarah served as postmistress for two years. She gave birth to Rose Park Marshall on January 30, 1881, reportedly the first white child born in Yellowstone. In 1881 George left the park for Omaha on business. Expecting to be gone for a month, he stocked up their root cellar with meat and "grub." He later reported that "Soon after my departure one morning two bears came down one mountain, smelling the meat etc in the root house, approaching same and went to digging through the dirt roof. Wife saw it was either kill bears or starve. She took rifle shot one bear through the lungs, he came rolling towards her, she ran in the cabin and closed the door just in time as bear threw himself against it, shaking whole house. He found it useless, however, and left. Wife followed him up the mountain found him breathing hard, shot him through the heart." Sarah passed away Feb. 19, 1929 in Belgrade, Mt. Mattie Culver ​ Near the site of the old hotel is the tombstone of Mattie (Shipley) Culver, wife of park businesssman E.C. Culver. He married Mattie Gillette (nee Martha Jane Shipley) on April 6, 1886. Mattie was born September 18, 1856 in Lowell Mass. They had a daughter named Theda born in Billings June 22, 1887. Culver came to the park in 1887 with E.C. Waters as ‘Master of Transportation’, holding that position until 1892. He and Mattie spent the summers of 1887-88 at the Firehole Hotel (Marshall Hotel) and Ellery became winterkeeper for the hotel during the winter of 1888-89. Mattie suffered through the winter from tuberculosis and died March 2 of that spring and was buried nearby. Her grave and headstone can still be viewed at the Nez Perce picnic area. She was 30 years old at the time. Daughter Theda was sent to Spokane, Wash. to live with relatives. Photos of Mattie Culver grave at the Nez Perce Picnic Area, former Fire Hole Hotel site. Photos by the author, 2009. Fire Hole Hotel G.W. Marshall sold out to partner George Graham Henderson in 1885 and left the park. Henry Klamer, who later married Mary Henderson, daughter of G.L. Henderson, and built a general store near Old Faithful Geyser, bought into the business that summer. They added two plainly-built 8-room, 2-story wooden cottages at either end of the hotel and made other improvements. The Livingston Enterprise on June 20, 1885, noted, “Mr. G.G. Henderson and H. Klamer have formed a partnership to conduct the hotel formerly known as Marshall's at the Forks of the Firehole. It will be henceforth known as the Firehole Hotel” A week later the newspaper reported that they were erecting six cottages of two and four rooms. ​ G.L. Henderson related in the Enterprise on July 18th that year, "I find on the Firehole Hotel register 23 names for last evening and 38 booked for tonight. This hotel can now provide comfortably for 50 people and the proprietors are constructing cottages as fast as possible to double the capacity.” From the Salt Lake Herald, Aug. 24,1885: ​ Bassett Brothers, of Beaver Canyon, Idaho, have increased and improved the equipment of their Tourist Stage Line, running between Beaver Canyon and Fire Hole Basin. They have also established a line of first-class spring wagons for transporting passengers from Fire Hole Basin hotel to points of interest in the Park, and have made a scale of prices for service far below anything heretofore available to tourists. Bassett Brothers’ light spring wagons will leave Beaver Canyon at 7 a.m. and proceed first day to Snake River station, (fifty miles), where passengers will lodge for the night. Leaving Snake River next morning they will reach Fire Hole Basin hotel at 6 p.m. The journey involves an expense of $4 for meals, luncheons and lodging. The return trip is made, leaving Fire Hole Basin at 7 a.m. and stopping over night at Snake River as before, arriving at Beaver Canyon at 2 p.m. of second day. One visitor in 1887 had issues with the notoriously thin walls at many of the early park hotels. He groused that, “The park suggests civilization; yet there are places where one can so quickly get out of the world and feel it too as here. This feeling was not lessened when we viewed the Fire Hole Hotel, where we were to spend two nights. It did not occur to us till afterwards that this was intended as one of the curiosities of the park. The primitiveness of candles was funny, and canvas walls were a novelty till the man in the next room BEGAN TO SNORE and kept it up faithfully all night.” The author did good-naturedly admit that one can sleep well at home, but can’t see Old Faithful except in Yellowstone. [St. Joseph Weekly Gazette, Mo., Oct. 6, 1887] James Dean, who later managed the National Hotel at Mammoth and became supervisor of the YPA hotel operation, served as clerk for the Firehole Hotel from 1885-87. John Fossum was in charge in 1888, Walter Henderson in 1889, and Benton Hatch, brother of Rufus Hatch, managed it in 1890. ​ Sometime in 1886 the Yellowstone Park Association took over the business and operated the hotel until the new Fountain Hotel opened in 1891. The 1891 Superintendent’s Report for Yellowstone noted that the Fire Hole Hotel was vacated around the middle of June and visitors were welcomed at the new Fountain Hotel nearby. The original hotel was later burned down and the two cottages were used by the Army for their summer encampment for a few years. Some of the buildings were reported to be still standing by 1914. Left Above: F.J. Haynes Stereoview of the Firehole cottages: Gibson & Red Cottages. Left: View of the Firehole Cottage and auxiliary tents, 1890 Above: T.W. Ingersoll Stereoview, Firehole Hotel & Stages, 1194. Mrs. Finch Celinda M. Finch and her daughter Coda are somewhat of a hazy figure in Yellowstone’s early history. She is known to have had a tent hotel in the Fire Hole area in 1884, and possibly 1885. In 1885, she received a lease from the Interior Dept for hotel purposes, but she did not construct a formal hotel and eventually her lease was revoked. However, C.T. Hobart, one of the organizers of the Yellowstone Park Improvement Co. in 1883 with Henry Douglas and Rufus Hatch, received government approval for leases of 4400 acres, a monopoly on the park concessions, and almost unlimited use of park resources for their operation. He and Carpenter opened a tent and slab hotel at Firehole in 1884. It is possible that Mrs. Finch managed that operation in 1884-85. The author believes that location was across the current road that passes the Firehole Picnic Area. ​ Mrs. Finch was put in charge of the McCartney Hotel at Mammoth in 1882 and in 1885; she was placed in charge of the Albemarle hotel in Livingston, Mont., and superintended its management under the direction of the Northern Pacific RR. Her whereabouts for 1883 are also unknown at this time. Left: Mrs. Finches Camp Hotel, Fire-Hole Basin, Sept. 1884 Right: Mrs. Finch's, Fire-Hole Basin, Sept. 1884 Both illustrations are from Thomas Henry Thomas' trip to Yellowstone in Sept. 1884. They were published in The Graphic, London, England Aug. 18, 1888. The original artwork is courtesy The National Museum of Cardiff , Wales.

  • Storekeepers |

    Yellowstone's Storekeepers Click on Link above to begin your tour. Stores, Photo Shops and Misc. Businesses in Yellowstone Hamilton Stores, Inc. is the concessionaire in the park currently (2002) authorized to sell generalsundries, supplies, groceries, and curios to the public. There are three main branches to the Hamilton family tree. The main branch of the tree started in 1897 when Henry and Mary Klamer (daughter of G.L Henderson) were granted a 10-year lease to build and operate a store at Old Faithful. They built a 2-story building and began operations. Apparently they were successful, for in 1913 they began construction on a 16' addition. After Henry's death in 1914, Mary sold the store to Charles A. Hamilton, an employee of YPA, who obtained financial backing from Harry W. Child. In 1917 Hamilton opened up a new store at Lake, and a filling station at Old Faithful. By 1930 Hamilton had stores with filling stations at Lake, Fishing Bridge, West Thumb, and two stores at Old Faithful. He continued to expand his business by buying the Brothers Geyser Baths and Swimming Pool at Old Faithful in 1933, which he rebuilt and expanded. The Hamilton Stores were replaced by Delaware North Co. in 2002, after some 80 years of service. The second branch of the Hamilton tree starts in 1889 when Ole Anderson opened up a shop in Mammoth selling curios and objects coated with residues from the mineral waters. In 1908 sisters Anna Trischman Pryor and Elizabeth Trischman bought out Anderson, and opened "The Park Curio & Coffee Shop." In 1924, they opened up a cold drink and ice cream stand on the Mammoth Terraces called the Devil's Kitchenette. At that time they also purchased George Whittaker’s’ deli in the auto camp. Whittaker, who also operated small stores at Mammoth and Canyon, sold out to Pryor & Trischman in 1932, giving them a monopoly in the northern half of the park. They continued to operate until 1953 when they sold their operation to Hamilton. The third branch of the family tree has the oldest beginnings, but was the latest acquisition. In 1884 Frank J. Haynes opened up a photo shop at Mammoth and Old Faithful. F. Jay was the Official Photographer of both the Northern Pacific railroad, and the Yellowstone Park Improvement Co. Frank was also involved in the stagecoach business for a number of years, but it is his photography that made him famous. By 1905 his work in Yellowstone was such that he severed his connections with the NPRy and concentrated on his park business. Eventually he was to have Haynes Photo Shops at all locations, with the exclusive right to sell images of Yellowstone inside the park. His son Jack ran the business from 1916 until his death in 1962. His wife continued to run the business for a few years, but finally sold out to Hamilton Stores in 1967. There is one more segment of the Hamilton tree that currently operates under the name Yellowstone Park Service Stations. This company was formed in 1926 as a joint venture between Hamilton Stores, H.W. Child and Anna Pryor. They created a monopoly on gas sales and auto repairs in the park. YPSS is presently owned [2001] by Amfac Recreational Services and Hamilton Stores. There were a variety of other small business ventures started in the park in the late 1800's to early 1900's, most of which were short lived, or bought out by other companies. H.B. Calfee seems to have had one of the earliest recorded stores in the park. He was a photographer from Bozeman who, by at least 1881, had set up a crude tent store near Old Faithful to sell photos of the park. The following year saw the Henderson family setup a store and post office at Mammoth in one of James McCartney's buildings. There were several different laundry operations and bathhouses in existence at various times. Even Calamity Jane was issued a permit in 1897 to sell postcards of herself, reportedly to keep herself in drinks in Gardiner's finer establishments. After 1916, most all the small enterprises were gone, and the park was more or less 'officially' divided up among the businessmen and women mentioned earlier.

  • Hotels & Lodges |

    Yellowstone's Hotels & Lodges ​ Click on Link above to begin your tour.

  • Old Faithful Camping Co. |

    Camping in the Yellowstone Old Faithful Camping Co. ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. Orlando M. Hefferlin and William N. Hefferlin of Livingston Montana began operating portable tent camps in the Yellowstone Park in 1910. This operation was known as the Old Faithful Touring and Camping Co., or more commonly, Old Faithful Camping Co. (OFCC). Copying the logos of the Wylie Way and other camping companies, they advertised themselves as the "Old Faithful Way." The company operated on yearly leases issued by the Interior Dept. with no guarantees that permits would be allowed the following season. ​ William N. Hefferlin (left) was one of four brothers that immigrated to Livingston MT from Kansas and Missouri in the 1880s. Brothers John and Charles arrived in town in 1883 as employees of the NPRR. Five years later, convinced of a bright future, William and Orlando N. (right) joined John and with $1500 capital established Hefferlin Mercantile. They built a handsome store on the corner of Main and Callender streets in 1888 and the next year incorporated as the Hefferlin Mercantile Company. By 1899 business was booming with $100,000 a year in sales but by 1927 the store had gone out of business. William M. & Orland N. Hefferlin, ca1900. [Livingston Enterprise Souvenir, Jan 1, 1900] A newspaper article from a travel series on Yellowstone Park in 1912 related that, ​ "The Old Faithful Camping Company wagons carry five passengers and their driver is a guide, who explains matters without end as the team moves along, making the tour a recreation and a lecture combined. There are no permanent camps, but each camp is pitched for the night at some spot of special interest either selected by the driver or the party, who are given voice in the selection. The drivers of these wagons are not scheduled, and stop quite frequently to explain more thoroughly or let the tourist dismount for a refreshing drink of spring water, or to scald the fingers of the doubting Thomas who does not believe the pool of steaming water is actually hot. Here again is comfort in every particular. All side trips are free of charge. This company operated on equipment which cost $20,000 in the past year, which included 46 horses." [The Bedford Gazette, Bedford, Pennsylvania April 12, 1912] In 1915 the Panama-Pacific International Exposition was being held in San Francisco, which would draw visitors from across the country. With railroad service to the West Coast passing near Yellowstone by the Northern Pacific, Union Pacific, and Chicago, Burlington & Quincy RRs, visitation in the park was expected to be heavy. With this in mind, the OFCC was authorized by Interior to operate four permanent camps in the park, but only for that specific year. The company also opened up an office in Salt Lake City in order to assist in handling traffic on the Union Pacific RR and to advertise their services in local newspaper. The Yellowstone Superintendent’s Report for 1915 stated that, “The Wylie Permanent Camping Co. had 158 wagons in use during the season, the Shaw & Powell Camping Co. had 85 wagons in use. W.N. and O.M. Hefferlin had 42 wagons and 4 saddle horses in use transporting tourists and supplies to their 4 permanent camps in the park.” The OFCC carried 1080 guests into the park through the North entrance and 612 via the West entrance in 1915. By contrast they only entertained 386 guests the following year. Above Left: Advertising card for the Old Faithful Way with their permanent camps. [YNP Archives, LB51] Above Right: 1915 ad for the Old Faithful Permanent Camps. [Salt Lake Herald-Republican, 3Aug1915] Bottom Right: Union Pacific RR postcard advertising the Old Faithful Inn full-size replica at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. [Postcard, author collection] After the end of the 1915 season the Hefferlins applied for a 10-year lease and permanent camps privileges for the following years. In a response to their letter from Col. L.M. Brett, Acting Superintendent of Yellowstone, he declared that, "In my opinion, the limits to handle all the tourists desiring to take their trips will not be reached by the two permanent camps companies [Wylie and Shaw & Powell] now doing business in the park . . . The tendency should be toward a higher standard of camp services and I do not think this can be obtained if the companies are increased in number and have to fight each other for tourists, because the money that should go to improvements will have to go to advertising and compensation to outside agents.” ​ Advertisement form a 1915 brochure for the Old Faithful Camping Co. [YNP Archives] Although the company was allowed a permit for moveable camps in 1916, they were denied permanent status and a 10-year lease. A newspaper article in the Livingston Enterprise noted that the company had purchased a 2-ton REO truck to use to haul camp supplies around the park. But apparently their overall service in 1916 was none too exemplary, as a government report from that year noted that "a man had suffered from more than the normal ptomaine-laden meal and had shot at the cook, although fortunately his aim was off, no doubt by the wormy venison about which he was complaining." The report also described the Canyon Camp as consisting of ". . . old tents without walls or floors . . . Flies were abundant, and some of them reposing on a large piece of ham. In the rear of the tent two large buckets of refuse were found uncovered . . . The river was also apparently used as a latrine." Certainly this report affirmed the government’s negative position on the camps and the Old Faithful Camping Co. was dissolved after the 1916 season. Decorative dishes made expressly for the Hefferlin Mercantile Co., Tourist Outfitters, Livingston and Cinnabar, Mont. This was advertised for Cinnabar, the railroad town that disappeared after 1903 when the railroad continued on into Gardiner. Orlando Hefferlin operated the O.K. store in Cinnabar for a time. Mandated changes by the Department of Interior in 1917 brought about the consolidation of the Wylie and Shaw & Powell companies, while the other permanent camp companies, including the Old Faithful Camping Company were eliminated. With the advent of auto travel and the decreased travel times, many tent camps and lunch stations were closed down after 1916. The new camps company was known as the Yellowstone Park Camping Company (YPCC). YPCC's efforts were concentrated at the major locations in the park - Old Faithful, Canyon, Mammoth, Roosevelt, and Lake.

  • Cooke City |

    Gateways to Wonderland ​ Cooke City Mont. - Northeast Entrance Brief History of the Early Days ​ ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. "Cooke City, on the Red Lodge Highway to Yellowstone National Park. Insert shows Pilot and Index Peaks" [E.C. Kropp Co. postcard, #20291N] The Founding of Cooke City . . . . ​ Cooke City is located at the northeast entrance of the park in the rugged environs of the Beartooth Mountains. Due to its remote location and being surrounded by high mountain peaks and passes, the only year-round road access is from Gardiner, Montana and through the northern tier of Yellowstone Park and the beautiful Lamar Valley. Road access from Red Lodge over Beartooth Pass and Cody over Dead Indian Pass are seasonal, opening late in the spring and closing very early in the winter Mines in the West were generally located in remote and unpopulated locations. It was mining that fueled the engines of settlement and "civilization" in the West. But even by those standards, Cooke City was remote - it was over 130 miles from Cooke to the closest settlement - Bozeman, Montana. It was not until 1883 that the Northern Pacific Railroad came through Montana and drove a spur line south to the boundary of Yellowstone Park, where the small burgs of Gardiner and Cinnabar sprang up. Even then, it was still 60 miles of rough trails from Gardiner to Cooke City. The area never experienced the huge population booms that other mining town experienced. The area was relatively unknown to white men until the late 1860's when gold miners prowled through the area prospecting for the elusive bane of Midas. Bart Henderson , Adam Miller, Ed Hibbard, and James Gourley were the first known miners to discover gold in the area in 1869-70. In 1871 the first mining claims were filed on Miller and Henderson mountains. The same year, prospector and explorer John H. “Jack” Baronett (or Baronette) built the first bridge over the Yellowstone River near the junction of the Yellowstone and Lamar River (then known as the East Fork of the Yellowstone. He charged a toll for men and animals and saved many a man from a wet and potentially dangerous river crossing. Baronett's Bridge in 1871, photo by Wm. Henry Jackson One factor that negatively influenced growth and expanded mining opportunities was the fact that the area was a part of the Crow Indian Reservation. The Crow spent little time in the area and the miners were somewhat free to conduct their mining and prospecting operations. But, they could not file any legal claims to their land or prospects. This of course, led to a certain amount of claim-jumping and the miners had to be on their watch to make sure they, or a worthy representative was physically in the area to protect their claims. Map of SW Montana showing the Crow Reservation Boundaries. The dotted lines are from the 1868 treaty, The cross-hatch lines were ceded to the whites in 1882. In 1880 Jay Cooke Jr. came to the area with the idea of investing in the rich potential of some of the mines. He and his cohorts examined the prospects carefully and believed the mines would be a grand investment. However, due to the legal ambiguity of the mining and land claims, he eventually ended up backing out of the deal. However, in the meantime, the local miners were ecstatic with the prospect of having someone with deep pockets buying their claims and filling their pockets with cold cash. In anticipation of what they thought would be their financial salvation, they decided to name their town Cooke City, in honor of who they thought would be their benefactor. Even though Jay Cooke bailed out, they kept the name, hoping perhaps when the lands came into the public trust he would return. Finally in 1882 a treaty was made with the Crow and the land on which they squatted became public land, upon which they could finally file legal claims. This they did, along with making formal surveys and creating a legal townsite with lots that could be bought and sold in a normal fashion. Jay Cooke Jr., undated. 1845-1912 [Photo courtesy Find-a-Grave] “Meanwhile, in June 1880, the miners held a meeting and Trustees were elected to be in charge of having their new town surveyed and platted. The town site was to be a 1/4 mile wide, lying along Soda Butte Creek in the narrow defile between Miller and Henderson mountains on the north and Republic Mountain on the south. Corner lots initially sold for $20 with inside lots going for $10. A letter from a resident of Cooke City to the Bozeman Avant-Courier reported that there were “about 35 men and one woman in the new town of Cooke City. Every man has staked one or two lots in town . . . Two substantial log houses have been built on Main Street and work is progressing on more houses.” Miners that intended to purchase property included George Huston , Jack Baronett , P.W. Norris , Adam Miller , X. Beidler, J.W. Ponsford, James Gourley , and Bart Henderson . When the 1882 treaty was signed, the new town lots and mining claims became legal, after properly filing claims. The stage was set - businesses were established and homes built to form a permanent Montana town.” [From "Pack Trains and Pay Dirt in Yellowstone", p148-150, by Robert V. Goss, 2007] Pack Trains and Pay Dirt in Yellowstone , book written by the author. George Huston was an important founding father of Cooke City. He maintained mining operations in the nearby mountains until his death in 1886. Copies of this booklet are still available from the author. Email for details. Early Street Views of Cooke City Top Left: Street view of Cooke in 1883 looking East. The Cosmopolitan Hotel at left w/half-round false front. [YNP #1714] Top Right : View in 1887 looking West. [YNP #8217] Bottom Left : Aerial view of Cooke City ca1887. Difficult to identify buildings, but Cooke City Store may be center left. [YNP #8221] Bottom Right : Street view ca1930s. On right: Cole Drug, Mary's Cafe, and Shell gas station. Cooke City store at left. [Sanborn postcard #Y1319] Top Left: "Main Street" Gas station on right, with White House Hotel center right. [Richardson Curios postcard] ​ Top Right : Main Street view in 1939. [YNP #24176] ​ Bottom Left : Main Street view in 1939. [YNP #24176c] Early Cooke City Businesses Cooke City Store The ground on which the Cooke City Store was built was originally part of the "Cache of Ore Millsite," owned by George A. Huston , the earliest known prospector in the region. By the spring of 1886, John Savage and John Elder had purchased the site and were hauling milled lumber from the lower elevations around Cooke City to begin construction of their store. By the late 1880's Savage and Elder's was providing supplies for the community and area miners, but also had competition from Bause and French's mercantile store. By the summer of 1889, Savage and Elder had sold their store to Wm. Nichols and Hiram Chittenden for $800. On Nov. 14, 1895, the court authorized the sale of the store to Sophia Wetzstein for $600. She and her husband owned other property in Cooke City and were involved in the wholesale liquor business in Livingston. George Allison, leased the Wetzstein's Cooke City Store in 1906 for $300 a year for use as a general store and began an extensive remodeling of the building. In the spring and summer of 1907, the store was enlarged to about twice its length and a basement built under that section, and sided with decorative pressed metal. Allison operated the store for two years, but encountering financial problems sold the store In July 1908, to Nels and Elizabeth Soderholm for $3,000 with $500 as a down payment, and $500 per year for five years at 6% interest. Nels was Postmaster in Cooke for many years and with his death in 1939, his wife Elizabeth was appointed to take his place. She passed away Nov. 17, 1959. ​ Ralph and Sue Glidden purchased the store in 1979 and ran it until 2003 when they sold it to employees Troy and Beth Wilson. The Cooke City Store remains in operation and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Early views of Cooke City Store. Above : Late 1800s. Below : 1920-30s Real Photo postcard Cosmopolitan Hotel The Cosmopolitan Hotel and saloon in Cooke City was built in 1883 and opened the following year by John “Jack” P. Allen. It has been said that during the boom times, up to 150 people a night stayed at the hotel. Sometimes called the Allen Hotel, he operated the hotel until around 1937-1938. Mrs. Allen fell and broke her hip in 1937, requiring an extended hospital visit and nursing home in Livingston, cared for by Jack. It forced him to lock up the hotel. He passed away Dec. 10, 1944 at age 92, and was interred in Mountain View Cemetery in Livingston, Mont. Right Top : Advertisement for the Cosmopolitan Hotel, from the Livingston Enterprise , 3Oct1885 Right Bottom: Cosmopolitan Hotel in 1923. The following is an excerpt from an interview with him from the Big Timber Pioneer, 17Jun1937. Thanks to the Cooke City Museum for posting this interview: “I am the last of the real pioneers of Cooke City,” says J.P. Allen, now in his 85th year. “I went to Cooke in 1882, soon after the country had been taken out of the Crow Indian reservation, and I have outlasted all others . . . When the Cooke stampede started in 1882 after the Indian reservation was moved, I went there and took up some claims. There was no road from Mammoth Hot Springs; only horseback trails up the Yellowstone, the Lamar and Soda Butte creek. We did have Baronette’s bridge across the Yellowstone, saving a wet crossing. At Cooke we were completely isolated, except for horseback transportation for mail and supplies. I worked out my claims that summer, and in the fall I went to Livingston and ran a restaurant. Then in 1883 I went back and built my hotel in Cooke, starting its operation in 1884. I have run the hotel ever since, except that I had it leased two years ago while Mrs. Allen and I spent a year on the Pacific coast . . . I was postmaster at Cooke during two different periods. Sometimes the mail came through from Gardiner on time, but often it was badly delayed by heavy snows. Once, for a time, the mail was carried from Columbus up the Stillwater and over the mountains to Cooke. But with plenty of groceries and lots of wood we were comfortable and happy—the little group of us who made our home in Cooke the year round." Above Left : Photos of the Cosmopolitan Hotel with inserts of Mr. & Mrs. J.P. Allen. [Livingston Enterprise , 1Jan1900] Above Right : "Allen Hotel, Cooke City, Montana." Undated real-photo postcard, perhaps ca1940s - the building to the left has been torn down. Curl House John F. Curl was born in 1853 in Pennsylvania and moved to Cooke City in 1883 to prospect for gold. He often partnered with pioneers Adam “Horn” Miller and George Huston in his various mine holdings. John married Zona Frazea, also of Cooke City, in June 1890. Together they built the Curl House that served as a combination hotel, restaurant and boardinghouse. Curl and his wife Zona sold their properties in Cooke City and moved to Gardiner around 1915 and ran the Cottage Hotel on East Main Street. The family moved after 2-3 years to Bozeman so that his children Mary Margaret (born 1898) and Thomas (born 1902) could attend college. The couple moved to Bozeman around 1918, perhaps due to health issues. John died October 1, 1924 at 71 years of age and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Livingston. His pallbearers included W.A. Hall and Herb French. Zona Curl moved to New Haven Conn. after John’s death and passed away in Feb. 1929. Her body was shipped back to Livingston for burial. Above Right : CurL House at right. [Courtesy Cooke City Chamber of Commerce ] Left : Curl House on left, with A.O. Saloon to its right. Real Photo postcard ca1930s Right : Isabel Haynes across from the Curl House ca 1920s. [FJ Haynes photo, Mont. St. Univ. #1507-002064] Shaw's Camp & Lodge In 1919, Walter Shaw , formerly a partner of the Shaw & Powell Camping Co. in Yellowstone, established the rustic Shaw’s Camp in Cooke City in 1919. He later setup Shaw’s Goose Lake Tent Camp by Goose Lake along the trail to the famed Grasshopper Glacier near Cooke City. The trail to the glacier was twelve miles one-way and required a 10 to 12-hour round-trip on horseback. The savvy traveler could spend the night at Shaw’s Camp and be able to spend more time in the area and not be so rushed. Shaw also maintained a guide service in Cooke City with saddle and packhorses and experienced guides. The trail to the glacier was opened up in 1921 and the camps were in use at least through 1928. In 1928 the camp was honored to welcome Ernest Hemingway and his wife for a brief respite during their travels through Montana and Wyoming. They stayed in a warm cabin and were surprised at the quality of the food in so remote of an outpost. According to the Circular of General Information Regarding Yellowstone (NPS): “At Cooke City are local hotels, but the organized Glacier Service is from the Shaw Camp which maintains a good string of saddle horses, operated by competent and experienced guides. The round trip can be made in one day by hardy travelers, and occupies ten or twelve hours, the ride over good mountain trails requires between three and four hours, the distance one way being around twelve miles. It is better to use more time and to spend the night at Shaw’s Goose Lake Tent Camp. This camp brings one within a mile of the saddle summit beyond which the great glacier lies. The climb to this saddle covers about 1000 feet of elevation and for a part over rough rocks, but for the greater distance over a very fair path.” Walter died in June 1925 while crossing the Gardiner River near Gardiner. His wife Lillian continued to operate the Shaw Camp & Cabins in Cooke city until at least 1935 and perhaps later. In 1946 the Shaw Camp was taken over by Sam & Euphie Fouse, who operated the business until 1959. Around 1965, Don & Ada Ellis purchased the lodge and advertised it as the Anvil Inn. In 1974 they removed to Livingston. It is now known as the Antler’s Lodge. ​ One traveler noted that, “I spent a day or so at the Walter C. Shaw tourist camp at Cooke City. It was opened to the public July 16 and it is certainly a credit to the country. The camp is right in Cooke City and Mr. Shaw has tents and cabins to accommodate 150 people each day. There is a large dining hall and tourists can secure pack horses and saddle horses at the camp, Mr. Shaw takes his guests to the Grasshopper glacier, making the trip up one day and returning the next.” [Billings Gazette, 21Jul1921] Above Right : Ad for Shaw's Camp, with Mrs. Walter Shaw, Prop. [Billings Gazette , 16Jun1935] Above Right : Ad for Shaw's Camp, with Sam & Euphi Fouse, Prop. [Billings Gazette , 9Jul1946] Below Left : Postcard view of the log Shaw's Camp lodge. [Sanborn Souvenir Co. #Y-1040] Below Right : Shaw's Camp late 1930s-40s, with Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. buses. It was probably a mid-day stop between Red Lodge Mt. and Mammoth Hot Springs. The route traversed the recently completed Beartooth Highway. Selected Historic P ersonages of Cooke City John F. Curl was among the earliest businessmen in the mining camp of Cooke City in 1883 where he operated the Curl House hotel. He was involved in mining and in partnership with George Huston and Adam "Horn" Miller. Curl and his wife Zona sold their properties in Cooke City and moved to Gardiner around 1915 and ran the Cottage Hotel on Main Street. John died October 1, 1924 at 71 years of age and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Livingston. ​ Adam “Horn” Miller discovered gold in the Cooke City area with Bart Henderson and others in 1869-70, naming their mine the Shoo Fly Mine. The next few years he helped Henderson build the road from Bottler’s Ranch to Mammoth. Miller was one of the scouts under Gen. Howard during the Nez Perce War of 1877. Later on he settled down in a cabin across the Yellowstone River from Yankee Jim. He died in 1913 and an obit described him as a "man of sterling character, a man without enemies of any kind, it is said, and a citizen who always had a kind word for everyone." ​ George A Huston In 1864 George Huston conducted a party of 30-40 miners up the Yellowstone River into the Lamar and Clark’s Fork drainages. Later in the year he led another party up the Madison and Firehole rivers. In 1866 he guided a small group of miners through the west entrance of Yellowstone up the Madison River to the geyser basins and prospected around Yellowstone Lake, Hayden Valley, Mirror Plateau, and Lamar Valley. Huston was also heavily involved in the Cooke City gold mines and was one of the original Cooke City founders and townsite residents. One of his properties was known as the ‘Cache of Ore Millsite,’ part of which the Cooke City General Store was built after his death in 1886. ​ Colonel George O. Eaton Was a native of the State of Maine. During the rebellion he enlisted in the army and served in the volunteer service, and after the war was appointed a cadet at West Point at the age of twenty. He later entered the cavalry service of the regular army, and in that capacity was over the whole western country, serving as member of Gen Sheridan's staff. Having become interested in mining and in stock raising, he resigned his commission in the army and gave his attention to those interests. In 1881 he came to Montana, having made large investments at Cooke the year previous. He owns personally some of the most valuable mining property at that place; he is president of the Republic Mining Co., which includes the “Great Republic,” the “Greeley,” the “Houston” and the "New World” mines; is also president of a large placer company located in Bear gulch, a tributary of the upper Yellowstone. He has disposed of his interest in stock-raising and devotes his attention to mineral interests. Col. Eaton was elected a delegate to the first constitutional convention of Montana and served as a member of that body. [Excerpts from "History of Montana 1739-1885", Michael L. Leeson, 1885] ​ Nels E. Soderholm Nels Nels and Elizabeth Soderholm purchased the Cooke City Store in July 1908 for $3,000 with $500 as a down payment, and $500 per year for five years. Nels became Postmaster in Cooke in January 1909, and held that position for many years. With his death in 1939, his wife Elizabeth was appointed to take his place. She passed away Nov. 17, 1959. His obit read, “Death came yesterday morning to Nels E. Soderholm, for the past 39 years a resident of Cooke City, in a Butte hospital He was born in Parke. Sweden, but had lived in the United States for the past 70 years. He resided in Kansas before moving to Cooke City, where he owned a mercantile store. Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Soderholm; a son-to-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. William Bross, and two grandchildren. The body will be forwarded today from the Richards funeral home to Livingston for services and burial.” [The Montana Standard , Butte, 13Jan1939, p5] Beartooth Highway Until the mid-1930’s, Cooke City was mostly at the end of the road, blockaded by the vast Beartooth Mountains. A crude road existed from Cooke City to Cody via Sunlight Basin and over Dead Indian Pass. The road was narrow, steep and winding and hazardous in inclement weather. That situation changed when plans were made in 1933 to construct a 70-mile highway from Red Lodge, over the almost 11,000’ high Beartooth Pass and into Cooke City. With a railroad spur running from Billings to Red Lodge, visitors could enter or leave the Park via Cooke City allowing the area to become another Gateway to Yellowstone. Journalist Charles Kuralt once called it, “the most scenic drive in America.” Cooke city ceased to be the terminus of a dead-end road anymore (except in winter), and people could comfortably enjoy a drive over one of the most breath-taking roads in the country. The highway officially opened to the public June 14, 1936. The Yellowstone Park Co . ran White Motor Co. buses from Red Lodge over the pass to Yellowstone for many years. The road usually closes for the winter sometime in October and reopens in May, depending on weather conditions. It may close periodically, as snowstorms in that high elevation can occur during any month of the year. Above Left : Real-Photo postcard of a portion of the Beartooth Highway that went Red Lodge, over Beartooth Pas at an elevation of almost 11,000 feet, down to Cooke City. Above Right : "On the Red Lodge Highroad to Yellowstone National Park in June. Epilog In the 1880s, the miners and Montana businessmen fought Congress and Yellowstone Park advocates over the creation of a railroad line that would extend from Cinnabar through park lands and into Cooke City. This would be the only way the miners could really profitably exploit the riches of the area. Hauling ores from Cooke to Cinnabar by wagon or mule train was slow and costly, eating up most of any potential profits. Mining and ore processing continued in the hopes that the railroad would save their town and mines. Park proponents eventually beat down the railroad plan in the early 1890's, squashing the miner's hopes for riches. Mining continued on and off for the next century, with various new generations of investors hoping to make a buck off the mineral wealth. Attempts in the 1980-90's to begin a new round of metals mining generated intense opposition due to environmental factors and the New World Mining district plans were thwarted in 1996 by President Clinton. ​ Realizing that mining was no longer their ticket to fame, local businessmen promoted other avenues of prosperity to enhance their economy. These included, snowmobiling, hunting, hiking, 4-wheeling and tourism, and have helped to keep the local economy alive. The introduction of wolves to the northern tier of Yellowstone, although opposed by many, has added another dimension to the economic community as thousands of wolf-watchers annually trek to the Lamar Valley to scan the valleys and hills for the elusive canine, bringing extra dollars into the Cooke community. ​ As the old saying goes, “Gold is where you find it.” These days finding gold is perhaps more easily mined from the pockets and billfolds of the Greater Yellowstone area visitors, than it is from the earth below them. I will not attempt to explore the vast and complicated history of the Cooke mining district, as it is beyond the scope of this article. However, a link to the Montana Dept. Environmental Quality website will provide much of the basic information. For additional detailed material on the history of the Cooke City area, please viisit the Cooke City Museum website.

  • Yancey's - Roosevelt Lodge |

    Hotels in the Yellowstone Yancey's - Roosevelt Lodge ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. Yancey's Hotel in Pleasant Valley 1882-1906 Uncle John F, Yancey ​ This colorful character, the sixth of ten children, was born in Barren County, Kentucky in 1826. Described as the weakly child of the family, he outlived them all. He moved with his family to Missouri while he was still a boy. He journeyed to California in 1849, no doubt following the Gold Rush and later spent time on the Santa Fe Trail. Yancey returned east and fought for the cause of the South in the Civil War. After the war he removed to the Bozeman area and Crow country in 1866 and was employed by the government much of the time. Sensing opportunity in the Yellowstone Park, he made arrangement to settle himself along the road from Mammoth Hot Springs to Cooke City. Jack Baronett built a bridge over the Yellowstone River, that was located near Yancey’s site. John Yancey settled into Pleasant Valley in 1882 and built a cabin and mail station to serve the stages and miners enroute to the mines of Cooke City. The area was located near the junction of the Lamar and Yellowstone Rivers, not too far from Baronett's Bridge. The mail route from Gardiner to Cooke City generally took two days in good weather, and mail carriers used Yancey’s as the overnight stop. Yancey had reportedly received verbal permission from Supt. Patrick Conger to establish the mail station to accommodate traffic to Cooke City. Left: Bridge built by Jack Baronett in 1871 over the Yellowstone River, just above its junction with the East Fork of the Yellowstone (Lamar River). [F. Jay Haynes Stereoview] ​ Right: Sketch of John Yancey made by Ernest Thompson Seton in 1897. [From Recreation Magazin e, "ElkLand," Vol. 7, 1897] Yancey received a 10-year lease on 10 acres of land on which to construct his hotel and mail station. He opened the "Pleasant Valley Hotel" in 1884 with a 1-1/2-story log cabin measuring 30' x 50'. It could supposedly accommodate 20 guests in the upstairs bedrooms at a rate of $2/day or $10/week. Yancey erected a 1-1/2-story saloon nearby in 1887 that measured about 20’x20.’ The story goes that his whiskey glasses were undefiled by the touch of water. Yancey knew all the good fishing holes and had plenty of tall tales to amuse people. His establishment attracted fishermen, hunters, and others interested in this quiet part of the park. ​ By 1885, $25,000 had been spent on the construction of a road from the Yellowstone Falls via the east trail over Mount Washburn to Yancey's on the Mammoth Hot Springs road. This road allowed traffic to and from Yancey’s into the heart of Yellowstone, providing addition business traffic. To deal with the increased business, Yancey enlarged his hotel Above Right : Yancey's Hotel & saloon, ca1896. From Burton Holmes Travelogues Below : Yancey's Hotel, undated stereoview, photographer unknown. One Acting Superintendent described Yancey as a “peculiar and interesting old character . . . popular among a large class of people in this section, and also has a few powerful friends in the east . . .” It was also noted that Yancey’s place had “attractions, for a number of people, probably for the very reason of its roughness, and because it is a typical frontier establishment.” Of course that roughness did not appeal to everyone and superintendent Pitcher commented in 1902 that “it is so wretched as to prevent many people from going to his place who [would] do so if he would furnish [them] with a fairly decent fare." ​ Owen Wister ​ That same year, Owen Wister, who later authored The Virginian , was in Yellowstone on a sheep and goat hunting trip. He stopped by Yancey’s and was treated to one of Uncle John’s special elixirs. Wister described the old man as one, ​ “of that frontier type which is no more to be seen; the goat-bearded, shrewd-eyed, lank Uncle Sam type. He and his cabins had been there a long while. The legend ran that he was once a Confederate soldier, and had struck out from the land of the Lost Cause quite unreconstructed, and would never wear blue jeans because blue reminded him of the Union army. He was known as Uncle John by that whole country . . . And then Uncle John led me across the road to—not his wine, but his whisky cellar. Handsome barrels. I came to know it well. He had some sort of fermented stuff made from oranges, which he obtained from California. Mingled properly with whisky, the like of it I have never elsewhere tasted.” Burton Holmes Travelogues ​ World traveler Burton Holmes expressed a similar opinion in his Yellowstone Travelogue during a visit in 1896: “A visit to “Uncle John Yancey’s” ranch is an experience that will be remembered but which will not be repeated. A comic writer might find food for profitable study in the peculiarities of Uncle John, but the ordinary traveler will find neither palatable food nor decent accommodations while at the old man’s “Hotel.” The tenderfoot should not remark the unwashed condition of the two historic glasses into which the proprietor pours the welcoming libation of “Kentucky tea,” for it is Yancey’s boast that his whisky glasses have never been polluted by the contact of so alien a liquid as water. That water is not held in good repute at Yancey’s is evidenced by the location and condition of the “bathing establishment” maintained for the inconvenience of guests who are so perverted as to require more than a pail that serves the needs of the habitués of the primitive caravansary. On the whole it is wiser to leave the park with the impressions of its glories undimmed by memories of Yancey’s Ranch.” Somehow, despite Holmes' unfavorable review, he did devote a fair bit of space to Yancey in the Yellowstone Travelogue, along with a wealth of photos not found elsewhere. Yancey's "dough-wrangler" and all-around helper cooking "Grub," and John Yancey in his corral ca1896. Yancey maintained a small herd of horses, beef and milk cows to help maintain the operation. [ From Burton Holmes Travelogues] I n 1897 Ernest Thompson Seton, sometimes Ernest Seton Thompson, and his wife traveled to Yellowstone and rented and fixed up one of Yancey’s cabins. They spent the next few months studying wildlife nearby Yancey’s Hotel and then ventured through Yellowstone to see and photograph other wildlife. That visit formed the basis on some of his many books. ​ [Recreation Magazine , December 1898] Uncle John traveled to Gardiner in late April to attend the dedication of the new stone arch near the Northern Pacific RR depot. “Teddy” Roosevelt was on hand, along with numerous other dignitaries, and dedicated the arch on April 24. It came to be known as the Roosevelt Arch and still proudly stands today on the edge of Gardiner. ​ John Burroughs, in his Camping and Tramping with Roosevelt , remarked that during Roosevelt’s trip through Yellowstone in 1903 with Burroughs and others, “We spent two nights in our Tower Falls camp, and on the morning of the third day set out on our return to Fort Yellowstone, pausing at Yancey's on our way, and exchanging greetings with the old frontiersman, ​ Yancey took sick after attending the dedication of the new arch in Gardiner in 1903. The Anaconda newspaper reported on May 6 that, “Word was received late Monday night, first by telegraph and later by telephone, that "Uncle John” Yancey, pioneer in the Yellowstone park, having lived there more than 30 years . . . was dying. Both messages were directed to Assistant County Attorney Daniel Yancey, nephew of the pioneer. The telegram stated that '‘Uncle John" was sick, confined to bed, but the word over the 'phone was urgent and to the effect that the old settler was sinking fast.” Yancey passed away the next day, on May 7th at age 77. Above Right: John F. Yancey Photo taken at the C.E. Finn photographic studio in Livingston, Mt. [YNP #939] ​ Left: Photo of Yancey's headstone in Gardiner's Tinker Hill Cemetery. [Photo by the author] Right: Headline from the Butte Miner, May 8, 1903. The Gardiner Wonderland reported on the 14th, that the funeral procession was the largest ever seen and most of the businesses had closed their doors for the funeral and procession. At the funeral service held at Tinker’s Hill cemetery, where the Rev. E. Smith of Livingston, offered a prayer and eulogy. The minister expressed the generally held opinion that, “The esteem in which “Uncle John” Yancey was held in this community [Gardiner] where he was best known, was shown in the very great concern of people who paid a last tribute to his memory. From everywhere around came those who had known him in life, until the procession was much the largest ever seen here. Nearly all business houses closed and as the procession filed by the government and railroad works, all business was suspended.” Described as among the class of men renowned as “pioneers, first settlers, old timers, etc. . . [they lived a] hardy, rugged, rough and ready life . . . [where] the hardships born; the stalwart purposes developed can not be too extravagantly spoken of. All of this has brought peace, comforts, and prosperity to this present generation and insures the same to succeeding generations.” The End is Near for Yancey's Hotel ​ On April 16, 1906 fire destroyed the hotel building. The Butte Daily Post reported soon after that; “A fire originating in a defective flue is reported to have completely destroyed the old Yancey hotel property in the Yellowstone park Monday night. Uncle John Yancey built and opened the hotel over twenty years ago, and it was a very popular resort for park tourists. The loss is about $5,000. Dan Yancey, who succeeded to the ownership and management of the hotel upon the death of Uncle John, says a new hotel will be built on the site of the old [one] this summer, and tents will be used in the interim for the accommodation of travelers.” The following year Dan applied for permission to continue the business at a location closer to where a new road was being constructed. Permission was denied and the original lease was revoked in November of that year. However, a lease was issued to the Wylie Permanent Camps Co. to establish a camp nearby. The camp was located at the junction of the Mammoth-Cooke City-Mt Washburn/Canyon roads. the camp became the Roosevelt Lodge in the 1920s. The saloon and remaining buildings were razed in the 1960's. Camp Roosevelt & Roosevelt Lodge 1917 - Present Wylie Camping Company ​ Roosevelt Tent Camp was established by the Wylie Permanent Camping Co. in 1906. A bathhouse was built at nearby Nymph Spring, which had been used since at least the 1870s as a bathing/soaking spring by early pioneers and explorers. The guest accommodations were wood-floored tents covered with red and white candy-striped canvas and furnished with simple, rustic furniture. The camp could handle up to 125 guests. A communal dining tent served family-style meals. The area appealed to those who desired a more isolated area and catered to fisherman, wildlife enthusiasts, and horseback riders. Above: Roosevelt Lodge in 1923, surrounded by a combination of tent cabins and wooden cabins. [Yellowstone Park Camps Co brochure, 1923, courtesy Univ of Wyoming Library] Right: Wylie Camping Co., Camp Roosevelt, ca1907. [Underwood & Underwood stereoview] Camp Roosevelt ​ Camp Roosevelt was originally named by the Wylie Camping Co. to honor President Theodore Roosevelt, who was rumored to have camped on the site during his camping trip in 1903. The actual camp site was located at the old Tower Soldier Station, about one and a half miles south of the camp and the Roosevelt Lodge. The rustic log lodge show above was built on the site of the former Wylie Camp in 1919-20 by the Yellowstone Parks Camps Co. and was originally known as Camp Roosevelt. Construction began in the fall of 1919 and was completed the following year. The 1-story building rested on a rubble-stone foundation and utilized unpeeled logs for the walls. It measured 90’ by 50’ with an “L” extension of 29’ by 59’. A covered porch extended across the front of the building and wrapped around the southeast side. In 1924, Vernon Goodwin bought the camp from Howard Hays and Roe Emory in 1924, retaining the same company name. Around 1927 Goodwin renamed the company the Yellowstone Park Lodge & Camps Co. The "Camps" at Mammoth Hot Springs, Lake, Canyon, OF and Roosevelt became 'Lodges.' Left: Camp Roosevelt, ca1920, Real-Photo postcard. Right: Camp Roosevelt, 1922. [Haynes PC #22738] The lodge featured two stone fireplaces, a dining room lounge, kitchen and rustic furnishings. Roosevelt Lodge was not a part of the standard tour package and tourists had to pay extra to include that area in their trip. Therefore visitation here was never as great as in other locations, but was a favored location for fishermen and horseback riding. Left: Camp Roosevelt, interior and stone fireplace, 1922. [Haynes PC #22740] During the years 1920-29, 37 cabins and 26 tent cabins were constructed, along with other utility buildings. By 1929, three groups of tourist cabins had been established at Camp Roosevelt. These included: six log cabins and one "rustic-frame” cabin located south southeast of the Lodge; 18 board-and-batten, rustic-frame, tent cabins located southeast of the lodge, and 18 rustic-frame cabins located northeast of the Lodge. In the 1920s, bathroom and shower facilities were added to the Camp Roosevelt complex. Two bathrooms were constructed adjacent to the southeast and northeast cabin groups. These were simple buildings, of frame construction with wood-shingled gable roofs. They also served as a public wash room for transient guests — people who come in only for lunch and did not have a cabin. Left: Log & board rustic cabins at Camp Roosevelt. Facing the lodge, these would have been somewhere to the right side. [Undated Real-Photo postcard] Right: Tent and wooden cabins located to the left of the lodge, 1925. Note the larger bench surrounding the "Roosevelt Tree." [ YNP #36505] Upper Left: The "Roosevelt Lodge" name appears on this Haynes postcard in 1927. [Haynes PC #27468] ​ Lower Left: Roosevelt Lodge ca1930, with the local bear entertaining two young ladies. Note the log bench has again been changed. [ YNP #185328-270] ​ Right: Article from the Anaconda Standard , June 1, 1919, describing the naming of "Camp Roosevelt." This was an official government name now, as opposed to the corporate name from the Wylie days. Click to enlarge. The lodge was closed in 1933-34 due to the Great Depression and the housekeeping cabins at the Tower campground were closed in 1934. A few years later about 70 cabins were moved in to Roosevelt from Mammoth Lodge. By 1939 running water was provided to all of the cabins. World War II again closed the lodge from 1943-46. The southeast section of the lodge building was removed around 1947. ​ All of the tent cabins were removed by 1950 and in 1962 thirteen cabins from Old Faithful Lodge were hauled in. The lodge and about 97 cabins units are still available for guest use and are operated by Xanterra Parks & Lodges. Yellowstone Forest and Trail Camp for Boys and Young Men ​ This camp was established in 1921 at Roosevelt to provide outdoors’ skills to young boys. It opened July 1 for a seven-week term. Alvin G. Whitney of Syracuse University of New York was the Director. The staff was composed of naturalists, foresters, and artists who instructed the students in photographing wild game, studying the fauna and flora, fishing, and mountain climbing. Informative auto tours were conducted to study the many park features and wildlife. The camp was designed for boys 12 to 18 years of age and emphasized character building. Meals were served in the Camp Roosevelt Lodge. There were tent cabins, simple wooden cabins, council house, shower baths, and a swimming pool. The boys were expected to provide for themselves, pocket kodak, flashlight, small sheath-knife, binoculars, knapsack, canteen, hand lens, compass, pocket notebook, fishing tackle, hatchet, and waterproof matches, in addition to a proscribed collection of varied clothing and boots.. A brochure from 1921 made the pitch that, “Every boy should have the opportunity to experience the simple and elemental in wild nature at the most imaginative and plastic age, while life-long interests are being developed. During that golden period of altruism a deepening interest in nature may well serve to mould his character and direct his pleasures permanently in the noblest channels.” Although the project seemed to be a noble venture, it unfortunately was short-lived and after the 1923 season, it closed due to financial losses. Upper Left: Boy's Camp main lodge building. [YNP #31831] ​ Lower Left: Advertisement for the Forest and Trail Camp. Click to enlarge [ Newspaper ad from 1921, author's collection] ​ Upper Right: Boy's Camp lodge building with tent cabins. [YNP #193429-75] Stage Rides & Cookouts The now famous stagecoach rides and steak cookout at Yancey’s Hole n Pleasant Valley began in the summer of 1959. An article from the Spokesman Review of Spokane Wash. proclaimed, “For the first time in many years, old-fashioned stagecoaches and tallyhos (horse-drawn sightseeing carriages) will operate in Yellowstone park from Roosevelt lodge to Pleasant valley. Morning and evening rides to Yancey s Hole will be featured where breakfasts arid barbecue dinners will be served.” A Yellowstone Park Co. brochure from the early 1960s invited guests to, “Clamber aboard a stagecoach for an exciting jaunt into the past . . . The sturdy Concord coaches, luxurious vehicles at their time, [1886-1916] may in the softness of the present seem like Roosevelt rough riders.” At that time, a mere $1.75 allowed one to step back into Yellowstone’s past. By 1966, five bucks would gain one a coach ride with steak, French fries, a vegetable and coffee at the historic Yancey’s Hole. The Boston Globe that year waxed, “Barbecue smoke and the aroma of coffee hang heavy on pine-scented air while the sun falls behind the nearby Rockies. Later the stage rattles home, fording a stream, trailing a cloud of dust that glows red in the dying light of day.” The Concord Tally-Ho ruled the road there for many a year, but in later times rubber-wheeled wagons did most of the hauling of guests. They were safer and easier for less-experienced wranglers to drive. The days when a jehu who knew how to wield the ribbons of four or six horse teams and expertly crack the whip had rapidly faded. Although in recent years a replica Talley Ho was built in the Xanterra garage/shop for use at Roosevelt. ​ One visitor in 1966, who seemed to have enjoyed his journey into the past, related his impressions: ​ At Roosevelt Lodge we climbed aboard a yellow stagecoach for a steak fry in the peaceful surroundings of Pleasant Valley. The 30-minute ride with steak, French fries, vegetable, coffee and dessert comes to $5. Children go for half price. Barbecue smoke and the aroma of coffee hang heavy on pine-scented air while the sun falls behind the nearby Rockies. Later the stage rattles home, fording a stream, trailing a cloud of dust that glows red in the dying light of day. [24Jul1966 Boston Globe ]

  • Yellowstone Bios A-B |

    Yellowstone Biographies A-B ​ ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. Albright, Horace. Horace Albright served as YNP Superintendent from 1919 to 1929, when he became Director of the National Park Service. His term lasted from Jan 12, 1929 to Aug. 9, 1933. He played a huge part in the development of the park under the newly created NPS, including the road improvement program, concession development, and general park protection programs. He resigned in 1933 to become vice-president of US Potash Co. [39-49] Alvarez, Manuel. Manuel Alvarez was born in 1794 in Albegas, Spain and traveled to Mexico in 1818. He went to New York and then down to Missouri, where he crossed the plains to Santa Fe in 1824 where he engaged in trade for several years. He became a free trapper and was associated with Andrew Dripps and the American Fur Co. He led a group of trappers in 1833 through Yellowstone and discovered the geysers along the Firehole River. He left trapping in the Rockies in 1834 and moved back to Santa Fe where he became a trader and politician. He died in July of 1856. [30;46] [Dan Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography] [30;46] Anceney, Charles. Charles Anceney and his son developed the Flying D Ranch in 1865 in the Spanish Creek area of the Gallatin Mountains. They began with a half-section squatter’s claim. In 1911 H.W. Child became a partner in the ranch. By the 1920’s it was considered one of the West’s great livestock enterprises, controlling a half million acres and supporting up to 20,000 head of cattle at times. Child's son-in-law Wm. Nichols sold off his share of the ranch in 1944 to help pay off YPCo debts to the railroads. Businessman Ted Turner now owns the ranch which is sized at over 113,000 acres. [25L;39] Anderson, Lou . Lou Anderson was a member of a prospecting party in 1867 that discovered gold along the Yellowstone River above Bear Creek. They named the area Crevice Gulch (now Crevice Creek). The party also named Slough Creek and Hell-Roaring Creek. They continued up the river to Pelican Creek and down to Yellowstone Lake. They passed through the geyser basins and exited the park along the Madison River. In 1849-50 Anderson prospected Yellowstone with Kit Carson and Jim Bridger. [97p;16,62-63] ​ Anderson, Louis. Louis Anderson was a member of a trapping party of 40 men in 1839 that was attacked by Piegan Indians near Indian Pond. Five trappers were killed. [30;52] Anderson, Jack Kenneth Jack Anderson was Yellowstone park superintendent from 1967 to 1975. He was born May 24, 1917 in San Luis Obispo, California. He entered the Navy in 1941 and was at Pearl Harbor during the attack on December 7. In 1946 Anderson gave up the Navy and went back to college while working the summers for the Park Service in Sequoia-Kings Canyon NP. He received a permanent position there as park ranger in 1950 and transferred to Glacier NP in 1957. He later served as superintendents of George Washington Carver Birthplace NM and Grand Teton NP prior to his assignment to Yellowstone. [25L;14][31;463] ​ Anderson, Capt. George Smith. George Anderson became Acting Supt. of Yellowstone on February 15, 1891 and served with the 6th Cavalry in that position until June 23, 1897. Aubrey Haines described him as one of the most capable officers ever to manage Yellowstone’s affairs during the Army years. Anderson graduated from West Point in 1871 and was assigned to the 6th Cavalry as a second lieutenant. He was sent out to the western frontier to aid in the Indian wars being fought all over the west. Until 1877 he was in the saddle most of that time, participating in campaigns in Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. In 1877 he was assigned to be assistant professor of natural and experimental philosophy at West Point. This he did until 1881 when he was again called to assist in uprisings in Arizona and Colorado. He was promoted to captain in 1885 and served in Yellowstone beginning in 1891. Around 1900 Anderson, now a colonel, commanded the 13th US Volunteer Infantry and fought in the war in the Philippines. In the ensuing years Anderson commanded numerous regiments. He became a member of the General Staff of the Army. Anderson retired from the Army as general in 1912 after over 40 years of service to his country. He died of heart disease on March 7, 1915 while reading a paper at the University Club. His health had been declining for the past two years. [25L;14] [New York Times; 3/8/1915] Anderson, Ole . Olof Adolf Andersson (Ole Anderson) was born in Ostergotland, Sweden on May 18, 1857. He migrated to the United States in 1880 and Americanized his name to Ole A. Anderson. By 1883 he had settled in Yellowstone and began a business at Mammoth Hot Springs where the Commissioner's House now stands at the base of the Terraces. He began selling what became known as "coated specimens". They were common objects that had been placed in the flowing waters of the Mammoth Terraces and became coated with white, alabaster-like deposits of travertine. Coated specimens included bottles, pine cones, horseshoes, combs, small statues, vases, crosses and other such items. He also sold bottled sand art that was created by Andrew Wald, using colorful sands from various places in the park. Wald also worked with Ole in some capacity during the 1890's and possibly later. In 1891 Ole married Christine Granlund, who had also migrated from Sweden. The couple had two children born at Fort Yellowstone; Arthur in 1892 and Karl in 1895. A third son Roy was born in Helena in 1899. After several years of futile attempts to erect a permanent building at Mammoth to house his enterprise, Ole finally received permission in 1894 to build a store and residence at Mammoth. Ole's new 2-story wooden frame store opened in 1896 and became known as the "Specimen Shop" and was located just to the right of the Commissioner’s House. In April of 1896 Ole received a 10-year lease to operate the business and was permitted to sell ". . . coated specimens, wares, and other curiosities, [including bottled sands] for the accommodation of the tourists and others in the park." Ole's lease was renewed in 1906 and he was allowed the privilege of selling post cards, spoons and other curios, but not general wares. By 1908 Ole had been in business in the park for 25 years and was 51 years old. He decided to sell out his business to George and Anna Pryor, who turned the operation into a coffee and curio shop. Anderson and his family moved to Helena year-round after the sale and he continued in life as a carpenter until his death in 1915. The Specimen House was torn down in 1984. [25m] See my web page on the Specimen House for additional information. Armstrong, James. Shot twice by A drunken David Kennedy on St. Patrick's Day in 1883. The shooting occurred in the old McCartney hotel. James Armstrong survived his wounds with the bullets remaining in his body. [30;270-71] Arnet, Charles A. Charles Arnet was one of the first three residents to receive a permit in 1907 to build a house and business on the land that would eventually become West Yellowstone. He built The Yellowstone Store, the first store in town. It was located in the middle of Park Street and also housed the first post office. At that time (1908), the town consisted of only 6 blocks. Arnet sold the store to Alex Stuart in May of 1910. [18t] Arnold, A. J. A.J. Arnold was a Helena man who became a member of the Radersburg party that visited Yellowstone in 1877. The party was attacked by Nez Perce in August of that year. ​ Ash, George. George Ash was Supt. of the Wakefield Stagecoach Co. in the late 1880’s. By 1892 he was in charge of the YNP Transportation Co. properties at Mammoth. In that year he became the Postmaster at Mammoth. He married Jennie Henderson Dewing in 1893 and together they operated the Post Office Store. In 1896 they built a new general store at Mammoth. After being ill for some time, George passed away in June of 1900 in a Salt Lake hospital. (See also Ash, Jennie H.) [25j] ​ Ash, Jennie H. Jennie Henderson Ash was one of four daughters of famed park interpreter George L. Henderson, born Mar. 13, 1864 as Jeanette Ann Henderson. She began helping her sister Barbara with the Post Office Store in Mammoth at least by 1883 and became Postmistress in 1884. She was also the proprietor of the Cottage Hotel Museum, which mostly functioned as a store. She married John Dewing in 1886, but they later divorced and she married George Ash in 1893, with whom she had two children. In 1895 she obtained a 10-year lease to build and operate a new post office and store at Mammoth, which became the first permanent general store in Yellowstone. Her brother-in-law Alexander Lyall assisted in the construction of the new store. The store was located between the National Hotel and the Cottage Hotel and is currently operated by Delaware North Parks Services. It is the oldest store in the park. Jennie again became Postmistress in 1900 when her husband George became ill and later died. She and her family operated the business until 1908 when she retired and Jennie returned to Southern California, where she had spent many of the previous winters. Her brother Walter Henderson and Alexander Lyall bought the business in 1908 and sold out to former scout George Whittaker in 1913. Jennie lived to be 83 years of age. (See also ‘Henderson, Jennie’) [25j] See my web page on the Mammoth General Store for additional information. Bach, Edmund. Edmund Bach was co-founder of the Yellowstone National Park Transportation Co. with Silas Huntley and Harry Child in May of 1892. (Bach's brother Thomas was married to Child's sister Katherine.) Bach was in business with Child in Helena prior to coming to Yellowstone. They, along with others, formed the Helena, Hot Springs, and Smelter Railroad Co. in 1889. The company was forced into receivership and sold at auction in September of 1891. In 1901 the three men bought the YPA from the NW Improvement Co., but Bach sold his shares back to the railroad the following year. [25L-17] [Email conversation with Harry Child, 2004] Bacon, George Harvey. George Bacon was the only known gold prospector to explore the Yellowstone area in 1865. Gold strikes in other parts of Montana left the Yellowstone area somewhat uninhabited that year. [30;73] Baker, Jim & John. Brothers who were members of a trapping party of 40 men in 1839 that was attacked by Piegan Indians near Indian Pond. The group included Louis Anderson, Joe Power, Baptiste Ducharme and L'Humphrie. Five trappers were killed. [30;52] James Baker was born Dec. 19, 1818 in Belleville, Illinois. He went up the Missouri River in 1838 with the American Fur Co., returning to his home state in 1840. He returned to Green River in 1840, accompanying a group of emigrants. He guided various parties over the years and moved to Denver in 1859 and then to Dixon, Wyoming in 1873. He died May 15. 1898. [Dan Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography] Barlow, Capt. John W . Capt. Barlow was an officer of the Corps of Engineers who conducted an exploration of Yellowstone in the summer of 1871. He was accompanied by David P. Heap and the expedition became known as the Barlow-Heap Expedition. They conducted extensive explorations, many times alongside of the Hayden Expedition that summer. Photographer Thomas J. Hine, draftsman W. H. Wood and topographer H.G. Prout added their services, along with some packers, laborers, and a cook. The party was in the park about six weeks. Upon their return to Chicago, the great Chicago Fire destroyed almost all their photographs, meteorological records and specimens. [30;142-50] Barlow was born June 26, 1838 in Wyoming County, New York and graduated from West Point in 1861. He served in the Civil War as artilleryman and engineer. He was assigned to the Military Division of the Missouri in 1869 and surveyed for the Northern Pacific RR in 1872, and fought off a heavy Sioux attack at one point. Barlow served on the International Boundary Commission along the Mexican border from 1874 to 1891, retiring as a brigadier-general. He died in Jerusalem, Palestine Feb. 21, 1914. [A.L. Haines, Yellowstone National Park: It's Exploration and Establishment] ​ Baronett, Collins Jack (John H.) Jack Baronett was born in Glencoe, Scotland ca1829-31 (the June 1880 Fed. Census listed him as age 49), he was also known as Yellowstone Jack and followed several different occupations, including soldier, miner, guide and sailor. As a sailor he jumped ship in China in order to make his way to the goldfields of California and later searched for gold in Colorado, Montana, Alaska, Australia, and Africa. He also served as 2nd mate on a whaling ship to the Arctic Ocean before returning to California in 1855. Baronett participated in the Civil War with the First Texas Cavalry, but left disenchanted to serve briefly with the French under Maximilian in Mexico. He began prospecting for gold in the park and greater Yellowstone area in 1864 and participated in the Yellowstone Expedition in 1866. He was considered for the park superintendent position in 1884 and when the Army took over in 1866, he was the only member of the civilian police force to be retained. He served with Gen. Custer in his expedition to the Black Hills in 1869. He was the builder of first bridge across the Yellowstone River in 1871, near the junction of the Yellowstone and Lamar rivers. A toll was charged to cross, and the bridge was used until about 1903, when a new bridge was built upstream at the current location. Baronett and George Pritchett found the lost Truman Everts, who had wandered for 37 days after being separated from the Washburn Expedition in 1870. Baronett guided the detachment from Ft. Ellis that found Richard Dietrich’s dead body on the doorstep of McCartney’s Hotel during the Nez Perce War of 1877. When the Army took control of the Yellowstone in 1886, Baronett hired on as an assistant superintendent and later became a scout for the Army. In the late 1890s he voyaged to Alaska on a gold prospecting expedition where his schooner capsized. He survived the wreck and returned to Seattle for some time before traveling to Idaho to continue his prospecting career. Frail and suffering from ill-health, Baronett died on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 1906 at the Park County hospital in Livingston, Montana. He is buried in Mountain View Cemetery at Livingston, Mt. [31] [108a] [113] [31d] [1880 Fed Census Records, YNP] (Variously spelled: Jack Baronette, Jack Barronett, Jack Barronette, Jack Baronnett, Jack Baronnette, etc.) Baronett, Marion (Nee Marion A. Scott) Marion Scott had been living in Emigrant Gulch and married Jack Baronett on Mar. 14, 1884. Marion Baronett became Postmistress at Mammoth on October 25, 1886 and in 1888 she was permitted to sell photos, stationary, and curios at her office. The store was located on the north side of Capitol Hill near the site of the future Haynes Photo Shop. In October of 1888 Jennie Henderson Dewing took over the Postmistress position. [25j] [YNP Army Files Doc 173] ​ Bassett Brothers. In the first decade of Yellowstone National Park’s young existence, there were few methods of commercial transportation services available. Roads were crude at best, and lodging facilities were few and rustic. The Bassett brothers of southeastern Idaho were one of the early outfits that stepped in to fill this void. There were six brothers who began providing outfitting and transportation services in the park that included furnishing wagons, horses, tents, tools, food, supplies, and guides. In 1881 they began running stagecoaches into the park from the Utah & Northern Railroad (U&NRR) line at Beaver Canyon, Idaho, near the current town of Spencer along Interstate I-15, a few miles south of the Montana border. It was about 110 miles from Beaver Canyon to the Lower Geyser Basin, requiring three nights camping to get there, but they advertised the route as being 150 miles shorter than the Virginia City route. An 1881 newspaper ad touting the Bassett Brother’s service proclaimed that Yellowstone was the "The Eden of America!" and that "Light Spring Wagons, Good Teams, Experienced Drivers” were utilized with “Good Hunting and Fishing anywhere along the road." The round-trip cost was $25 to Marshall's Hotel on the Firehole River. William Henry Bassett (W.H. Bassett) and Charles Julius Bassett (C.J. Bassett) seem to have been the prime movers of the operation. Other brothers involved were Charles Henry Bassett II, Fred C. Bassett, Frank A. Bassett, and Ernest Bassett. The Bassett family was headed by father Charles Henry Bassett of New York. It is said that by the late 1870’s they dominated the outfitting business in Yellowstone. The business became known as the Yellowstone National Park Stage Line in 1888, and operated out of Lago, Idaho. Sometime after 1897 their operation moved north along the rail line to Monida when the Beaver rail facilities closed. During the mid-1890’s the concern was called the Union Pacific Stage Lines, with C.J. Bassett as proprietor. [25g] [Email conversation with Thornton Waite, June 2002] [] For more info, check out my page on the Bassett Bros. camping operation. Bazata, Art. Art Bazata, who had been Property Manager of Yellowstone Park Co., became the new Executive VP and General Manager of the company in 1965. George Beall, president of YPCo, retired from active management to work with a restaurant business in Cleveland, while retaining his positions of president, consultant and director of the park company. Bazata had been with the company for three years prior to his promotion. Earlier he was in the public relations business Denver and was manager of the Cosmopolitan Hotel. He was replaced by company vice-president and treasurer John Amerman in 1967. [25L;18] [Billings Gazette, 23Apr1965] ​ Beall, George . George Beall was hired in 1962 as Executive VP and General Manager of YPCo. The following year he notified the NPS of the company’s refusal to comply with any more Mission 66 objectives. He resigned from active management in 1965 to work with a restaurant business in Cleveland while retaining his positions of president, consultant and director of the park company. Beall had been manager of the hotel division of the Del Webb Corp. in Phoenix before joining Yellowstone Park Co. [25L;18] [Billings Gazette, 23Apr1965] Beaman, John Warren . Beaman (2Dec1845 - 13Dec1903) was the meteorologist for the 1871 Hayden Yellowstone Expedition. He was born December 2, 1845 in North Hadley, Mass. After serving in the Civil War, he studied civil engineering at Renselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. After graduation he went to Yellowstone with Hayden for two years. In 1874 he went to Seal Islands in Alaska with his wife Elizabeth and was the government Seal Agent, in charge of tabulating and verifying seal kills for bounty purposes. His wife was reportedly the first white women on the islands. Beaman later made surveys in the Indian Territory and areas north of that area. He moved to Missouri around 1886 and was in charge of government work on the Gasconade and Osage Rivers. Beaman moved to Washington DC in 1895 and at the time of his death in 1903 he was supervising the construction of a government building for the Treasury Dept. [30;142] [Biographies from Cole County Missouri,] ​ Beatee, M.J. He was permitted in 1878 to pasture 300 cattle on Blacktail Deer Cr. by Supt. Norris. [25L;19] Beau, Louis. French trapper Louis Beau may have made a raft trip to Stevenson Island in 1830. [25L;19] Belknap, William W . Secretary of War William W. Belknap conducted an 'investigation' of Yellowstone in 1875. He was accompanied by several other generals, Lt. Gustavus Doane and 24 men of the Second Cavalry. It seems most of the “investigation” consisted of fishing and hunting activities. [30;207] ​ Beltizer, Julius. Julius Beltizer had been guiding in the park since at least 1873 and blazed a trail from the Lower Geyser Basin north to Mammoth in 1874. The Bozeman newspaper noted that he ". . . discovered a trail leading from the Mammoth Hot Springs to the Upper Geyser Basin, by which forty miles in distance is saved, as compared with the old traveled route." Supt. Norris rebuilt this trail into a road in 1878 and called it the `Norris Road.' In 1875 Beltizer operated out of Mammoth as park guide, providing pack outfits for visitors and their luggage. [25L;19] [Bozeman Avant-Courier, 8/7/1874; 8/20/1875] Benson, Amos. Amos Benson built a log saloon and store in 1873 with Dan Naileigh near the ferry-boat landing on the Yellowstone River (near current Livingston, Mt.) The area became known as Benson's Landing and was a popular meeting place for fur trappers, traders, miners, and hunters. The ferry site was near Mission Creek and had been originally put into service by Buckskin Williams opposite the Crow Indian agency. Later on it became a stage station and post office. Another entrepreneur in the area was Hugo Hoppe, was also involved in the saloon and hotel business. [97p;98] [An Illustrated History of the Yellowstone Valley, Western Historical Publishing Co., Spokane, Wash., 1907.] ​ Benson, Maj. H.C. Maj. Benson was Acting Supt. with the Army from November 28, 1908 to September 30, 1910. Benson was born Dec. 8, 1857 in Ohio and graduated from West Point. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1882. He was involved in the Geronimo campaign in 1885-86 and served as superintendent of Sequoia National Park from 1895-97. Benson superintended Yosemite from 1895-97 and served in the Spanish American War. He became a lt. colonel in 1914 and a full colonel in 1915 when he retired from the military. He was recalled during WWI and died in San Francisco September 21, 1924. [Dan Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography] [25L;19] ​ Berry, William Sanford (W.S) & Aurinda Sophronia Ferris Berry (A.F.) The Berry family moved into Gardiner in 1902 and established a photo studio in a tent at the north end of town. According to Ruth Quinn, the couple purchased two lots on Main St. in 1911 and had a new building constructed called the Gardiner Studio.. The husband and wife team produced at least 60 known postcards of the Yellowstone area. Many of them featured beautiful fauna and flora depictions, while stagecoaches were featured in several others. Documentary-type photos were also taken in nearby communities. Larger format photos were vailable, 4x5", 5x7" & 8x10", in either glossy or dull finishes. During the sixteen years they spent in Gardiner, one or both of them established temporary studios in other Montana towns to supplement their income. A son was born in 1912 - Ferris Milton Berry, who spent most of his career in the Air Force. The family moved out of Gardiner in 1918 and according to, W.S. served as "warden of Sully's Hill Game Preserve at Fort Totten ND; the preserve being established by President Teddy Roosevelt to help rebuild the herds of elk, deer, and bison which had been over hunted nearly to extinction. After several Dakota winters, William decided there was too much pioneering at Fort Totten for a man his age and in 1920 moved his family to sunny Long Beach CA; and in 1926 relocated to Pomona." They passed away in 1948 & 1950 respectively and were buried in the local cemetery. Unfortunately no photos have yet been located of their studio or of themselves. Biddle, Nicolas . Publisher of Captain William Clark's map from the Lewis & Clark Expedition of 1804-06. The map was published in 1814. Clark named the large lake at the base of the Grand Tetons Biddle Lake in his honor. The lake is now known as Jackson Lake. [30;5] [16a;331] Billings, Frederick . Frederick Billings became president of the Northern Pacific RR in 1879, the same time rail construction commenced after the 6-year hiatus resulting from the “Panic of 1873”. The city of Billings MT was named after him. Henry Villard replaced him two years later. In 1886 he became one of the organizers of the Yellowstone Park Asso., along with Charles Gibson, Nelson Thrall, and John Bullitt. [25L;19] ​ Binkley, William. Wm. Binkley was believed to have been responsible for the stagecoach holdup on Aug. 24, 1908, on the road between Old Faithful and West Thumb. Almost $1400 in cash and over $700 in jewelry and watches were taken from the tourists. Binkley had previously escaped from the guardhouse at Ft. Yellowstone, where he was being held on a poaching charge. [10;65] [31;153] ​ Black, Leander M. Leander Black was a member of the partnership formed by A. Bart Henderson around 1874 to construct a road from Bozeman to Yellowstone Park and appropriate accommodations. The concern was called the "Bozeman City & Yellowstone National Park Wagon Road and Hotel Company." Attempts to receive a Federal charter and monies failed, along with their grand plans. [30;189] Blackmore, William . William Blackmore, or Lord Blackmore, accompanied the Hayden Expedition of 1872 as an anthropologist. During the trip his wife died in Bozeman. Upon his return he purchased five acres of land in town and deeded it to the city for a cemetery. [30;185] Blanding, James. James Blanding was one of three road crew leaders working on the park roads under Lt. Kingman in 1885-86. He pioneered a new road from Norris to the Grand Canyon, which was completed in 1886. A steep grade on the road became known as 'Blanding Hill.' [31;215] Blankenship, Edwin V. E.V. Blankenship operated a camping company in Yellowstone that was based out of Bozeman. . Records indicate he was in business for at least the years 1897 to 1912. It was originally known as Blankenship & Morgan and later became Blankenship & Co. The company petitioned to leave equipment and supplies at designated campsites in 1909, but the request was denied. Later requests to built log cabins at their sites were also denied. Check out my Smaller Camps webpage for more info!! ​ Bogart, J.V. J.V. Bogart was a member of a partnership formed by A. Bart Henderson around 1874 to construct a road from Bozeman to Yellowstone Park and appropriate accommodations. The concern was called the "Bozeman City & Yellowstone National Park Wagon Road and Hotel Company." Attempts to receive a Federal charter and monies failed, along with their grand plans. [30;189] Bottler Bros. [Boteler] Three brothers, Frederick, Henry and Phillip Bottler, settled near the future site of Emigrant in 1868. Phillip was born Dec. 25, 1837 in Summit County, near Cleveland, Ohio and Fred was born April 10, 1843. Their parents were Catharine and Ernest Bottler. They family later lived in Indiana and Iowa. Phillip enlisted in the Civil War in 1862, but was discharged a few months later due to an injury. He and Frederick headed west in 1865 and established a small ranch in the Gallatin Valley. They sold the ranch a few years later and moved to Emigrant in December of 1867. Their ranch served as a stopping point for early travelers for many years, and also provided guide and hunting services. Frederick was in the geyser basins as early as 1866. Frederick Bottler joined Philetus Norris on a climb to the top of Electric Peak in 1870. Two years later Bottler accompanied the 2nd Hayden Expedition. In 1875 it was reported the brothers killed as many as 2000 elk near Mammoth for the hides and tongues only. The men raised wheat, potatoes, cattle and sheep on their ranch. An 1874 Bozeman newspaper ad proclaimed "Travelers to National Park, Attention! House of Entertainment. Boteler & Bro's Ranch, situated midway between Bozeman and the Mammoth Hot Springs, has been fitted up to accommodate the traveling public to and from the National Park with excellent fare for both man and beast. Good meals, comfortable beds and the best of pasturage for stock can always be had by the traveler. BOTELER & BRO." Fred married Josie Shorthill, a native of Pennsylvania, in 1881. [25g] [2] [3m] [Bozeman Avant-Courier 7/3/1874] [56m;1104] Boutelle, Capt. Frazier . Capt. Boutelle was Acting Park Supt. with the 1st Cavalry from June 1, 1889 to Feb. 15, 1891. [25L;20] He was born Sept. 12, 1840 at Troy, New York to parents James Augustus Boutelle and Emeline Lamb Boutelle. James Boutelle relocated to northern California with a daughter in the 1850s and by 1871 Emeline had married E.F. Gordon and moved to Ontario, Canada. Frazier volunteered in June of 1861 with the 5th New York Cavalry in the Civil War and emerged in 1865 commissioned as a captain. Frazier served at Antietam, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Wilderness, Gettysburg, and the second battle of Bull Run. He re-enlisted in 1866 for the Indian campaign in the West and was an active participant in the Modoc War of 1872-73 in California. In 1873 he married Mary Adolphine Augusto Hayden at Vancouver, Washington and they had one son named Henry Moss Boutelle, born June 17, 1875. Henry was killed in the Philippines during the war in 1899. He again gained rank of captain in 1886. He retired in 1895 and moved to Seattle around 1906. He died there Feb. 12, 1924. [Dan Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography] [Univ. of Oregon Libraries, Hist. Photo. Collection] Bozeman, John. John Bozeman pioneered the short-lived Bozeman’s Trail, which was a short-cut passing through Indian lands east of the Big Horn Mountains from the Oregon Trail to Bozeman. He was killed in 1867 east of Livingston, reportedly by Indians. However, there has been some speculation the murder was committed by whites in an attempt to stir up military action against the Indians. The city of Bozeman, located about 75 miles northwest of the park was established in 1864 and named after John Bozeman. [25L;20] He was born 1835 in Georgia and left his wife and two children to venture west to Cripple Creek, Colorado in 1861. He joined the gold rush to Virginia City in June of 1862. Seeking a shorter route to the mines of Montana, he and John Jacobs were attacked by Sioux that winter east of the Big Horn Mountains, and robbed of all they owned. He led a wagon train along that route in 1863 to the goldfields of Montana and led several parties along "his" route the following year. The Army built forts along the way to help protect the road, but was eventually forced to abandon them due to constant Indian attacks. [Grace R. Hebard, "The Bozeman Trail"] Bracey, Capt. Capt. Bracey was a member of Bart Henderson's Yellowstone prospecting expedition of 1867. [30;77] Bradley, Frank H . Frank H. Bradley was a professor from Knoxville Tennessee and a member of Hayden's Geological Survey of the Territories. He renamed deLacy's Lake to Shoshone Lake. Breck, George. George Breck took over as manager of transportation for YPTCo when W.W. Humphrey left to form the Monida & Yellowstone stage line in 1898 with Franks Haynes. Breck had been prominent in stage transportation in the northwest and continued with YPTCo until his death on March 25, 1914. He had apparently gone into his cabin seemingly perfectly well and when a friend walked into 10 minutes later, Breck was dead. A.W. Miles called him one of the most valued and honored employees in the park. [15b] [1n;3/26/1914] ​ Brett, Col. L.M. Col. Brett was Acting Supt. for the Army from September 30, 1910 to October 15, 1916. In June of 1915 he made a tour around the park in an automobile, to confirm the feasibility of auto travel on park roads. In August he oversaw the entry of motorized vehicles into Yellowstone. He died in Washington DC September 23, 1928 at age 71 as a brigadier-general in the Army. [10;86] [25L;20] Bridger, Jim. Jim Bridger was a famed mountain man, explorer, trapper, guide, and teller of tall tales in the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone regions in the early to mid- 1800’s. He was born March 1804 in Richmond VA and was hunting and scouting by age 14. He went into the Indian country at age 18 and became one of the founders of the Rocky Mountain Fur Co. in 1822, along with Wm. Ashley, Andrew Henry, Jedediah Smith, and Milton Sublette. Bridger is known to have begun trapping in the Upper Yellowstone area by 1829, and was in and out of the country up until 1860. He established a trading post known as Ft. Bridger in 1843 on Black’s Fork of the Green River. In the spring of 1860 he accompanied the Raynolds Expedition to Yellowstone, but they were unable to enter the southern portion of Yellowstone Park due to the deep snows. He liked to tell a ‘yarn’ and there are dozens of ‘tall tales’ attributed to him, many of which though, originated from other sources. People of his time referred to him as “The Old Man of the Mountains.” He died in Washington, Missouri on July 7, 1881. He was originally buried on his farm near Dallas, south of Kansas City, but in 1906 his bones were moved to Mount Washington Cemetery and a 8-ton stone monument was erected. In addition to his other exploits, the marker claims he discovered the Great Salt Lake in 1824 and the South Pass in Wyoming in 1827. [25g] [2] [Breckinridge Bulletin, CO., 1/7/1907 Brisben, Gen. James S. James Brisben was Lt. Doane's commanding officer during Doane's ill-fated winter exploration of the Snake River in 1876-77. He stationed his troops at Mammoth in 1878 during the Bannock Indian scare. The troop was armed with a Gatling gun. In 1882 Brisben was authorized to operate boats on the Yellowstone Lake, but refused to do so after finding out YPIC also had the same privilege. Brisben was born May 23, 1837 at Boalsburg, Pennsylvania and entered the Civil War as a private in 1861. By the end of the war he attained the rank of colonel, but upon re-enlistment after the war he became a captain. He was commander of Ft. Ellis at Bozeman in 1876 and went to the relief of the beleaguered trappers and hunters at Ft. Pease along the Yellowstone River. E.S. Topping was among the men at Ft. Pease. Brisben later maintained a ranch in Paradise Valley south of Livingston. He died January 14, 1892. [Dan Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography] [25L;21] [30;212] [10;28] ​ Brothers, Henry J . In 1914 Henry Brothers established the Brothers Bathhouse & Plunge in the Old Faithful Geyser Basin across the river from Beehive Geyser. He used hot water from Solitary Geyser to supply the swimming pool and the five smaller hot pools. Brothers Plunge was enlarged in 1923 and a new log building was erected. In 1927 he built a bathhouse at the Old Faithful auto camp, and three years later built facilities at the Fishing Bridge auto camp. This bathhouse included tubs, showers, laundry and irons. He sold out to Charles Hamilton in 1933, who remodeled and enlarged the Bathhouse & Plunge, essentially rebuilding the entire structure. [25;21] Brown, Capt. Oscar J. Capt. Brown was Acting Supt. with the 1st Cavalry from June 23, 1899 to July 23, 1900. [25L;21] Brown, Joe . Joe Brown discovered gold in Bear Gulch, near the park’s northern border east of Gardiner in 1866. It was reported that he took out $8,000 in gold that year. He discovered gold ore on Crevasse Mountain in the 1870’s and sold out to George Eaton in 1885, who built the first quartz mill in the district. A trail up Dome Mountain, near Yankee Jim Canyon, is named after Brown. [25L;21] Bryant, Robert C. Robert Bryant formed a company that was originally known as the Bryant-Spence Yellowstone Camping Co. It began operating out of (West) Yellowstone in 1903, with main offices in Chicago. This camping company conducted tours of the park from the west entrance and Gardiner. Bryant applied for a camping permit in July 1908, but was turned down by Interior. Apparently he had been operating in the park during 1908 and previous seasons without a license and oft-times sold tours and pawned the people off on other operators in the park. A 1908 brochure advertised “The Bryant Way”, an obvious take-off on “The Wylie Way” phrase coined many years earlier. Bryant somehow resumed his camping operation ca1909-10 and also operated hotel and stagecoach operations in (West) Yellowstone. The business was incorporated as the R.C. Bryant Company on May 31, 1910 in Utah. Special wagons accompanied the tours, carrying provisions, baggage, tents, cots, tables, chairs, bedding, and stoves, etc. A professional cook accompanied the trips. The hotel was located on the main street coming out of the park, about a block east of the UP depot. Bryant sold out his camp and hotel operation to the Shaw & Powell Co. in 1912. [25g] [15b] [YNP Army Files Doc. #8021;8022;8506;8510;8516] Check out my Robert Bryant Camping Co. page for more info!! Buffalo Jones, C.J. Buffalo Jones was hired in 1902 to manage the dwindling buffalo herd. At that time the herd numbered less than 50, and only 21-22 by some accounts. 18 buffalo cows were brought in from the Allard Ranch in Montana and 3 bulls imported from the Goodnight Ranch in Texas. A house and corrals were built for Jones just south of Capitol Hill in Mammoth. C.J hired his brother as “buffalo keeper”, but he was later fired for incompetence. Buffalo Jones position was abolished in 1905 and he resigned shortly thereafter. [25L;22] Buffington, Leroy. Leroy Buffington was a St. Paul architect who designed the new National Hotel at Mammoth in 1883. He designed numerous St. Paul mansions and was considered the 'father of the skyscraper.' [10;130] Bullitt, John C. John Bullitt was a Philadelphia businessman who was one of the original organizers of the YPA in 1886. Bundy, Oliver C. Oliver C. Bundy was a Helena photographer who has become known for his early stereoviews of Yellowstone scenes in the early 1870's. Whether he took photos himself, or purchased photos from other photographers is unknown. Bundy arrived in Montana Territory in 1866 and opened a photo gallery in Virginia City in 1872. He went into partnership with Helena photographer E. H. Train in 1876 and later that year Bundy bought out Train. Bundy was born in 1827 and died in 1891. [ ] Burgess, Felix Felix Burgess was a government scout who was appointed a deputy marshall in 1891, although lack of adequate enforceable laws made his job difficult. Early in that year he assisted in the search for missing scout Ed Wilson. In Feb. of 1894, Burgess and Private Troike, arrested poacher Edgar Howell on Pelican Creek. Howell had at least six buffalo capes hanging near his camp. [31;63-65,445] Buttrey, Frank A . Frank Buttrey started his first store in Aldridge and he later established Buttrey's Stores all through Montana. [25g;144]

  • Pryor & Trischman |

    Yellowstone Storekeepers - Pryor & Trischman - Pryor Stores ​ ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. The Pryor & Trischman Stores - 1908 to 1953 ​ In the Beginning . . . ​ Anna and Elizabeth Trischman were daughters of Ft. Yellowstone post carpenter George Trischman, who came to work in the park in 1899. Upon Ole Anderson’s retirement in 1908, Anna and husband George Pryor purchased the Specimen House at Mammoth that had opened up in 1896. They continued to employ Andrew Wald , who created beautiful sand bottles, until around 1920 or so. In 1912 George Pryor, husband of Anna Trischman, signed over his interests in the store to Elizabeth Trischman and the business became known as Pryor & Trischman. They soon enlarged the business and called their operation the Park Curio & Coffee Shop. They sold ice cream, curios, souvenirs, newspapers, toiletries, coffee, tea, box lunches, and operated a bakery and soda fountain. Left : Specimen House, as purchased by Anna & George Trischman. Leroy Anderson Collection. Right: Pryor & Trischman store in 1917. The addition on the left was basically a mirror image of the original store. YNP #199718-78 Around 1923, they jointly operated a delicatessen with George Whittaker at the new "free auto camp" at lower Mammoth. In 1925 they purchased Whittaker's share on the auto camp operation and added a cafeteria to the operation a few years later. The business was expanded again in 1924 when the women established a small lunch stand at the Devil's Kitchen on the Mammoth Terraces, calling it the Devil's Kitchenette. The Devil’s Kitchen was the deep and narrow cavern of an extinct hot spring. Ladders were built into the vertical cave as early as 1881, and may have been explored with ropes even earlier. It has been said that entering it made one feel as if descending into the depths of the underworld. It was a very popular tourist attraction until closed by the NPS in 1939 Left : The Devil's Kitchen, undated stereoview. Right : Devil's Kitchenette, operated from 1924-1937 Above Left: Park Curio Shop, ca1940, Kropp postcard 13978N Above Right: Cafeteria at the Mammoth Auto Camp, 1939. YNP #185327-414 The Business Expands . . . ​ In 1932 the women branched out and purchased all of George Whittaker's Yellowstone Park Store operations at Mammoth and Canyon. His holdings included an interest in the service station business and general stores at both locations. They now held a monopoly on the store business in the northern portion of the park, with the exception of the Haynes Photo Shops. Charles Hamilton remained in control of the stores in the southern portion of the park. The Pryor & Trischman stores incorporated in 1946 and became known as Pryor Stores, Inc. Anna Pryor held a 2/3 interest in the business, while her sister owned the other third. Formed on October 1, Pryor was President and Trischman Secretary. Above Left : Canyon General Store, 1940s. YNP #47-84 Above Right : Canyon Service Station, 1940s. YNP #47-834 Time for retirement . . . ​ Six years later, after 45 years in business, the women decided to retire and sold out to Charles Hamilton in 1953 for $333,000. According to an insurance audit in September 1950, the Pryor Stores’ property at Mammoth consisted of the Park Curio Shop itself, with a single-story garage and warehouse located behind it, and the general store, service station and single-story employee dormitory located at the rear. Also at Mammoth were the general store, gas station, cafeteria, and dormitory facilities at the Mammoth Auto Camp. The Canyon properties consisted of the single-story general store and gas station, which housed the post office, soda fountain, residence, storage, and a two-story dormitory building located nearby. The women ended up with a profit of just over $100,000 and retired to their home in Los Angeles. Elizabeth Trishman (left) & Anna Pryor (right) at their home in Los Angeles, 1950s, YNP #122107 Anna Pryor died in Los Angeles in 1973 at age 89, and Elizabeth Trischman followed in 1984 at age 98. The Canyon store and gas station were torn down in the early '60s as part of the Mission 66 plan to create a new Canyon Village. The Pryor Coffee Shop at Mammoth was razed in 1984, supposedly due to potential health and safety concerns. The General Store at Mammoth was run by Hamilton Stores until the end of 2002,when Delaware North won the competitive bid process and took over operation of the park stores. The current Mammoth store is the only remaining building in the park from the Pryor & Trischman operation.

  • Gateways |

    Yellowstone's Gateway Communities ​ Click on Link above to begin your tour. Yellowstone’s Gateway Communities The existence of the gateway communities has been viewed historically (incorrectly I think) by the early military authorities and the Park Service as a sort of ‘necessary evil’. From the earliest days these towns, which have provided many of the necessary visitor services, have also provided a relatively safe haven and a base for a variety of social misfits whose interests were generally contrary to the best interests of the park. Some of the biggest problems in the early days were the poachers of wildlife, and exploiters of park resources. There were also the occasional stagecoach robbers, and trouble-making drunks that had to be taken care of by the authorities. Until 1894, there were no effective laws governing the park, and no judicial system to deal with the lawbreakers when apprehended. Usually the most the authorities could do was to evict a troublemaker from the park and confiscate his gear. It was a small price to pay in return for some of the profits that could be made by selling buffalo heads, game meat, etc. Passage of the Lacey Act in 1894 provided for legal protection of the park’s features and established a working judicial system. Although this did not stop wrongdoing, as no laws will, it helped tremendously to control the problems and at least gave the military authorities the power to punish these people. Problems such as ‘horn-hunting’ and poaching continue to this day, as certain locals, and of course out-of-towners, look to the park’s resources to help supplement their incomes. Gardiner , because of its lower elevation, lack of significant snows, milder climate and easy access, became the first gateway community in the early 1880’s. The area was traversed frequently starting with the fur trade in the 1820-30’s. Gold miners passed through the area in the 1860’s, with the precious element being discovered on Bear Creek in 1866 by Joe Brown. Gold ore was discovered in the hills around Jardine about 13 years later. The early exploration parties also passed through the area in 1869-72 as they followed the Yellowstone River into the park. These included the Folsom-Cook-Peterson, Washburn, and Hayden expeditions. The impetus to development came in 1883 with the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad to Cinnabar, 3 miles north of town. Even though the railroad did not reach town until 1902, Gardiner continued to prosper. It became the center of freighting activities not only for the park, but also for the gold mines at Jardine and Cooke City. It was the primary entrance for tourist travel through the park for many years. The town provided much labor for the road crews in the park, and for the transportation and hotel companies, and still does. The town also provided entertainment for the soldiers of Ft. Sheridan/Yellowstone in the form of bars, gambling, and houses of ill repute (much to the chagrin of the commanding officers no doubt). Amenities necessary for the comfort of the tourists, Sagebrushers, outfitters, hunters, and locals were also well provided for. West Yellowstone came into being around 1907 with the arrival of the Union Pacific Railroad. It was originally called Riverside even though it was not located at the river’s side, and the name was confused with the soldier station and stage station located a few miles inside the park. Two years later the town was renamed Yellowstone. It retained this name until 1920 when, to eliminate confusion it was changed again, this time to West Yellowstone. The west entrance of the park had been used since the early days of the trappers, who followed the course of the Madison River in search of beaver. Gold miners followed this route in the 1860’s, and by 1873 the “Virginia City and National Park Free Wagon Road” was built. By 1879 Gilmer & Salisbury were running stagecoaches from the UPRR station in Spencer Idaho into the Lower Geyser Basin. Although the post office was established in 1908, it was not until 1913 that lands were removed from Forest Service ownership in order to form the townsite. The town served primarily as a summer resort and fall hunting retreat until the early 1970’s when the Old Faithful Snow Lodge began operating for the winter season, and the Park Service began grooming the roads for snowmobiles. Cooke City , located near the northeast entrance, had its beginnings as a mining town, with gold being discovered in the area around 1869-70. It was originally named Miner’s camp in 1872, changing to Clark’s Fork City and Galena, before becoming Cooke City in 1882. The only real way in or out of the area was the trail from Gardiner through the park. The road to Cooke City was marginal at best until the early 1920’s, and even then the road would be impassable to wagons most of the winter. This area did not really become a ‘gateway community’ until the mid-‘30s when the road over Beartooth Pass was completed. This road was then advertised by the railroads as the ‘most spectacular’ entrance to the park. NPRR had a branch line into Red Lodge and bus service was available from there. This road is still generally only accessible mid-June through September because of the deep snows on the 11,000’ pass. Like West Yellowstone, their basic season is summer and fall, but it has become a very popular winter snowmobile resort. The closest gateway community to the east entrance is about 50 miles distant at Cody Wyoming . This town came into existence in the late 1890’s with help of the famous Buffalo Bill Cody, the railroad and agricultural interests. The first known white man to see the area was John Colter who passed through the area in the winter of 1807-08. The designation Colter’s Hell actually came from this area, not Yellowstone Park. Around 1902 Wm. Cody opened up his ‘Irma Hotel’, and established a trading company, campground and newspaper in town. He built Pahaska Lodge and the Wapiti Inn hunting lodge at the east entrance of the park. That same decade was fairly momentous for the new town, as the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy railroad arrived, a road over Sylvan Pass into Yellowstone was built, and construction started on the Shoshone Dam and Reservoir outside of town. In 1912 Holm Transportation Co. started regular passenger service to Yellowstone, and four years later the Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Co. became the first motorized transportation company to enter the park. They traveled as far as Lake Hotel where the guests were transferred to stagecoaches. The following year the stagecoaches gave way to the automobile and a new era was begun. The town is home to the world-famous Buffalo Bill Museum, Plains Indian Museum, and the Winchester Collection. Although seasonal in nature, the area has a variety of other business interests to help keep the town thriving year-round. Jackson Wyoming , although really a gateway community to Grand Teton National Park, has been included here because of the many historical ties the area has to Yellowstone. Colter is reputed to have passed through the area in 1807-08, and the area was well known to the fur trappers. The 1860’s saw gold seekers, but paydirt was never really found here. The Hayden Expedition explored the area in 1872 and ‘78. James Stevenson and Nathaniel Langford of the 1872 expedition claimed to have scaled the Grand Teton that year. However, Wm. Owen and his party who scaled the peak in 1898 disputed that earlier claim. The first known permanent settler arrived in 1884, but growth in the valley was slow. Access to the valley was difficult and the nearest railroad was over the mountains to the west in Idaho. The primary economy of the valley in the early days was ranching, cattle, horses, and dudes (probably the more profitable of the three). As with the other communities, poaching was a well-established custom for many years. In 1929 Grand Teton National Park was established and was expanded considerably in 1950. The first ski area was founded in 1946, and about 20 years later the Jackson Hole Ski area was established. The area now competes successfully with many of the renown ski hills of Colorado and Utah. The communities of Jardine, Aldridge, Electric, and Horr have been included mostly because of personal interest by the author. They have never been considered gateway communities, although they had considerable impact on the town of Gardiner in the early days. Gold ore was discovered on Crevasse Mountain near Jardine in 1879. In 1898 the post office was established and the town was quite a bustling little metropolis. Mining for gold, along with tungsten and arsenic was somewhat sporadic over the years. When the cyanide plant burned down in 1948, that was the end of any prosperity until 1988 when gold production started up at Mineral Hill Mine. That too was short-lived, closing down in 1996. Aldridge, Horr and Electric were relatively short-lived towns. Horr was founded in 1888 the service the nearby coal mines. It changed its name to Electric in 1904 because, as the old joke goes,“…the women were tired of living in Horr houses.” Aldridge, also related to the coal boom, was established in 1894 and was first called Lake. The coal mines shut down in 1910, and by 1915 both post offices had been closed down. By then many of the businessmen had already moved their operations into Gardiner, having seen the handwriting on the wall.

  • David Curry |

    Camping in the Yellowstone David Curry Camping Co. ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. DAVID A. CURRY DIES IN SAN FRANCISCO May 5, 1917 Mariposa Gazette ​ “David A. CURRY, founder of the first hotel camp in the Yosemite National Park, whose friends throughout the west number thousands, died Monday [April 30] of this week at the German hospital in San Francisco. Curry, known throughout the west as the "Stentor of Yosemite," was born in Indiana in 1860. He was a graduate of Indiana University and taught school in Utah for four years. He came to California in 1897-98 and a year later founded Camp Curry. From a small beginning of seven tents in 1899, Camp Curry, under the direction of its genial manager, has grown into a tent city accommodating more than one thousand guests. Curry had just completed plans for the 1917 season when his untimely death occurred. His wife, Mrs. Jennie Curry, and three children, survive. The widow and son will manage the resort this year.” Jennie "Mother" Foster, standing in front of Camp Curry in Yosemite, undated. Biography & Early Life . . . Moving backward in time we find that David Alexander Curry was born February 15, 1860, in Bloomington, Indiana, where he received his early education in the common schools of Monroe County and of Winchester, Kansas. He was an alumnus of Indiana University, graduating Bachelor of Arts in 1883. After graduating he engaged for several years in teaching, first in the common schools and later in the High School of Greensburg, Indiana. In 1887 he was elected Assistant in the Latin Department of Indiana University, and during the college year 1888-89 took post graduate studies in Harvard University. He resigned in 1888 to commence studying for the ministry in the United Presbyterian Theological Seminary at Xenia, Ohio. Experiencing theological differences with the faculty, he left and joined with the Congregationalists. On April 6, 1886, he married Miss Jennie Foster, of Bloomington, and their son David Foster Curry was born May 9, 1888. Jennie Etta Foster, born 1861 in Rushville, Ohio, was educated in the Knightstown Indiana High School. Receiving a Degree, B. L. Occupation from Indiana University, she taught in the Bloomington and Knightstown public school. She later served as principal of the Greensburg High School and taught for a time at Indiana University. Life in Utah . . . In the fall of 1891 the Curry family moved to Ogden, Utah to teach in the Gordon Academy, founded by the Congregational Church as a learning refuge from local Mormon orthodoxy. Originally known as the Ogden Academy in 1883, it was also called the New West Academy. David became principal and Jennie taught at that institution for four years. Meanwhile the family continued to grow with the births of Mary Louise on November 29, 1893 and Marjorie Lucille on April 11, 1895. The New West Academy in Ogden. It served as high school and jr. high school in the early 1900s. [Real-Photo postcard, ca1910] The Ogden Academy, later the new West Academy. David & Jennie Curry both started out teaching at the academy in 1891. [Ogden Standard, 28Aug1891] The Gordon Academy, formerly New West Academy in Ogden. David Curry later became the principal. [Ogden Standard, 22Aug1894] Ad for David Curry's Yellowstone camping trip. [Ogden Standard, 27Jun1892] Camping the Yellowstone . . . Meanwhile, the summer after the Currys arrived in Ogden, they decided upon a camping adventure in Yellowstone National Park. While they made plans for this 1892 adventure, a number of their friends and fellow teachers made known their desire to go along. The Currys agreed to organize the trip and advertised in local papers in order to gather enough other participants make a party of 20. His ads solicited "Teachers, students and anybody of good character." Originally scheduled to leave June 27th for 17 days at a cost of $65 that included everything, an ad on June 26 cut the rate to $50 with a scheduled departure of July 4th. The group no doubt visited all of the popular tourist sites and sights in the park and camped at a variety of locations along their route. They apparently had a successful trip and arranged for a second expedition that season and became an annual affair for six more years. By 1895 the operation had expanded to include 37 tourists, transported in five 4-horse covered wagons, one 2-horse wagon, three 4-horse baggage wagons, along with nine teamsters, a cook and four assistants. The entourage typically traveled from Ogden to Idaho Falls via the Oregon Short Line RR where they disembarked to continue the journey by wagon through the west entrance of Yellowstone. Although the Currys had moved to Palo Alto in 1895, they continued to return to Utah and conduct the Yellowstone camping trips through the 1898 season. Back From National Park Incidents of Interesting Trip – Scenic Wonders of Yellowstone Excerpts from the Ogden Standard Examiner, August 3, 1895 “Professor David A. Curry who returned yesterday morning from Yellowstone park whither he went in charge of the large camping party made up of all sections of the country was seen last evening by a Standard reporter. Mr. Curry expressed himself as pleased with the success of the trip and with the scenery witnessed along their route. The party left here July 15th [1895] and was the largest camping party that ever visited the park. From here [Ogden] to Idaho Falls the party went by rail and thence started on eastward by wagons. Arrangements had been made for five four-horse wagons and one two-horse wagon for passengers, besides three four-horse baggage wagons and with these the party pro ceeded comfortably and made good time. “There were thirty-seven tourists in the party who together with the nine teamsters, the cook, and four assistants, made the party number more than half a hundred. In the park region the tourists stopped one or two days at each of the principal places of interest. “Among the interesting incidents of the trip were several adventures with bears . . . it is customary for them to come around the hotels and get food. The managers of the different hotels rather encourage them in this . . . the bears, evidently mistaking the large camp for a substantial hotel, came down to it [the camp] on several occasions and proceeded to help themselves to such provisions as they could find. Naturally, their researches took them to the culinary department, and consequently the cook of the party did not enjoy the trip. The first night when these animals called the cook was at home but he suddenly recollected that he had business elsewhere and spent half the night on top of a covered wagon while several of the shaggy coated creatures rummaged about in his department, upsetting things generally and feasting on about eight pounds of cheese. The tourists were not even awakened as their tents were some distance from the scene of the depredations and the cook was probably to [sic] much frightened to make an outcry. The next eighteen pounds of cheese and a goodly portion of a twenty-five pound tin of butter went to show the bruin’s appreciation of Utah’s dairy product.” Troubles in Wonderland . . . The Yellowstone operation was not trouble free by any means. The Curry family encountered the same basic problem that William W. Wylie of the Wylie Camping Company had faced – that of obtaining permanent camps and acquiring operating permits that lasted longer than one season. There was no financial security in a year-to-year operation and not knowing for sure if the business could continue the following season was a huge liability. Lending institutions typically would not lend money for such operations with no guarantee of long-term viability. The military administration, whose allegiance was typically aligned with the larger hotels, tolerated the camping companies only as a necessary evil and felt those operations were degrading to Yellowstone. The Yellowstone Park Association hotels, backed by the Northern Pacific RR, also exerted much pressure to eliminate their competitors. However, since the camping operations were highly popular with visitors, it was politically difficult to shut them down. Vacationers enjoyed the camping experience not only because of the lower touring costs than the hotel operations, but they took pleasure in the sense of increased camaraderie with their fellow travelers, the leisurely pace, and the feeling of being closer to nature. Although Wylie finally received permanent status for his camping operation in 1896, it would not be until 1913 that another camps company, Shaw & Powell, received permanent camp status. The Ogden Standard Examiner, February 19, 1910 discussed David Curry’s setbacks and successes: “There has developed within the last years a new industry, that of entertaining tourists in the national parks. The business is growing as a greater number of travelers enter the national reserves, attracted by the grandeur and beauty of the scenery and the novelty of “roughing it.” “David A. Curry, formerly principal of Gordon Academy, Ogden, is bore as a reminder of the prosperity that comes to those who cater to the tourists in the parks. He has found the life of concessionaire more enticing that that of school teaching, although he was successful as a pedagogue. “Mr. Curry has a camp in Yosemite, where for ten years; he has been entertaining the pleasure-seekers of California and the outside. Uncle Sam grants him the privilege of caring for not to exceed 200 guests. He hopes to increase the limit to 400, and then he will be happy. “His first experience in this line of endeavor was obtained while he was a resident of Ogden. He conceived the idea of making his vacations profitable by personally conducting parties through the Yellowstone. That was when tourists left the railroad at Idaho Falls and before the line was constructed to the western gate of “Wonderland.” He escorted one party of 38 at a cost of $105 to each member, and made a profit of $700 on the venture, and there forth he saw less of charm in pouring over algebra, rhetoric and science, and resolved to be an owner of a camp in a national park. “But to become a national concessionary, is to favored as few are favored. Mr. Curry says he would have continued his labors in the Yellowstone, but found the park monopolized by the Northern Pacific railroad and its representatives. Though supposedly a government reserve, in which equality is practiced, the Yellowstone was, to all practical purposes, the private property of the railroad and Mr. Curry is of the opinion that the entrance of the Oregon Short Line [UPRR] has done little to break down the barrier set against the man of small means who might be foolish enough to seek a foothold in the park . . . It would be well for a congressional committee to inquire into the monopoly of Yellowstone. No great government tract should be made to serve exclusively the commercial greed of a railroad or any other monopolistic interests.” Bound for California . . . The Curry family left Utah in 1895 and moved west to Palo Alto, California where a relative named Rufus Green was engaged with Stanford University. They were also acquainted with David Jordan, president of Stanford (and former president of Indiana University), where they hoped to take post-graduate work. Instead, through their contacts, David was able obtain a contract in the fall as principal of Sequoia High School in Redwood City while Jennie acquired a teaching position there. They stayed at Sequoia High until the summer of 1899 when the call of Yosemite beckoned. Redwood City Public School, ca1910. The school opened in September 1895. The high school was on the 3rd floor, lower grades 1st & 2nd floors. [Real-Photo postccard] With only 43 Yellowstone camp guests in 1897, and frustrated in his endeavors to establish permanent camps, and unhappy with having to move his family back and forth between California and Yellowstone, David Curry finally gave up his Yellowstone expeditions after the 1898 season and began making plans for a different enterprise closer to home. He envisioned a new camp operation at Yosemite National Park, believing that “Yosemite is less in the control of large interests, and half a dozen camp concessionaires do well.” Ho for the Yosemite . . . Although still principal of Sequoia HS in 1899, David Curry took steps to fulfill that dream. While waiting for the spring term to conclude, Curry sent cousins Rufus Green and Will Thomson ahead to Yosemite to pick out a camp site and make preliminary arrangements for the camp operation. The men chose a spot at the uncrowded east end of the valley near the base of Glacier Point. The views of the upper valley were superb, and its proximity to the major trailheads would prove to be advantageous in future years. ​ That first summer the camp consisted of seven sleeping tents and a larger one to serve as dining room and kitchen. The Curry family moved into the valley after the school session ended and with the assistance of only a cook and students from Stanford University working for room and board, put into place the beginnings of an enterprise that continues to this day. 290 people registered the first year and eighteen more tents were quickly added to handle the unexpected volume of business. ​ Originally called Camp Sequoia, the name was shortly thereafter changed to Camp Curry. The camp continued to prosper and by 1922, Camp Curry had grown to 650 tents, 60 rooms in cottages, a cafeteria, a bakery, an ice plant, a candy kitchen, soda fountain, a studio, laundry, bathhouses, pool, auditorium, bowling alley, pool hall, a post office, and a store. Top Left: The Hutchings Hotel in Yosemite Valley. Among the earliest explorers of the area, James Hutchings open this hotel in 1864. Bottom Left: Curry Camp, ca1905. [Real-Photo postcard, pm1905] Early Days at Camp Curry This early history was penned for the 1964 Yosemite Centennial by Mary Curry Tressider, daughter of David and Jennie Curry. Mary Tressider quotes an account written by her mother in 1948: ​ "In the summer of 1899 David A. Curry and his wife Jennie Foster Curry, both Hoosier school teachers who had come west on the installment plan and finally landed in California, came to Yosemite and established a small camp for the entertainment of guests. They had formerly taken parties through Yellowstone with a movable camp. Both had been given an unusual love for nature and the out of doors through their training in nature lore under Dr. David Starr Jordan at Indiana University where they were both members and graduates of the class of '83. They secured from the Guardian of the Valley (which was then a state park) permission to use the site of the present camp where with their first purchase of seven tents they began their enterprise. As everything had to be transported by wagon from Merced, a hundred miles away, their equipment was scanty-tents with burlap floors, bed springs on wooden legs, mattresses, comfortable and clean bedding, wash stands made from cracker boxes with an oilcloth cover and a calico curtain, a few chairs, and tables. The dining tent seated twenty persons. The only paid employee was the cook, the remainder of the duties about camp being performed by Mr. and Mrs. Curry assisted by two or three Stanford students who worked a certain number of weeks in return for room and board and a week's free vacation in the park . . . The seven tents grew during the first season to twenty-five and the number of guests reached almost three hundred which was considered a very good beginning . . . The guests came chiefly from educational groups, Mr. and Mrs. Curry being known to them through their teaching contacts. Each guest seemed to take a personal interest in the young concern and it was by their personal recommendations to their friends that Camp Curry - as the camp came to be called by its neighbors - had its immediate and steady growth." History of the Firefall . . . The following is reprinted in part from Yosemite Nature Notes, V. XIII, No. 6, June, 1934 by M.E. Beatty, Assistant Park Naturalist: ​ A description of the firefall follows for those not familiar with the practice. A bonfire is built nightly during the summer near the over-hanging rock at Glacier Point, 3254 feet above the valley floor. The wood for the fire consists mainly of red fir bark gathered during the day by a workman from down trees in the vicinity. Approximately one-quarter of a cord of wood is used for the larger bonfires. The pile of bark is ignited about 7 p.m. and a program conducted by a ranger-naturalist is held around the fire between 8 and 9. By 9 o’clock, the time of the firefall, the fire has been reduced to a glowing pile of embers. The signal for the firefall is the extinguishing of the Camp Curry lights at the conclusion of their entertainment. The exchange of calls between Curry and Glacier may be heard from either place, and at the conclusion, the fire tender by means of a long handled shover, slowly pushes the glowing coals over the cliff. This gives the effect of a solid stream of fire, dropping some 1400 feet vertically to an oblique ledge, embers sometimes dropping along this ledge an additional 1000 or 1500 feet. There is no fire hazard as very little vegetation exists on the granite walls. Our positive information starts in 1899, when Mr. and Mrs. David A. Curry established the Curry Camping Company at what is now Camp Curry. David Curry learned of the firefall custom, which had fallen into disuse and decided to revive it for the benefit of his guests. He would occasionally send one of his employees up the trail to Glacier Point to build the fire and push it off. This was done more and more frequently, until it became a nightly occurrence. Mr. Curry’s, “Hello, Glacier” and “Let the fire fall,” delivered with remarkable volume, won for him the title, “The Stentor of Yosemite.” This custom has been continued ever since, although David Curry has passed away. Conclusion . . . Unfortunately, David Curry would not live to see all of those changes noted in 1922. A serious blood infection in his foot developed from a rusty nail incident and he passed on April 30, 1917. Curry would be later remembered by his daughter as "big in body, mind and soul, interested in life and people, simple in his ways and habits, absolutely without any affection, his friendly spirit and genial whole-souledness appealed to people." Jennie, affectionately dubbed Mother Curry, continued in charge of the camp with the aid of her family. Daughter Mary and husband Don Tressider eventually took over much of the day-to-day business while Jennie managed operations in the background. Both Jennie and Mr. Tressider died in 1948 and Mary assumed control of the company until her death in 1970, ending just over 70 years of management by the Curry family. The company, which had became known as Yosemite Park & Curry Company in 1925, passed into the hands of the MCA Corp. in 1973. MCA/YP&CC lost the contract in 1992 due to majority ownership by a Japanese concern and Delaware North has run the operations since that time.

  • George Huston |

    Camping in the Yellowstone George A. Huston Early Gold Miner, Guide & Packer Copyright 2021 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. George Huston was among the earliest guides in the wilderness that would become Yellowstone National Park in March of 1872. And although his operation does not fit into the mold of the latter day government-permitted camping operations, the situation in Yellowstone in the early 1870s was also quite different and much more primitive. I include him here because by 1873, I feel Huston provided what seems to be the first commercially advertised service for guiding, packing, camping, and transport through the north entrance into Wonderland. ​ Illustration of George Huston from Harper's Weekly , 11-17-1877 Biography of George Huston on my Biographies web page. Gold Miners, Harper's New Monthly, April 1860 Huston first appeared on the Yellowstone scene in 1864 as a gold prospector, fresh from having served three years in the Pennsylvania Reserves during the Civil War. That year he conducted a party of 30-40 miners up the Yellowstone River into the Lamar and Clark’s Fork drainages. Later in the year he led another party up the Madison and Firehole rivers. In 1866 he guided a small group of miners through the west entrance of Yellowstone up the Madison River to the geyser basins and prospected around Yellowstone Lake, Hayden Valley, Mirror Plateau, Lamar Valley, and returned to Emigrant via the Yellowstone River. He has been thought by some to be insignificant in the bigger historical perspective of Yellowstone, and perhaps in some ways that may be true. However, he was one of those people that always seemed to “be where the action is” in the very early days of Wonderland, and by following his adventures, one can be led through many of the important events in the early history of the greater Yellowstone region. Huston built a cabin in the fall of 1867 near Turkey Pen Creek along the present Rescue Creek Trail, becoming who is believed to be the first permanent white resident in the park. When Truman Everts was lost on the Washburn Expedition of 1870, it was Huston who carried Everts on his horse to the north side of Yankee Jim Canyon where a wagon could then transport Everts to Bozeman. It was probably his cabin that Jack Baronett and George Pritchett brought Everts to so he could recuperate. In Nov. 1871 Huston assisted Matthew McGuirk in the construction of a house and barns at McGuirk’s Springs on Boiling River that was intended to be a refuge for invalids to soak in the ‘medicinal waters.’ The following year he accompanied the F.V. Hayden Expedition into Yellowstone and with Jack Baronett helped provide guide services. Scribner's Magazine of 1871 depicting a dazed and lost Truman Evert s McCartney's Hotel, Courtesy YNP Archives #50787 In the early 1870s there were no formal hotels, stores, or roads in Yellowstone. Explorers and curiosity-seekers were on their own and needed to be provisioned with everything they might need on an extended packing/camping trip. James McCartney and Harry Horr had homesteaded 160 acres at Mammoth Hot Springs in 1871 and built what can be loosely termed a ‘hotel.’ It was primitive at best and visitors were required to provide their own blankets and sleep on the floor, but guests could at least be dry, warm, and provided with food and drink. During a Yellowstone visit in 1874 Lord Dunraven commented that it was “the last outpost of civilization – that is, the last place whiskey is sold.” That was the only lodging in the park until 1880 when George W. Marshall built a hotel and mail station on the Firehole River. The first known published reference to Huston’s commercial guiding and packing career occurred on April 4, 1873, when the Bozeman newspaper proclaimed “Huston & Werks pack train will in the course of a week be prepared to convey travelers and goods to the National park, or the Clark’s Fork mines.” Although Jack Baronett, Frederick Bottler and others had been providing guide services for exploration parties, this appears to be the first commercially advertised service for guiding and transport through the north entrance of the park. Huston joined up with fellow Pennsylvanian and prospector John Werks (John F. Works), who appeared to have handled the business end of matters. On April 25 another ad appeared in the paper and interested parties were to contact Gov. Williams at the Exchange Saloon in Bozeman for details and arrangements. The ad proudly proclaimed “Ho for Wonderland and the Mammoth Hot Springs - I am now prepared to carry INVALIDS and PLEASURE PARTIES to the celebrated Mammoth Hot Springs, and other points in the National Park.” G.W.A. Frazier’s four-horse ‘conveyance’ from Bozeman carried passengers to the ‘Yellowstone Canyon’ on a weekly basis, or more often if necessary. Top Right : Bozeman Avant-Courier , June 13, 1873 Bottom Right : Bozeman Times , July 6, 1876 Werks placed another ad in the July 4th newspaper that pronounced “Cheap Transportation to the Geysers. I am prepared to furnish Ten Pack Animals or Riding Animals to persons desiring to visit the national park or any portion of the Upper Yellowstone. Terms one dollar per day for each animal.” Frank Grounds, also a prospector and hunter, assisted in the pack train operation and the three men escorted intrepid tourists along the crude trails traversing the park, showing off the sights and describing the features as best they could. Men such as Julius Beltizer and Ed Hibbard also guided ‘dudes’ through the park, perhaps on their own, or in conjunction with Huston & Werks’ operation. In their spare time, the men began ‘coating specimens’ in the mineral-laden waters of the Mammoth terraces and sold them to the tourists. The guiding venture apparently was successful, as Huston continued the pack train enterprise at least through 1876. It has been estimated that around 500 people a year visited the park during those years. Above : Grounds & Huston Bozeman Avant-Courier , June 11, 1875 Right : Typical pack train in Yellowstone. [Courtesy Burton Holmes Yellowstone Travelogues] Huston was guide for the ill-fated Radersburg party through the geyser basins in 1877 during the Nez Perce War when members of the party were held captive and several persons killed in the park during that unfortunate event. He assisted in the search for George Cowen, who was wounded by the Nez Perce and joined Gen. Howard at the Clark’s Fork Mines as a scout for the US Army expedition that was tracking the Nez Perce. He apparently was with the command at the surrender of Chief Joseph in the Bear Paw Mountains in early October. Collage of images from the Bear Paw Battlefield, Montana, Harper's Weekly 11-17-1877] After the Nez Perce adventure in 1877, Huston focused his endeavors mostly on gold prospecting and mining. Although he still guided special parties on occasion. In 1879 Huston teamed up with Jack Baronett to guide Silas Weir Mitchell, a well-known physician and writer from Philadelphia. Upon his return to civilization Weir wrote of his experiences and reflected, “Not an unpicturesque scene, our campfire, with the rough figures stretched out on the grass . . . Jack and George Houston good-naturely chaffing, and now and again a howl responsive to the anguish of a burnt boot. He who lived a life and never known a camp-fire is - Well, may he have that joy in the Happy Hunting-grounds!” Huston also guided General Sherman through Yellowstone in the summer of 1881 and while in the park they encountered General Sheridan with a small contingent of soldiers and together they all continued their journey under Huston’s expert guidance. During this period of time Huston spent several years in the Bear Gulch District mining gold in the mountains above the valley where the town of Gardiner would be founded in 1880. He then concentrated his mining efforts on the Cooke City area where he seems to have led a fairly successful life and was a respected citizen until his death at the relatively young age of 42. Left Above : Jack Baronett's Bridge, built in 1871 to access the Cooke City gold mines. WH Jackson Photo Left Below : Bear Gulch news, Bozeman Times , July 12, 1877 Some years later Huston and Joe Keeney purchased about 116 acres of the Henderson Ranch at Stephens Creek on Nov. 19, 1883. They resold the land later that year to the Northern Pacific RR and the site became the town of Cinnabar MT. Huston was also heavily involved in the Cooke City gold mines and was one of the original Cooke City founders and townsite residents. In 1884 he was one of the incorporators of the proposed rail line from Cinnabar to the mines of Cooke City, an enterprise that ultimately failed. As I mentioned previously, it seems whenever some important event was occurring in the park George Huston was likely to be involved. Cooke City ca1883, courtesy YNP Archives #7141 Early in June 1886 the Bozeman Avant Courier reported that life-long bachelor George Huston was suffering with pneumonia and by mid-month was described as dangerously ill with pneumonia. As his health declined he was moved to a Livingston MT hospital. George A. Huston, born 1842 in Cumberland Township, PA, passed away July 4, 1886 at age 42 of typhoid pneumonia and other complications. An 1877 article in Harper’s Weekly described Huston as “…a man of sterling integrity and indomitable pluck . . . the hero of many a thrilling bear or Indian fight, but told so modestly that you do not suspect him of being the principle actor." George Huston's tombstone, located at the Mountain View Cemetery in Livingston, MT The Bozeman Weekly Avant Courier on July 22, 1886 posted a heart-felt proclamation from the citizens of Cooke City: RESOLVED, that in the death of Geo. A. Huston, we have lost a noble and true-hearted friend, filled with laudable impulses, faithful, kind and generous, gifted with all the manly attributes that add so much to the happiness of the world. RESOLVED, that in his death the people of Montana lose one of the bravest of the many brave pioneers, who penetrated the undiscovered wilderness of our Northwestern Territory, and with brave hearts and willing hands brought to the knowledge of the world one of the greatest mining sections ever discovered. RESOLVED, That his past efforts deserve the lasting gratitude of all who will share in the future Golden Harvest. For more detailed information on the life and times of George Huston, check out my book: “Pack Trains and Pay Dirt in Yellowstone: On the Trail with George Huston.” Self-Published, Copyright 2007 Available from the author for $12.00, which includes S&H via USPS Media Mail. Please email me for details.

  • Shaw & Powell |

    Camping in the Yellowstone Shaw & Powell Camping ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. The Shaw and Powell Camping Company were permitted to operate 'movable camps' in Yellowstone in 1898. The firm was started by Amos Shaw and J.D. Powell (John D. Powell) with headquarters in Livingston, Montana. Many members of the Shaw family were involved, including son Walter Shaw, Leo Chester, and Jesse Shaw. ​ Shaw & Powell initially brought guests into the park from the north entrance and in 1909 officially opened the Shaw Hotel in Gardiner to serve their guests after their arrival on the Northern Pacific train and prior to their departure. They had been leasing the lot since 1907, and the Sanborn Insurance map of Gardiner in 1907 showed a "Gardiner Hotel" on the site at that time. Previously, the corner was occupied by C.B. Scott. In later years the hotel name changed to the Shaw Hotel, owned and operated by Walter Shaw and his wife. Early camping wagon, emblazoned with L.C. Shaw Camping No. 7. The "L.C." standing for Leo Chester Shaw, son of Amos Shaw. [Undated glass slide] 1903 camping wagon with guests picnicking at an unknown location. The wagon now sports the Shaw & Powell name. [Courtesy Library of Congress, #2016648961] Shaw & Powell transported guests in wagons and coaches around the park to view all of the major scenic attractions. Carrying all their camping materials with them, they setup nightly camps in various locations that featured good grass for grazing and adequate water resources, not to mention in close proximity to renowned natural features. Description of the Shaw & Powell Transportation Co. Livingston Enterprise Souvenir (Montana) in 1900 The firm of Shaw & Powell, hunting camp outfitters and Yellowstone Park guides, are prepared to take parties of any size from five to one hundred, through the National Park, or on hunting trips through Jackson Hole country, Hell Roaring region, Buffalo Fork or Suce creek - in fact to any and all points in Montana or Wyoming where there is an abundance of game, such as elk, bear, deer, mountain lion and sheep, antelope, chicken and grouse. Their pack trains are made up of good horses and plenty of them, who are well able to stand the high latitude and long trips. These outfits include cots to sleep on, which means sleeping off the ground and everybody made as comfortable as possible . . . Amos Shaw, the senior member of the firm, is one of the oldest guides in the park, having assisted in surveying its lake and rivers, laying out the roads and sounding the depths of the geysers and hot pools . . . They carry a full outfit on each trip, including the best cook and the best of food. Shaw & Powell employ only gentlemen, and succeed where others fail. Shaw & Powell Camping Co. Hotel in Gardiner, ca1913. It was located on east Park Street, near the corner of what is now 2nd St. (Hwy 89) [Courtesy Yellowstone Gateway Museum #1317] Shaw & Powell Camping Co. camping wagon with three women posing, perhaps the camp matrons. [Real-Photo postcard] Left: Shaw & Powell Mountain Wagon on the road, ca1909. [Real-Photo Postcard] Right: Shaw & Powell Camping Wagon, undated real photo. A Description of Camping Life with Shaw & Powell in 1903, Excerpts from The Oxford Mirror, Aug. 13, 1903, Oxford Junction, Iowa "It is the good fortune of myself and Harold to be with the Shaw & Powell camping company, which numbers twenty-eight tourists and fourteen helpers, or 'savages' as they are called in camp parlance. The camp is moved every day, and all the tents, cots and bedding are piled up on an immense baggage wagon, drawn by four horses. Besides this there is a traveling kitchen, containing range, sink and all sorts of receptacles for holding everything needed in a kitchen. During the travel of the camp from one point to another, the cook prepares for the next meal. There is also a wagon which carries the food supplies, which is called the 'mess wagon.' Last night a bear made a visit to our camp, and in the morning this particular wagon was a sorry looking sight. There are five coaches carrying our party . . . and Mr. Powell gives us every opportunity to see all there is to be seen in the park. He is a most accommodating and pleasant gentleman, and takes great pains for the comfort of his guests. Every trip through the park is personally conducted, either by Mr. Shaw or Mr. Powell, so that the traveler is always assured of first-class treatment in going with this company. When we reach our camping place for the night the large dining tent is at once set up, so that the cooks can begin getting the evening meal. Then one man starts out with a horse to drag in logs to make a camp fire, while several more set up the sleeping tents. These are set as closely together as possible, and in a semi-circle, with the campfire in the center. After supper we all gather around the fire and tell stories, play games or sing songs. Besides the two cooks, there are twelve young men with Mr. Powell, who help about the camp in various ways - driving the coaches and wagons, putting up tents, waiting on table, etc. I think with one exception they are all college boys who are spending their vacation in this way . . . They are all typical college boys, and with their music and college songs, add much to the pleasure of the trip." West Yellowstone The Union Pacific RR began service to what is now West Yellowstone (known at the time as just Yellowstone) in 1908, and the camping company soon started transporting guests from the west entrance. In 1912, the company bought out the Robert C. Bryant Camping Co., also known as Bryant-Spence Camping Co., which had been operating camping tours from the west entrance since 1903. The sale also included the Bryant Way hotel in West Yellowstone, which then became the Shaw & Powell Hotel. Old photos show a sign on it reading, “Inn at the Gate.” It was located on Park Street, one block east of the UPRR Depot, near the entrance to the park. One guest in August 1914, commented about the “Inn:” “The "Inn at the Gate" was not very much of a hotel. There was a large office, with a bare floor and one corner fenced in with a counter, and the room was heated with a stove. It was cold enough too so that a fire felt very comfortable . . . The food was placed upon the table and the guests simply sat down and ate what was before them, helping themselves to what they wanted. It was really a very good breakfast and I think no one complained of the service, though there was a good deal of laughing about the "style" that we put on.” "The Inn at the Gate." Former RC Bryant hotel, became the Shaw & Powell hotel in 1912. [1914 Photo, Univ of Wyo Special Collections] Permanent Camps Shaw and Powell were given permission by the Interior Dept. to build a permanent camp in 1912 at Willow Park, near the current Indian Creek campground. In 1913, permission was received to build permanent camps at all major locations. The Superintendent’s Report noted in 1913 that Shaw & Powell carried over 2400 guests that season. They operated their own stage lines to transport their customers around the park, utilizing Mountain Stages built by the Studebaker Co. Log kitchens, dining rooms, and storerooms were built at all night camps in 1913-15. By 1916 camps were located at Willow Park; Nez Perce Creek; Upper Basin (current O.F. Lodge site); Yellowstone Lake, west of the Hotel; Canyon (Uncle Tom's Trail parking lot - later Canyon Lodge); and Tower, with lunch stations near the base of Gibbon Falls and at West Thumb. Top Left: Shaw & Powell camp at Willow Park, near Apollinaris Springs, ca1912. [Real-Photo Postcard] Top Right: Shaw & Powell metal sign, found at Willow Park camp in 2007. It was left in place. Whether it is still there is unknown. In a memorandum in the Nov. copy of the Superintendents Report of the Yellowstone National Park, in 1947, it was noted that the Yellowstone Park Co. was demolishing the old camp buildings. Remnants of concrete foundations, piling etc., still remain tucked away in the woods. ​ Bottom Left: Camp at Nez Perce Creek, undated. It was located on the north side of the creek and a half mile or so from the present road. Evidence of the site could still be seen in 2007. [Courtesy Yellowstone Gateway Museum, #20060441277] Bottom Right: Little known Shaw & Powell camp at Tower Falls in 1915. Note the elk antler stacks. The camp was located adjacent to the current campground. [Courtesy Montana Historical Society.] Left: Gibbon Lunch Station . It was located near the base of Gibbon Falls, on north side of river. [1914 Brochure Through the Yellowstone National Park] Right: Shaw & Powell camp at DeLacy Creek. It seemed to only be in operation as a permanent camp for the 1913 season, as in 1914-16 the camp was located across from Old Faithful Geyser, at the current OF Lodge site. [Stereoview No. 2094, Bob Berry Collection, Cody, Wyo.] Left: Early view of the Shaw & Powell camp on Nez Perce Creek, upstream from the mouth. The camp was later moved farther away from the stream. [Stereoview #113, unknown publisher/date. Courtesy Buffalo Bill Historic Center , Cody, #P21-1249] Left: Map of Yellowstone in 1913 showing locations of Shaw & Powell Camps. [1913 Shaw & Powell brochure] ​ Right: Advertisement for the Shaw and Powell Way from 1916. By at least 1913, the S&P Way term was being used, copying from the Wylie Way and Bryant Way. [Ogden Standard , 20Jul1916] ​ Click either to enlarge Top Left: Shaw & Powell Canyon camp lodge interior view. The doorway at the end led into the dining room. [Haynes PC No. 231.] ​ Top Right: Shaw & Powell camp at Canyon, main lodge building with guests. The log tower is ready to be ignited for the nightly campfire. [Haynes PC No. 230] ​ Bottom Left: View of Old Faithful Camp taken from the Crow's Nest atop Old Faithful Inn, ca1916. Notice the tents to the left of the main pavilion. [YNP #02784] Excellent description of a day on tour with Shaw & Powell in 1910. Geyser Region of Yellowstone Visited by Waterloo Tourists "Camp Life" The Waterloo (Iowa) Evening Reporter, August 20, 1910 “Everybody is up bright and early in the morning ready for a big day sightseeing. Jim Rainbow is our alarm clock and he surely does his part well as there is no more sleep for the party after he has his eyes open. Then comes the call for breakfast and it is not a light one, potatoes, bacon, breakfast food, pancakes and syrup, etc. While the guests are eating their breakfast the tents are being taken up. Each bed is numbered so that we all have our own bed every night. This wagon is started off to our next campground and they have everything in readiness when we arrive in the evening. “The cook wagon is a marvel. It has a range and places for provisions for the six and a half day’s trip besides all the cooking utensils and dishes. The cook wagon moves on as soon as they get their dishes washed to the place where we stop for lunch. “The tourists leave camp about seven or half past on their day’s trip. We go from 11 to 13 miles before lunch. At 12 o’clock we are all ready for another meal and when they told us the first day it was just lunch we wondered what we would have for dinner. Meat, potatoes, hot biscuit or Johnny cake, sauce, preserves, etc., but no one complains but just eats. We stop for about two hours and usually our guide has some trip planned for us somewhere near our camp. “At 2 p.m. we again proceed on our way stopping here and there and traveling about the same distance as in forenoon, coming into camp about 6 o’clock with good appetites for our dinner, which is surely a bounteous one. Several kinds of meat and vegetables, pudding or pie, besides all things that go to make up a good meal. We have been very fortunate in having Mr. and Mrs. Powell as our cooks on this trip as they are both experts. The regular cook was taken sick and had to return home. “Our camps are located on some of God’s most beautiful garden spots. One of the bright and lasting memories of our trip will be our camp fires. The pine logs are piled high and set on fire and everybody gathers around it as one large family. There is no formality here. Singing, stories and visiting are the pastime of the evening with pop corn and candy mixed in. It is often a great pleasure to just sit quiet and watch the fire and think what a great privilege it is for us to be permitted to be here. “At 10 o’clock we retire for a good night’s rest, and to be ready to rise when our alarm clock goes off. Another remarkable thing that we have noticed and that is the complete harmony among the help of the camp. We have not heard one word that is not becoming to a lady or gentleman. Their main aim seems to be to make it pleasant for the guests, and I have been told that it was the same in all of the six camps. “They start out a cook wagon and everything necessary every day but as the business of the Shaw & Powell company has become so large that they have to start a party out every day. “Every one of the helpers around the camp has a nick name and very often the tourist or dude as they are called, never finds out the name of the driver who has been with them for a whole week. The helpers are called savages. They have such names as Jumbo, Sunny Jim, Professor, Fuzzy, Happy, etc. It is our good fortune to have Happy for our driver and he has surely been rightly named. He is also the very efficient guide of our party. They have a man who stays at each camp who is called the horse wrangler, whose business it is to keep the camp clean. He is out at 3:00 a.m. every morning to round up the horses.” By Mrs. Fred C. Sage​ Final Days ​ After the 1916 season changes brought about by the Interior Dept. forced the company to merge with the Wylie Camps to form the Yellowstone Park Camping Co. (See Chapter Introduction). Many of the Shaw & Powell camps were closed to eliminate duplication and concentrate business at the major locations. The transportation business was turned over to the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co., owned by Harry Child. Shaw & Powell camps at Canyon, and Old Faithful were retained for the new Camps operation, along with the Wylie Camps at Lake and West Thumb. Brothers Walter and Arthur Shaw continued on in management of the new camping company with A.W. Miles of the former Wylie Co. Left: Brass luggage tag for the Shaw & Powell Camping Co., ca1913. [Author Collection] Right: Metal pinback for Shaw & Powell, ca1913 Left: 1917 newspaper ad for the Yellowstone Park Camping Co. (1917-1919) Right: Decal for the Yellowstone Park Camps Co. (1919-1927) A.W. Miles (Wylie Camps) and Shaw & Powell, former competitors, apparently did not play well together, it has been said, and finally sold out to Howard Hays and Roe Emery early in 1919. The two men formed the Yellowstone Park Camps Co., and took over the West Yellowstone Hotel and a nearby lot that housed the barn, blacksmith shop, and roofed corrals. The property was sold in 1926 to Sam Hurless and M.K. Musser who build a cabin camp on the site. Walter Shaw and his wife Lillian operated the Shaw Hotel & Cafe in Gardiner from 1922-25. Walter opened Shaw’s Camp & Cabins in Cooke City in 1919, and later guided tours through the park to the Cooke City area where he operated Shaw’s Goose Lake Camp. Walter drowned in the Yellowstone River in 1925 and his wife and Chester Shaw continued to operate the hotel until 1944. At that time it was sold to Hugh Crossen and J.D. Winters who operated it under the name Park Hotel and Café. They sold it to Paul Spradlin a few years later. On August 9, 1950 the hotel caught fire and burned down, killing two guests who were lodged there. One woman jumped out of a window and sustained non-threatening injuries, while the remainder of the guests managed to escape somewhat safely. Hugh Crossen repurchased the property and built the Town Club & Café utilizing the original stone back and side walls. The property changed hands several times until 1969 when it passed into the hands of Don Laubach. The business was sold in the 2000s and has featured several different operations. In 2019, the building, with the historic rock wall over 100 years old, was torn down to be replaced by a new business. Left: Shaw's Hotel & Cafe, Gardiner, ca1930s Bottom: Shaw's Camp in Cooke City, ca1930s. [Sanborn Real-Photo postcard]

  • Yellowstone Postcards - 2 |

    Yellowstone Post Cards Vol. 2 ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. While this page is under construction, please visit my Postcards Page that has been saved at ​ Visit my Home Page to see which of my pages are completed and available. It's a long trip . . . Thanks for your patience. ​

  • Corwin Hot Springs |

    Gateways to Wonderland ​ Corwin Hot Springs Hotel Taking the Cure ​ ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. Introduction . . . The spa, defined as the social aspect of using warm water therapeutically, has a long tradition, not only in this country, but in the world at large. During the 19th century many famous European spas became popular with the well-to-do as social and cultural gathering spaces, in addition to being meccas for health restoration. In this country, Native Americans “took the cure” for thousands of years before white men set foot on these shores. European Americans commercialized this phenomenon of “taking the cure” throughout the eastern United States. Claims were made about these “curative waters” that touted an array of medicinal values that would purportedly benefit a wide variety of ailments, including those of the kidney, bladder, liver, stomach, skin, and nervous diseases. By 1850 resorts such as Saratoga Springs, New York, White Sulfur Springs and Hot Springs in Virginia, and Hot Springs, Arkansas had become celebrated social and cultural “hot spots” for the affluent crowd. Hot Springs Spa at Aachen, Germany, 1682 Commercial spa development continued to spread and expanded into the West with construction of the trans-continental railroads in the early 1870-80s. Hot spring resorts bubbled up across the state and hot spring spas such as Boulder, Alhambra, Norris, Bozeman (Ferris), and the Broadwater became popular destinations where pleasure-seekers could enjoy the recuperative properties and mingle with society. By the late 1890s, Park County, Montana enjoyed the benefits of two hot spring spas – Hunter’s Hot Springs and Chico Hot Springs, originally Emigrant Warm Springs. Around that time Julius LaDuke pioneered a third resort, LaDuke Hot Springs, which slowly developed just south of what is now Corwin Springs. [Excerpts from “Taking the Cure” at LaDuke Hot Springs, by Robert V. Goss, Montana Ghost Town Quarterly, Fall 2010] Planning and Construction Begin . . . In 1908, Dr. F. E. Corwin, resident physician at Chico Hot Springs in Paradise Valley south of Livingston, contemplated building his own hot mineral springs spa in the fashion of those popular in Europe. He visited the hot springs at La Duke, some 7 miles north of Gardiner and shortly after purchased the rights to some of the hot water. In May 1908, Corwin formed the Electric Hot Springs Company with fellow investors. These included, his brother J.W. Corwin, Richard 'Dick' Randall (OTO Ranch), JW and CS Hefferlin (Livingston businessmen), and JH Holliday (Clyde Park hotelier & rancher), who together raised some $175,000 in capital. By December, Billings architects Link & Haire were completing the design plans for the Corwin Hot Springs Hotel, which was to include 72 rooms, a large swimming pool, private plunges, and Spray, Needle and Shower baths that were fed with hot water piped in from La Duke Springs. A contractor was hired and construction soon began. The hotel was to be advertised as a health resort and it was noted that the ". . . curative properties of these waters are of a superior quality, and are peculiarly adapted to the cure of rheumatic affections and the diseases of women . . ." The resort was sometimes referred to as the Electric Hot Springs Hotel. Corwin Hotel under construction, 1909. [Courtesy Yellowstone Gateway Museum ] The location was a mile or so was north of LaDuke hot springs and just east of the Yellowstone River. At that period of time, the only road to Gardiner and Yellowstone Park traversed the west side of the river. Park Country agreed to have a bridge built over the river for access, with the county and the new company splitting the $13,500 cost. The Northern Pacific RR, whose rails to Gardiner were also on the west side of the river, agreed to build a small depot near the bridge with a design in keeping with the style of the hotel. The hotel was constructed to feature all the modern conveniences, including hot and cold running water in the rooms, along with electric bells, phones and electric lighting. The company built its own electric plant to provide for the hotel. Wooden pipes transported hot spring water from La Duke Springs for the plunge and for the hotel plumbing system. The hot water flowed continuously through the plunge, providing a complete change of water on an almost constant basis. The plunge featured vapor baths, private plunges, and tub baths. There were plans to build a hot house, heated by the spring water to provide fresh vegetables for the guests. Horse-drawn carriages carried the hotel guests to and from the railroad depot. A Butte newspaper headline in December of 1908 descried, “The Carlsbad of the Northwest,” a reference no doubt to the famed restorative springs in Bohemia. The "healing" waters at Corwin were claimed to helpful in the treatment of dyspepsia, stomach trouble, rheumatism, nervous ailments and other maladies. View of the Northern Pacific RR Hot Springs Depot, with new bridge over the Yellowstone River, leading to the Electric Hotel. [Courtesy Yellowstone Gateway Museum ] Electric Hot Springs Hotel, Corwin Springs, Corwin, Mont. [Chas. E. Morris Co., Great Falls. post card, author collection] From Electric Hot Springs Hotel Postcard above: Electric Hot Springs being located on the Northern Pacific Railway makes it easy of access and as it is on the Yellowstone National Park it is surrounded with scenery both grand and sublime. The large swimming pool, the private plunges, spray, needle and shower baths are all supplied by a constant flow from the Medicinal Hot Springs near by. The beautiful surrounding, the natural Hot Springs, the grounds and the buildings, every detail having been carefully planned, all combine to make this the grandest and best health resort in the entire Northwest. All trains stop at the Hotel. Undated view of the Corwin Hot Springs hotel, photo by Jos. Scherieble The hotel was constructed to feature all the modern conveniences, including hot and cold running water in the rooms, along with electric bells, phones and electric lighting. The company built its own electric plant to provide for the hotel. Wooden pipes transported hot spring water from La Duke Springs for the plunge and for the hotel plumbing system. The hot water flowed continuously through the plunge, providing a complete change of water on an almost constant basis. The plunge featured vapor baths, private plunges, and tub baths. There were plans to build a hot house, heated by the spring water to provide fresh vegetables for the guests. Horse-drawn carriages carried the hotel guests to and from the railroad depot. A Butte newspaper headline in December of 1908 descried, “The Carlsbad of the Northwest,” a reference no doubt to the famed restorative springs in Bohemia. The "healing" waters at Corwin were claimed to helpful in the treatment of dyspepsia, stomach trouble, rheumatism, nervous ailments and other maladies.​ ​ The resort opened around June of 1909 to great fanfare for Gardiner and Park County residents, and in time, the resort also became popular site for conventions and social soirees. Advertisements in January 1910, claimed, “You’ll see so much life and energy, that you’ll feel ten years younger in spite of yourself; you can live reasonable, have a good time and return home with a Clean Bill of Health.” Other ads proclaimed, “Spring is coming, and those old rheumatic pains are apt to begin chasing up and down your bones - better beat ’em to it. There’s a way - Take that trip to Corwin Hot Springs and boil out, before you’re down and out.” Top: Interior of Lobby, showing Post Office and Curio Den, Corwin Springs, Mont. Bottom: Front Veranda of Corwin Hot Springs Hotel, Corwin Springs, Mont. [Postcards, author collection] Top: The Morning Train has just arrived, Corwin Springs, Mont. Bottom: Electric Hot Springs, Corwin Springs, Mont. [Postcards, author collection] Top: Parlor, Second Floor, Corwin Hot Springs, Mont. Bottom: Front View of Interior of the Swimming Pool, Electric Hot Springs Hotel, Corwin Springs, Mont. [Postcards, author collection] However, despite local popularity and the traffic to and from Yellowstone, the resort encountered financial problems not long after the initial opening and by November of 1911, CH Hefferlin, a Livingston banker, acquired a controlling interest in the Electric Hot Springs Company. To help bring in business, ads were placed in the Bismarck (ND) Tribune during the winter of 1911-12, advising folks, “If you have a delicate wife or child, ship them to Corwin away from the blizzards.” Nonetheless, during much of 1912 ads in newspapers featured “Reduced Rates” at the hotel for weekly and monthly guests to entice more business, and during the winter of 1912-13 the resort closed down operations completely. In late April of 1913, an ad in the Butte Miner newspaper announced, Corwin Hot Springs Hotel Reopens May 1st, 1913,” and touted, “A hot mineral water that CURES.” What specifically it cured was not mentioned. Left: Billings Gazette, 12Jul1913 Center: Trade Tokens, Corwin Springs, ca1910s Right: Montana Standard, Butte, 1Aug1930 Tragedy Strikes . . . The resort carried on the next few years, but again in the winter of 1916, it apparently closed up shop. Tragically, on December 1, the Livingston Enterprise published a startling headline, “CORWIN SPRINGS HOTEL IS DESTROYED BY FIRE.” “ The Corwin Hot Springs hotel, erected at a cost of $100,000, was totally destroyed by fire at an early hour this morning . . . The manager, Dr. Craven, was away at the time of the fire, and only the keeper was there.” ​ The cause of the fire was not determined, but electrical wiring was certainly as possible culprit. The structure was reportedly insured for $50,000 and CS Hefferlin boldly announced that he would rebuild with a modern fireproof structure with a number of modern cottages. Apparently the fire insurance they had was inadequate to rebuild and the plan never materialized. The nearby plunge survived the carnage, but the grand architecture of the hotel was forever gone. Aerial view of the hotel, bridge and other buildings at Corwin Springs, ca1910-1916 The Eagle's Nest Ranch . . . By June of 1920, the property came into possession of the Sidebotham family and the new managers reopened the plunge and operated a small tourist camp on the site. The location seemed to be a popular location for large railroad and other company outings. In August of 1927, Walter J. Hill, son of Great Northern RR magnate James Hill, purchased the property along with another 20,000 adjoining acres. He invested several hundred thousand dollars in his new resort, rebuilding the swimming pool as an open-air plunge, building new 4-6 room cabins along the river, and erecting a club house with living room and dining room. It was named the Eagle’s Nest Ranch. In 1926, Highway 89 was extended from Carbella Flats, just above Yankee Jim Canyon to Gardiner, on the east side of the river. So, to accommodate the increasing automobile trade, Hill constructed the unique Tepee gas station along the new road. Eagle’s Nest Ranch Is Attractive Tourist Mecca Eagle's Nest ranch offers the vacationist a well rounded variety of attractions. A nine hole all-grass golf course delights the wielder of the mashle and the driver. An open air plunge of Spanish architecture Is beautifully set near the mountainside and proves to be too much of a lure for the most backward of bathers . . . Probably the first thing to attract the attention of the autolst Is the large, brightly colored Indian tepees on the highway serving as modem service stations for the tourist. The recreation hall is very attractive and well filled while the lounge room of the club house has a decidedly restful atmosphere. A series of cabins, some equipped with fireplaces, are complete in every detail. Saddle horses are at the disposal of guests and pack trips into the mountains give the outdoor enthusiast a real Insight Into the beauties of the country. Fishing and big game hunting are also attractions at Eagle’s Nest ranch. [Augusta News, Mont., 23Jul1931] [Above & Be low Real-Photo postcards from Author's Collection] Left: Whoopee Nite at Corwin [Montana Standard, Butte, 1Aug1930] Right: Swimming Pool, Clubhouse & Cabins, Corwin Hot Springs, Montana Bottom Left: Lounging Room, Clubhouse, Corwin Hot Springs, Montana Bottom Right: Sioux Indian Village, Corwin Hot Springs, Mont. [Real-Photo postcards, Author's Collection] Welch "Sonny" Brogan's Ranch Business continued on until 1944, when Walter Hill suddenly died of a heart attack at age 62. Early in 1946 a portion of the property was advertised “for sale.” It included a, “Ten-acre tract on main highway . . . [with] Six good-sized cabins, plunge, bathhouses and abundant supply of hot mineral water. Excellent fishing and hunting country.” By 1947 Welch “Sonny” Brogan had acquired the property and eventually established what is believed to be the first elk game ranch and became something of the forefather of the modern game farm. By the time game farming became all the rage in the late 1970s and early '80s, Brogan had been at it for about 30 years. He estimated he sold more than 2,500 elk all over the world, sometimes fetching a top price of $5,000 each. Industry experts have said that herds at many of today's commercial elk operations can trace their lineage to Brogan's Cinnabar Game Farm ​ Great Falls Tribune, Apr. 10, 1946 The Church Universal Triumphant eventually purchased the property in September 1981 from Malcolm Forbes and it became a part of the 12,000-acre Royal Teton Ranch. The leaders and followers made preparations for the upcoming end of the world. When the date for “the end” came and went and life continued on as always, there were a few followers, it seems, that were somewhat disappointed. But, that is a whole ‘nother story . . . The pool walls, tattered plunge, and stone chimney of the old clubhouse still stand proudly, mute monuments to the once grand old Corwin Hot Springs Hotel. ​ Left: View of the Corwin Plunge, ca1990 Right: Corwin Plunge, 2014, Google Earth view. ​

  • Henry Klamer |

    Yellowstone Storekeepers - Henry Klamer at Old Faithful Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. Klamer's Early Days and the Firehole Hotel . . . Henry Klamer became the 2nd general store owner in Yellowstone when he began operation of a general store at Old Faithful in 1897. This was just a year after his sister-in-law Jennie Henderson Ash opened her new store at Mammoth. By the time Henry opened his store he was already a seasoned Yellowstone veteran, having worked in and around the park for at least 16 years. He is known to have been a member of the government road crew under Supt. Philetus Norris as early as 1881. In 1885 he entered into a partnership with G.G. Henderson to operate the Firehole Hotel at Fountain Flats. The hotel was built by George Marshall in 1884 and replaced a structure built in 1880 known simply as Marshall's Hotel. In 1886 Henderson gave up his interest in the hotel and in a complicated set of transactions, the hotel became part owned by The Cottage Hotel Association, and eventually passed into the hands of the Yellowstone Park Association. Marshall's / Firehole Hotel, early 1880s T.W. Ingersoll Stereoview ​ Tour Guiding and Supplying Beef to the Hotels . . . Sometime after Klamer left the Firehole Hotel, he went to work for George L. (G.L.) Henderson and the Cottage Hotel Asso. as a Tour Guide and Driver. The Cottage Hotel opened at Mammoth in December 1885 by the Henderson family and Klamer joined G.L.'s four daughters and one son in the operation of the touring and hotel business. Although the business seemed to be successful, the Henderson's were forced to sell out to YPA in 1889, which had been fighting to gain a monopoly on the park's hotel business. Klamer went to work for John Harvat in 1890, the contractor who supplied beef to the park hotels. The following year Klamer received the beef contract and managed that business for about 10 years. In 1892 Henry Klamer married Mary Henderson, daughter of GL Henderson. Beef corrals and slaughter house on Indian Creek. Henry Klamer general store at Old Faithful Left: YNP #7933C - Right: YNP #02804 Opening of the Second general Store in Yellowstone . . . ​ Klamer received a lease from the Dept of Interior for 2 acres of land near the Old Faithful Geyser in 1896 and began construction of his new general store in the spring of 1897. The building was 20' x 30' in size, with two stories, and very plain looking. The store opened in late June and began serving tourists to the area. He later received a contract to operate the Post Office at his store. The store sold general tourist supplies, curios, groceries, periodicals, books, tobaccos, agate curios, precious stones and later on a wide variety of Indian goods and crafts. A 25' x 40' addition was erected in 1902-03 The business did well and in 1904 the Old Faithful Inn opened up nearby, no doubt greatly increasing his business. Around that time the store was remodeled with the outside sporting knotted and gnarled pine posts, resulting in very nice, rustic effect, similar to the décor of the Inn. A 16' extension was added in 1913-14 Klamer ad, from Wonderland newspaper 3July1903 Left Top : Klamer general store at Old Faithful, Castle geyser in background. Detroit PC12542 Left Bottom : Interior Klamer Store. Detroit PC 12541 Right Top : Klamer general store at Old Faithful, 1912 Right Bottom: H.E. Klamer wooden sign at side of store facing OF Inn, 1913 Bad Times and the Transition to Charles Hamilton . . . Midway through the season of 1914, Henry Klamer died, leaving his wife Mary to take care of the business. Overwhelved by Henry's death and the vast responsibilities of running the business, she called for her brother Walter Henderson to help out. Walter had operated the Mammoth general store for five years with Alexander Lyall and took over as the Manager of the Old Faithful store. With her husband gone and the rest of her family living in Southern California, Mary decided it was time to leave the business and return to family. The following year negotiations began with Charles Hamilton to buy the store. Hamilton was a clerk for the Yellowstone Park Hotel Co., headed by Harry Child. With financial backing from Child, Hamilton made a $5,000 down payment to Mary and carried a note for about $15,000 for the store. Interior approved the deal and 10-year lease was issued to Hamilton on June 15, 1915. Charles Hamilton later expanded the building and his family operated this store until 2002, along with general stores at other locations. On January 1, 2003, Delaware North Co., through a completive bidding process, obtained the general store contract in Yellowstone and operates all the stores in the park. The business is known as 'Yellowstone General Stores'. The legacy of Henry Klamer though, still lives on at Old Faithful. Map of Old Faithful area showing Klamer's Store, OF Inn, and Haynes Photo Studio, ca1909. ​ From Campbell's New Revised Complete Guide of Yellowstone Park, 1909, Published by H.E. Klamer. View my Hamilton Stores page to continue this story . . .

  • Hotel Companies |

    Yellowstone Hotels & Lodges - The Companies Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. Yellowstone Park Improvement Co. (YPIC) ​ Organized on Jan. 18, 1883 by Carroll T. Hobart, Rufus Hatch, and Henry Douglas. Hobart and Douglas originally signed an agreement with Ass’t Secretary Interior Joslyn on September 1, 1882 that assured them a monopoly on the park hotel business. However, they lacked sufficient financial backing and teamed up with Hatch in 1883. The company received approval for leases of 4400 acres, a complete monopoly on park concessions, and almost unlimited use of park resources for their operations. Hobart was appointed vice-president while Hatch and his friends provided initial financial backing in the amount of $112,000. After the extent of the lease provisions became public, Sen. Vest canceled most of these provisions on March 3, 1883. A new contract was signed that included leases for 10 acres spread out among seven different locations. Tent hotel facilities were opened for the summer at Canyon (near the present Upper Falls parking lot), Norris, and Old Faithful (near the west end of the present Inn parking lot). Construction of the National Hotel in Mammoth began in the fall of 1882 with a partial opening on August 1, 1883. The company however, suffered financial problems and went into receivership in May of 1884. Hobart remained as manager, but the following year they went bankrupt. The NPRR bought out the assets at a receiver’s sale and created the Yellowstone Park Association in 1886 to run existing operations and build new hotels. Yellowstone Park Association (YPA) Created in 1886 by the Northern Pacific RR to take over the properties and operation of the bankrupt YPIC. The heads of the company included Charles Gibson, Nelson C. Thrall, Frederick Billings , and John C. Bullitt. NPRR officials held at least 60% of the shares. The YPA received a 10-year lease on April 5, 1886 and agreed to build hotels at Canyon, Lake, Norris, and complete the hotel at Mammoth by the beginning of 1887. They opened Norris Hotel in 1887, but it burned down soon after opening and was replaced by smaller, temporary facilities until 1901. The contract also gave the company a boat concession on Yellowstone Lake, but they did not use it until 1891 when E. C. Waters began managing the Yellowstone Lake Boat Co . and provided ferry service from West Thumb to the Lake Tent Hotel. In 1886 YPA obtained the Firehole Hotel and built a tent hotel at Lake Outlet. They bought out the Henderson’s Cottage Hotel at Mammoth in May of 1889. That year construction began on the Lake Hotel , which opened in 1891. Trout Creek Lunch Station opened in 1888 with Larry Matthews as manager. In 1890 construction started on the which opened the following year. The Trout Creek Lunch Station closed after the 1891 season and was replaced by the West Thumb Lunch Station. In 1898 Charles Gibson sold all of his shares to Northern Pacific Ry , making them sole owner of YPA. The NPRy then sold the stock in June to the Northwest Improvement Co., an NPRy subsidiary. Harry Child , Edward Bach , and Silas Huntley purchased the company in 1901 with financing from the Northwest Improvement Co. Huntley died in Sept. of 1901 and his stock reverted to NWIC. Bach sold his shares to NWIC in 1902. The Old Faithful Inn opened in June of 1904 while Child acquired additional shares in 1905 to obtain 50% ownership of YPA. He acquired full ownership in 1907 with loans from NPRy. On December 9, 1909 Child had the name of the company changed to the Yellowstone Park Hotel Co. At that time Child’s son Huntley became vice-president and son-in-law William Nichols became secretary of the company. From The Anaconda Standard , Montana, April 6, 1901 "St. Paul, April 5. The Yellowstone Park Association this afternoon sold out its entire belongings and interests in the National park to the Yellowstone Park Transportation company, which consists of S.S. Huntley and E. W. Bache [sic] of Helena, Mont., and H.W. Childs of St. Paul, the consideration being close to $1,000,000. Among the items being transferred were the Mammoth Hot Springs hotel recently built for $200,000: the Fountain hotel, $100,000; Grand Canyon hotel, $100,000, and Lake hotel, $75,000, besides four lunch stations and other property. J.H. Dean, president of the old company, will be manager of the new and the transportation company is now purchaser of all the property in the great national park." [excluding of course, the general stores and camps operations] Yellowstone Park Hotel Co. (YPHCo) Formed Dec. 9, 1909 by H.W. Child to take over the operation of the Yellowstone Park Association, which he also owned. Son Huntley Child was chosen as vice-president and son-in-law William Nichols became secretary. In 1910-11 the company built the grandiose new Canyon Hotel, incorporating the old hotel within the structure. They remodeled the National Hotel at Mammoth in 1911-13, adding a new wing, eliminating the top floor and creating a flat roof. After the end of the 1916 season the Park Service granted the company an exclusive monopoly on the park’s hotel concession with a 20-year operating lease. The Fountain Hotel, Norris Hotel and West Thumb Lunch Station were closed down after that season. Hotels remained in operation at Old Faithful, Lake, Canyon, and Mammoth. YPHCo built no new hotels after this time, but numerous renovations and additions were conducted at all locations. Child re-negotiated a new 20-year lease in 1923. The lease stipulated that the company would be allowed to operate and maintain inns, hotels, laundries, barber/beauty shops, baths, swimming pools, skating rinks, tennis courts, golf links, pool halls, bowling alleys, and souvenir sales. Fortunately some of these activities were never carried out. Child remained head of the YPHCo until his death in 1931, when Wm. Nichols took over the helm. At that time Vernon Goodwin became vice-president and Hugh Galusha was retained as controller. The company remained in control of the park hotels until 1936, when the company was merged with the Yellowstone Park Boat Co., Yellowstone Park Transportation Co., and Yellowstone Park Lodge & Camps Co. to form the Yellowstone Park Company. Yellowstone Park Co. (YPCo) Formed in 1936 under the direction of Wm. Nichols, with Vernon Goodwin as vice-president, Mrs. Harry Child was a principle stockholder. The company was formed by the mergers of the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co., Yellowstone Park Hotel Co., Yellowstone Park Lodge & Camps Co., and the Yellowstone Park Boat Co. The company received a 20-year lease in August. Nichols remained President with Huntley Child Jr. and John Q. Nichols becoming VPs in the 1950’s The new company embarked on an ambitious reconstruction plan at Mammoth. The old hotel was torn down, except for the North Wing, and a new lobby/office complex was built along with a restaurant, recreation hall, café and tourist cabins. Nichols obtained one final loan from Northern Pacific Ry in 1937 that was paid off in 1955. In 1956 son John Q. became company president and Nichols became Chairman of the Board until his death in 1957. Financial problems plagued the company in the 1950-60’s and maintenance and upkeep of the buildings and equipment suffered terribly. Nichols even sold off his interest in the Flying D Ranch in 1944 to help pay off company debts. The Park Service enacted the Mission 66 plan in 1956 to improve visitor facilities at all parks by 1966. The plan required YPCo to built lodging and marina facilities at Grant Village, a new lodge and cabins at Canyon, and a new marina at Bridge Bay. The company refused to participate in Grant Village and the marina at Bridge Bay, although they did build, against their wishes, the new Canyon Village facilities that opened in 1957. They were also forced to close Canyon Hotel, which had been making them money. These ventures drained their finances terribly. They did however; manage to obtain the operating lease for Bridge Bay Marina in 1964 after the government finished construction. Wm. Nichols died in 1957 and for the next nine years the company underwent a series of changes in management and the board of directors. Park Service Director Hartzog notified the company on October 8, 1965 that the government intended to terminate YPCo’s contract due to their inability to upgrade and build new facilities as directed. The Child-Nichols family finally sold the company to Goldfield Enterprises on February 4, 1966 for 6.5 million dollars. Goldfield became a part of General Host, Inc. the following year and they retained the name of Yellowstone Park Co. They received a 30-year lease based on promises to spend 10 million in facility upgrades in 10 years. This new company refused to honor its contract promises to upgrade and improve visitor facilities, and buildings park-wide continued to deteriorate. The Park Service, increasingly frustrated by General Host’s dismal record of service in the park, canceled the contract in October of 1979 and paid 19 million for all of YPCo’s park buildings and assets. TWA Services received the new concession contract later that year and changed the name of the company. Left: Yellowstone Park Co. Letterhead, ca1950s ​ Right: Yellowstone Park Co. Sticker Logo, ca1960s Xanterra Parks & Resorts ​ The story of Xanterra Travel began in 1876 when talented visionary Fred Harvey struck a deal with the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad to open restaurants (and later hotels and gift stores) at rail stops for weary travelers making their way west. The Harvey empire was sold in the late 1960s to Hawaii-based Amfac Resorts. In 1988 in Yellowstone, the TWA Services name was changed to TW Recreational Services, Inc. Amfac, Inc. bought out TWR Services in 1995 and later became known as Amfac Parks & Resorts. In 2002, the company name was changed to Xanterra Parks & Resorts, and the company was acquired by The Anschutz Corporation in 2008. In 2013 Xanterra Parks & Resorts won the contract to operate concessions in Yellowstone National Park for another 20 years.

  • Yellowstone Trade Cards |

    Yellowstone Trade Cards ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. While this page is under construction, please visit my Trade Cards Page that has been saved at Visit my Home Page to see which of my pages are completed and available. It's a long trip . . . Thanks for your patience. ​

  • Mountain Men in Yellowstone |

    Mountain Men in Yellowstone ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. While this page is under construction, please visit my old Postcard Page at Visit my Home Page to see which of my pages are completed and available. It's a long trip . . . Thanks for your patience. ​

  • Chicago & North Western RR |

    Yellowstone's Supporting Railroads ​ Chicago & NorthWestern RR Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. The Chicago & North Western Railroad Yellowstone's Southern Rail Access - Lander, WY “Where Rails End and Trails Begin.” The Chicago & North Western Railroad The Chicago & Northwestern Railroad (C&NW) has complicated origins in the Midwest, but essentially formed from the ruins of the bankrupt Chicago, St. Paul, & Fond du Lac railroad. The Chicago & Northwestern Railroad (C&NW) began its dominating railroad business when it was chartered by the states of Wisconsin and Illinois in 1859. After acquiring multiple other railroads, completing connections mostly north and west from Chicago, C&NW gained controlling interest of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway, also known as the Omaha Road. Real-Photo postcard of the Lander Depot, ca1910 The railroad reaches Lander, Wyoming The Chicago & Northwestern extended their rail lines to Lander, Wyoming in 1906, which would be the farthest west the railroad would venture, despite earlier plans. Construction on the extension of the C&NW Railroad from Casper to Lander, commenced Monday, May 2, 1905. and was completed October 17, 1906. Regular passenger train service was soon established, covering a distance of 148.1 miles. The C&NW RR served many small communities between Chicago and Lander with branch lines off of the Union Pacific main line to Ogden, Utah. After suffering through or approaching a couple of bankruptcies, the Union Pacific RR ultimately acquired control of C&NW on April 24, 1995 in a $1.2 billion stock takeover. From the Wind River Mountaineer, Friday, Oct. 12, 1906 ​ The railroad has at last reached Lander. After waiting for thirty-five years some of our citizens have at last seen the steel rails laid into our beautiful city and valley, and not only have their hopes been realized but something has come to pass that many believed would not be. The steel was laid to the depot site, or within one half block of Main street on Wednesday evening . . . Wednesday, October 17th, has been fixed by the mayor and committee; on arrangements as the day on which to celebrate the completion of the Wyoming & Northwestern railroad into Lander, and ail arrangements are now being made to entertain the large crowd who are expected here at that time. ft is now expected that a special train will arrive here from Denver at noon on that day with the excursionists, and will leave at 6 o’clock on the following morning . . . A grand free ball will be held at the Opera House in the evening, during which time refreshments will be served, and the following evening the Eagles will give a free dance and refreshments. “Lander is the western terminus of the Chicago & North Western Ry.—“Where Rails End and Trails Begin.” It is midway on the new Rocky Mountain Highway, running by the most direct route from Denver, via Ft. Collins, Laramie, Rawlins, and Lander, across the historic Shoshone Indian Reservation, through the famous big game country of Upper Wind River, past Brooks Lake, over Togwotee Pass in the Absarokas, around Jackson Lake at the foot of the Tetons, and into Yellowstone Park through the too-little known Southern Entrance. Whichever way you choose to enter or leave the Park, one way you must explore this new and greatest route. Through no other route can you prepare yourself so fully, so truly get into the spirit of the West, as via Lander.” [1923 Lander Transportation Co. brochure] Rocky Mountain Highway Highway to Be Officially Opened Sunday---Many Will Take Part "An Auto Caravan left early yesterday morning [17th] en route for Yellowstone Park over the Rocky Mountain Highway. The summit of Two-gwo-tee Pass will be the stopping place on Sunday and appropriate opening ceremonies will be held. Three kinds of bear meat, all varieties of mountain trout, and many other delicious morsels will be served free at the banquet. All tourists are invited to join the caravan." [Jackson Hole Courier, 18Aug1921] "Two-Gwo-Tee Pass was dedicated as the southern entrance to Yellowstone National park at 1 o’clock Sunday afternoon. A thousand people from Wyoming. Colorado, Idaho, Montana and the mountain west, from far away Florida, from California and from states to the east, the west, the north and the south witnessed the ceremony on the green carpeted slope of the continental divide 115 miles northwest of Lander, where in the spring the melting snows feed streams that flow to the two oceans, where the Teton and Washakie national forests adjoin, and the Fremont and Lincoln county lines meet. The hundreds who gathered there were more than witnesses they were active participants in the dedication, for in a seemingly endless chain of automobiles they had journeyed especially for this occasion distances ranging from a score to hundreds of miles." [23Aug1921, Casper Star-Tribune] Top Left: Shoshone chief invited to the 1921 Two-Gow-Tee Pass highway opening celebration. The author believes this to be Dick Washakie, son of the great Chief Washakie (ca1804/1810 – 1900 [Photo courtesy YNP Archives #57783] ​ Bottom Left: Lander-yellowstone Transportation Co. decal featuring Chief Dick Washakie. [Author Collection] ​ Top Right: Jack Haynes photo showing the 1921 highway celebration [Photo from 1923 C&NW RR brochure, author collection] The new Rocky Mountain Highway over Two-Gow-Tee Pass to Yellowstone ​ In 1921 rail passengers at Lander could visit Yellowstone by automobile on the newly built Rocky Mountain Highway. The travelers commenced at Lander, journeyed past Fort Washakie, to Dubois, and stopped for lunch. Afterwards, they proceeded over the mountains through Togwotee Pass to Brooks Lake Lodge for the night, where they could relax, fish or boat. The next morning they proceeded to Moran Junction for lunch at Amoretti Inn. From Moran tourists could travel south to Jackson Hole or north through the south entrance of Yellowstone. The Lander-Yellowstone Park Transportation Company provided auto stage service from Lander to Moran, where visitors were transferred to Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. buses for the trip into Yellowstone, arriving at Lake Hotel for dinner. Top Left: Two-Gwo-Tee Inn on the Pass, also known as Brooks Lake Lodge. It was the overnight stop on the trip from Lander to Yellowstone. [Wyoming State Archives , RAN430] ​ Top Right: Amoretti Inn at Moran, in sight of Jackson Lake. A lunch stop enroute to the tetons or to Yellowstone. [Wyoming State Archives, Stimson Collection #4541] ​ Bottom: Amoretti Inn and other businesses at Moran, 1920s. The are later became the Jackson Lake Lodge. [ Rockefeller Archives] Amoretti Inn - Jackson Lake Lodge The hotels along the route from Lander to Yellowstone were built and maintained by the Amoretti Hotel and Camp Company, incorporated in April 1922, "for the object of operating hotels, providing and conducting stores, commissaries, camps and other facilities and equipment, for the conveyance, entertainment and convenience of the tourists." The hotel company was the idea of Eugene Amoretti, long-time area resident and prominent Lander businessman. The Amoretti Inn was built in 1922 and included a large, central building that primarily held a dining room and groups of cabins for travelers stopping on their way to Yellowstone National Park. Located 25 miles from the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park, The Amoretti Inn was situated on a bench overlooking Jackson Lake, and from its spacious porch and lobby, one could view the lake and the Teton Mountains. The area was a favorite haunt of John D. Rockefeller beginning as early as 1924. By that time, the Inn began being called the Jackson Lake Lodge. The Jackson Hole Courier noted on July 26, 1930 that, “A deal was consummated last week whereby the Jackson Lake Lodge [former Amoretti Inn] at Moran passes from the hands of local and Casper men into the hands of the Teton Investment Company, a Salt Lake concern, which has also bought Sheffields [Teton Lodge] and other resorts In that section. The deal was for virtually $75,000. The new owners expect to spend a lot of money on the lodge and make it an attraction for the new Teton Park . . . they virtually have a monopoly of all hotels and recreation places there.” In later days the Lodge was rebuilt beginning in 1953 to become the new Jackson Lake Lodge. According to the Jackson Hole Courier, May 14, 1953, “Ground will be broken this month on the Jackson Lake Lodge, about 25 miles south of the Yellowstone National Park boundary and 35 miles north of Jackson. The Jackson Lake lodge will have a two-story stone faced central lodge with a capacity of 200 guests that will be surrounded by cabins accommodating 800 more vacationers. The main lodge will he constructed on a bluff overlooking Jackson lake with picture windows offering a commanding view of the 13,000-foot Tetons to the west.” Brooks Lake Hotel the massive hotel complex was built in 1922 as part of a program to provide accommodations for tourists arriving via the Lander-Yellowstone Transportation Company and was operated by the Amoretti Hotel and Camp Company. Eugene Amoretti was a businessman in Lander who was alleged to be the first European born in South Pass City in 1871. The Brooks Lake hotel was one of two operated by Amoretti on the road to Yellowstone; the other was at Moran. The hotel was built quickly, started in April 1922 and completed by July 1. The hotel charged $6 per person daily or $35 weekly, and it flourished for a couple of years, but by 1926 it was bypassed by buses. That year it was reorganized by investor Jim Gratiot as the Diamond G Ranch, which offered a dude ranch experience. [Wikipedia] ​ The success of Brooks Lake Hotel was short-lived, however. Apparently the bus trip from Lander to the Lake Hotel took too much time, and the overnight stop at the Inn was discontinued. In an effort to keep the complex solvent, Jim Gratiot, one of the original five corporate directors of the Amoretti Hotel and Camp Company, took over the complex and renamed it the Diamond G Ranch, operating it as a dude ranch. Strictly speaking, the Diamond G was not a true dude ranch because it had never been a working ranch, but it catered to the same clientele as the working dude ranches: well-to-do Easterners [U.S. Depart. of the Interior, NPS, National Register of Historic Places—Nomination Form Brooks Lake Lodge, 1982] Amusing Anecdote about the 1st train to roll into the Lander Depot THE STORY OF LANDER By Harold Rogers Here is an amusing story told of the arrival of the first passenger train in Lander in 1906. The railroad officials had advertised this momentous event throughout the county as the grand opening of the C & N W Railroad and its advent into the Lander Valley and Fremont County. Citizens of South Pass, Pinedale, Jackson "Hole, Dubois and the Shoshone Reservation gathered at the new Lander depot. The engineer of this first passenger train was an Irishman who loved to pull his jokes or shenanigans on the unsuspecting crowds. He had a good head of steam up. When a large crowd of spectators had gathered around to gaze at the iron horse he let off a big head of steam to watch the crowd scatter and yell. He poked his head out the cabin window when it was time to pull up the train, swung his arm in a sweeping circle and yelled, “Look out, you hill billies. I’m going to turn her around.” Most of the spectators ran for the side streets, thinking the train was going to turn around right there. The engineer and his train crew had a good laugh at the expense of the pioneers. [Annals of Wyoming , April 1968, Vol. 40, No. 1]

  • Larry's Lunch Stations |

    "Out to Lunch" in the Yellowstone Larry's Lunch Stations ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. Larry Mathews (sometimes spelled Larry Matthews) was quite a colorful Irishman who managed establishments in Yellowstone from 1888 to 1904. Larry was born in Drogheda, Ireland in 1854 to parents Patrick and Elizabeth Fredigan McMahon. Larry immigrated to the United States in 1882 and it is assumed that he changed his name to Mathews at that time, to appear less 'Irish.' He moved to Minneapolis and in 1886 married Bridget Clinton. In 1887 Larry went to work in Yellowstone for Yellowstone Park Association (YPA) at Mammoth. Larry was moved to manage the Trout Creek Lunch Station in 1888. That tent operation was established along Trout Creek in Hayden Valley. It served the crowd coming over the Mary Mountain road from the Lower Geyser Basin to visit Yellowstone Lake and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. He married Mary Brennan Slatterly in 1890 and the following year daughter Elizabeth, or "Lizzie," was born. When the new road over Craig Pass from Old Faithful to West Thumb opened in 1892, Larry moved his business to Thumb to serve visitors traveling from Old faithful, over Craig Pass, and down to the Thumb of Yellowstone Lake. Thumb was about the halfway point between Old Faithful and Lake Hotel and served as the required lunch stop. "The Wild Irishman." F.J. Haynes Cabinet Card The 1st Norris Hotel, Spring of 1887. [F.J. Haynes Stereoview, YNP #345] The new hotel at Norris opened up in the spring of 1887, even though construction was apparently incomplete. A workman started a fire in an unfinished chimney that set the hotel ablaze on July 14. The Livingston Enterprise reported that there were many guests in the hotel, but that all were saved. ​By the end of 1887 a temporary wooden hotel was completed with 20 sleeping rooms. It was long and narrow, built with 1" board siding. It also had a relatively short life of six years. ​ The second hotel at Norris burned down in May of 1892 and Larry moved to Norris the following season to establish his third lunch station. He entertained guests at this new station until the Yellowstone Park Association (YPA) opened the second Norris Hotel in 1901. Matthews worked at the hotel the first year, then was sent by YPA to manage the crude Shack Hotel/tent operation at Old Faithful. He spent two years at the Shack, and when the new Old Faithful Inn opened in 1904, Larry became manager there. The Shack Hotel was torn down, probably during construction of the Inn. When YPA refused to increase his pay after 15 years of service, he left the park. Trout Creek Lunch Station - "Hotel de Elk" 1888-1891 Larry Mathews (also Larry Matthews) was an entertaining Irishman who managed establishments in Yellowstone from 1888 to 1904. Trout Creek became the first Larry's Lunch Station in 1888. The operation began in 1888 by YPA under the management of Larry Mathews. The Trout Creek Station, located in Hayden Valley, was the halfway point between the Fountain Hotel and Yellowstone Lake and Grand Canyon. From Fountain Hotel, the road traveled east over Mary Mountain and Mary’s Lake and down into Hayden Valley. Larry’s offered travelers a break in their journey to have lunch and freshen up a bit. The Lunch Station went by many names, including Hotel De Elk, and the Trout Creek Dinner Station. This was the main route of travelers visiting Canyon and Lake until 1892 when a new road was completed over Craig Pass from Old Faithful to West Thumb. Numerous travelers to this station commented on the flag that Larry flew above his tent. He also had a large stack of elk antlers near the entrance. That year YPA and Mathews moved the operation to West Thumb to provide lunch services along the new road. Map ca1905 showing the hotels in the main part of the loop in Yellowstone. Trout Creek was located to the west of halfway point between Canyon & Lake. Click to enlarge. [NorthWestern RR Brochure, 1907] One group in 1891 had just ascended Mary Mountain, mostly on foot to ease the load on the stage team. The writer speaks of the "Hotel de Elk.". Ready to descend, "All clambered into coaches, we bowled down its opposite side, for the road was now good and less precipitous, at a lively pace, and landed at the Hotel de Elk at the foot in the best of humor and with the most ravenous appetites. The Hotel de Elk is only a tent where a mid-day meal is served, but to its honor be it said, it is the only place in this park . . . that the stars and stripes were floating. A good meal is set here too, and the wit and contagious spirits of rolicking Larry Matthews, a genuine son of the "ould sod," makes it one of the most enjoyable we have eaten" [Vallec Harold, Portsmouth Daily Times, OH, 3Sep1892] May A Haslehurst, in her book Days Forever Flown , published in 1892, describes part of her trip in September, 1891: “We passed over "Mary's Mountain," a very precipitous climb, one bit of road being so narrow and rough, that Jamie and I walked up it, and found afterwards that we had climbed, not " the golden stairs," but the " Devil's Ladder." . . . After driving about sixteen miles, we came to a hollow in between the hills, and there found a little collection of tents, and were informed that it was "Larry's Lunch Station!" It was a most remarkable place, one tent for a dining-room, one for a waiting-room, a kitchen, and all the necessary requirements; and elk-horns, with their great branches, ornamented every available space in front of the entrance to this remarkable abode. On the white canvas were grotesque drawings, two of which we photographed. The owner of this quaint lunch station, was a roaring Irishman, with a fund of ready wit and humor, really remarkable and truly amusing. He acted the part of host to perfection, in his shirtsleeves and little round skull cap, and although "his guests" sat down at his bountiful board as strangers, they arose as friends, for his remarks, as he walked back and forth from one to the other, to see that all were waited upon, produced such an uproar, that we lost all formality and ceremony while in that tent. A long wooden bench stretched down each side of the table, and one either had to go in at the end, or climb over. As one lady climbed to her place at the table, Larry exclaimed, "Please, lady, don't soil the upholstery," and soon perceiving some haste on the part of one person present, he shouted, "You have one hour and a half to eat; this ain't no twenty minute lunch counter." Just as we were all seated and had opened our Japanese napkins, and prepared for our meal, Larry electrified us all, by shouting at the top of his decidedly loud voice, "Let her go, coffee," and to our surprise, from another tent near by, there came a young man, with an earthenware pitcher full of really excellent coffee. It was surprising how good things did taste to us all.” One of the few known images of the Trout Creek Lunch Station. Larry was known for flying a U.S. flag on his main tent. Above the entry reads: "Welcome." [YNP #109730] In July 1890 Edith Alma Ross, accompanied by her father, trekked to Yellowstone National Park. The journey was to collect botanical specimens, in addition to touring the park. Leaving the Firehole Basin, their stage struggled up the Mary Mountain Road: “Having summited the Devil's Stairway, surviving passengers once again climbed aboard the coach and continued westward. About ¾ of the way from the Firehole Hotel to the Hayden Valley road was the midday rest stop called the Trout Creek Lunch Station - Larry Mathews, proprietor. Kipling's group, "pulled up disheveled at Larry's for lunch and an hour's rest. Only "Larry" could have managed that school-feast tent on the lonely hillside. Need I say that he was an Irishman? His supplies were at their lowest ebb, but Larry enveloped us all in the golden glamour of his speech ere we had descended, and the tent with the rude trestle-table became a palace, the rough fare, delicacies of Delmonico, and we, the abashed recipients of Larry's imperial bounty. It was only later that I discovered I had paid eight shillings for tinned beef, biscuits, and beer, but on the other hand Larry had said: "Will I go out an' kill a buffalo?" And I felt that for me and for me alone would he have done it. Everybody else felt that way. Good luck go with Larry" [Edith A. Ross, A Trip to Wonderland: Yellowstone National Park] A party in 1892 described Larry’s: “It was way out in the heart of the Yellowstone National Park. We were traveling through there with an excursion party of newspaper men, and one warm day in July, while passing over from the Upper Geyser Basin to the Grand Canon of the Yellowstone River, our stage slopped for lunch at the “Hotel Elk,” a summer hotel, consisting of two big tents and kept by Larry Mathews, one of the jolliest sons of Erin we ever met. His place received its name from a big pile of elk horns in front of the entrance, built up like a monument. Larry's main circus tent was the sitting and waiting room, with some curtained nooks for dressing rooms, and the other was the dining hall with kitchen attached.” [West Virginia Argus, 16 Feb. 1893] West Thumb Lunch Station - 1892 The Yellowstone Park Association (YPA) was granted a lease in 1886 to operate boats on Yellowstone Lake, but did not exercise that option until 1891. At that time a new road was being built over Craig Pass from Old Faithful to West Thumb. Ferry service would eliminate the tedious and dusty ride from the Thumb Lunch Station to the Lake Hotel. E.C. Waters, who had been manager of the National Hotel, accepted the offer to manage the ferry service. The Zillah, a 40-ton steamship, began running that route in 1891 and was licensed to carry 125 passengers. Waters would pay the stagecoach drivers fifty cents for each passenger convinced to take the ferry. Larry Mathews managed the tent lunch station in 1892 after the Trout Creek station closed. Larry moved to Norris the following year. "Lunch Station at Thumb, Yellowstone Lake" Stereoview #1300 High Grade Original Views [Thanks to Bob Berry, Cody, Wyo., for sharing this photo.] Larry Mathews and his daughter Elizabeth - "Lizzie." This photo was said to be 1893, however since Lizzie was born June 1891, this would date it to 1892, thus the West Thumb Lunch Station. [Thanks to Pat Perry for sharing this photo!] Carrie Belle Spencer, a young school teacher from Nebraska, Yellowstone National Park in July and August, 1892. She was in the company of her older brother Alvah and his wife Adaline. They were “traveling on their own dime,” as they say, and not with the transportation company. She had this to say about Larry’s: “. . . we were soon on the beautiful waters of the Yellowstone sailing smoothly along toward the Thumb. After a delightful ride of 1 1/2 hr. we landed at the dock on a beautiful beach and saw on a slope not far distant five tents in a row, this is what is known as the Lake Side Lunch station; as we were about ready for lunch and desirous of finding some place to leave our luggage we started in that direction. When not more than half way up the slope a gentleman, with skull cap, white apron, towel etc. started toward us saying "Good morning ladies, good morning", & before we had time to reply he had our luggage in his hands saying "Right this way to the waiting room." & entering this tent, he took me by the arm & pointing out of the tent in an opposite direction he says "Ladies toilet just ahead. . . The waiting room was a tent about 20 ft. sq., dirt floor & contained a few chairs, stove, cigar case & slat benches around the room. The "toilet" was out doors & too cute for particulars, ta ta. After arranging our "twilight" and entering the waiting room this man "Larry" Mathews as he proved to be began asking questions & entertained us in a royal manner until we heard the rattle of approaching hacks, which were of course the expected tourists. "Larry" no longer had time for entertaining individuals as each new comer was greeted in the same manner. It was not long until we heard the call "All register" & "Right this way to hash". Soon 40 ladies & gentlemen were seated on slab benches at long home made tables, and the bill of fare was soon commenced; it was not very extensive but every thing was enjoyed, being season with Larry's Irish wit. "Run in the hens." "Let 'er go pie." It was not long after lunch until the tourists were on the steamer & we were left in our glory with "Larry, wife and baby Lizzie.” Norris Lunch Station - 1893-1901 Larry established a new "Larry’s Lunch Station" at Norris Geyser Basin in 1893 after the second hotel there burned down in 1892. He entertained guests there in tent facilities through the year 1900. The following year, YPA opened a new Norris Hotel, that Larry managed for the first year. The Norris Lunch Station was located southwest of the Gibbon River, across from the Norris Ranger Station (current Museum of the NP Ranger). A small bridge eventually crossed the river around this spot (shown above). The currently road passes through the middle of the old site and a large wildlife viewing pull-out now lines the river. The view to the right shows passengers making the "leap" from the carriage to Larry's porch. Norris Tent Hotel in 1896. Photo by FJ Haynes, courtesy Montana Historical Society Charles Maus Taylor describes his experience at Larry’s in his book, Alaska and the Yellowstone, published in 1901. As the stage stops in front of a spacious tent, we are met and heartily greeted by the famous “Larry,” or more properly Mr. Lawrence Matthews, and his pretty daughter Lizzie. With cordial hospitality, Larry invites us into his tent: but this is no “Will you walk into my parlor act,” for within we find all conveniences, by means of which we may make a respectable appearance at the lunch table. We are introduced to Larry’s wife, a sensible woman, who attends to the comfort of the ladies, while Larry offers to the men, with his ever ready joke, “a wee drop under the rose,” which proves to be only a mild lemonade. Our whole party is soon seated at a long table, abundantly provided with good fare, well cooked; and we ail do justice to the repast. Meanwhile Larry entertains us with Irish and Yankee songs, and comic anecdotes, interspersed with serious reflections and some valuable suggestions. He “mix’d reason with pleasure, and wisdom with mirth.” Larry’s daughter Lizzie collects specimens of the native flowers of the Yellowstone, and arranges them in small albums, with such graceful and pretty effect, that they find a ready sale among the visitors to the Norris Basin. Having made our selections of these, and finished our lunch, we are ready for the tour of the Basin.” Larry Mathews and his daughter 'Lizzie.' [Burton Holmes Travelogues, 1905] George E. Hardy remarked upon Larry’s Lunch Station in The Rosary Magazine in 1896: “Lunch at Norris Basin can never be a serious matter as long as Larry is its presiding genius. Larry is one of the characters of the Park. He is an auburn-haired Celt, whose mirth-provoking sallies and lavish hospitality have endeared him to every visitor to the Yellowstone. In the absence of any definite information as to his original surname he has been dubbed by the tour ists, Larry ** Norris,” and as such he is known far and wide. “ Welcome to Norris Basin, senator! ” was his salutation to the doctor as with dignified courtesy he grasped the latter’s hand.—"A man of more than ordinary penetration anti intelligence,” remarked the doctor, reflectively, when we were discussing Larry’s merits some time later. “Did your sister enjoy the trip? ” Larry slyly inquired of the boyish groom, as he assisted his wife out of the coach. “This way, your Riverence,— I mane your Grace, was his unblushing greeting to Father Moran, the jovial senior member of a party of three Dominican missionaries, as he ushered them into the tent where a bountiful lunch was being served to the hungry tourists.” The Cheery Irishman A writer for the Burton Homes Travelogues noted in 1896: "What traveler does not remember Larry Matthews and his canvas palace? Who can forget his cheery welcome when lifting the ladies from the coach . . . And who can forget the honest Irish face of landlord Larry Matthews? His ready wit is remarkable. Every day he is expected to be funny from 11 to 2 o'clock, during which hours he must not only delight the inbound tourists, but carefully avoid repeating himself in the presence of those outward bound who lunch here the second time . . . We never know what we are eating at Larry's busy table d' hote. He never gives us time to think about the food. He is able to make the people laugh so much and eat so little that the company should meet all his demands for an increase in salary." Over the years, though, he became a bit haughty when it came to dealing with the independent 'sagebrushers', who traveled through the park on their own, and not with the established transportation companies. He could be become rude or unpleasant with them and try to overcharge them for his services. Aubrey Haines, in his "Yellowstone Place Names", observed that ". . . Larry became over conscious of his importance and less often polite and courteous; also he was more likely to yell at such people . . ." "Larry's Lunch Station at Norris, 1896. [Burton Holmes Travelogues, 1905] Top Left: Real-Photo postcard of Larry's Norris Lunch Station, undated. Top Right: Larry with Calamity Jane in 1896. [Burton Holmes Travelogues, 1905] The Yellowstone Park Association opened a new hotel in 1901 at Norris Geyser Basin, after their previous two hotels had burned in 1887 and 1892. Larry was chosen to manage the new lodgings. It served as a lunch station and also provided 25 sleeping rooms. According to a Rochester, Minn. newspaper, the hotel officially opened Friday evening August 2, 1901. They touted that, "A 5 o'clock dinner will be served, after which a grand ball will be given. Ice cream, lemonade and all kinds of fruit will be served during the evening. This hotel is built on the formation, where all the large geysers of the park can be seen from the front porch, is a large affair costing $150,000. including fixtures. A large silk flag 80x47 feet will be erected over the center of the building. 'Mr. Mathews will have the management of the hotel, and is considered by the park association as the best manager in the park. [Post and Record (Rochester, Minn), 2Aug1901] Postcard from the Wylie Camping Co. Illustration by Charlie Russell BEARS IN YELLOWSTONE PARK Furnish Imaginary Adventures for Larry’s Tenderfoot Guests Colorado Transcript, Nov. 9, 1898 Among the stories which Horace C. Du Val brought back from, his trip to the Pacific coast was one about "Larry," the proprietor of the luncheon station at Norris, in the Yellowstone Park, which everybody will appreciate who knows the witty Irishman, and few people have made the trip in tie last few years to whom he is unknown. ​ "The park is full of bears, cinnamon and silver tips," said Mr. Du Val, "and the after-dinner hour at the hotels is always spent by the guests in watching the big clumsy brutes come lumbering out of the woods to feed at the refuse heaps. Larry's is only a luncheon station, a big tent, at which tourists stop in the middle of their day's journey for rest and refreshment. All Larry's supplies come from the hotels, and one day, a short time before our visit, the luncheon hour had almost arrived, and the bread wagon from the hotel had not made its appearance. There was not a slice of bread in the tent. Larry is proud of the reputation of his table; something has to be done, and done at once. Already he hears the rumbling of the wheels and the hoofbeats of the horses that tell him that his guests are at hand. An inspiration comes to him. He hastily summons his entire force, waiters, cooks, scullions, and all and imparts a few words of instructions. As the coaches draw up at the front of the tent out dashes Larry at the other end, shouting at the top of his lungs, out comes the table and kitchen force at his heels, waving tablecloths, napkins, anything at hand, and scattering in all directions. “There he goes!” yells Larry. “Head him off, kill the murtherin’ beast! O, the thafe of the world. There he is behind the corn, now we’ll run him down by the fence!” and away they all go dashing about in all directions, the amazed guests still sitting in the coaches and wondering what it is all about. One by one Larry’s people return. Larry at their head – hot, crestfallen. “Och, whatever shall I do,” says Larry, “the thievin’ devils; sorra crumb of bread, barrin’ crackers, have I got in the place, the brutes have stolen the whole of it.” The guests assemble around him with words of comfort, but it is long before Larry will be pacified. He’ll have the life of the whole tribe, whether the government protects them or not. Sure, how can he set a decent table if the black marauders steal it all? Little by little the guests calm him down. They “like crackers,” they wouldn’t “eat any bread if they had it.” Larry had gained his point, and material had been furnished for an adventure of no ordinary kind, and many members of the party will doubtless entertain their friends with the story of how the bears stole their bread at Larry’s.” Another Bear Story from the Norris Lunch Station Archives: ​ Larry Matthews at the lunch station had a midnight raid made on him. Larry is one of the most eloquent, polite and persuasive orators of the Great National Reservation. But all his colloquial powers were insufficient to persuade one of Uncle Sam's bears that there is a limit to human endurance. They got on a regular spree one night, upset the stove and cleaned out the larder. It was a regular bread riot. Larry is a law abiding citizen aud of course went in search of the law in such cases made and provided. While in search of the riot act, Uncle Sam’s proteges got away with whole skins and full bellies. Sundance Gazette (Wyo) November 25, 1898, page 1 Shack Tent Hotel & Old Faithful Inn - 1902-1904 After working at the new Norris Hotel in 1901, the YPA sent Matthews to Old Faithful to manage the crude Shack Hotel/tent operation.. He spent two years at the Shack, and when the new Old Faithful Inn opened in 1904, Larry became manager there. The Shack Hotel was torn down, probably at the end of the 1903 season, while during construction of the Inn was going on. Once again, he was a successful and popular manager, and after fifteen years of service, felt his talents and effort deserved an increase in pay. When YPA refused, he left the park for good at the end of the season. During his off-seasons he had been working as an agent in Canada for the Northern Pacific RR. He was also employed by the Gates Touring Co. to lead touring parties to Panama, Cuba, Mexico and Southern California leading and having charge of all arrangements for Gate's Tours. He seems to have retired around 1909. By the late teens he was suffering from cancer, and an operation around 1919 was apparently not completely successful. He had moved in with his daughter for his last years and passed away on Oct. 7, 1922 at age 68. Old Faithful visitor Clifford P. Allen recalled being welcomed by Larry Mathews, first manager of the inn. He recalled the moment when in 1904, church services were held one evening in the Inn’s lobby. After repeatedly checking his timepiece, manager Mathews announced to the assembled worshippers that Old Faithful was about to erupt. In response to the preacher asking for more time for closing hymn and benediction, Larry said, “You cannot have them, the Geezer waits for no mon.” That was the end of the church service, as everyone filed out to watch the geyser play under the illumination of the inn’s spotlights. According to Allen, “Old Faithful geyser came to time to the minute.” Old Faithful Tent Hotel, 1903 [Library of Congress, #90715246] One guest in 1903 related that, "Driving up to the hotel we received the most effusive welcome of the entire trip. Larry Matthews, as wild an Irishman as ever escaped from the Emerald Isle, is in charge there. He meets all guests in the same loud and enthusiastic manner and hustles around amongst them during their stay, inquiring “is iv’rything all might” and cracking jokes he has probably used every day of the Park season during the past dozen years." [The Big Sandy News, Louisa, Kentucky, 21 Aug 1903] Now ‘‘Old Larry” is an interesting Irishman who keeps the “Auld Faithful Hotel.” In the art of talking, he is perpetual motion, never lets up from the time you arrive till you go away and all his geysers are “geesers" hence “Our Geeser Girl. Just after we had all got settled for dinner. Larry, who was every where present, would announce: “Now. ladys and gintlemen. auld Faithful is due in tin minutes, you can see her from the porch, but there's no hurry, ivery body eat all they kin.” Now some were so unkind as to say Larry was afraid we would eat too much. Any how he served a good dinner and the best ginger bread I ever ate. [The Fairmount News, Fairmount, Ind., 03 Nov1903, p4] Larry Mathews and guest at the Old Faithful Inn, 1904 "Jolly'in a Guest." [T.W. Ingersoll Stereoview, 1905] IN A TENTED FIELD. One of the promises of the tour was that we should sleep in tents one night, and at noon on Tuesday we espied in the distance a snowy line of tents adjoining "Larry's" lunch station. Larry is a garrulous Hibernlan noted in the guide-books, whose jokes have delighted tourists for some ten years. Our party took three meals with Larry and found a great similarity between his jokes and his meals; but he is one of the features of the trip. Our tents were almost convenient enough to be ridiculous for tents. They had all the necessities and were actually supplied with stoves. Each tent has six rooms and a hall. In the morning a voice shouted, "All who want hot water put out their small pitchers," and where should this luxury come from but from the "Old Faithful" geyser, a stone's throw away. They have a barrel set on wheels and all they do Is to ladle out the boiling water and bring it to the tents. We are cautioned not to drink it, however. [THE INDIANAPOLIS Journal, SUNDAY. Sept. 7. 1902] It is said that a grouchy old fellow complained to Larry one day about the turkey they had for lunch, and in accents wild asked Larry where they came from. Larry whispered as low as the "groucher" had talked loud, "They came over in the Mayflower and walked here." Larry swears sometimes, and a lady who heard him said: “Larry, if you talk like that-where do you think you’ll go when you die?” “It makes not the slightest difference, ma'am,” replied the jolly Irishman. “I’ve lots of friends in both places.” Top Left: Description of the Old Faithful tent hotel, 1903. [Vicksburg Evening Post, 15Aug1903] Right: Part of Larry's tombstone at Saint Mary's Cemetery, Minneapolis. [Photo from] FUNERAL TODAY ENDS VARIED CAREER OF "LARRY" MATHEWS Lawrence "Larry" Mathews, aged 68, passed away at the home of his daughter Mrs. Ralph L. Kirsch, Elm street, shortly after four o'clock Saturday. Death was due to cancer from which the deceased had been failing for weeks. An operation for cancer three years ago was not wholey successful. "Larry" as his friends called him was born on January 29, 1854 in Droghoda County, South Ireland, the son of Patrick and Elizabeth Matthews. He came to the United States in 1880 and settled in Minnesota. In 1885 he went to Yellowstone National park where he had charge of park hotels for 18 years achieving a wide reputation among thousands of tourists. He spent the winters of these years in Panama, Cuba, Mexico and Southern California leading and having charge of all arrangements for Gate's Tours. Mr. Matthews also was a traveling passenger agent for the Northern Pacific Railroad during part of this time. In 1909 he retired from active business and returned to his old farm near Rochester, Minn., where he lived until 1918 when he came to Crookston. He had resided in the city with his daughter, Mrs. Ralph L. Kirsch since that time. The deceased is also survived by his wife Mary Brennan Matthews. Crookston Daily Times - October 9, 1922

  • Frost & Richard |

    Camping in the Yellowstone Frost & Richard Camping Co. ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. "Now all is hustle among local transportation companies in anticipation of the opening of the Turk season July 1st. The equipment is being put in readiness and parties being booked daily. The companies in the field this year are the Yellowstone Park Camping & Transportation Co., Shoshone Camping Co., Frost & Richard and Dahlem Bros. All are reliable and anyone hooking with them is assured of the finest treatment possible and the finest trip through the country. The Cody road to the Park is completed and leads through the noted Shoshone Canyon, just past the Shoshone dam and lake and up through the grand North Fork country. It's a trip worth traveling over continents to enjoy. BOOK NOW! Address any of the Companies mentioned at Cody, Wyoming." Park County Enterprise (WY), Jun 1, 1910 The town of Cody, Wyoming is located 50 miles east of Yellowstone and was founded in 1896 by Buffalo Bill Cody, and other investors having railroad and agricultural interests. Like most small western towns, growth of the town was predicated upon having access to railroad service. Col. Cody began negotiations with the railroads and eventually the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy RR was convinced to build a branch rail line from their main line at Billings, MT. The line extended south to Toluca and from there ran southwest for 129 miles to Cody. The line reached town in 1901 and the depot was built on the north side of the Shoshone River, on the opposite side of the river from the town proper. That same year construction began on a new road over Sylvan Pass into Yellowstone. It opened in late June/early July 1903 after the heavy snows had melted, making Cody the East Gateway to Yellowstone Park. Tex Holm began conducting camping tours over Sylvan Pass in 1903 and other small operators, including Ned Frost and Fred Richard, followed suit in later years . Top Left: The town of Cody Wyo, ca1904, less than a decade after its founding. Bottom Left: Ned Frost leading a pack train over Sylvan Pass, probably late spring. [Undated Real Photo postcard] Ned Frost became a partner with Fred Richard in the early 1900’s with each of them homesteading land around Green Creek west of Cody. Ned hunted and trapped, while Fred skinned, stretched and prepared the pelts. Coyote pelts were going for $60 at the time and business was good. Individually or collectively they also guided hunters through the nearby wilderness country in search of big game. Through these enterprises they saved up enough to build a large ranch house as a base camp for their enterprises in Wapiti Valley. The ranch featured 17 rooms, including seven bedrooms upstairs and a large living room with fireplace to entertain their paying guests. Richard, Fred J. (Alfred John) Fred J. Richard was born around 1880-81 in Vermont. He married Margaret Hughes (born ca1881) of Illinois in Chicago on January 1, 1909. Her sister Mary would marry New Frost the following year. By 1910 Fred and Margaret were listed in the US Federal Census for Park County. The couple had two children; Alfred J. “Jack”, born in 1909 in Wyoming; and Robert H., born ca1915 in Wyoming. Son Jack became quite a renowned local photographer and his massive collection of photographs was donated to the Buffalo Bill Historic Center in Cody Wyoming. Frost, Ned Ward Ned W. Frost was born April 11, 1881 in Minnesota and came into the Cody country in a covered wagon in 1884 with his family and settled on Sage Creek near Cody. He killed his first grizzly bear around the age of seven or eight and began a life of hunting and guiding. By age 14 he was shooting antelope to supply meat houses in Coulson (Billings), Montana. He appears in the 1900 Federal Census for Wyoming. He helped to build the Corkscrew Bridge on Sylvan Pass in the early 1900’s and in 1903 he discovered Frost Cave in Cedar Mountain just west of Cody. His future wife Mary Hughes was born February 1881 in Chicago, Illinois and was the sister of Margaret Hughes, who married Fred Richard in 1909. Ned and Mary were married January 20, 1910 at the home of Fred Richard. The couple’s first son Nedward Mahlon was born around 1911. He was followed by Richard J. about 1918 and Jessie W. circa 1921. Ned passed away Nov. 19, 1957 after several months of ill health. He was considered by many to be the foremost big-game hunter of his time. Frost & Richard Camping Co. Ned Frost and Fred Richard formed the "Frost & Richard Camping Co." around 1909 and began conducting formal advertised camping trips into Yellowstone using moveable camps. They had, however, operated earlier than 1909 as “Frost & Richard.” The Wyoming Stockgrower and Farmer newspaper of Cody noted on July 11, 1907 that, “Frost & Richard started with the first park party of the season Monday. The party consisted of Chas. P. Whitney, wife and little daughter, Mr. Lesch, a railroad attorney, three young Lady teachers and three young gentlemen, all of Chicago, and Mrs. Frank Thompson of Cody.” Several articles in the Wyoming Stockgrower & Farmer newspaper for July 1905 also noted several small tours led into the park by Frost and Elmo Webster. These informal tours no doubt extended back several years and probably utilized the Sunlight Basin route through Cooke City and the northwest entrance prior to the opening of the Sylvan Pass road in 1903. The size of the parties gradually increased and in June 1910, the Park County Enterprise (WY) reported that the Frost & Richard Camping Co. was guiding a party of around 30 tourists through Yellowstone. Wyoming Stockgrower and Farmer, 19Jul1905. In 1910 the men had a 20-page promotional booklet printed up by South Publishing Press to advertise their services. It was entitled, “Over the Cody Trail to Yellowstone: Seeing nature’s Wonderland by Camp in Parties of Two or More. [Not shown] The following year the McGuire Printing Co. published a 16-page booklet more simply titled, “Cody Road Through Yellowstone Park.” [Left - 1915 Edition} This small tome is not to be confused with a Burlington, Chicago & Quincy RR publication titled “The Cody Road to Yellowstone” that was in publication by 1907, and continued through 1916. [Right] The Frost & Richard Camping Co. is first mentioned in that brochure in 1909. Camping Tours Over the Cody Road (1909) The most popular way of making the trip over the Cody Road and through Yellowstone Park is in a camping party from Cody back to Cody, occupying 16 or 18 days. The Yellowstone Park Camping and Transportation Co. (Aron Holm, Proprietor) and Frost & Richard have for many years made a specialty of outfitting and conducting such parties, and the many people who have made the tour under their auspices have been uniformly well pleased with the arrangements. The names of such people we will be glad to furnish to anyone contemplating the trip. The Company and Frost & Richard both have first-class outfits and handle their own parties and in an entirely satisfactory manner. Transportation is provided in covered surreys or waggonettes built with extra good springs specially for this mountain service and very comfortable; a good saddle horse is provided for those who wish to make the trip on horseback, for $1 per day extra—should any such become tired, they may of course have a seat in the surrey. The tents are tepees, each accommodating two persons, and the best that money can buy; they are furnished with canvas floors, ostermoor mattresses, woolen blankets and warm, heavy comforters; a private toilet tent for ladies is set up at each camp. The meals are the best that the market affords in canned goods, smoked meats, fresh vegetables and trout, all prepare by women cooks in a covered cook-wagon. Many ladies make the camping tour and enjoy it thoroughly; children as young as seven or eight years have made the trip, some even going horseback as there is always a man in the party to teach the inexperienced to ride and who accompanies the children and inexperienced riders of the party at all times. [The Cody Road to Yellowstone Park – 1909 (Burlington, Chicago & Quincy RR, shown above right] By 1910, the company advertised 12, 16, and 28-day camping trips, and used tepee-style sleeping tents nine feet square with canvas bottoms. The tents had beds that were provided with mattresses and blankets and accommodated two persons, but private tents could be had for an extra charge. Trips were conducted in 3-seated mountain surreys seating five passengers and the driver. Mess and baggage wagons accompanied the party carrying supplies, cooking and dining tents. The dining tent was furnished with a stove, folding tables, and chairs and the dinnerware was of white granite. Toilet tents were set up at each camp and water heated for the guests’ use. The trips cost $4.00 per day with an extra $1.00 per day charge for those wishing to ride on horseback. The company also offered horseback pack trips in the park that traveled on various trails during the daytime, but spent the nights at the camps of the coaching parties. Cody Pictorial, ca1911. Click to enlarge. "The Loop Sylvan Pass Cody Road" Frost & Richard camp wagon crossing the pass, ca1912. [Lucier Photograph] "Corkscrew Road Sylvan Pass" Undated photo of Fros & Richard camp wagons. [YNP #1935] From the Park County Enterprise (WY), Jun 1, 1910: "Now all is hustle among local transportation companies in anticipation of the opening of the Turk season July 1st. The equipment is being put in readiness and parties being booked daily. The companies in the field this year are the Yellowstone Park Camping & Transportation Co., Shoshone Camping Co., Frost & Richard and Dahlem Bros. All are reliable and anyone hooking with them is assured of the finest treatment possible and the finest trip through the country. The Cody road to the Park is completed and leads through the noted Shoshone Canyon, just past the Shoshone dam and lake and up through the grand North Fork country. It's a trip worth traveling over continents to enjoy. BOOK NOW! Address any of the Companies mentioned at Cody, Wyoming." Top Left : Frost & Richard wagons atop of Mt Washburn, undated. [Courtesy Wyoming PBS] Top Right: Frost & Richard party having lunch on the road on Aug. 19, 1912, probably Sylvan Pass or Mt. Washburn. [Courtesy Wyoming PBS. " "YELLOWSTONE AND OTHER WESTERN LOCALES THROUGH A YOUNG WOMAN’S EYES" Photo album from Muriel Mann of Chicago of a western tip in 1913 Left: Frost & Richard wagons atop of Mt Washburn. Right: Frost & Richard wagons crossing the Shoshone River, somewhere between Cody and the East entrance of Yellowstone Finale for the Frost & Richard Co. After 1916 and the government-mandated consolidation of the camping companies in Yellowstone, Frost and Richard mostly parted ways and returned to their own guiding and hunting operations. Frost guided many famous hunters during his lifetime, including Saxton Pope and Art Young (Pope & Young Club) in 1920. Frost Lake, two miles NE of Pyramid Peak was named after him ca1893-95, as was Frost Cave in the mountain west of Cody. The Skytel Ranch is currently located on the site of the Frost Ranch. "Through a deal which was closed this week the Frost & Richard Co. dissolved partnership and Fred Richard takes over the ranch on Northfork and will devote his entire time to developing it along agricultural and stock raising lines. Ned Frost, the retiring member of the company plans to continue his "dude" wrangling activities, making the ranch his headquarters for the present. Poor health is the principle reason for his retirement from business and in the fall he will probably go to California to spend the winter." Northern Wyoming Herald, May 21, 1919 Map of Frost and Richards tour route through Yellowstone with campsite numbered. [1915 F&R brochure] Click to enlarge Famous Guide and Big Game Hunter Dies at Cody, Wyo. Greeley Daily Tribune, Thursday, Nov. 21, 1957 Ned Ward Frost, 77, one of the West's most famed big game hunters and guides, died Tuesday [19th]. He had been in ill health for several months. Frost, who came to the Cody area in 1903, led many big game hunting expeditions into the rugged country surrounding Yellowstone National Park and was the discoverer of Spirit Mountain Cavern, five miles west of Cody. Frost was reputedly one of the most accurate big game marksmen in the first quarter of the 20th Century and made several hunting expeditions throughout the world. Sept. 26, 1952, was set aside in Wyoming as "Ned Frost Day", to honor big game guides and hunters. Frost was found dead at mid morning when Dr. Joseph A. Gautsch went to investigate when Frost failed to keep an appointment with the physician. Funeral arrangements have not been completed. Within the past month, Frost sold his 1,885-acre ranch on the North Fork of the Shoshone River to Rep. Keith Thomson (R Wyo). Fred J. Richards Dies in Powell CODY, Wyo.—Fred J. Richards, a long time Park County resident, died in a Powell rest home early Monday at the age of 82. Mr. Richards was born in Eden, Vt., July 19, 1880 and had lived in Park County for 61 years. Two sons, Jack of Cody and Robert of Denver, survive. Billings Gazette, 28Aug1962 GRIZZLY FIGHTS GUIDES TOURISTS RESCUE THE PAIR Washington Post, Aug. 27, 1916 Ned Frost, Yellowstone park guide and noted hunter, and Edward Jones, a cook were badly injured near Lake Hotel, in Yellowstone park, in a one-sided battle with an immense grizzly bear. Frost was conducting a tourist pack train through the park, Jones being the cook. Because of park regulations the party traveled without arms. Monday night Jones discovered a male bear raiding the camp grub outfit. ​ BEAR RESENTS INTERFERENCE Bears protected in the park roam unmolested and ordinarily are not vicious. So Jones did not hesitate to attempt to drive the animal away. Resenting his interference, the bear charged, hurled him 80 feet with a blow from its paw and was mauling his back when his yells brought Frost to the scene. Unarmed, but undismayed, Frost unhesitatingly went into battle attacking the enraged beast with the first weapon he could seize, a frying pan. The bear turned upon Frost and an unequal battle with the advantage all on the side of the grizzly ensued. A sweep of the bear's claws tore Frost's leg open from the hip to the knee, but he fought on floundering away from the grizzly's lunges and belaboring her with whatever he could lay his hands on. NOISE OF BATTLE BRINGS AID Jones, almost disabled, rejoined the fray and the two men between them succeeded in confusing the bear so it wasted its efforts in attempting to maul both at the same time. The noise of the battle brought tourists running to the camp and the bear fled. Frost and Jones were taken to the hotel where an army surgeon dressed their wounds. Later they were brought to town [Cody] in a serious condition, but are expected to recover. Frost is one of the best known of the park guides.

  • Wylie Camping Company |

    Camping in the Yellowstone Wylie Permanent Camping Co. ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. William Wallace Wylie The Wylie Camping Company, with its humble beginnings in 1883, arose to become the premier camping experience in Yellowstone National Park until 1917. Originated by William Wallace Wylie, the operation, with its goal of providing for a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable camping experience, became the standard to emulate by other camps companies in Yellowstone and other western national parks. Sold by Wylie to AW Miles and HW Child in 1905 the company continued to expand and improve the Wylie Way operations through 1916. After that time a mandated consolidation of the camping, hotel, and transportation companies by the National Park Service forced the merger of the Wylie and Shaw & Powell companies into a new organization that became known as the Yellowstone Park Camping Company. Through a succession of ownership and management changes the new company was eventually absorbed into the Yellowstone Park Company in 1936. (See my Yellowstone Park Camps Co . page) Mary Ann (Wilson) & Wm. W. Wylie [Photos courtesy Museum of the Rockies Online Archive, Bozeman, MT] William Wylie, a native of Ohio and later a school principal and superintendent in Iowa, moved to Bozeman Montana in 1878 to accept a position as school superintendent. His wife Mary and their children joined him the following year. In 1880 he conducted his first commercial camping tour of Yellowstone with paid visitors. He undertook two tours that summer and continued to explore and tour the park the next several summers. Beginnings of the Camping Tours In 1883 Wylie embarked on 10-day park tours using moveable camps, spending the night in various locations as he and his guests explored the multitude of scenic wonders. He named his business the Wylie Camping Company in 1893 and received permission from the Interior Dept. to establish semi-permanent camps at various locations along the grand loop. However, he was only allowed annual permits, with no guarantees of permissions for the following seasons. Although his business generally increased in size every year, it was difficult to obtain investment funds for improvements without any security of future operating ability. Finally after several years of political maneuverings, Wylie managed to secure a longer-term lease for his operation and permission to establish permanent camps in 1896. Left: In 1881 WW Wylie and Henry Bird Calfee began lecture tours promoting the wonders of Yellowstone with Oxy-Hydrogen lighted photographic slides. [St. Paul Daily Globe, 22Dec1881] Right: Wylie published his guidebook entitled, "The Yellowstone National Park, or the Great American Wonderland" in 1882. [Bozeman Avant-Courier, 31Aug1883] : Click to enlarge The Permanent Camps Take Shape By 1898 Wylie had set up permanent camps at Apollinaris Springs (Willow Park), which was moved to Swan Lake Flats in 1906, Upper Geyser Basin (near Daisy Geyser), Yellowstone Lake Outlet (current Lake Lodge site), and Canyon (on Cascade Creek). Lunch stations were established at Gibbon Falls and West Thumb. In 1908 a camp was established at Riverside, just inside of the west entrance, and in 1912 a camp was erected at the east entrance of Yellowstone. Wylie’s camping system became popular with the traveling public as it was a less expensive way for tourists to be able to tour the park, and without the necessity of having to 'dress up,’ as was considered proper in the hotels. A 7-day Wylie tour cost only $35.00 while the hotels charged $50 for a 6-day tour at the hotels. The camps featured a nightly campfire with songs and entertainment that helped provide a sense of camaraderie among the guests. Of course Wylie was not alone in the camping business – there was competition aplenty: David A. Curry (of later Yosemite fame) conducted camp tours out of covered wagons from 1892-98; Shaw & Powell began a moveable camps operation in 1898; Frost & Richard operated from Cody WY in the early 1900s; Tex Holm ran out of Cody in 1906; Marshall Brothers camps from Livingston MT; Lycan Camping Co . from Gardiner, along with many other small operators. But Wylie and Shaw & Powell became the main competition in the camping world of Yellowstone. In 1901 Wylie accommodated 1371 guests during the season. McMaster Camping Car According to the Livingston Enterprise in early July 1892, ​ “A camping car was among freight destined for the Park Tuesday, it having arrived in this city from the factory at Lockport, Illinois, Monday, consigned to Prof. W. W. Wiley [Wylie] of Bozeman. It is intended for the comfort of tourists who will be taken through the Park under direction of the Wiley excursion agency. As its name implies it is fitted up with sleeping apartments and will prove much more comfortable in disagreeable weather than the tents heretofore used by the company for tourists.” It was said to be fitted out with all the necessary implements for dining and sleeping. A ruckus later that summer over road safety concerns caused Wylie to be escorted out f the park for a time, and the temporary pause in the continuation of the vehicles through the park. It was an expensive experiment that ultimately failed. The roads were narrow, and the large wagon interfered with other stage traffic. Ahead of it time, at least in Yellowstone, this horse-drawn RV seemed to be used only for one season. Left: "Above photo represents a McMaster Camping Car in use. A line of these Cars will be placed in Yellowstone National Park, beginning with season of 1892, for Tourists desiring to spend more time than is given regular coupon tickets, with all the charms of a camping trip without its usual hardships. The cars are handsomely finished and furnished, and afford eating and sleeping accomodations for four passengers inside." [YNP #127596] Right: Drawing of a McMaster Camping car from a patent application, May 28, 1889. ​ Wylie Hotel - Gardiner In 1897 WW Wylie leased the Park Hotel in Gardiner MT for his tour headquarters. The Northern Pacific RR had been serving Cinnabar MT (about 5 miles north of Gardiner) since 1883 and the hotel allowed his guests coming to the park by train accommodations before or after their park tour. The rail lines were extended to Gardiner in 1903 and the Wylies prepared for this event by constructing a new hotel for his guests on Main St. opposite the WA Hall Store. The Gardiner Wonderland announced in April 1903 that the Wylie’s had purchased lots on Main St., north of the new W.A. Hall store. By the end of May lumber was on the ground and construction had started. By August the hotel was essentially complete. After A.W. Miles took over the company in 1906, he had a large addition built to the hotel. The Wylie Hotel was a permanent fixture in Gardiner until early in 1935 when it was destroyed by fire. Little is known about the management of the hotel during the years between 1917 and 1935. The Lark Lunch as in operation there for a number of years. Top Left: Wylie Hotel, on the west end of Main St., behind the W.A. Hall store, undated. The store to the far left was Moore's Souvenir store. [YNP #9555] Top Right: Wylie Hotel in 1915. By this time the hotel has been remodeled or enlarged. [Photo Album of Latisha Vanderpool, internet auction] ​ Bottom Left: William Wylie's office on East Park St. The sign on the building at left reads, "Wylie Camping Company." The building at far left is the Gardiner Hotel, with C.B. Scott's saloon next to it. The Shaw & Powell Hotel replaced some of these buildings around 1908. In later years The Town Club & Motel occupied much of that block. [Author Digital Collection] Bottom Right: Wylie barn and stables, probably also on East Park. St. [YNP #964] William W. Wylie Leaves Yellowstone ​ The Wylie Permanent Camps Company continued to prosper yet Wylie seemed to lack the financial backing to expand and improve his operation and compete with the profusion of rival camping companies. By 1905 he had been struggling in the business for 25 years and opposition from the hotel company and Northern Pacific RR had been badgering him since the early days. In addition, many of the Acting Park Superintendents (under jurisdiction of the US Army) viewed the camping companies as a necessary evil at best. It was probably a constant effort for Wylie to persevere in face of the opposing forces. Now about 57 years old, he no doubt wearied physically from his annual efforts. So, later in the fall of 1905, Wylie announced that he was selling his beloved operation. A.W. Miles, a prominent Livingston businessman, purchased 1/3 of the company shares, while A.L. Smith purchased the other 2/3 for silent partner H.W. Child, who was owner of the Yellowstone Park Association hotels and the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. It has been said the Miles may have called in Wylie’s loans that had accrued from Mile’s hardware business. The Montana newspaper Fergus County Argus interviewed W.W. Wylie while on a visit and reported, ​ “that last season was the banner year for the transportation companies doing business in Wonderland. Mr. Wylie recently sold out his business, and will devote his time to his extensive ranch interests near Bozeman He said today at the Finlen hotel, where he is stopping, that he did not expect to again enter the transportation business. "No." he said. “I am through with it. I was offered a large salary to take charge of the business I recently sold out, but had I desired to remain in it to that extent, I would not have disposed of the company." Left: Envelope from WW Wylie's Camps Company, depicting one of their stages in front of the old Wylie office on Park St. in Gardiner. It was postmarked 1905. [Author Digital Collection] Right: Card of introduction from W.W. Wylie, signed by Livingston Agent John A. McKee, possible relative of Wylie's daughter Elizabeth Wylie McKee. [Author Digital Collection] Wylie Permanent Camping Co. ​ The new company was called the Wylie Permanent Camping Company and now, seemingly blessed by Interior, received a 10-year lease for operations – the very thing Wylie had unsuccessfully lobbied for these many years. Within the next two years camps were added at Tower Junction, near the Yellowstone River, and Riverside, just east of West Yellowstone which would serve incoming visitors from the soon-to-be established Union Pacific railhead in town. The Apollinaris camp was moved to the south end of Swan Lake Flats. During this next decade the operation would be popularized as the “Wylie Way” of touring Yellowstone. Now with solid financial backing the new company proceeded to upgrade and improve operations at all the camps. They also commenced an active and aggressive advertising program under the auspices of Howard Hays, who in later years presided over the Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park Co. and gained ownership of the Glacier National Park Transportation Co. The Camps Camp brochures were published every year expounding on the wonders of camp life in Yellowstone. A brochure from 1908 describes five and six-day tours costing $35.00 and $40.00 respectively. Four-room tents, along with tents having two beds and tents with single beds were available with board floors and rugs. Every tent had a wood stove, beds with fine mattresses, and "good clean sheets, blankets, quilts, etc." The tent canvas was candy-striped and meals were served in large dining tents with white table cloths and dishes. Each camp also featured milk houses, cold storage, warehouses, photographer's dark rooms, swings, and hammocks. Transportation was provided in seven and eleven-passenger Concord coaches, or five-passenger Mountain Wagons. Evening entertainment was provided in the form of a large campfire with singing, storytelling, games, and fresh cooked popcorn. In later years dining tents were raised a foot above ground with wooden floors and support posts, with wainscoting along the walls. Capacity was about 80 guests and recreation tents were also featured nearby. Willow Park Camp “We spent our first night at Willow Park camp, which lays near a small stream, in a picturesque part of the forest of pine trees. There were 15 large tents and a dining tent and kitchen. Each tent was partitioned off in four compartments, with pine floor, and contained four beds, with the cleanest of blankets and comforts. A stove heated by wood fire, washstand with plenty of warm water and easy chairs made us as comfortable as anyone would desire to be. Out of doors a bright campfire and jolly company made the evenings long to be remembered. Each camp has cows and the table is supplied with plenty of fresh butter and milk and the best of everything that the market affords. There were 50 horses and 12 stage coaches carry us away on the next day’s journey. Many of the waitresses and guides are students from Montana State college who are spending their vacation in honorable service at the park.” [2Oct1902, Daily Notes, Canonsburg Pa.] Swan Lake Camp From E.H. Moorman’s autobiography, “In the early spring [1896] the Willow park Camp was dismantled and the moveable equipment hauled to Swan Lake, where the new camp of the Wylie Permanent Camping Company was established. A.W. Miles was then the President and General Manager of the company. He constructed a much better camp than the one at Willow Park, bought a much better type of tents, wainscoted the tent from about four feet from the board floors and bought many new tents and much camp equipment; also had better kitchen and dining-room equipment. He installed flush toilets in this camp.” Top Left: Willow Park Camp. Manz ColorType, Chicago.[Author Digital Collection] Top Right: Swan Lake Camp Souvenir/Office Tent [YNP #199718-232] Right: Swan Lake Camp. !910 Wylie brochure.[Author Collection] Bottom Right: Swan Lake Camp, Detroit Postcard #71637 [ Author Collection ] Bottom Left: Young lady seated in an antler chair at Swan Lake Camp in 1907. Gibbon Lunch Station Gibbon lunch station was located about the half-way point between the Swan Lake Camp and Old Faithful Geyser camp. It was located along the south side of the Gibbon river below Gibbon Falls. At that point the Mesa Road cut across the plateau to the Firehole River road. The coaches usually arrived around noon, leaving for Old Faithful after an hour and half lunch break. If one was lucky, they might see a bear or two scrounging around through the garbage bins. After 1908, the lunch station would have been available to those traveling through the west entrance with Wylie. Those guests arrived at 11am and left at noon, upon the arrivals of those from the north. (Shaw & Powell also had a lunch station nearby). Top Left: Gibbon Lunch Station, 1909 Konen-Archibald Album. [Author Digital Collection] Top Right: Departing Stages at Gibbon Camp. Tammen PC #9470 [Author Collection] Geyser Camp - Upper Geyser Basin The Geyser Camp was located toward the lower end of the Upper Geyser Basin, upon a hill near Daisy Geyer. It was the largest camp in the park and had a capacity of 140 guests, and was often used for 2-night stays in order to completely view the Old Faithful Geyser Basin and surrounding area. Water for the cook tent was obtained by a pipeline from the Punch Bowl Geyser. ​ A Visit to the CANVASS CITY Upper Geyser Basin, Wylie Camp. Rows and rows of tents on both sides of passage-ways, or as they are called, “Ways”—Pleasant Way, Rough Way, No Way, Tough Way, Simple Way, Narrow Way, Wrong Way, Right Way, Broadway, Forbidden Way. Going down Forbidden Way, where the girls live, the tents are named: Do Drop Inn, Seldom Inn, Do Come Inn, Sneak Inn, Rough House Inn, Noisy Inn, Paradise Inn. In walking through Forbidden Way, with the “come-hither look” in my eye, and throwing an x-ray on the different Inns, and handing out a few comments just to let them know I was there, a number of them appeared. An athletic girl, six feet, weight 210 pounds, from Rough House Inn. came out and gave me a look, expressing about the same kindly feeling as a Grizzly when you are trying to get friendly with her cubs. All at once she spoke, her voice sounding like the roar of a geyser: “Girls, shall we trough him?” I wasn’t long getting back to the protection of my wife. 1 tell you it’s not safe to go wandering around the Park alone. I asked someone what “troughing” meant. They said: “You see that trough over there? Well, it’s picking a person up, carrying them over and dropping them in, and the wafer is so much colder than the air that the air can’t freeze it,” [What Jim Bridger and I saw in Yellowstone National Park, 1830-1913," by Adams, Charles Francis, Published 1913, p12-13] Top Left: Landscape view of the Wylie Geyser Camp in 1908. [Shipler Photo #356, BYU] Top Right: Postcard view of the camp ca1915, when private automobiles were allowed into Yellowstone. [Haynes PC No. 233. ​ Bottom Left: One of the "Ways" in the Geyser Camp . [Real-Photo postcard, undated] Bottom Right: The Office and Souvenir tent at the Geyser Camp in 1915. [YNP #964] West Thumb Lunch Station In 1898 the Wylie Permanent Camping Co. was permitted to establish four night camps and two lunch stations in the park. One lunch station was at Gibbon Falls and the other West Thumb. It was located west of the West Thumb road junction, at about the midway point between Old Faithful and Lake camps. Unfortunately, the site lacked readily available water, which was about a mile away. It was also subject to dust from passing stagecoaches and wagons. For these reasons, the Wylie company requested that they be able to move their camp. The new camp was located to a point north of the soldier station in an close to the tourist cabins. It also began offering night camping facilities. Top Left: Undated glass slide view of some of the wood-sided tent cabins. FJ Haynes photo. [Author Digital Collection] Top Right: Log outbuildings at the Thumb camp, ca1917. [YNP #199718-232] Lake Camp The camp was located northeast of Lake Hotel, close to the lake shore. E.H. Moorman , described the Lake Camp as “beautiful. The tents formed a huge semi-circle with a camp-fire place at the opening. When the full moon shone across the Lake and practically into the camp, - it was a wonderful sight.” The camp lasted through 1916, and the following year became a part of the Yellowstone Park Camping Co., and eventually Lake Lodge. Top Left: 1917 view of the Old Faithful Camp. Postcard from the Yellowstone Park Camps Co., successors to the Wylie and Shaw & Powell companies. [Author Digital Collection] Top Right: Lake Camp Office and view of Yellowstone Lake in 1913. [ Author Digital Collection ] Bottom Left: Dance Hall tent at Lake Camp, [Shipler Photo #12505, BYU] Canyon Camp This camp was established by 1898 and was located on the east side of Cascade Creek, which comprised a deep ravine at that point. Ed. H. Moorman’s, long-time camps and Yellowstone Park Co . employee, mentioned in his autobiography that in 1899, “The old and first Canyon Camp site was a poor camp location. Water was obtained from Cascade Creek by means of a windlass - a heavy wire line from the bank to the creek on which a pail was sent down, filled with water, and then drawn to the top by means of winding about 100 feet. Many an hour did I spend filling the barrels.” In 1903-04, the steel arch Cascade Creek Bridge was erected farther upstream from the old, wooden, Crystal Falls Bridge, located near the Yellowstone River. The junction of the Norris and Lake roads were changed to conform to the new road over Cascade Creek. The new road from the bridge passed through the middle of the Wylie Camp, which was moved to an area near the current entryway to the Upper Falls parking lot. This camp was abandoned after the merger of the camping companies in 1917. Top Left: View of the old wood bridge over Cascade Cr. and the new steel arch bridge upstream. The 1st Wylie camp was located on a slight hill to right of the bridge. The 2nd camp was moved to an area a ways left of the bridge [Tammen PC #8395, Author Collection] Top Right: 2nd Canyon Camp in 1911, ordered with almost military precision.. [ Shipler Photo #12533, BYU ] Bottom Left: Coaches and stables at Canyon Camp, 1911. [Shipler Photo #12504, BYU] Sylvan Camp In 1912, A.W. Miles, manager of the Wylie Permanent Camping Company, worked out a deal with Tex Holm and park authorities to use the Sylvan Lake Lodge facilities that summer. The Wylie company established an office in Cody and at Holm Lodge to serve their guests desiring to travel through the east entrance. Holm Transportation Co. carried the Wylie guests by automobile from Cody to Holm Lodge where they spent their first night. In the morning Wylie coaches carried the travelers to Sylvan Lodge (Holm Lodge No.2) for a lunch stop before continuing onward to Yellowstone Lake. The following year Wylie built a new camp at the east entrance of the park near the soldier station and discontinued use of Sylvan Lodge and Holm Lodge, although Holm still provided transportation to and from Cody. After the 1915 season and Holm’s bankruptcy, “Kid” Wilson, longtime Holm employee, carried the Wylie guest from Cody to Sylvan Camp. In 1924, the camp became a new Sylvan Lodge with a comely log lodge, lasting for 10 seasons. [Information from “Holm on the Range,” by RGoss, Annals of Wyoming, Winter 2010] Tex Holm's Sylvan Lodge, atop Sylvan Pass near Sylvan Lake, 1911 [Buffalo Bill Historic Center, Holm Family Album] Excerpt from 1913 Wylie Brochure . . . Upon the arrival of the train at Cody, Wyo., at 12.00 noon, Wylie tourists are driven to the Irma Hotel for luncheon. At 1.30 p.m. automobiles leave Cody for Wylie Camp Cody, at east boundary of the Park. No matter what the traveler has seen elsewhere, at home or abroad, the afternoon ride marshalls an array of canyons, cliffs, mountain streams, lakes and forests that will hold him enraptured by their rugged majesty and unspoiled beauty . . . The route follows the river—now narrow and turbulent—to its confluence with Middle Creek and then turns westward up the latter stream. About 6.00 P.M. tourists cross the eastern boundary of the Park, pass the Soldiers’ Station and arrive at Wylie Camp Cody for dinner, lodging and breakfast. Leaving Camp Cody at 7.00 a.m., the road climbs gradually up the steep slopes of the Absaroka Range, winding and twisting to lessen the heavy grade and effects a passage at Sylvan Pass, over ten thousand feet in elevation. The descent on the westernslope of the range to the Park plateau, although circuitous, is easy and gradual. Sylvan Lake, half-hidden waterfalls, Turbid Lake and occasional glimpses of big game add zest to the late morning ride. At 12.00 noon tourists arrive at the Lake Camp on the main “loop” road. At 1.30 p.m. coaches leave camp for the Grand Canyon, sixteen miles distant. Riverside Camp The Riverside Camp, with tents, barns, stables, and outbuildings, was located a few miles inside of the west entrance to the park, along the Madison River, near to the Riverside Barns, Monida-Yellowstone ’s stable, coach and barn facilities. Both operations started in 1908, when rail travel entered the area courtesy the Oregon Short Line (Union Pacific RR). The Wylie camp shut down after the 1916 camp consolidations. “Before our arrival at Yellowstone station (West Yellowstone), we were met by Wylie coaches and taken to Riverside camp, a mile and a half distant. Our first picture of vamp life was a pleasant one, for thls camp was situated beside the Madison river, mirrored by pine trees and grassy hills. We were given an excellent breakfast, and started out again. Most of us travelled in three-seated vehicles with two horses, but there were a number of Concord coaches with four horses.” [The Albion Argus, Neb., 2Aug1912] Top Left: "Departing for trip through Park in Wylie Coaches, at Riverside Camp." cac1912. [Acmegraph PC #9477, Author Collection] Top Right: Riverside Camp [ Marist Collection #16003, Cannavino Library ] Bottom Left: Coaches leaving Riverside Camp, ca1911 [Utah State Historical Society] Roosevelt Camp Roosevelt Tent Camp was established by A.W Miles and the Wylie Permanent Camping Co. in 1906. A bathhouse was built at nearby Nymph Spring, which had been used since at least the 1870s as a bathing/soaking spring by early pioneers and explorers. The guest accommodations were wood-floored tents covered with blue and white candy-striped canvas and furnished with simple, rustic furniture. The camp could handle up to 125 guests. A communal dining tent served family-style meals. The area appealed to those who desired a more isolated area and catered to fisherman, wildlife enthusiasts, and horseback riders. Camp Roosevelt was originally named by the Wylie Camping Co. to honor President Theodore Roosevelt, who was rumored to have camped on the site during his camping trip in 1903. The actual camp site was located at the old Tower Soldier Station, about one and a half miles south of the camp. The camp was not a part of the standard route, buy could be reached by request from Mammoth or over Mt. Washburn from Canyon, at an additional rate. It is little mentioned in Wylie brochures. The camp continued on into the 1920s and later, becoming Roosevelt Lodge . Top Left: 1907 photo of Camp Roosevelt. There seems to have always been a bench around that tree, although it varied in form over the years. [Author Digital Collection] Top Right : Wylie Roosevelt Camp under construction, probably ca1906-07. [#41774 Milwaukee Public Museum] ​ Bottom Left : Wylie Permanent Camp at Roosevelt, ca1906-1907. [#41774 Milwaukee Public Museum] Bottom Right: Advertising stereoview of a typical Wylie Camp. The same photo also exists with a Swan Lake Camp sign - a bit of early photoshopping. [Underwood & Underwood, Keystone-Mast Collection] Lady Mac Margaret J. McCartney, known as "Lady Mac", worked for the camping companies in Yellowstone Park for more than 30 years. She was born September 13, 1864, and grew up in College Hill, Pennsylvania. She began her Yellowstone career in 1902, working for WW Wylie. The Pittsburg Press noted on June 8, 1902, that “Margaret McCartney of College Hill, left Wednesday for Yellowstone Park to be gone all summer.”After a break of five years, she returned to the Wylie Camping Company in 1907, now under ownership of A.W. Miles. She continued to work seasonally until 1934, holding a variety of positions including manager of Canyon Lodge and personnel officer for the Yellowstone Park Lodge & Camps Company, hiring most of the Park's housekeeping and wait staff. McCartney retired to California by at least 1940 and died at the age of 93 at the Presbyterian Rest Home in Glendale, California, on December 24, 1957. Top Left: Miss McCartney, "Lady Mac" Manager Canyon Lodge, 1924. [YNP #33571] The Final Years of the Wylie Camps Co. 1915 was a banner year for the camps and hotel operations as the Panama-Pacific Exposition was being held in San Francisco. Travelers from all over the country flocked to the event that summer. With railroad access to Yellowstone from both the UPRR, NPRR, and CB&Q RR, visitors could easily stop along the way to or from the coast to visit Wonderland. The Wylie company shared this business boon with Shaw & Powell, the Old Faithful Camping Co. (Hefferlin brothers of Livingston), and Tex Holm, all of whom had established permanent camps by this time. Business settled back to normal in 1916, with the major change being that private automobiles now shared the roads with horses and stagecoaches – a combination not mutually beneficial by any means. The following year the horses were permanently put out to pasture and the noisy smoke-belching autos took over the roadways. 1917 was a momentous year in other ways for the park concessioners. The Park Service/Interior decided to put an end to the various competing camps and transportation companies. Monopolies were created that would allow for simpler management by the NPS and with expectations that eliminating the competition would allow for a greater ability for the companies to earn and invest money into the improvement of their facilities and operation. Four types of coaches & carriages in use by the Wylie Camps Top: 3-Seat Carriage, 1915 [Shipler #16405, BYU] Bottom: 3-Seat Concord Coach, Wylie Permanent Camps. The W.W. Wylie era. [ Author Digital Collection ] Top: 4-Seat Carriage at Gardiner Northern Pacific Depot, W.W. Wylie era. [Courtesy Stuhr Museum] Bottom: Wylie Express Wagon, 1912. [ Author Digital Collection ] A New Reality in Yellowstone & End of the Stagecoach Era In 1917, the various transportation outfits were consolidated into the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. (YPTCo) under the direction of Harry Child, who already owned the hotel operations. He was force to give up his shares of the Wylie camps. 117 new White Motor Co. buses were ordered for the new season to replace the now-unemployed horse assemblage. The Wylie and Shaw & Powell companies were merged together into the Yellowstone Park Camping Co., with 51% of shares owned by AW Miles and the rest by Shaw & Powell . Transportation would be provided by YPTCo. The other camps companies were basically shuttered from the park. All the camps were closed except the former Shaw & Powell camp at Upper Basin (Old Faithful), the Lake Outlet Wylie camp, Canyon Shaw & Powell camp (current Uncle Tom’s Trail area), Tower (Roosevelt) Wylie camp, and the Riverside camp. The Riverside camp would soon be shut down and construction of a new lodge and tent cabins at Mammoth began in 1917. ​ It was the end of an era in Yellowstone and the cultural landscape would be changed forever. The tent camps were gradually transformed into more formal lodge operations. The tent houses were eventually converted into wood cabins, and rustic log lodges were erected at each site to provide for meals, recreation, entertainment, and quaint lobbies where guests could gather around a crackling fire to swap adventures and tell tall tales. The Wylie family moves on . . . William and Mary Wylie eventually retired to Pasadena CA. This pause in their business life was not to last for long. With urging by the newly-established National Park Service in 1917, the Wylie family resurrected the Wylie Camping Company in Zion NP and at the North Rim of Grand Canyon NP to serve the tourists that were only just beginning to discover these new Wonderlands of the Southwest. The Wylies of course faced the same financial limitations as they had in Yellowstone. They ultimately relinquished control of the Zion camp in 1923 and Grand Canyon after the 1927 season to the powerful monied-interests of the Union Pacific and the Utah Parks Co. Once again, retirement was short-lived. In 1928, Mary Ann (Wilson) Wylie, age 73, slipped away to be with her Maker. William Wylie, suffering from cancer, followed her to the grave on February 7, 1930, at about 82 years of age. Both are interred at Mountain View Cemetery, Alta Dena California. Ad for Zion Canyon and the Wylie Camp in June 1917, Salt Lake Tribu ne William W. Wylie at his registration office in the Wylie Camp in Zion Canyon, ca1917. Little remains of the permanent camps in Yellowstone, with the exception of Lake & OF Lodges. There are no brochures, monuments or plaques to note their former glory or existence. And yet, countless millions of visitors have strolled by or driven past these sites with no comprehension of their rich history. However, intrepid and knowledgeable explorers can still wander about and find traces of these historic sites and imagine themselves back in those days of yesteryear and perhaps visit the ghosts of former days.

  • Hamilton Stores |

    Yellowstone Storekeepers - Hamilton Stores ​ ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. Hamilton Stores, Inc. - 1915 to 2002 Charles A. Hamilton moves to Yellowstone . . . . Charles Hamilton was the founder of the Hamilton Store chain that operated in Yellowstone Park from 1915 to 2002. He was born in Winnepeg, Manitoba in 1884 and came out to Yellowstone in 1905 to work for the Yellowstone Park Association. His dedication to his work paid off when in 1915, he purchased Henry Klamer's general store at Old Faithful. The Klamer store had opened in 1897 and operated successfully until Henry's death in 1914. Child’s son Huntley had previously turned down the opportunity to buy the store. Hamilton paid slightly over $20,000 for the business, receiving financial backing from his boss Harry Child . Charles Hamilton was the founder of the Hamilton Store chain that operated in Yellowstone Park from 1915 to 2002. He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1884 and came out to Yellowstone in 1905 to work for the Yellowstone Park Association. His dedication to his work paid off when in 1915, he purchased Henry Klamer's general store at Old Faithful. The Klamer store had opened in 1897 and operated successfully until Henry's death in 1914. Child’s son Huntley had previously turned down the opportunity to buy the store. Hamilton paid slightly over $20,000 for the business, receiving financial backing from his boss Harry Child. ​ Left : The Klamer general store purchased by Chas. Hamilton in 1915. YNP #22112 Left: West Thumb lunch station that became Hamilton's general store for several years. YNP #31871 Right: Hamilton's gas station at West Thumb, 1917. Museum of the Rockies #25034 Hamilton worked hard and in 1917 went into the filling station business with Harry Child and established a single pump filling station at Old Faithful. In 1919-20 he made arrangements with the Yellowstone Park Hotel Co. to use the old Thumb Lunch Station as a general store. He opened up a filling station at Thumb and used the old lunch station until 1924 when he built a new store. ​ In 1919, Hamilton opened up a second store at Lake in the old E.C. Waters building, in front of Lake Hotel. Construction on a new general store, filling station, and residences began in 1920 and were completed for the 1921 season. By 1924 a new, smaller store opened at Fishing Bridge. That year small stores were established in auto campgrounds at West Thumb and Fishing Bridge, which were greatly enlarged the next year. The Fishing Bridge store was replaced by a new store in 1930-31. In 1948 a new gas station was constructed at Thumb. ​ Below: Hamilton's Lake store, as viewed in the 1923 & 1927 editions of the Haynes Guide. Note the unique log trimwork. Bottom Left: Fishing Bridge general store ca1929, built 1924. YNP #29902 Bottom Right: New Fishing Bridge store ca1940, built 1930-31. YNP #29940 More improvements at Old Faithful . . . Hamilton was not content to sit idle and was continually trying to improve and expand on his operations. He erected a huge addition to the old Klamer store in 1923-24. At the time, it was reputed to be the largest store in the National Park system, measuring 110' x 160'. The knotty wood porch was added to the former Klamer store in 1925, and a new filling station constructed nearby in 1927. A small store was erected at the Basin Auto Camp at Old Faithful in 1923 and enlarged in 1925. In 1926, Charles A. Hamilton, H.W. Child and George Whittaker formed the Yellowstone Park Service Stations, Inc., controlling all gas sales and auto repairs in the park. Upper Left: Lower Hamilton Store (former Klamer), 1925. YNP #193429-73. Upper Right: Basin Auto Camp store (BAC Store), 1929. YNP # 31199. Bottom Left: Upper Hamilton gas station, located near the new Upper Basin Store, 1952. YNP #31282. Bottom Right: Construction of the Upper Basin store, ca1929. YNP #31196-1. In 1929 Hamilton built a new store at Old Faithful - the Upper Basin Store. It was located near the Auto Camp and replaced the Basin Auto Camp store. It had 150' of frontage with a 48-person employee dorm in the upstairs. The walls were constructed of concrete made to resemble hewn logs, placed on a masonry stone foundation with stepped stone masonry pilasters and stepped stone masonry columns that support two covered entrance porches. The eaves of the wood shingled gabled roof are wood shingled with exposed log rafter ends; log rafter purlins are used in the roof structure of the two covered entrance porches. A gas station was built next door using the same construction design. ​ Right: Upper Basin Store in 1931. Haynes #311086, Povah Collection, Museum of the Rockies #2009-4-784 Geyser water swimming pools . . . . Hamilton expanded his business in 1933 when he bought out Henry Brothers Bathhouse & Plunge at Old Faithful. It had been established in 1914 in the basin across from the Old Faithful Inn. Hot water from Solitary Geyser was piped in to fill the pools. Brothers Plunge was enlarged in 1923 and a new log building was erected. In 1927 he built a bathhouse at the Old Faithful auto camp, and three years later built facilities at the Fishing Bridge auto camp. This bathhouse included tubs, showers, laundry and irons. Hamilton razed most of the old buildings and rebuilt/remodeled the structure that year, creating a peaked roof with log beams and skylights. There were 147 dressing rooms and 'sand porches' for sun bathing. After a prolonged political battle, the structure was razed in 1951 after the government determined it was inappropriate for a National Park. Left: Brothers Bathhouse & Plunge, as pictured in the 1928 Haynes Guide. Right: Hamilton's _lunge & Bathhouse, ca1935. HABS Photo Hamilton takes over all the park general stores . . . . C.A. Hamilton had controlled all the general store business in the south end of the Park for many years, and his dream of having control over the whole park (excluding Haynes Photo Shops) would be fulfilled in 1953 when Anna Pryor and Elizabeth Trischman retired and put up the Pryor Stores operation for sale. Hamilton purchased the businesses at Mammoth and Canyon for $300,000. George Whittaker originally owned the general stores and filling stations in those two locations, but sold out to sisters Anna Pryor and Elizabeth Trischman at the end of the 1932 season. (For more information, see my Pryor & Trischman page ) The 1953 sale to Hamilton gained him the Mammoth General Store (established in 1896 by Jennie Ash), the filling station next door, the Pryor Coffee Shop, and the general store and filling station at Canyon. Mission 66 calls for great changes in the Park . . . The store operation at Canyon did not last long after that, as the new Canyon Village was mandated to be constructed for opening in 1957. Hamilton shelled out a million dollars to build a new store, gas station, and employee dorms at the new location at what is now Canyon Village. Charles Hamilton died May 28, 1957 - one and a half months before his new store was to open at Canyon. Daughter Ellie and husband Trevor Povah took over the operations of the stores. The old Canyon store and gas station, located at the current Upper Falls parking lot, were eventually razed, passing into history. ​ Right: Modern, new Hamilton Store at Canyon Village, 1957. Haynes post card #K57157 From the Billings Gazette, May 30, 1957 . . . Hamilton Stores Founder Dies YELLOWSTONE PARK, Wyo. — Charles Ashworth Hamilton, 72, who since 1915 has operated general stores, service stations and curio shops in Yellowstone National Park, died Tuesday night of a "heart ailment. Park Supt. Lemuel A. Garrison said Hamilton was talking on the telephone about his health to his physician in Santa Monica, Calif., when he was stricken about 10 p.m. Hamilton died in his residence above the lower store at Old Faithful. He had been president and operator of Hamilton Stores, Inc., since 1915. His winter residence was at Santa Monica, in one of two apartment buildings he owned there. Hamilton first went to Yellowstone Park in 1905 at the age of 21 as assistant to the purchasing agent of the Yellowstone Park Assn., now the Yellowstone Park Co. He became a concessionaire in 1915 when he purchased a curio shop at Upper Basin. Except for two seasons, Hamilton had spent every summer since 1905 in the park. He was born Nov. 19. 1884, at St. Paul, where his father was the British vice counsel. Survivors include one daughter, Eleanor May Povah of Santa Monica. Her husband, Trevor S. Povah, is vice president of Hamilton Stores, Inc., and general manager of Yellowstone Park Service Stations. These firms jointly operate all stores and service stations in the park and all the lodge curio shops. Top Left: C.A. Hamilton letterhead, 1931, featuring the rustic Lower Store. Image from Minnesota Historical Society. Top Right: Pennant decal for Hamilton Stores, Inc, ca1940s. Author Collection

  • Jardine |

    Gateways to Wonderland ​ Jardine, Mont. Gold Mining on the Edge of Yellowstone ​ ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. Undated photo of the Bear Gulch Mining District - Jardine, Montana. Note the row of houses along Bear Creek at far right. Mineral Hill is center, with the main mill below . The quaint small village of Jardine, Montana, was never considered a Gateway to Yellowstone National Park by any means. However, it was an important part of local history, and an economic boom for Gardiner , Cinnabar , and the Northern Pacific RR .The mining history is quite complicated and involved, so only the basics are discussed in this narrative. More extensive information may be obtained from the sources at the bottom of the page. "and finding also a hairless cub, called the gulch Bear.” ​ Eugene S. Topping , in his Chronicles of the Yellowstone, a classic and important history of the greater Yellowstone Valley written in 1885, claimed that in 1863 a group of thirty miners lead by George Huston prospected their way up the Yellowstone River from the mining community of Emigrant Gulch and continued past Soda Butte toward what later became the New World mining district. Attacked by Indians who ran off all their horses, the prospectors cached their excess supplies and continued afoot toward Clark’s Fork with one lone jackass. Finding a few prospects, but no pay, they returned back along the Yellowstone. Topping related that, “On the way they found fair prospects in a creek on the east side of the Yellowstone, and finding also a hairless cub, called the gulch Bear.” Even though today the creek goes by the name Bear Creek, the name Bear Gulch, also referred to as the Sheepeater District, still identifies the classic mining areas around the town of Jardine, Montana. Left : Eugene S. Topping, author of "Chronicles of the Yellowstone." Center : Joe Brown , one of the discoverers and developers of gold in Bear Gulch. Right : George A. Huston, one of the discoverers of gold in Bear Gulch, and a founding Father of Cooke City. Sporadic prospecting around Bear Gulch continued uneventfully the next few years after Huston’s journey until Joe Brown and partners John Zimmerer, Dan Royer, and an unknown man struck rich, gold-bearing gravel in 1866 on a bar at the mouth of Bear Gulch, as it empties into the Yellowstone River. They staked a claim and reportedly took out $8,000 in gold. News traveled quickly in the mining communities and in 1867, Lou Anderson, A.H. Hubble, George W. Reese, Caldwell, and another man discovered gold in a crevice at the mouth of the first stream above Bear Gulch, and named it Crevice Gulch. That same year George Huston returned to the area and built a cabin on Turkey Pen Flats across the Yellowstone River from Bear Gulch. Living on land that later became part of Yellowstone National Park, Huston’s cabin is believed to be the first white residence in Yellowstone. Historic illustrations of early gold mining. At top is a rocker that separated the gold flakes from the gravel, which was afterward panned out. At bottom is an arrastra that used a mule to drag a heavy stone over the ore to crush it, which could then be panned or separated from the host rocks. Meanwhile, placer mining was conducted on gravel bars along the creek, or in ancient channel deposits accessed by tunnels or drifts into the hillsides. During the years 1875-77, Joe Brown and other miners built over 3000 feet of ditch to carry water to the various gravel bars they were working. In either 1870 or 1874, depending on sources, Joe Brown and James Graham discovered quartz gold deposits in upper Bear Gulch on a hill later known as Mineral Hill. Although not developed for several years, the Bozeman Times reported in July 1877 that Wm. Heffner, Joe Brown, and James Graham were successfully crushing ore with a crudely-built, mule-drawn device known as an arrastra, based on a primitive design from the early Spanish and Mexican miners. The paper also noted that George Huston and Stoker Henderson would have their arrastra operating by October. Hard rock mining digs in . . . Hard rock mining escalated in 1878 when Z.H. “Zed” Daniels and three other men began working a quartz lead on Bear Gulch and built an arrastra to process their ore. In July the Bozeman Times reported that George Huston, Jimmy Dewings, and Joe Brown discovered a “fine gold lead . . . [that] panned out one dollar to the pound of rock.” A later article described a 9-foot vein with free gold running through it; a 4-ton run through the arrastra yielded $50 per ton. In 1879 the following mines were recorded at Bear Gulch: Legal Tender (Joe Brown); The Wonder of the World (Beattie, Anderson, and Lovely); The James Graham Lode; Joe Brown & Graham; The Monitor; The Mountain Bride; The Coan & McCauley Lode; The Mountain Chief (Geo. Huston); The Champion Lode; The Summit Lode; The Great Western; Mountain Chief (Brown, Huston, & Graham); and the Home Stake. Various newspapers touted the richness and auspicious future of both Bear Gulch and Crevice Gulch, where similar successes and operations were occuring. The Bismarck Tribune in May of 1879 claimed, “The belief is that erelong Bear Gulch is destined to become one of the richest camps in the Territory.” In April of that year a new town site was being laid out with corner lots going up, a harbinger of anticipated stability and prosperity. Outside investors were now beginning to see the potential of Bear Gulch and as a sign of things to come, George Huston and Dewings sold a third of one of their claims for $3500. Huston went on to concentrate his efforts in the New World Mining District, amassed dozens of claims, and became one of the original founders of Cooke City . Article from the Bozeman Avant-Courier, 22May1879, touting the wonders of the riches of the Bear and Crevice Gulches Major Eaton and the Bear Gulch Placer Co. ​ In 1882 Major George O. Eaton and a man named Sturgess formed the Bear Gulch Placer Co. and filed articles of incorporation in Gallatin County with capital of $40,000. Eaton bought out Brown’s Legal Tender mine and over the next few years purchased other mining properties. His crews tunneled into the canyon walls following old river channels in search for placer gold. Eaton also began hydraulic mining in 1884 on Joe Brown’s 40-acre placer claim on Bear Creek; about three miles below what would later become the town of Jardine. Installing equipment served by 1200 feet of 12-inch pipe with a vertical drop of 400 feet through a six-inch nozzle, it was reported to be the most powerful hydraulic placer operation in the world. Blasting away huge sections of the canyon walls in the quest for auriferous bounty, Eaton realized few riches from his efforts and left a scarred landscape, still visible to this day. Hydraulic mining is a form of mining that uses high-pressure jets of water to dislodge rock material or move sediment. In the placer mining of gold or tin, the resulting water-sediment slurry is directed through sluice boxes to remove the gold. Hydraulic mining developed from ancient Roman techniques that used water to excavate soft underground deposits. Its modern form, using pressurized water jets produced by a nozzle called a "monitor", came about in the 1850s during the California Gold Rush in the United States. Though successful in extracting gold-rich minerals, the widespread use of the process resulted in extensive environmental damage, such as increased flooding and erosion, and sediment blocking waterways and covering farm fields. "Placer Mining in Bear Gulch, Montana. Scenery Along the Northern Pacific Railroad F. Jay Haynes , Publisher, Fargo, D.T." The inscription reads: "Compliments Eaton His Mines(?) The little Giant engine My Father and I visited the scene" (Author unknown) To watch a fascinating video about hydraulic mining, click on this YouTube link. View of Bear Gulch in 1884. The town grew up along both sides of Bear Creek. [Courtesy Montana Memory] Changing direction, Eaton built the first quartz mill in Bear Gulch, a five-stamp combination mill to process the oxidized ores from the various lode claims. The mill operated successfully for about two years, but shut down around 1886 due to internal company dissention and the difficulty in hauling ore to the Cinnabar railhead. Minimal organized mining efforts occurred until 1890 when the firm of E.D. Edgerton and W.E. Jewell of Helena took over the operation and added five stamps to the mill. Operating successfully for three years, the operation was shutdown during the Panic of 1893 and the resulting economic depression. Changing direction, Eaton built the first quartz mill in Bear Gulch, a five-stamp combination mill to process the oxidized ores from the various lode claims. The mill operated successfully for about two years, but shut down around 1886 due to internal company dissention and the difficulty in hauling ore to the Cinnabar railhead. Minimal organized mining efforts occurred until 1890 when the firm of E.D. Edgerton and W.E. Jewell of Helena took over the operation and added five stamps to the mill. Operating successfully for three years, the operation was shutdown during the Panic of 1893 and the resulting economic depression. A new town takes shape . . . ​ By 1895 a few businesses had been established, including a hotel, sample room, general store, and four log cabin residences belonging to George Welcome and two other men. In 1895 a new post office was been established at Crevasse with Mrs. M.E. Cowell as postmistress and on Dec. 9, 1898 the community of Bear Gulch became known as Jardine, when the post office was established with J. B. McCarthy as postmaster. This gentleman also had a general store, while other businesses in town included a hotel, saloon and barber shop. Additional business enterprises followed later in the summer. The hotel in Bear Gulch went into bankruptcy in 1896 and was purchased by Cinnabar businessman W.A. Hall . It came into the possession of John Jervis at some point and was known as the Jervis Hotel. The Anaconda Standard reported on Oct. 31, 1898 that, “John Jervis, a recent arrival from Victoria, B. C. secured a license, Tuesday, to open a saloon at Bear Gulch. Mr. Jervis is interested with Helena parties in mining property in that district.” Walter Hoppe leased the Bear Gulch Hotel from Jervis in September 1899, and operated the hotel until about 1905, whereupon it reverted back to Jarvis. Top Right : Ad for the Bear Gulch Hotel in Jardine ca1900. [R.L. Polk Directory] ​ Bottom Right : "Hotel of Walter M. Hoppe, Bear Gulch," ca1899. [Livingston Enterprise Souvenir, 1Jan1900] Left : Bear Gulch Hotel in Jardine ca1903. [Keystone-Mast Collection, UCR] ​ Right : Bear Gulch Hotel, ca1903. [Underwood & Underwood stereoview] A correspondent writing from the town about the middle of October 1907, stated that 100 buildings were then in existence or in course of construction, and that the mining company contemplated the erection of thirty more cottages. At its peak the town boasted of a population of 500-600 souls. A Cultural Resource Survey of the area conducted in 1982 claimed that, “Within a year [1898-99] there were 130 new buildings, including two hotels, three mercantile establishments, office buildings, a mine company office, a guest house, a school and work started on a new mill. A water system and telephone service soon followed.” A hydroelectric dam was built on Bear Creek in 1903 near the mouth of the creek that produced electricity to the mines, businesses and residents of the Jardine area until 1948. A correspondent writing from the town about the middle of October 1907, stated that 100 buildings were then in existence or in course of construction, and that the mining company contemplated the erection of thirty more cottages. At its peak the town boasted of a population of 500-600 souls. A Cultural Resource Survey of the area conducted in 1982 claimed that, “Within a year [1898-99] there were 130 new buildings, including two hotels, three mercantile establishments, office buildings, a mine company office, a guest house, a school and work started on a new mill. A water system and telephone service soon followed.” A hydroelectric dam was built on Bear Creek in 1903 near the mouth of the creek that produced electricity to the mines, businesses and residents of the Jardine area until 1948. F. Jay Dean Bear Gulch Lodge No. 76, A.O.U.W. Jardine, Mont., 1901 [Author's Collection] Left : Ad for George Welcome, with stores in H orr, Aldridge, & Jardine. [Gardiner Wonderland , 21Aug1902] ​ Right : Ad for the F.J. Dean general merchandise store in Jardine [Gardiner Wonderland , 17Jul1902] A New Mining Era Begins - 1899-1948 . . . By 1895 a few mines and two stamp mills were again in operation. In the midst of the mining operations, despite promising discoveries by Uncle Joe Brown and others, the community remained relatively quiet until 1898, when the arrival of Harry Bush, a native of England and active in the South African mines, arrived and inaugurated a new era in Bear Gulch. Backed in part by Canadian capitalists, he secured a lease on the Legal Tender mine and the Edgerton & Jewell properties on Mineral Hill. Bush organized the Bear Gulch Mining Company in August, 1898, and began buying additional claims that included the Sowash mine on the same vein as the Legal Tender, the Revenue from George Phelps, and five mines from George Welcome. Bush enlarged the Eaton mill to twenty stamps, attracted additional investors, and laid out the townsite of Jardine. New businesses developed and the mining district boomed. With the beginning of the 20th Century close in sight, a new epoch was emerging that would experience the cyclic triumphs and failures, joys and sorrows, so typical of the mining industry. "In March of 1899, Bush laid the foundation for his Revenue (Red) stamp mill, with a ground area of 93 x 120 feet and a height of 103 feet. The foundation of this building contained six hundred perch (perch = 1 cu.yd.) of stone and required 400,000 feet of lumber . . . a five hundred foot tramway ran from the mine to the mill and discharged into a Cammett crusher which pushed it into a 500-ton pocket. The ore was then fed into eight batteries of five stamps each by eight automatic feeders. Eight plates then caught the free gold. This mill was finished in December of 1899 and Bush celebrated with a Christmas party at which 700 guests were entertained by a twelve piece orchestra and fed roasted buffalo.” [Cultural Resource Inventory and Evaluation Project – Jardine, 1982] “[Bush] resolved to give Jardine a Christmas which would linger in the minds of those who attended for years. Accordingly, arrangements were made for a grand banquet in the Revenue Mill on Christmas Day. Mrs. Bush was given charge of the arrangements, and the success which attended the affair is a splendid commentary upon the ability of Mrs. Bush as an entertainer and is a fact showing that Hurry Bush is not the only person in Bear Gulch who makes no mistakes in laying plans.The scene of the banquet was the machine shop of the Revenue Mill, the room being vacant on account of the machinery not yet having arrived. The room was decorated in a manner that rendered it a perfect bower of loveliness. The roof was a solid bank of evergreens, dotted hene and there with electric lights of various hues. Bunting of national colors swung in graceful folds around the room, and the most exquisite cut flowers lent their delightful perfume and beauty to the scene. Harry & Ada Bush [Livingston Enterprise Souvenir , 1Jan1900] The tables were laid for 100 persons and were profusely decorated. At 6 o'clock the banquet began, and it was 10 o'clock before the guests who had assembled to enjoy the hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Bush … The menu abounded in delicacies, and every luxury in the line of edibles that could be found in the market graced the tables. As a reminder of early days in Montana, a buffalo had been purchased by Mr. Bush. The juicy steaks and tender roasts of the monarch of the plains in days gone by contributed a share of the feast. Elk and deer, fowl of every description, and products of the salt seas and of the clear waters of the Yellowstone River w ere there in generous abundance. The best of everything was none too good for the guest assembled at the banquet, and it is safe to say that no greater enjoyment was ever had by any crowd than was furnished Christmas Day to the assemblage at Jardine. After the banquet was over, an orchestra of eleven pieces furnished music for the promenade and, as the first strains of the grand march swelled forth, the entire machinery of the Revenue Mill was set in gentle motion. Mr. and Mrs. Harry Bush led the march and, to the dropping of the stamps, the host of guests were conducted through every floor of the vast structure, winding the various rooms until the starting point was again reached: then a quadrille was formed. The remainder of the evening was most pleasantly spent and the breaking up of the assembly marked the close of the greatest social event ever held in Montana.” [Anaconda Standard, 31Dec1899] “However, during this period, Harry Bush struggled with problems obtaining ore with sufficient value to run since his most productive mines were tied up in litigation. He continued to process low-grade ore in his mill and problems with other members of the Bear Gulch Mining Company developed. A split in the Bear Gulch Mining Company developed and Bush broke away and formed the Revenue Mining Company, incorporated in Helena on June 21, 1899 . . . By the summer of 1899, Bear Gulch, now renamed Jardine, had two distinct mining groups operating in opposition to each other. These were the old Bear Gulch Mining Company, still under the direction of A. C. Jardine, and the new Bush Company.” [Cultural Resource Inventory and Evaluation Project – Jardine, 1982] In early 1900 creditors began to press Bush for payments on his huge debt load. After much wheeling and dealing, and many negotiations Bush was forced into bankruptcy. On August 18, 1900, Bush's properties including the Revenue Mill, 72,000 shares of Bear Gulch Mining Company stock, 275,000 shares of King Solomon Quartz and Placer Company stock, electric light plant, water plant, guest house and mine office buildings, were sold at auction in Livingston, with the First National Bank of Butte the new owner. The short reign of 'King Harry' rapidly came to an end. In the fall, new directors of the Bear Gulch Mining Company were elected with A.C. Jardine, B.C. VanHouten, and Andrew J. Davis representing Montana, while Alfred C. Blair, W.H. Barnaby, and W.G. Merritt from St. John, New Brunswick and mining and milling resumed. Top Left & Right : Construction of the Revenue stamp mill in Jardine. ​ Bottom Left : Construction of the Revenue Mine Tramway. Bottom Right : Completed construction of the Revenue Stamp Mill [All photos ca1899, from Livingston Enterprise Souvenir , 1Jan1900]] Meanwhile, a collection of local Bear Gulch mining people created a new mining company, as per the Anaconda Standard, Jan. 26, 1903. “NEW COMPANY IN BEAR GULCH Will Carry On a General Mining and Milling Business, Says Articles of Incorporation. The Livingston Post says that a new mining company has been organized for the purpose of operating in the Sheepeater district of Park county. It is known as the Bear Gulch company , the incorporators being Alex Livingston of Livingston and George Welcome, John Jervis, Frank Ackelmire and H D. Andrews of Jardine. These gentlemen are also the directors. The company has a capital stock of $500,000, divided Into 500,000 shares at a par value of $1 each. Of this stock only a small number of shares has so far been subscribed for, the present holders being Messrs. Livingston, Ackelmlre, Welcome, Andrews, Jervis, A.J. Campbell of Butte, and S.H. Crookes of Livingston. The stock is non-assessable.” ​ By March, the new operation was bought out by the Kimberly-Montana Gold Mining Company, operated by a syndicate from Chicago. It was reported that a new 40-stamp mill was being constructed in concert with the soon-to-be completed cyanide plant operation, bringing a total of 80 stamps under the company’s direction. The new management consisted of: P. L. Kimberly, William H. Barnaby, John H. Thompson, Moise Dreyfus, H. M. Ryan, Samuel Deutsch and Miles Finlen. Cyanide Mill in Jardine, 1908 [University of Montana, Missoula] Scene in Bear Gulch, 1899 [Montana Memory Project] Jardine Cyanide Mill Burns [Billings Gazette ,14May1948] The Jardine Gold Mining & Milling Co. takes over . . . In 1914 the Jardine Gold Mining & Milling Co. was formed to take control of the Jardine gold mines and was renamed the Jardine Mining Co. in 1921. By 1906 tungsten was being mined and milled by the various mining properties. The mineral was found in scheelite, a combination of tungsten and lime, occurring mostly in pockets. Wolframite is tungsten and iron, occurring in regular veins. Tungsten ore ran between $1000 to $1200 per ton, making it more valuable than silver. Mining activity was interrupted by an extended period of litigation from 1909 to 1916 and the mines operated continuously from 1923-26 and 1932-36 producing gold, arsenic and tungsten, but tended to operate off and on until 1948. Operations were temporarily suspended in 1942 because of the Federal restrictions on gold mining, but increasing war demands for arsenic led to the reopening of the mines in 1944, which operated until May 8, 1948, when fire destroyed the cyanide plant and the mines closed down in July. High shipping costs of arsenic ore were claimed as a reason for the mining shutdown. About 90 men were abruptly thrown out of work. Production figures from 1899 -1942 indicate that over 155,000 ounces of gold, 27,000+ ounces of silver, 4,000+ ounces of copper, 765,000+ pounds of tungsten and 12,615,000 tons of arsenic were produced. Perhaps an additional 40,000 ounces of gold were produced 1944-48. News article about the closing of the Jardine Mine. [Butte Montana Standard , 5Aug1948] Downtown Jardine, ca1930s [Montana Memory Project] The Mine Office in Jardine, ca1940s. The building still stands and was used as the mine office during the Mineral Hill Mine era in the 1980-90s. [Library of Congress] Entering the modern age of gold mining . . . In 1988 a new era in gold production began when TVX Gold, Inc. of Canada began mining efforts with tunnel/adit development, mill and crusher construction and pre-production activities such as erection of administrative and lab facilities. After much controversy regarding potential environment hazards of a mine so close to Yellowstone and potential pollution of the Yellowstone River fromm Bear Creek, permitting was finally approved and gold production officially began in September of 1889 at the 556-acre Mineral Hill site. The mine operated successfully until early Sept. 1996, when problems of access to new ore bodies dwindling ore supplies from existing workings caused the facility to close and about 130 workers were permanently laid off. Since closure, TVX has removed surface buildings and attempted to restore the area to a natural condition. Treatment of water draining through the tailings pile and from the tunnels continues to be processed to this day. The mine was located two miles from Yellowstone's boundary, five miles by road from Gardiner and produced about 40,000 ounces of gold a year for an approximate total of 260,000 ounces. ​ Today the community supports a small population of about 50 souls and and a few businesses such as outfitting, fishing & hunting guides, and vacation rentals. It is a popular area for hiking, biking, horse riding, skiing, and snowmobiling enthusiasts. Commemorative belt buckle given to employees to celebrate the opening of Mineral Hill Mine on September 26, 1989 [From the author's collection] Left : Article discussing the opening of Mineral Hill Mine in September 1989. [Great Falls Tribune , 23Sep1989] ​ Top : The closing down of TVX Mineral Hill Mine in September 1996, after only about 7 years of operation. [The Missoulian , 5Sep1996] ​ Below : Current view of Bear Gulch and Jardine looking toward Yellowstone Park. ​

  • Yellowstone Bios U-V-W-X-Y-Z |

    Yellowstone Biographies U-V-W-X-Y-Z ​ ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. Underwood, Gilbert Stanley. Architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood became associated with the National Park Service, the Union Pacific RR, and other park concessionaires in the early 1920’s. Trained in the California Arts & Crafts movement in 1910-11, he used those concepts to design buildings that utilized natural and native materials, such as rock and logs, to blend the buildings in with their environment. He designed a multitude of buildings in the western United States including: the Dining Lodge at West Yellowstone; Old Faithful Lodge; lodges at Zion, Bryce, and Cedar Breaks; the Grand Canyon Lodge; Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite; Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood, Oregon; Sun Valley Lodge in Idaho; and the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton. He also designed many railroad depots for UPRR, 20 post offices, two major federal buildings, and the US State Dept. Building. [66m] [25g] Villard, Henry . Henry Villard became president of the Northern Pacific RR in 1881 and presided over the “Last Spike” ceremonies at Gold Creek in 1883. The ceremonies celebrated the completion of NP’s line from Minnesota to the West Coast. [25L;100] Wakefield, George W. G.W. Wakefield was born in Bangor Maine on Oct. 15, 1833. He married Margaret Brotton in 1854. Venturing west in 1859, he worked and prospected in many areas, including Colorado, California, Mexico, Nevada, British Columbia, Oregon and Idaho. In 1872 he settled in Bozeman, operating a hotel and livery barn. Wakefield and Charles W. Hoffman of Bozeman established the Wakefield & Hoffman stage line in 1883 and provided service from Cinnabar to Mammoth and into the park under an exclusive agreement with Yellowstone Park Association (YPA).They operated from Livingston to Cinnabar until NPRR’s rail line was open to Cinnabar. They also received the mail contract for the Livingston to Cooke City route and provided daily mail service (during the summer season) to Mammoth beginning in July 1883. The company built a mail station near Soda Butte as the trip from Cinnabar to Cooke City took more than one day. Wakefield bought out Charles Hoffman in December of 1885 and teamed up with Frank Haynes to form Wakefield & Haynes. The company was short-lived and Haynes sold out in June of 1886 for $2400. The concern then became known as Wakefield Stage Lines. In 1887 the line began tri-weekly stage service from Livingston to the mining city of Castle. In 1889 the business incorporated as the National Park Transportation Co. with members Charles Gibson, E.C. Waters, Wakefield, and Thomas Oakes. George Wakefield lost the YPA contract in late 1891, and the operation was purchased by the Yellowstone National Park Transportation Co. in 1892. By 1894 the firm of Wakefield & Ennis was delivering mail by stage from Livingston to Cinnabar. D.I. Donovan took over the route in 1895. The following year George Wakefield received permission to transport visitors from the Union Pacific rail line at Monida. In 1895 he began operating the Albermarle Hotel in Livingston and held ranch properties in the Livingston area. He used 10-passenger Concord coaches and began operation of a camping company in the park that year. In 1901 he began conducting 10-day camping tours after he traded his ranch in Shields Valley to A.W. Chadborne for his camping company. The tours cost $40 and all the visitors camping needs were provided for. [25g] [LE;6/8/1889;6/1/1895] [Daily Enterprise (Liv.MT); 7/6/1883; 7/19/1883; 1/5/1895] [39-49] [43j] [3m] Wald, Andrew. Andy Wald (Andrew Wald) was the pioneer sand artist who in 1888 originated the idea of filling bottles with multi-colored sand to create images of animals, geysers, and various park scenes. He received permission in 1893 to erect a tent at Mammoth in which to sell his crafts. He also supplied Ole Anderson with sand art for his Specimen House curio business. It is known that Wald worked with Ole in the curio business, but to what extent is unknown. The Federal Census of 1900 showed Wald as a boarder at the Anderson household, and no doubt he was a close friend of the family. After Ole sold out his business to Pryor & Trischman in 1908, they employed Wald at their curio shop in Mammoth. He received permission from various acting superintendents to collect his sand from Norris, Canyon and other areas. He was cautioned “… not to disturb or mar the natural formations or other objects of interest.” He also served as winter keeper at the Lower Basin Hotel for at least the winter of 1889-90. An interesting account in the Livingston Enterprise noted a 1908 beer baseball game in Gardiner between the ‘Fats’ and the ‘Leans’. Wald was the ‘bartender’ and manned the keg of beer located at first base. A single merited one beer and a triple three beers. The game was umpired by famous stagecoach driver and storyteller Geyser Bob (Robert Edgar). The article described Wald as “… the famous old-timer who lives any old place where he hangs up his hat, and is noted for his ability for pounding sand in bottles in the Yellowstone Park.” He was born in 1853 in Sweden and was commonly known to friends and visitors as "Sandy" or "the Sand Man." According to an article written in the Spokane Chronicle, August 20, 1897, Wald would spend the long winter months creating his bottled sand artwork and then enjoy the fruits of his labor during the summer season. It was reportedly not uncommon for him to earn $3000 during the four summer months in Yellowstone. But, the article continued, "he was not a provident man and spent his money almost as fast as he got it in playing poker, shooting craps and drinking. When he would lose a large sum of money he would almost invariably drink heavily for a week or ten days. During such sprees he neglected his business and let many dollars slip through his fingers in that way." Despite those problems, the reporter claimed "he sold his bottles of sand to many of the royal families of Europe when they visited the park, besides the thousands of people of lesser rank and distinction the world over." He passed away on September 22, 1933 in Livingston, Montana at age 82, and was buried the next day in the Gardiner cemetery. His headstone can still be viewed there and reads “Pioneer Sand Artist of Yellowstone Park 1853 - 1933". [1912 Haynes Official Guide] [LE;5/9/1908] [Park County Death Records,Livingston Library] [YNP Army Files Doc.618 &1985] [YNP Archives,Box 68;10] [Anaconda Standard, Aug 18, 1897] [YNP Annual Supt's Report, 1933] Washburn, Henry. Henry Washburn was appointed Surveyor-General of the Montana Territory in 1869. He became the leader of the Washburn expedition of 1870, which produced the 1st official report on the Yellowstone area. There were 15 members of the expedition that included Nathaniel Langford, Lt. Gustavus Doane, Truman Everts, and Cornelius Hedges. Washburn died the following January from a cold caught on the expedition. [25L;102] Wasson, Isabel Bassett . Isabel Deming Bassett was born in Brooklyn, NY on January 11, 1897. Daughter of urban planner Edward Murray Bassett and Annie Preston Bassett, she married geologist Theron Wasson in June 1920 and became Yellowstone’s 1st woman ranger that same year. Isabel earned a master's degree in geology, specializing in petroleum geology, at Columbia University. One of the country's few female geologists in the 1920s, Mrs. Wasson took part in explorations in remote areas of South America. In 1928, she embarked on a career of more than 50 years of teaching, lecturing and public service from her base in River Forest, Illinois. She passed away February 21, 1994 at age 97.For more information on Ms Wasson, check out "Women in Wonderland", by Elizabeth A. Watry. Waters, E.C. Ela Collins Waters (E.C. Waters) was born at Martinsburg, Lewis Co., NY on May 5, 1849 and moved to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin shortly afterwards. He served as a drummer during the Civil War with the Wisconsin 38th Infantry, after being refused by the regular army. He married Martha Bustus Amory March 4, 1878 and had one son and two daughters, the younger of which died in 1905 and the elder in 1913. In 1882 he opened the Merrill (Morrell) House hotel in Glendive, Montana with a Mr. Klaus and operated it until it burned down in 1885. That same year Waters opened the Headquarters Hotel in Billings. He came to work in Yellowstone in 1887 with E. C. Culver. Waters became general manager of the Yellowstone Park Association hotels in 1887, serving until 1890 when he was removed from that position. During that time he became involved in several different mining ventures in the Cooke City area. In 1889 he was one of the incorporators of the National Park Transportation Co. that purchased the Wakefield operation in the park. He became head of the Yellowstone Lake Boat Co. from 1891 to 1907 and built a house and boathouse in front of Lake Hotel that first year. He also brought in the 40-ton steamship “The Zillah ”, which was assembled on site by Amos Shaw (Shaw & Powell). The boat made its first run on June 22, 1891 with a crew of government road workers. Amos Shaw was in charge of the boat for the 1891-92 seasons. The craft served as a ferry from West Thumb to Lake Hotel until 1917. In 1896 he was given permission to establish a wild game show on Dot Island in an attempt to increase business for his ferry from West Thumb to Lake Hotel. He hauled four buffalo in cages on wagons from the Cinnabar depot to the Lake for his ‘show’. He bought out the boat company from YPA in 1897, and obtained a 10-year lease from Interior. In 1905 he bought a second boat and named it the “E.C. Waters.” It was 125’ long with a 26’ beam width and capable of carrying 300-400 passengers. It was used part of the 1905 season, but authorities refused to license the vessel, and it ended up anchored off the east side of Stevenson Island. Waters was not a particularly well respected person or businessman and his wild animal show was a disgrace and a health hazard for the animals. He was ‘encouraged’ to leave the park in 1907 by the army. According to Bartlett’s “Yellowstone – A Wilderness Besieged”, a notice was posted by Supt. Gen. Young stating that “…E.C. Waters, President of the Yellowstone Lake Boat Company, having rendered himself obnoxious during the 1907 season, is…debarred from the park and will not be allowed to return without permission.” It seems though; he did not leave the park completely until 1910. Tom Hofer bought out his boat business with a loan from Harry Child and called it the T.E. Hofer Boat Co. Mrs. Waters died Aug. 6, 1909 and Ela Waters passed away Aug. 25, 1926. He had been in an Old Soldiers Home near Fond du Lac, and his mind was reportedly "entirely gone," and had no recollections of his service in Yellowstone. [56m;918-922] [LE;6/27/1891;10/27/1888;6/8/1889;11/9/1889;6/6/1891;10/15/1892;7/25/1896] [15b] [25g] [YNP H-2, History File] Wear, David W. David Wear was the last civilian Superintendent to serve prior to the takeover by the army in 1886. His administration began July 1885 and only lasted about one year. He was a nephew of Uncle John Yancy. [25L;103] Weed, Walter Harvey. Walter Weed served as a geologist for the US Geological Survey beginning in 1883 and studied Yellowstone from 1883-1889. He discovered that the colors in the hot springs and geyser deposits were due to algae living in the hot waters, and that the deposits were formed by algae life. He also discovered Death Gulch, where wildlife died due to the intense carbon dioxide gas emitted from the ground. He engaged in the geological examination of Montana from 1889-98, primarily from an economic viewpoint, i.e. mining. He authored "Formation of Hot Springs Deposits," "Glaciation of Yellowstone," and was co-author of "Geology of Yellowstone Park," and wrote numerous other papers. Weed was born May 1, 1862 in St. Louis to Samuel R. and Nellie S. (Jones) Weed. He was educated in public schools and graduated from the Columbia School of Mines in 1883. [Who's Who in America, 1902] Welcome, George W. George Welcome was among the earlier residents and businessmen of Gardiner. He was born June 17, 1853 in Ogdensburg, New York and came out West at an unknown date. By 1883 he was running a sawmill above the railroad tunnel on Bozeman Pass, probably supplying railroad ties, tunnel timbers, and trestle material for the Northern Pacific RR. In 1884 Welcome, Al. Coffin, and Alex. Moore built a cabin in Gardiner in the area between the Gardiner River and James McCartney's place. Apparently it was considered to be inside the park boundaries at the time. By 1886 he was operating The City Hotel in Gardiner with his wife as proprietor. He ran the saloon end of the business and advertised Milwaukee Keg Beer on draught. The 1889 Horr Voting Registry listed him as a Saloon Keeper in Horr. By 1894 he maintained a residence in Aldridge near the Lake and owned Welcome Hall, a building that was used for a variety of community events and also sported a saloon. The Livingston Enterprise reported in 1892 that George ran a resort in Horr “where a man can procure anything from a drink to a sufficient quantity to float a steamer. Mr. Welcome carries a mammoth stock of liquors and cigars, employs two mixologists . . . and does a larger business than any saloon in Livingston . . . he also conducts a gambling room.” In 1899 it was reported that he sold the Keats mine in Jardine to local mining magnate Harry Bush for $40,000. He also operated a hotel in Jardine and maintained a residence there, probably around that same time. A Polk Directory for 1904 showed he shared interest in 160 acres of land around Jardine with a man named Double. He had three sons (Harry, George, & ??) and one daughter. George Welcome died of heart failure in his home at Jardine on September 10, 1905 after being in poor health the previous year. His obituary in the Gardiner Wonderland newspaper of Sept. 14, 1905 said he was 56 years of age; although according to the 1889 voting registry he would have been about 52. He was buried in the Jardine cemetery and his large tombstone "Welcomes" all who enter. [Sources: Helena Independent 3/16/1883; 2/27/1884; 6/12/1886. Livingston Enterprise 6/4/1892. Doris Whithorn books on Gardiner and Aldridge] Werks, John. (Also John Works) In 1873 John Werks, George Huston, and Frank Grounds operated a primitive pack and saddle transportation business at Mammoth. Werks began stagecoach service in 1873 from Bozeman with weekly service, or as required. In 1874 “Zack Root's Express” took over the weekly service, leaving Mondays from Bozeman and arriving on Tuesday at Mammoth, carrying both freight and passengers. In 1877 Werks was present at the Henderson Ranch outside of Gardiner when it was attacked my marauding Nez Perce. Much of the ranch was burned, but Werks, Sterling Henderson, and others escaped across the Yellowstone River after a gun battle with the Indians. [25L] [Bozeman Avant-Courier, 7/3/1874] Visit my George Huston web page for additional information. Whittaker, George. Born in Wheeling, West Virginia ca1870, George Whittaker enlisted in the Army for five years in 1889. He was sent to South Dakota in 1890 and participated in the Wounded Knee Sioux Campaign. He was assigned to Ft. Yellowstone the following year, serving until 1896. He was appointed Scout that year and performed those duties until 1898. Around 1897 he conducted hunting and tourist parties in and around the park with Wm. Van Buskirk, a sergeant-major at Ft. Yellowstone. George Whittaker served in the Spanish American War until 1902, with assignments at the Jefferson Barracks in Missouri and in the Philippines as Chief Packer. Whittaker returned to Yellowstone in 1902 as Scout and Packer during the winters until 1910. During the summers Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. employed him as a transportation agent at Canyon until 1913. In February of that year he bought out the Lyall-Henderson post office and store at Mammoth and became Postmaster. The enterprise was known as the Yellowstone Park Store (currently the Yellowstone General Store, operated by Delaware North Parks Services). He began selling gas and automotive supplies at the Mammoth store in 1915 and built the nearby gas station in the fall of 1919. He established a general store and gas station at Canyon in 1917 in an old Holm Transportation building. He built a new store and filling station at Canyon in 1920 that was located next to the ranger station along the rim of the Grand Canyon (current Upper Falls parking lot). By 1923 he was operating a small branch store at the Mammoth auto campground and the following year a deli was added at the camp. He sold the Mammoth camp operation to Pryor & Trischman in 1925, and in 1932 sold the rest of his operation at Mammoth and Canyon to the ladies for $75,000. That sale included his interest in the service station business with YPTCo. He settled in at West Yellowstone where he was part owner of the Hayward Cabin Co., which included tourist cabins, general store, service station, and a beauty/barber shop. Whittaker was also responsible for construction of the first airstrip at West Yellowstone in the mid-1930’s. He continued in business at West until at least the late 1940’s and died in the Old Soldiers Home at Sawtelle, California in 1961 at age 91. [25i] For additional information please visit my Whittaker General Store page. White, Walter. Walter White headed the White Motor Company that manufactured automobiles and trucks. They provided 117 touring buses to the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. (YPTCo) for the 1917 season to replace the stagecoaches. That first season there were 100 10-passenger ¾-ton TEB buses and 17 7-passenger buses. A fire at the YPTCo garage at Mammoth in March of 1925 destroyed about 92 White buses. The White Company rushed to produce 90 new White Model 15/45 10-passenger buses in time for the park opening in June. In 1931 eight 14-passenger buses (614 series) were tried out, and in 1936-39 YPTCo bought 98 14-passenger buses of a different design (Model 706). The autos all featured open tops for unobstructed viewing by the passengers. White Co. provided touring cars to many of the other western national parks during that period of time. In 1914 White teamed up with Roe Emery to operate the Glacier Park Transportation Co., with the White Co. providing $60,000 worth of vehicles for the park that season. Two years later White and Emery setup a similar arrange at Rocky Mountain National Park. Walter White was a silent partner in the 1919 purchase of YP Camping Co. with Howard Hays and Roe Emery. [25L;105] [2r] For additional information, please visit my Yellowstone White Buses web page. Wilcox, Jay. Jay Wilcox was permitted with Jim Parker in 1918 to raise potatoes on Turkey Pen Pass to sell to the tourists. [25L;106] Wilder, Capt. W.E . Capt. Wilder was Acting Supt. with the 4th Cavalry for three months in the spring of 1899. [25L;26] Williams, Frank. E.S. Topping and Frank Williams were permitted to operate boats on Yellowstone Lake in 1874. They built a small boat and named it the ‘Sallie’, after the 1st two female passengers they carried on the Lake – Sarah Tracy and Sarah Graham. A Bozeman newspaper of Aug. 7, 1874 noted that Topping ". . . has his little craft successfully launched upon the Yellowstone Lake, and intends to accord the privilege of naming it to the first lady passenger." Williams drowned May 22, 1875 at the Yellowstone Crossing, near the future site of Livingston Montana. He and three others were crossing the river when the wire crossing cable broke and the boat sank. The others survived the ordeal. [Bozeman Avant-Courier 8/7/1874; 5/28/1875] Wilson, Edward. Ed Wilson served as an assistant superintendent in 1885-86 and was selected as a scout for the Army in 1887, serving admirably for several years. He joined Frank Haynes on the winter expedition of 1887 after Lt. Schwatka became ill and returned to Mammoth. He later fell in love with Mary Henderson, daughter of G.L. Henderson, but she spurned his advances. Disconsolate, he took his life on July 20, 1891 after drinking morphine on the hill above the National Hotel. His remains were not discovered until a year later when a daughter of Henry Wyatt found them in early June of 1892. He is buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Livingston, Mt. [113] [31] [LE;6/8/1892] Wingate, George Wood . George Wingate was the author of "On Horseback Through the Yellowstone." The book describes the travels of Wingate, a wealthy and prominent New Yorker, with his wife and 17-year old daughter on a 26-day journey through Yellowstone on horseback in the summer of 1885. Upon his return he noted that "If I had gone to Africa instead of to the Yellowstone, I could scarcely have had more trouble in obtaining reliable information in regard to the journey." So, he wrote his book as an aid and guidebook for others who were to follow in his footprints. He was born in New York July 1, 1840 to Charles and Mary P. (Robinson) Wood. He was a lawyer and was involved in politics and the railroad and insurance industries. As an officer of the NY National Guard, he was instrumental in formulating rules for systematic rifle practice. He obtained the charter for the New York National Rifle Association in 1871 and served as its president for 25 years. He authored numerous books and articles, many on the subject of military matters. [Who's Who in America, 1902; Webster's Biographical Dictionary, 1948] Wirth, Conrad L . Conrad Wirth served as NPS Director from Dec. 9, 1951 to Jan. 7, 1964. He was responsible for the Mission 66 plan, a 10-year, billion-dollar program to upgrade park facilities and services in time for the 50th anniversary of the NPS in 1966. [25L;106] Wo, Sam. Sam Wo was gardener at Chinaman’s Gardens along the Gardiner River near the 45th Parallel from 1909-1922. Robert Reamer designed a house for him in 1917. [25L;106] Wylie, William. William Wallace Wylie (W.W. Wylie) was born June 8, 1848 in Concord, Ohio. He later moved with his parents to Washington, Ohio. He attended college at Hopkinton, Iowa, graduating in 1872. He became a teacher and principal in the Delhi, Iowa school system for two years, was principal at Hinsdale, Ill. for one year, and superintendent at Lyons, Iowa for three years. On April 2, 1874 he married Mary A. Wilson of Independence, Iowa. Wylie moved to Montana in 1878 to be a Bozeman school principal. He later became principal of the Bozeman Academy and served as superintendent of public education for the territory of Montana during 1886-87. He brought his first paid visitors into Yellowstone for a tour in 1880. He published his guide “The Yellowstone National Park, or the Great American Wonderland” in 1882. Wylie started 10-day park tours in 1883 using moveable camps. He created the Wylie Camping Company in 1893 and was licensed to operate a transportation business to serve his customers. The Wylie Way was a less expensive way for tourists to be able to tour the park without the necessity of having to ‘dress up’, as was considered proper in the hotels. A 7-day Wylie tour cost $35.00 while a 6-day tour at the hotels was $50.00. The company was given permission in 1896 to establish permanent camps, and two years later camps were located at Apollinaris Springs, Upper Geyser Basin, Lake Outlet, and Canyon, with lunch stations at Gibbon Falls and West Thumb. He operated the business until 1905 when he sold out to Arthur W. Miles and A.L. Smith (fronting for H.W. Child). Sometime after that Wylie and his wife moved from Bozeman, Montana to Pasadena, California. The Wylie Permanent Camping Co. continued to operate in all major areas of the park until after 1916, when the Wylie and Shaw & Powell camping companies were merged and monopolized into the Yellowstone Park Camping Company under joint ownership. In 1917 WW Wylie and wife Mary started a Wylie Way Camp in Zion National Monument (it became a national park in 1919) and his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Thomas H. McKee opened a Wylie Way Camp at the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Monument. The Zion camp lasted until 1925 when the Utah Parks Co. (under the auspices of the Union Pacific RR) unveiled the new Zion Lodge (the Wylie camp had been under UPCo management since 1923). The North Rim camp lasted through 1927 under the McKees and the following season UPCo opened the new Grand Canyon Lodge. Mary Wylie passed on in 1928 and William Wylie died February 7, 1930 in Pasadena at age 82 after a major cancer operation. [25L;107] [56m;1171] [42e;1930] Please visit my Wylie Camping Co. page for more info! Yancey, John F. John Yancey (“Uncle John” Yancey) was a colorful character born in Barren County, Kentucky in 1826 and moved with his family to Missouri while he was still a boy. He fought in the Civil War and was in California in 1849, no doubt following the Gold Rush. He built a cabin and mail station at Pleasant Valley in 1882 to accommodate teamsters and mail stages enroute to Cooke City. He opened the “Pleasant Valley Hotel ” in 1884 and served the ‘undiscriminating’ tourist until his death. The hotel was 1-1/2 stories and measured 30’ by 50’. It could accommodate twenty guests in the upstairs bedrooms at $2.00/day, or $10.00/week. The area was located off of the standard tour route offered by the transportation companies, and his main business catered to fisherman, hunters, miners, freighters, and prospectors to and from the Cooke City gold mines. He knew all the good ‘fishing holes’ and had plenty of tall tales to amuse his guests. Supposedly his whiskey glasses were undefiled by the touch of water. A 1-1/2 story saloon was erected some time between 1887-93, measuring about 20’ x 20’. His nephew Dan took over the business when Uncle John died on May 7, 1903 at 77 years of age. Dan conducted the business until a fire destroyed the hotel on April 16, 1906. The saloon survived the fire, along with a stable and two other log structures. In 1907 Dan applied for permission to lease a site closer to the new road that was being constructed. He was turned down since the Wylie Camping Co. and the Yellowstone Park Association were already in possession of building permits in the area. His lease for the original site was revoked in November of that year. Dan finally received $1000 in compensation for loss of his property in 1935. The saloon was razed in the 1960’s. John Yancey is buried in the Gardiner cemetery at Tinker’s Hill and his tombstone and plot can still be visited. [108a] [25g] [60g] [119o;5/7/1903 & 5/14/1903] Yankee Jim . Like many other Yellowstone pioneers, Yankee Jim (James George, born ca1835 in Penn) came west in 1863 to search for gold in the Bannack, Montana area. He eventually became a meat hunter for the Crow Indian Agency located east of present day Livingston. Actually named James George, this colorful character squatted in the Yellowstone River Canyon about 16 miles north of Gardiner. He came into possession of the primitive road from Bottler’s Ranch to Mammoth in 1873 when Bart Henderson and ‘Horn’ Miller gave up their road building enterprise. In July Yankee Jim declared the road open to within two miles of Mammoth. He set up a cabin and tollbooth in Yankee Jim Canyon 16 miles north of Gardiner and all traffic to the park from the north had to go through his property. Like Uncle John Yancy, Yankee Jim loved to fish, hunt, and tell ‘whoppers’ to folks passing through his ‘Canyon’. The Northern Pacific RR appropriated his roadbed through the Canyon in 1883 against his bitter protestations. The railroad did however; construct a crude bypass for him over the steep hill near the rail line. Jim spent several years attempting to seek justice through the courts, but it did no good. He gradually allowed maintenance of the road to degrade and in 1887 Park County took away his rights to eleven miles of the road north from the Wyoming line. In 1893, his road maintenance continued to decline, along with his sobriety. Park County Commissioners convinced him to give up his road that year in exchange for $1,000. Jim spent most of the rest of his life on his ranch, but deeded it to his brother John early in 1920. A few months later, unable to care for himself, John went to live with his brother in Fresno, California. Yankee Jim died in 1924, at about age 94. [107] [Click Here for Find-a-Grave page on Yankee Jim] Young, Col. S.B.M. Born on January 9, 1840 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Samuel Baldwin Marks Young was the son of Captain John, Jr. and Hahhan Scot Young. He was educated at Jefferson College, Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania. He enlisted as a Private in the 12th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry in April 1861 at the outbreak of the Civil War. After the expiration of his term he was commissioned Captain, 4th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry in September. He served with distinction in the Army of Potomac throughout the Civil War, receiving promotion to Major in September 1862, to Lieutenant Colonel in October 1864 and to Colonel in December 1864. He was breveted Brigadier General of Volunteers in April 1865 for services during the final campaign from Petersburg to Appomattox. Col. S.B.M. Young served two terms in Yellowstone as Acting Supt. with the 4th Cavalry. He served 5 months in 1897 and from May 14, 1907 to November 28, 1908 with the rank of General. In 1908 he married Annie Dean Huntley, widow of Silas Huntley and sister of Adelaide Dean Child (wife of Harry Child). S.B.M. Young died in Montana on September 1, 1924 at age 85. He rose through the army ranks from a private in the Civil War to the rank of Lt. General and head of the US Army. [LE;3/7/1908] [25g] [NY Times, 9-3-1924] [Arlington National Cemetery Website] Young, Harold. Harold Young founded ‘Snowmobiles of West Yellowstone’ in 1955. His company operated Bombedier snowcoach tours through the park. [25L;117] Yount, Harry. Harry Yount was born in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania on March 18, 1847. He enlisted in the Union Army at the age of 14 and served until the end of the American Civil War, after which he traveled west to the present-day state of Wyoming. Beginning in 1873, Yount spent a number of years exploring Wyoming's mountain country, including the Grand Tetons, as a member of the geological surveys led by Dr. Ferdinand Hayden. Yount was hired in 1880 to be the 1st Gamekeeper in the park. A cabin was built for him near Soda Butte, but he resigned in September 1881 in frustration over his lack of authority and the absence of enforceable laws. The cabin was located on the western foot of Mt. Norris, east of the old Lamar River ford. Younts Peak, located at the head of the Yellowstone River, was named in his honor. After leaving the park, Yount started his own animal trapping and hunting business and did some prospecting for gold. He was well-known as a bear killer and is reputed to have occasionally engaged in “hand-to-paw” combat with one of these dangerous beasts. He also acquired a rather substantial amount of mining property in later years, including a marble quarry.[25g] [66m] [Wikipedia] Zack Root’s Express. Zack Root began hauling freight and passengers to Mammoth from Bozeman on a weekly basis, leaving on Monday and arriving on Tuesday, beginning in July of 1874. George Huston and John Werks, who operated of a string of pack and saddle horses in Mammoth, hooked up with Zack Root’s Express to provide horse and guide service to the geyser basins. An ad in the Bozeman Avant-Courier read "Ho! For The Mammoth Hot Springs and Geyser-Land! The public and pleasure seekers generally are respectfully informed that I will after this date run a Line of Conveyances between Bozeman and the Mammoth Hot Springs for their accommodation during the season. . . " In 1875 Root advertised stops at Hayden, Emigrant, Chico, Henderson and Bear Gulch. He also carried the US Mail to Mammoth that year. The Bozeman paper revealed no ads for his services in the summer of 1876. [30;195-96] [Bozeman Avant Courier, 7/3/1874; 5/14/1875] For additional information, please visit my George Huston web page

  • Ole Anderson - Andy Wald |

    Yellowstone Storekeepers - Ole Anderson & Andrew Wald ​ Creating Art from Yellowstone Resources Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. Ole Anderson and the Specimen House ​ Since the earliest days of the creation of Yellowstone Park in 1872, visitors have had a passion for collecting natural curiosities to take home as mementoes of their visit. Some tourists were content to merely pick up pretty stones and other fascinating specimens of nature lying about. Not satisfied with that, other more aggressive excursionists resorted to actually breaking off pieces or large chunks of hot spring and geyser formations, taking whatever they could fit into their luggage or onto their horses and wagons. Ole Andersons "Coated Specimens" tent at Mammoth Hot Springs 1880s Scoyen Photo, Yellowstone Gateway Museum 2006.044.0636 One tourist-related curio activity that seems to have been tolerated in the early days of the park was the creation of beautiful “coated specimens.” Curiously, the minerals that have continuously built up the Mammoth terraces also collect and adhere to any other objects within its flow, including trees, plants, pine cones, twigs, and rocks, forming a glistening white coating. It took little time for early explorers to realize that this coating would also form on horseshoes, wire-made objects, bottles or any other rigid materials that might be lying about. Once this concept caught on, the sparkling brilliance of these encrusted objects almost immediately made them desirable keepsakes for park visitors. Other known 'specimen coaters' include “Specimen Bill” Lindstrom, made somewhat famous by T.W. Ingersoll, who immortalized him on a stereoview, busy at his profession on the Pulpit terraces; David Dobson, Wm F. Ramsdell, and Frank Phiscator were other who practiced the trade in the 1870s to the early 1880s.​ James McCartney, who maintained a 'rustic' log hotel near the base of the Mammoth Terraces ca1871-1880, practiced the art of coating wire baskets and other trinkets to sell to his guests or other early visitors. One visitor in 1886 was particularly enamored of coated horseshoes, exclaiming, “The amuletic horseshoe is in great demand. A horseshoe that is sown in corruption, ragged, rusty, dusty and with the nails still twisted in it is raised in incorruption, a thing of beauty and a joy forever. It is in very truth the materialized ghost of a horseshoe .” Although ‘coating curiosities’ was practiced by any number of tourists and hangers-on in the park, Ole Anderson is believed to have established the first formal coating operation at Mammoth Hot Springs. An immigrant from Sweden who came to America around 1880, he may have worked his way west laboring on the Northern Pacific Railroad. Ole most likely erected his tents on the flats betwe