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  • Transportation |

    Coaching in Yellowstone ​ Click on Link above to begin your tour. Development of the Transportation Companies in Yellowstone The earliest commercial transportation venture in the Park seems to be Jack Baronett’s toll bridge, built in 1871 near Tower junction over the Yellowstone River. He built a cabin on the bench above the junction of the Lamar and Yellowstone Rivers, and charged a $1.00 a head for man or beast to cross. In 1873, John Werks, George Huston, and Frank Grounds operated a primitive pack and saddle business at Mammoth. Stagecoach service was started in 1874 with ‘Zack Roots Express’ weekly service on Mondays from Bozeman to Mammoth, carrying both freight and passengers. The construction of a primitive road by Supt. Norris and his crew from Mammoth to Lower Geyser Basin in 1878 allowed Marshall & Goff to start a stagecoach business in 1880 to access the Geyser Basins and Marshall’s Hotel. During the next 36 years numerous companies operated stagecoach lines, including Wakefield & Hoffman, Yellowstone Transportation Co., Yellowstone National Park Transportation Co., Monida & Yellowstone Stage Co. (F.J. Haynes), Cody-Sylvan Pass Co., Wylie Camping Co., and Shaw & Powell Camping Co. After the 1916 season, all transportation companies were merged into a monopoly, called the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co., headed by Harry W. Child. In August of 1915, automobiles were first allowed into the Park. That year and the following one was a time of transition with both modes of travel operating under strict guidelines. This act of 1915 brought major changes to the entire way of doing business in the Park. With the shortened travel times now available, hotels were no longer needed at Fountain and Norris. Many tent camps were also closed. The increased travel times and freight tonnage available with motorized trucks eliminated the need for the various dairy and slaughterhouse operations inside the Park. Also, with the elimination of the “weed-burners’, the park’s pastures would no longer be needed for the intense grazing that had been necessary. In 1917 the stagecoaches and stock were sold out, and Child, with loans of over $400,000 from the railroads, purchased 117 White Motor buses and various service trucks. These were headquartered at the barns built in 1903-04 at Mammoth. Plans were finalized for new facilities in Gardiner in 1924, but in March of 1925, the buildings at Mammoth burned, along with at least 93 vehicles. It took a giant effort by the White Motor Company to get new auto stages to the park for spring opening. The new garages in Gardiner were completed later that year. In 1936 the YPTC was merged with other Park concessionaires into the Yellowstone Park Company under Wm. Nichols, Child’s’ son-in-law. As automobiles took over, the need for improvement of the roadbeds became a priority. Gradually, the roads were widened, oiled, graveled, and ultimately paved. The maintenance of the roads was and still is a constant problem. The need for auto campgrounds and gas filling stations became apparent, and eventually facilities were established at all major locations. Yellowstone Park Service Stations currently runs the gas stations and is independently owned. The Railroad Era The influences of the early railroad companies, although now lone gone from the local scene, reaches back into the earliest days of ‘official exploration’ of the Park. Nathaniel Langford of the Washburn Expedition of 1870, was an employee of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Through the influence of his boss Jay Cooke, financial agent of the NPRR, Langford was a strong advocate for the railroad interests in park affairs, as were other influential people connected with the park. By 1883, four railroad companies have achieved transcontinental status, receiving vast tracts of lands adjacent to their right-of-ways as their incentive. In order to recover their costs and increase travel along these lines, the railroads needed to create reasons for people to travel west. These included land sales for homesteading, ranching, farming, and business opportunities in the newly established towns along the way. Promotion of resort areas and natural wonders was another ploy to attract travelers from the moneyed classes. Yellowstone was the target of this last type of promotion by the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1882. In that year surveys had been made into the heart of the park in hopes of extending rail lines to all the important points of interest. Also there was a push to run tracks along the northern border to Cooke City in order the service the gold mines there. Eventually, through the actions of the Secretary of Interior, Congress, and various sportsman groups and concerned citizens, these plans were thwarted. The gateway communities became the ‘end of the line’. In 1883 the NPRR extended a line from Livingston to Cinnabar called ‘the Park Branch Line’. It had stopped there instead of continuing on to Gardiner because of lack of access through certain private lands. Construction of the National Hotel at Mammoth had started earlier this year, and was partially open for business in late summer. This was the first hotel built in the park that hoped to cater strictly to the upper class visitors. By 1911 luxury hotels had been constructed at all major locations with financial backing by the NPRy. Other railroads companies joined in the competition for park business with Union Pacific RR entering West Yellowstone in 1907. The Burlington & Chicago reached Cody in 1901, and the Milwaukee extended service to Gallatin Gateway in 1927. Land claims were eventually settled in Gardiner, and the NPRy reached that town in 1902, with the depot and Arch being built the following year. The railroads continued to exert influence on park business into the 1900’s with outright wnership or majority interests in the hotel companies and some of the transportation companies. By 1907, NPRy had sold its stock and direct interests in the hotels, but continued to actively promote the park and provided loans to H.W. Child for construction and improvements. The railroads continued to provide financial assistance to Park businesses until after WWII. Demand for railroad services after that time decreased rapidly with the increase in the use of automobiles for vacation travel. Regular scheduled passenger railroad service ended in Gardiner in 1948, Cody in 1956, and West Yellowstone and Gallatin Gateway in 1961.

  • Yellowstone Bios E-F-G |

    Yellowstone Biographies E-F-G ​ ​ 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. Eagle, Sam P. Sam Eagle came west from Pennsylvania in 1902 and worked as a seasonal bartender in Yellowstone in 1903. He tended bar at Mammoth Hotel and at the Fountain Hotel from 1905-07. A contract dated September 22, 1907 shows that Sam was employed as winter keeper at the Fountain Hotel that winter. He met his future wife Ida Carlson in 1905 while working at Fountain. They married in 1907 and opened a store with Alex Stuart on forest service land on the future site of West Yellowstone. He correctly anticipated the business that would be created by the arrival of the Union Pacific RR passenger service in 1908. Sam continued to work at Fountain Hotel for the 1908 season while his wife and the Stuarts ran the store. Two years later Stuart left and went into business for himself. Sam became Postmaster in 1909 and served for at least 25 years and also operated the telephone exchange beginning in 1926. A soda fountain was added in 1910 and the post office was housed there from 1910 to 1935. The current 3-story building was erected between 1927-30 and a 2-pump gas service was built southwest of the store around 1926. He became Airport Manager when the new airport opened in 1935. Eagle added onto the store in 1966. The business is still owned and operated by the Eagle family and is a landmark in West Yellowstone. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [97s; Eagle Family Collection] [18t] Eaton, Col. George Oscar. Col. Eaton was a native of Maine and served in the Civil War as a volunteer. He attended West Point, graduated in 1873 as a second lieutenant and attended the school of mines at Columbia College in New York. Eaton served in the cavalry in the western states and was a member of Gen. Sheridan's staff. After he retired from the cavalry, he came to Montana in 1881 and invested heavily in the mines at Cooke City. He was president of the Republic Mining Co. that owned mines such as the Great Republic, Greeley, Huston and the New World. He was also president of the company that operated the hydraulic placer mines in the Bear Gulch (Jardine) area and built the first quartz mill in the area. [56m;1118] Eaton, Howard. Howard Eaton came from Pennsylvania (born ca1851) in 1879 and squatted on some land in the Missouri River Breaks near Medora, Dakota Territory (North Dakota did not become a state until 1889). His brother Alden came to the area in 1881 and brother Willis in 1882. The three all established individual ranches, but joined them together in 1883 and it became known as the Custer Trail Ranch. It was located five miles south of Medora, North Dakota. The Eatons welcomed guests from the East to stay with them and in 1882 a visitor paid them to allow him to stay for a long period and have use of a horse. Thus began the early beginnings of 'dude ranching.' He began conducting horseback camping tours through the park in 1882. By 1886 he was conducting annual 3-week excursions of the park, but did not allow women on the trips until 1902. After the terrible winter of 1886-87 that decimated cattle herds over all the Northern Plains, he went into the ‘guest ranching’ business. He continued the guide business into the 1900’s. In 1904 he moved his ranch to Wolf Creek, near present day Sheridan, Wyoming and expanded his trips into Jackson Hole, the Big Horn Mountains, and Glacier Park. The Custer Trail Ranch was sold to Greene and Donaldson, men from New York. He continued his Yellowstone/Teton trips until his death on April 17, 1922. Eaton was responsible for bringing the buffalo from the Allard herd in Montana into Yellowstone in 1902 (see ‘Buffalo Jones’). He died April 17, 1922 at age 71. The 157-mile Howard Eaton Trail was named after him July 19, 1923. [32;202-03] [Bismarck Daily Tribune; 3/3/1904] [No. Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame website; Ranching - Eaton Custer Trail Ranch;] Edgar, Robert Robert Edgar - See ‘Geyser Bob’. Emery, Roe. Roe Emery was picked by the White Motor Co. in 1914 to head up the new Glacier Park Transportation Co. He was responsible for setting up the operation of the new motorized bus fleet in Glacier. He later became a partner with Howard Hays in the 1919 purchase of the Yellowstone Park Camping Co. Walter White of the White Motor Co. was a silent financial partner and Hays was president of the company. They changed the name of the company to Yellowstone Park Camps Co. In 1924 they sold out to Harry Child and Vernon Goodwin, and Hays went on to head the Glacier Park Transportation Co. in 1927. Emery continued as a partner with the Glacier Park Transportation Co. until his death. Emery was also the head of the Rocky Mountain National Park Transportation Co. and the Denver Cab Co. [25L;36] Emmert, John W. John W. Emmert became Acting Park Superintendent for three months early in 1936 following the tragic death of Supt. Roger Toll. Toll was killed in an auto accident in New Mexico in February of that year. Emmert also served as superintendent of Glacier National Park from 1944 to 1958 and at Hot Springs NP from 1943 to 1944. [25L;36] Erwin, Col. James B. Col. Erwin was acting Supt. with the 4th Cavalry from Nov. 16, 1897 to March 15, 1899. [25L;37] Everts, Truman. Truman Everts was a member of the Washburn Expedition of 1870 who got separated from the expedition on September 9 and became lost around the southern end of Yellowstone Lake. He eventually lost his horse, glasses, weapons, and wandered by himself for 37 days in the park until found by Jack Baronett and George Pritchett on Crescent Hill in the northern end of the park. The men took him to the Turkey Pen Cabin to recuperate before he could return to Bozeman. George Huston carried Everts on horseback to the other side of Yankee Jim Canyon where Pritchett, Harry Horr and two soldiers continued the journey in a wagon. A $600 reward had been offered by Everts’ friends for his safe return, but neither Baronett nor Pritchett received a cent for their good deed. Everts was born in 1816 in Burlington, Vermont and made several voyages on the Great Lakes as a cabin boy with his father. In 1864 he was appointed assessor of internal revenue for Montana by President Lincoln. At age 65 Everts married a 14-year old girl and settled near Hyattsville, Maryland. He became the father of a son at age 75. He died in that area Feb. 16, 1901. [A.L. Haines, "Yellowstone National Park: It's Exploration and Establishment."] [25L;37] Ferris, Warren Angus. Warren Ferris was an educated man who was born Dec. 26, 1810 in Glen Falls, NY, and raised around Erie, Pennsylvania. He was trained as a civil engineer and by 1829 was living in St. Louis. He was hired by Pierre Chouteau Jr. as a trapper in 1930 and spent the years 1830-35 trapping and exploring the vast Rocky Mountain region in the employ of the American Fur Co. He visited Yellowstone in 1834 after hearing ‘whoppers’ about the geysers from other trappers and wanting to see them himself. Two Pend D’Oreilles Indians accompanied him on May 19-20 as he explored the Upper Geyser Basin and watched Old Faithful Geyser erupt. Upon his return to civilization in 1835, he wrote a story of the marvels of Yellowstone that was printed in the July 13, 1842 issue of the “Western Literary Messenger’, which was published in Buffalo, New York. The article was entitled “Life in the Rocky Mountains - A Diary of Wanderings on the Sources of the Rivers Missouri, Columbia, and Colorado, From February 1830, to November 1835.” The article was re-published in “The Wasp”, a paper from Nauvoo, IL. Ferris’ visit was the first ‘recorded’ visit to Old Faithful. Ferris moved to Texas near what became Dallas and died at his farm in Reinhardt on Feb. 8, 1873. [25g] [2] [Dan Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography] Finch, Celinda M. Mrs. J.B. Celinda Finch was issued a lease on March 6, 1885 to construct a hotel to serve Yellowstone visitors. The site consisted of 10 acres at Canyon on the north side of the Yellowstone River, a mile from the Lower Falls, and a half mile from Cascade Creek. A set of drawings of the proposed hotel was to be submitted within 90 days, along with a survey of the site. By August 1887 no materials had been delivered to Interior and it is assumed they canceled the lease at that time for non-compliance. Celinda and her daughter Coda Gillian Finch ran McCartney's Hotel in 1879-80 and the tent hotel at Old Faithful in 1883-84. In 1886 they managed the Albermarle Hotel in Livingston, Montana. Celinda M. Jackson, born ca1846 in Iowa, married J.B. Finch in the mid-1860s. Daughter Coda was born in 1866 and the family moved to Bozeman in 1868. Mother and daughter are listed in the census of 1870, 1880, and 1900, but no Mr. Finch. The 1900 census listed Celinda at Chico Hot Springs. Coda later married Jesse A. Armitage and moved to California in 1920. Her husband was described as a "Southland builder and influential in extending [the] Pacific Coast Highway through Southern California to San Diego." Coda died December 11, 1958 in Long Beach, California at age 92. [YNP Army Files Doc. 122] [25g] [Bozeman Avant-Courier 8/19/1880, 9/30/1880] [1879, 1880, 1900 Census, Gallatin & Park Co] [Calif. Death Index Coda Gillian Armitage] [1930 Long Beach Census] [Long Beach Independent, 12/13/1958] Fitzgerald, Sellack M. Selleck Madison Fitzgerald was born April 24, 1840 in Van Buren County, Iowa to parents Ambrose Fitzgerald (b. 1806 in VA) and Mary A. (Longwell) Fitzgerald (b.1812 OH). He headed west to California in 1862 as the captain of a wagon train with 175 people at the mere age of 22. He married Mary A. Brown in June of that year at Ft. Laramie. They eventually had 13 children. After suffering farm problems in California, they moved to Oregon and engaged in the stock business. He came to Montana in 1873, settling in the Upper Yellowstone Valley. By 1875 he was living in Emigrant Gulch and advertised in the Bozeman newspaper that, "Tourists and pleasure parties can be supplied with anything they desire . . . "He was an agent for Zack Root's Express that year, being one of the stops on the route to the park. He became one of the first assistant superintendents, serving in 1885-86. In 1885 he was living at the cabin at Soda Butte to patrol activities at that end of the park and erected a 44’ addition to the existing cabin that year. The Soda Butte area also served as the overnight stop for travel from Mammoth to Cooke City. By 1888 he was running a boarding house in Horr. In 1889 he provided several train-car loads of beef and hogs to YPIC. His daughter, Eva, married Walter Henderson in 1889 (Walter was son of hotelier and interpreter G.L. Henderson). By 1897 Selleck operated the Park Hotel and livery service in Gardiner, which he leased to William Wylie for the use of his camping guests. In 1907 he served as an extra scout for the army at Ft. Yellowstone. Selleck and Mary's children were: Ambrose, b.1864; Ransom, b.1865; Henry B., b.1866; Eliza J., b.1868; Mary M., b.1869; Eva S., b.1871; Selleck M., b.1872; Ida B, b.1874; Ella E., b.1875; Emma M., b.1876; Jessie M., b.1878; Pearl E., b.1881; Babe, b.1883. Nine of the children were still alive by 1907. Wife Mary died Apr. 14, 1906 (b. 10-18-1840) and was buried in the Gardiner Cemetery. According to "Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1950", Selleck remarried on Jan. 17, 1908. The marriage notice mentioned he had been previously married or divorced. The bride was Emely (nee Tomlinson) Cole, born 1854, about 13 years his junior. The 1910 Census listed him in Sweetgrass Mont. area with no wife listed and the 1920 Census shows him in Fishtail, Mont., living alone. On Sept. 27, 1927 he was married to an Elisabeth "Bettie" (Mulherin) Bassett in Columbus, Mt (b. ca1863 in Missouri) and living in Fishtail. Apparently by that age he either had money or charm. Selleck celebrated his 90th birthday in Fishtail, Montana and died March 22, 1932. [31] [LE;10/3/1885;6/15/1889;6/2/1897] [106d] [3m] [Bozeman Avant-Courier 5/14/1875; 8/27/1875] [Babcock's History of the Yellowstone Valley - 1907] [Montana Death Index, 1907-2002, STW721] Folsom, David E . David Folsom was a member of the Folsom-Cook-Peterson Expedition of 1869. He first came to the West in 1862 to mine for gold in Idaho. He moved on to Bannack and Virginia City, Montana during the gold rush in those areas. One day he incurred the wrath of bandit George Ives, who attempted to draw Folsom into a fight. Folsom beaned Ives with a pool ball and made his escape with friends. The vigilantes later hosted Ives with a "necktie party." Folsom eventually joined up with friend Charles Cook at Confederate Gulch near Helena. Cook managed the Boulder Ditch Co., which supplied water to the miners in Diamond City. Following the Yellowstone Expedition Folsom went to work in the office of the surveyor general in Montana. There he met Henry Washburn and was able to provide valuable information for Washburn’s expedition the following year. Folsom also made mention to Washburn that the area should be reserved for public use and collaborated with Cook on the article about their visit to Yellowstone. He later became a partner with Walter DeLacy in the surveying business. Folsom served as Montana state senator in the 1890’s and died May 18, 1918 in Palo Alto, California. Folsom was born May 1839 in Epping, New Hampshire, and like Cook, was educated in the Quaker philosophy, which no doubt helped seal their friendship. [31] [25g] [Dan Thrapp, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography] Fossum, John . John Fossum worked with or for Ole Anderson in the production of ‘coated specimens’ at Mammoth by 1885 and continued the practice at least through 1898. Henderson’s Park Guide and Manual for 1885 noted that the Cottage Hotel Museum, run by Jennie Henderson, was selling “Anderson & Fossum’s Famous Coated Goods.” During the winter of 1889-90 he was employed by the Yellowstone Park Associaition (YPA) to repair the telephone lines in the park. Billy Hofer once described him as the "best Ski runner I ever saw and the best ever in the Park." Hofer also noted Fossum was a photographer and claimed he "got some of the best Buffalo Pictures ever taken of that animal in a wild state . . ."Ernest Thompson Seton, in his book "Wild Animals at Home," published in 1913, tells this story of Fossum: "A friend of mine, John Fossum, once a soldier attached to Fort Yellowstone, had a similar adventure on a more heroic scalp. While out on a camera hunt in early winter he descried afar a large bull Elk lying asleep in an open valley. At once Fossum made a plan. He saw that he could crawl up to the bull, snap him where he lay, then later secure a second picture as the creature ran for the timber. The first part of the program was carried out admirably. Fossum got within fifty feet and still the Elk lay sleeping. Then the camera was opened out. But alas! that little pesky "click," that does so much mischief, awoke the bull, who at once sprang to his feet and ran - not for the woods - but for the man. Fossum with the most amazing nerve stood there quietly focusing his camera, till the bull was within ten feet, then pressed the button, threw the camera into the soft snow and ran for his life with the bull at his coat-tails. It would have been a short run but for the fact that they reached a deep snowdrift that would carry the man, and would not carry the Elk. Here Fossum escaped, while the bull snorted around, telling just what he meant to do to the man when he caught him; but he was not to be caught, and at last the bull went off grumbling and squealing. The hunter came back and recovered his camera. It shows plainly the fighting light in the bulb eye, the back laid ears, the twisting of the nose, and the rate at which he is coming is evidenced in the stamping feet and the wind-blown whiskers; and yet in spite of the peril of the moment, and the fact that this was a hand camera, there is no sign of shake on landscape or on Elk, and the picture is actually over-exposed. [YNP Box H2 History File] [LE; 6/6/1898] [YNP Army Files Doc.#618] French, Augustus T. A.T. French (Augustus T. French) received the Mammoth-Cooke City mail contract in 1889 and took over J.A. Clark’s previous operation. In 1891, W.S. Boom of the Idaho Stage Line received a 3-year contract for that route, but sub-contracted the operation to French. A fire in 1893 near Yancey’s destroyed a barn, stage, two horses, grain and hay that French was using in his operation. He apparently still had the contract in 1897 as he built the old log cabin (still standing) at the lower end of the Mammoth Esplanade. By 1900 French was operating the Cinnabar to Jardine stage route. The 1900 Census for Gardiner, Montana shows he was born around 1857 (age 43) in France and married to Margaret M. French, aged 31. They had 3 children: Herbert S., 12; Florence P., 9; Ambrose T., 5. In 1910 they were still living in Yellowstone, but by 1920 Augustus and Margaret had moved to Harlowtown, Montana. [32] [LE;12/21/1889;5/24/1890;6/27/1891;5/27/1893] [115] [1910-1920 Federal Census] Frost, Ned W. Ned Frost was born around 1881 and came into the Cody country as an infant with his family and settled on Sage Creek. 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 helped to build the Corkscrew Bridge on Sylvan Pass in the early 1900’s. In 1903 he discovered Frost Cave in the hills outside of town. He 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. They saved up enough to build a large ranch house as a base camp for their enterprises. They formed the Frost & Richard Co. around 1910 and began conducting camping trips into Yellowstone. The two men also guided hunts into the neighboring forest areas that lasted for a month or more. When Prince Albert of Monaco came to Wyoming to hunt in 1913, Fred Richard and Wm. Cody guided him. After 1916 Frost and Richard went separate ways and formed their own guiding and hunting operations. Frost guided many famous hunters during his lifetime, including Saxton Pope and Art Young (Pope & Young Club). Frost Lake, two miles NE of Pyramid Peak was named after him ca1893-95. The Frost Ranch is the current location of the Skytel Ranch. [119y] [113] Check out my Frost & Richard Camping Co. page for more info!! ​ Galusha, Hugh. Hugh Galusha was hired as company controller for Yellowstone Park Hotel Co in 1931 and also served as Harry Child’s accountant and advisor for many years. He maintained this position with Wm. Nichols in the 1950’s, and in 1956 he became one of the first non-family members to serve on the board of Directors of Yellowstone Park Co. He also provided accounting/legal services for Charles Hamilton, Pryor & Trischman and George Whittaker. The Galusha firm is still in business under the name of Galusha Higgins & Galusha. [25L;42] Gardner, Johnson. Johnson Gardiner was an early fur trapper who began trapping in Gardner’s Hole south of Mammoth around 1831-32. He probably came up the Missouri in 1822 with the Ashley-Henry party and trapped in the Rockies for many years. He was known as a rough-and-tough fellow. An article about him in the April 23, 1903 issue of the Gardiner Wonderland newspaper rated him as “an outlaw and in general a worthless, dissolute character.” The Gardner River and Gardner’s Hole were named after him. Those names have at times in history also been spelled with an ‘i’, as in Gardiner. [25L;43] Garrison, Lemuel A. Lemuel Garison was Yellowstone Park Superintendent from 1956 to 1964. [25L;43] George, James James George - See ‘Yankee Jim’. Geyser Bob aka Robert Edgar , was a stagecoach driver for Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. (YPTCo) and 'whipped the lash' for 30 years in the park. He was famous for telling his ‘dudes’ many tall tales. One tale tells of him falling into the Old Faithful Geyser crater and coming out of Beehive Geyser. He told his astonished listener that the trip would have only taken about 10 minutes, except he stopped for a haircut and a shave. He was reported to be a son-in-law of Old Plenty Coups, chief of the Crow Indians. Edgar umpired the first game of baseball played by the Crow and Sioux, and was known to umpire beer-ball games in Gardiner on occasion. He died as he wished - "with his boots on" - and was driving a party of tourists around the park when he suddenly took seriously ill. Geyser Bob was interred in the Gardiner cemetery after his death at Yellowstone Lake on Aug. 23, 1913 at age 70. His headstone was “Erected by his Many Friends.” According to Hiram Chittenden, in his book The Yellowstone National Park (1915 edition), Edgar was born July 13, 1840 in Liverpool England and moved to New York with his parents as an infant. Growing up in the Bowery, he later served in the Civil War and went west afterward and drove a mail stage for many years in the Dakota Territory before arriving in Yellowstone, probably around 1883. See my Geyser Bob history page for an accounting of his life and his 'whoppers.' [LE;5/9/1908] [31] [113] Gibson, Charles Charles Gibson formed the Yellowstone Transportation Co. (YTC) with Thomas Oakes in 1886. Gibson, a St. Louis hotel businessman, was also co-founder of the Yellowstone Park Association (YPA) that same year, along with Nelson C. Thrall and John C. Bullitt. The YTC contracted to YPA for transportation services, but the actual stagecoach services were sub-contracted to Wakefield & Hoffman. The YTC was sold to the Yellowstone National Park Transportation Co. (YNPTCo) in 1892. Gibson sold his YPA shares back to the Northern Pacific Ry in 1898. [25L;44] Gilmer John T. 'Jack. ' Jack Gilmer and Monroe Salisbury formed the Gilmer & Salisbury stagecoach line in the early 1870’s with the purchase of the assets of the Utah, Idaho, and Montana branches of Wells, Fargo & Co. In 1873 this transportation firm was running stages from Fort Benton, Montana to Helena. They bought out the Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage, Mail and Express Line in 1876, operating the Deadwood line between Cheyenne and the Black Hills. They began running stagecoaches into the park from the Union Pacific rail line at Spencer Idaho beginning in 1879 and built a stage station at Henry’s Lake in 1881. The route passed through Virginia City, Ennis, Henry’s Lake and Targhee Pass before arriving at Marshall’s Hotel. They became one of the most powerful corporations in the Northwest in the late 1800’s and amassed a nice fortune. In their final days stage lines ran from the Canadian border to southern Utah and from the Great Plains to California and Washington. Gilmer began ‘whacking’ mules and oxen in 1859 for Russell, Majors & Waddell and continued with the firm when Ben Holliday bought it out in 1861. He later became involved in the mining business in South Dakota, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, and California. [18t] [25g] [79o;470-71] Goff, John & Homer. In Jan. of 1905 the two men were given a 4-year contract to hunt mountain lions and lynx in Yellowstone. They received $75/month in pay plus $5 per lion. They utilized a large pack of hunting dogs to kill the animals that were considered a menace to park wildlife. John Goff was the "chief mountain lion killer" of Wyoming. This was an official position created in 1905 due to the great sums of money lost by cattlemen and sheep men from mountain lion depredation on their stock. President "Teddy" Roosevelt offered the position to Goff, who had guided the president on a hunting trip in Colorado a couple of years earlier. Goff moved to the Big Horn Basin from southern Colorado upon acceptance of the position. By the summer of 1906 he had killed several hundred of the big cats in the forest reserves of the Yellowstone region. He maintained a lifelong friendship with Mr. Roosevelt. Goff was born around 1867 and started his career as a "bullwhacker" in the late 1870's. In 1906 Goff built a lodge on leased land along the North Forth of the Shoshone River not far from the east entrance of Yellowstone Park. It later became Goff Creek Lodge and is still in operation. John Goff died March 28, 1937 in Cody, Wyoming. [106d] [Goff Creek Lodge website] [Washington Post; 7-30-1906] Goode, Capt. George W . Capt. Goode was Acting Supt. of Yellowstone with the 1st Cavalry from July 23, 1900 to May 8, 1901. He was born April 21, 1855 in St. Louis, Missouri and entered the US Military Academy July 1, 1875. He became as second lieutenant with the 1st Cavalry on June 12, 1880 and served in the Spanish American War. He later achieved the rank of colonel before his release from active duty in 1918. He died August 20, 1941 at Pasadena, California. [25L;45] [31;456-57] Goodnight, Charles . His ranch in Texas provided three buffalo bulls to the park in 1902 to help build up the herd. He charged $460.00 per head, and Howard Eaton was responsible for transporting them by rail to Yellowstone. Charles Goodnight was known as the "Father of the Texas Panhandle." He was born around 1836 and immigrated to Texas in 1876. His ranch eventually embraced 1,350,000 acres with over a hundred cowboys riding herd on 42,000 head of cattle and 460 horses. The town of Goodnight in Armstrong County, Texas was named after him. He attempted to cross cattle with buffalo, producing what he called "cattalo." They were exhibited at the 1903 Chicago World's Fair and later at the St. Louis Exposition. Charles died December 12, 1929 at his winter home in Tucson, Arizona following a 2-day bout with influenza. He celebrated his 91st birthday by marrying 26-year old Miss Corrine Goodnight of Butte, Montana. They were not related and the wedding was held in Forth Worth, Texas. [25L;45] [Helena Independent; 12-13-1929] Goodwin, Vernon. Vernon Goodwin, manager of the Alexandria and Ambassador hotels in Los Angeles, became one of the co-founders of what later became the Yellowstone Park Lodge & Camps Co. with H.W. Child in 1924. That year they bought out the Yellowstone Park Camps Co. from Howard H. Hays, Roe Emery, and E.H. Moorman and the company became known as the Vernon Goodwin Co. Four years later Child assumed complete ownership of the lodge company, changing the name to YP Lodge & Camps Co. Goodwin continued to work for Child, as did Edward H. Moorman, and upon Child’s death in 1931 Goodwin became vice-president of Yellowstone Park Hotel Co. He continued in this position when the Yellowstone Park Co. was created in 1936 and left the company in 1942 at age 71. According to "Greater Los Angeles & Southern California Portraits & Personal Memoranda," Lewis Publishing Company, 1910, Goodwain was "born in Santa Rosa, Cal., Dec. 13, 1871. Chiefly educated in public and high schools (grad. from latter in 1889), Assistant postmaster of Santa Rosa for three years; resigned to take a law course, and admitted to practice in California Supreme Court, 1894. Principal of grammar school for three years, and later took a special English course at Stanford University. Served as Deputy County Auditor for four years and resigned to accept position with California Gas & Electric Corporation. Came to Los Angeles, 1895; now Secretary of the Bilicke-Rowan Fireproof Building Co., Bilicke-Rowan Annex Co., Alexandria Hotel Co. and Hollenbeck Hotel Co." [25L;45] [Billings Gazette, 5-24-1924] Gourley, James . James Gourley discovered gold in the Cooke City area in 1869-70 with Adam ‘Horn’ Miller, Ed Hibbard, and Bart Henderson. The party also discovered the Hoodoo Basin and gave it the name of ‘Hoodoo’ or ‘Goblin Land’. Gourley also prospected extensively in the Mammoth, Gardiner, and Bear Creek areas. By 1884 he was Recorder for Gallatin County and claimed he knew James McCartney very well for 20 years beginning in 1879, indicating he may have come from New York, as did McCartney. In 1884 Gourley was Secretary of the Bear Gulch Placer Company that was operating two large placers about 2-1’2 miles from Gardiner. [YNP Army Files Doc.137] [32] Graham, Arch and Sarah A. Graham Arch Graham was part of party of tourists in 1874 that went for a boat ride in E.S. Topping's sailboat on Yellowstone Lake. The party included his wife Sarah, William and Sarah Tracy and their two sons. Topping named his boat the Sallie in honor of having the first two women to sail with him on the Lake. Arch Graham was born in 1833 in Kentucky and moved to Nodaway County, Missouri at age 18. There he became county clerk and also acted as deputy sheriff and deputy U.S. Marshall. In 1853 Arch married Miss Sarah A. Wiseman, a native of Ohio. He enlisted at the start of the Civil War and served for the duration on the side of the South. In 1867 the family took a steamboat to Fort Benton and settled in Helena where he operated a livery stable and did carpenter work. They moved to Bozeman around 1871 and Arch served as county clerk and recorder of Gallatin County from 1871-75. He turned to farming in 1876. The Grahams had five children. [From Leeson’s History of Montana] Grounds, Frank. Frank Grounds was a resident of Bozeman, a member of the Big Horn Expedition of 1874, and prospected in the Black Hills for gold. From 1873 to at least 1875 he worked with George Huston at Mammoth guiding and running pack trains into the park for tourists. He also hunted and trapped the greater Yellowstone area. In 1875, He was know to have collected over 1000 elk skins for sale or trade with Huston, James McCartney and others at the Gardiner River Bridge in 1875. He died of pneumonia in the Black Hills in Sept. of 1877. [Bozeman Avant-Courier 4/30/1875; 5/14/1875; Bozeman Times 6/1/1875; 9/27/1877] Gratiot Camp. In 1927, the James T. Gratiot Camping Company of Dubois, Wyo., established a camp at Lewis Lake with housekeeping cabins. It was unsuccessful financially and the 76 cabins were obtained by the YPLCCo in 1928 and moved to West Thumb, probably on or near the old Wylie Camp. These were simple and inexpensive cabins and visitors were generally required to BYO bedding, etc. Tents were added to boost the capacity to about 100 guests. A cafeteria was built to serve the camp.

  • Geyser Bob - Stage Driver |

    Robert Edgar - Stage Driver The "Real" Geyser Bob ​ 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 Geyser Bob 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. ​

  • Hotels & Lodges |

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

  • 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 Bios R-S-T |

    Yellowstone Biographies R-S-T ​ ​ 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. Randall, Dick. Dick Randall came to Miles City, Montana from Birmingham, Iowa in 1884 at age 17. He was a cowboy for some years prior to buying a small herd of horses and settling in Gardiner. He drove stagecoach for Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. during that time and was known as “Pretty Dick.” He also guided hunting parties outside the park. Dick married Dora Roseborough, who was from Kansas. In 1887 they settled on land located about 12 miles north of Gardiner that would later become the OTO Ranch in. In 1898 the OTO Ranch was established and became the 1st dude ranch in Montana. Twelve cabins and a 12-room lodge were built, along with a 2-story saddle room, shower house, laundry area, and powerhouse with a water-powered turbine. The ranch eventually consisted of 7,000 acres. He once led 368 members of the Sierra Club on a horseback pack trip around the park. Their son Gay Randall helped with the operation and wrote an interesting book about life on the ranch and the surrounding wilderness entitled "Footprints Along the Yellowstone." Activities included cattle ranching, horseback riding, big game hunting, and hiking. The heyday of the dude ranch spanned the years 1912 to 1934. The great Depression and the poor economy caused Dick and his wife Dora to sell the ranch in 1932 after 34 years of operation. The buildings went untended and fell into disrepair until 1997 when the Forest Service and volunteer workers began rehabilitation of the buildings and site in general. Randall died in 1957 at age 91. [78] [71c] [ –OTO Ranch] Raymond, Rossiter W. Rossiter Raymond was a member of the Raymond-Clawson tourist party of 1871. He was accompanied by Calvin C. Clawson, A.F. Thrasher, and others, and was guided by Gilman Sawtelle of Henry’s Lake. The group has been recognized as the 1st commercial tourist party to enter Yellowstone. [25L;87] Raynolds, William F. William Raynolds led a military expedition to Yellowstone that became known as the Raynolds Expedition. The party attempted an expedition into the heart of the Yellowstone area in May of 1859. The party included Jim Bridger, Ferdinand Hayden, and others. They traveled down the east side of the Wind River Mountains, but were unable to cross over them. They continued down over Union Pass and attempts to enter Yellowstone from the south also failed due to deep snows. The party ended up going up the west side of the park and down the Madison River to Three Forks. [25L;87] Reamer, Robert. Robert Reamer was born in Oberlin, OH in 1873. After working several different architectural jobs, he wound up near San Diego, CA., where he met Harry W. Child. Child hired Reamer, now age 29, to design the new hotel at Old Faithful. Reamer became a close friend of the Child family for many years. He was responsible for the design of many of the park’s greatest buildings, including the Old Faithful Inn (1903), Northern Pacific Ry Depot at Gardiner (1903), Lake Hotel renovations (1904-1924), Lake Lodge (1920’s), Canyon Hotel (1910-11), and the Mammoth Hotel renovations in 1936-38. Other buildings to his credit include the Child residence at Mammoth, the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. residences in Gardiner, Thumb Lunch Station (1903), Fishing Bridge Hut (1935), North Entrance Ranger Station (1924), Chinese Gardens Cottage (1909), the Bunkhouse and mess house in Gardiner, (1906), YPTCo barn/garage at Mammoth (1903), the Upper Hamilton Store at Old Faithful, and the famous US map in the Map Room of Mammoth Hotel. He continued to design projects for Yellowstone until his death January 7, 1938 at the age of 64. [25L;87] [75] Reeb, George ‘Morphine Charley ’. He was convicted of the stage coach robbery that occurred Aug. 14, 1897 about four miles from Canyon Hotel along the Norris road. He was aided in the robbery by Gus ‘Little Gus’ Smitzer. Famed poacher Ed Howell was hired to track down the perpetrators of the robbery and later received reward money for his actions. Both men were convicted in District Court in Cheyenne, Wyoming the following May and sentenced to 2-1/2 years in the federal pen. George Reeb was indeed addicted to morphine and the jail time cured him of his habit, of which he was grateful. Smitzer was later hired as an irrigator at the Rose Creek Ranch, and served faithfully for a number of years. Smitzer is buried in the Gardiner cemetery and his headstone notes he was born in 1849 and died in 1931. [31] Reese, George W. George Reese was born Oct. 10, 1837 in Piqua, Miami Co., Ohio, and moved later with his family to Illinois and in 1856 relocated to Kansas. He and two of his brothers left Kansas and headed west to the gold country of California, the Black Hills and Montana. George returned to Kansas in 1861 and volunteered for service in the Civil War, serving until its conclusion. After his discharge in 1865 he hauled freight by wagon from Kansas to Montana. He eventually stayed in Montana and was in the Yellowstone gold country as early as 1867 with Lou Anderson, Hubble, Caldwell and another man. They discovered gold in the first stream above Bear Creek and named it Crevice Creek. He returned to Kansas periodically and married Arvilla Disney in November of 1870 in Topeka. However, she died shortly after in August of 1871. He returned to Montana and was living along the northern border of the park at least by 1877 and was present at the gunfight at the Henderson Ranch with the Nez Perce on Aug. 31, 1877. He then guided for Gen. Howard in his pursuit of the Nez Perce and was known as the “Old Guide of the Mountains.” Reese reportedly was involved in numerous Indian fights during his life. His first cabin south of Reese Creek was burned by the Nez Perce in 1877, and he built a house on upper Reese Creek by 1883, but was unable to obtain title to the land. He built a third home and ranch on lower Reese Creek, which was named after him. George Reese married a woman named Arminda Vice on July 5, 1885 in Missouri. George was 47 years old and Arminda was only 16, and they were divorced about the time their youngest child, Ira Jay, was 6 years old. George raised Ira and his other sons Bertrand Samuel and James George. George and Mr. Hoppe established a school in Cinnabar by 1884, and George served on the school board for several years. He was mail carrier from Horr to Aldridge for four years and served as Sunday school superintendent. He was a religious man, taught bible study classes, led the congregation in singing hymns, and played the violin and organ. He was a big game hunter and had many specimens mounted for exhibition. He took one of his displays to the St. Louis Exhibition in 1904. He died May 21, 1913 at an age of 75 years, and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery at Livingston. His son James and wife (Margaret Curdy) took over the ranch and lived on it until 1922, when they moved to Hiawatha, Utah. [113] [106d] [32] [YNP Vert. File, Biography, Geo. Wash. Reese, by Helen Frandsen Reese, 1986] [56m;1154] Richardson, James. James Richardson published the 1st park guidebook in 1873 that was entitled “Wonders of the Yellowstone Region”. Much of the information was taken from reports of the Washburn and Hayden expeditions. [25L;88] Richardson, Herbert F. ‘Uncle Tom’ Richardson started out as a Wylie Camp employee until receiving permission in 1896 to build a trail down into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone below Lower Falls. The trail originally consisted of ropes and wooden ladders and required a good dose of fortitude. He rowed visitors across the Yellowstone River just above the current Chittenden bridge site and led them down his trail, at a cost of $1.00 per person. He cooked them all a hearty meal before rowing them back across the river. Uncle Tom had his guide permit revoked in 1903, and construction of the new bridge over the Yellowstone River that year began taking away his business. However, it appears he continued to guide, with permission granted in 1904-06. 1147 people were noted as taking the trip with Uncle Tom in 1905 and he was allowed to erect a tent for his use near the trailhead in both 1904 and 1905. In 1905 the army built wooden stairs down a portion of Tom’s Trail and improved other sections. The following year Richardson was allowed to charge people 50¢ for his guide service, but not for use of his trail, which they could now use on their own. Concrete walks and steel stairways replaced the old wooden stairs in 1965. "Uncle Tom" died at his home in Bozeman on April 22, 1913 due to heart problems. Born in 1854, he was survived by his second wife, a married daughter in Nebraska, and two daughters in Bozeman. [25g] [YNP Army Files Doc.5753-54] [YNP Archives Box 42;20] [32] [Anaconda Standard, 4-23-1913] Rockefeller, Laura Spelman. A foundation was set up in her name in 1918 using funds donated by John D. Rockefeller, and was absorbed into the Rockefeller Foundation in 1929. The foundation donated $118,000 in 1928 to be used by the American Association of Museums for the National Parks. The museums at Old Faithful, Madison, Fishing Bridge, and Norris were built using this money. [25L;88] Rogers, Edmund B. Edmund Rogers was Park Superintendent from 1936 to 1956. [25L;88] Roosevelt, Theodore. Teddy Roosevelt first came west on a hunting trip in 1883 and soon afterwards purchased ranch land in North Dakota. In 1886 he ventured into the northwest corner of the park while on another hunting trip. He met George Bird Grinnell in 1885 and together with other influential sportsmen, created the Boone & Crockett Club in 1888. The organization was formed for the “…preservation of the large game in this country, and…to further legislation for that purpose, and to assist in enforcing the existing laws.” Yellowstone was one of their primary concerns. He visited Yellowstone again in 1890 and for a period of time favored the railroad’s desire to lay their tracks of steel inside the park to Cooke City. He was soon dissuaded from this opinion by his friends in Boone & Crockett. Roosevelt made several other trips to Yellowstone in the early 1890s, but soon the pressures of his political life made those journeys impossible. He became President in 1901 with the assassination of William McKinley. Roosevelt made his most famous trip to the park in 1903 with naturalist friend John Burroughs and was guided by Uncle Billy Hofer. Together they explored the park and saw first hand the condition of the wildlife and the declining buffalo herd. One of their campsites was near Calcite Springs, close to Tower Falls. A legend later sprung up that the group camped under the large tree at what became Roosevelt Camp and lodge. This was however, a promotional scheme devised by the early supporters of the Roosevelt Camp in order to draw business to the location, which was located off the main tour route. Before Roosevelt left the park, he stopped in Gardiner on April 24 and dedicated the new stone arch that was being built at the North Entrance. It was later named after him. The US Forest Service was created during his administration in 1905 and he installed forestry expert Gifford Pinchot as the head of the new U.S. Forest Service. Roosevelt adopted Pinchot’s principle of multiple-use, the nation’s first formal natural-resource policy. The multiple-use policy advocated scientific management of public lands for a variety of uses, including commercial development. Using his presidential powers, Roosevelt set aside a total of 235 million acres of public lands to protect them from exploitation by private interests. [84c] [62i] [25g] Russell, Osborne. Osborne Russell, one of the Rocky Mountain fur trappers in the early 1800s, first trapped in Yellowstone in 1835 and continued until 1939. In 1836 he described the “parting of the waters” at Two Ocean Pass, where water from one lake flowed both east and west of the continental divide. Blackfoot Indians wounded him and a companion near the mouth of Pelican Creek in 1839 and they narrowly escaped capture or death. He later wrote a book describing life in Yellowstone and the Rocky Mountains. The book “Journal of a Trapper” is still being published and is widely read. [25g;10] Salisbury, O.J. O.J. Salisbury was born on the shore of Lake Erie, a few miles from Buffalo, New York. He went west at an early age and became a contractor for the Union Pacific on the construction of their new rail line. In the early 1870's he teamed up with his brother Monroe and J.T. Gilmer to purchase the assets of the Utah, Idaho, and Montana branches of Wells, Fargo & Co. In 1873 this transportation firm was running stages from Fort Benton, Montana to Helena. Gilmer & Salisbury bought out the Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage, Mail and Express Line in 1876, operating the Deadwood line between Cheyenne and the Black Hills. They began running stagecoaches into the park from the Union Pacific rail line at Spencer Idaho beginning in 1879 and built a stage station at Henry’s Lake in 1881. The route passed through Virginia City, Ennis, Henry’s Lake and Targhee Pass before arriving at Marshall’s Hotel. They became one of the most powerful corporations in the Northwest in the late 1800’s and amassed a nice fortune. In their final days lines ran from the Canadian border to southern Utah and from the Great Plains to California and Washington. O.J. bought a home in Salt Lake City in the 1880's and spent the rest of his life there. He engaged in politics, as well as real estate, mining, and a farm mortgage loan business. [C.C. Goodwin, "As I Remember Them"] [18t] [25g] [79o;470-71] [25L;91] Sawtell, Gilman. Gilman Sawtell (sometimes Gilman Sawtelle) was the son of Ebenezer and Sally Sawtell, born Dec. 10, 1836 in Groton, Mass. He served with the 8th Illinois artillery in 1861-62 under Col. Farnsworth during the Civil War. He married Carrie Livermore (date unknown) and had a son Eben R. Sawtell in 1866 while living in Jackson County, Iowa. By 1867 the family was living in the west and homesteaded a ranch in the Henrys Lake area in 1867-68 after prospecting in the Nevada City area. In 1868 he built a rough road from his ranch to Virginia City, and five years later was instrumental in completing the road into Yellowstone via Targhee Pass to the Madison River and through the west entrance to the Lower Geyser Basin. The road was known as the Virginia City and National Park Free Wagon Road and conveniently passed by his lodge. It was the first road built into Yellowstone Park. Sawtell conducted the 1st commercial tour in the park in August of 1871, guiding the Raymond-Clawson party. They encountered part of the Hayden Expedition at Canyon. In a newspaper article the following year Rossiter W. Raymond described Sawtell as: "A stalwart, blonde, blue-eyed, jovial woodsman is he, who for years has kept a solitary ranch on the bank of Henry's lake, some sixty miles from the settlement. Half a dozen well built log houses constitute his establishment. There is a comfortable dwelling, a stable, a workshop, a storehouse for skins and game, and an ice house. Mr. Sawtelle's [sic] principal business has been spearing trout, packing them in ice, hauling them in wagons to Virginia City, and even as far as Helena, and disposing of them at handsome prices to the busy population, who haven't time to fish for themselves. A farm supplies him with vegetables and grain, the valleys afford him excellent hay, and land and water all about him swarms with game of every kind." In the 1870-80’s Sawtell caught and sold tens of thousands of pounds of fish from Henry’s Lake and shipped them by rail to markets as far away as Butte and Salt Lake City. The ranch suffered damage in 1877 when the Nez Perce passed through and again in 1878 by the Bannock. The ranch became a stage stop in 1880 when George Marshall began stage service into Yellowstone. Mrs. Sawtell died Dec. 13, 1884 and in 1890 Sawtell transferred his properties to son Eben and lived out his life as a prospector. Eben sold the ranch to Edwin Staley on June 18, 1896 and the area became known as Staley Springs. A nearby mountain was named after him. [25g] [18t] [65e; 5/25/1872, p.4] [YNP H2 History File, Letters] Lt. Schwatka. Lt. Frederick Schwatka was born in Galena, Illinois Sept. 29, 1849, graduated from the US military academy in 1871, and was appointed 2nd lieutenant in the 3rd cavalry. He studied law and medicine and was admitted to the bar in 1875 and received a medical degree in 1876. He took a leave of absence from the military in 1878 and spent most of the next six years exploring the Arctic and the wilds of Alaska. He made a 3,251 mile journey by sled during his travels. He resigned from the military in 1884 and in 1886 lead another exploring expedition to Alaska under the auspices of the New York Times. In 1887 he attempted to become the first person to circumnavigate Yellowstone Park during the wintertime. The New York World newspaper financed the expedition and hired Frank Haynes to document the journey with photos. They were accompanied by scout Ed Wilson and several other men. Winter travel in Yellowstone proved to be much different than in the Arctic, and Schwatka was not prepared for the conditions he encountered. He only made it as far as Norris Geyser Basin when health problems forced an early end to his attempt and he returned to Mammoth. Frank Haynes, Wilson, David Stratton and C.A. Stoddard continued on with the venture, taking the first winter pictures in the park. The men narrowly escaped death in a blizzard while attempting to cross Dunraven Pass. Schwatka wrote several books in the mid-1880’s about his adventures in the Arctic and Alaska. He died in 1892. [25g] [97e] [1p] Scott, Charlie B. C.B. Scott came to Park Co., Montana in 1882 and engaged in the freighting and contracting business near Cooke City for a time. He was one of the five assistant superintendents for Yellowstone National Park in the early 1880’s. He later developed the Scott Water Co. and participated in several other businesses in Gardiner. By 1892 he operated a “billiard and sample room located on Main street and enjoys a liberal patronage from his legion of friends and acquaintances.” He married Adelaide Bigelow in 1904 raised purebred Hereford cattle on a ranch in Tom Miner Basin until his death in 1934. They had a stone house on East Main St. in Gardiner, next to the old Cottage Hotel (west side). In 1904-05 he was active in the fundraising and construction of the community Union Church on West Main St. During the 1914-16 seasons he was a stockholder in the Shaw & Powell Camping Co. In 1924 he became one of the directors of the new Gardiner Light & Water Co. [LE;6/4/1892] [L.Link bio, YNP Vert. Files, Biography] [YNP Archives - Shaw & Powell Financial Records.] Scott, M.D. M.D. Scott was killed in 1885 by lightning while sailing on Yellowstone Lake in the Explorer. [25L;92] Scoyen, Clarence “Pop”. “Pop” Scoyen was born in the Norris Blockhouse on March 4, 1895. He brother Eivind was born there also in 1896 (Eivind was at one time assistant director of the NPS, and Supt. of Glacier and Zion). Pop was a long-standing member of the Gardiner Eagles and American Legion. In his early days he worked as truck driver, dog team chauffeur, ice cutter, winter keeper at the Canyon Ranger Station, and worked for the NPS from 1919-23. In 1923 he went to work for George Whittaker’s general store at MHS until April of 1925. He was then employed by the W.A. Hall store for the next 14 years. He also worked at the Gardiner post office from 1939-43. He then returned to the NPS where he retired in March of 1965. In May of 1923 he married Linnea Britton, and the couple had one daughter named Connie Lee. Mrs. Scoyen died on May 25, 1961. Pop died in 1981. [Conversations with Anne Mitchell] [Park County News; 7/25/1971] Seller, K.R. K.R. Seller was a visitor from Minnesota who was the driver of the first vehicle allowed into the park on July 31, 1915, driving a Model-T Ford. [25L;92] Sevitz, Robert J. Robert Sevitz became a member of the Yellowstone Park Co. Board of Directors in 1959. He was with the Security Bank of Los Angeles, which was providing financing for the company. [25L;92] Shaw, Amos A. Amos Shaw was born June 1, 1848 on the Atlantic Ocean, three days out from Gibraltar, while enroute to Canada. His birthplace was considered legally to be in Michigan, the residence of his parents. He was the son of Amos Shaw (ca1806-1866), a British naval officer and Mary (Cassady) Shaw (ca1809-1871). At 9 years of age Amos began working on the steamer "Globe," plying the waters between Saginaw and Buffalo NY. He was a cabin boy for 4 years and then sailed on the Great Lakes in the summer as a captain of some of the largest vessels, and worked in the lumber woods during the winters until he came to Livingston, Mt. on Dec. 8, 1890. In 1891 he superintended the assembly of the steamboat Zillah for E.C. Waters and the Yellowstone Lake Boat Co. and became the Zillah’s first pilot. He held that position from 1891 through 1893. Captain Shaw married Eunice Conway (1855-1934) on April 20, 1876. He later became part owner of the Shaw & Powell Camping Company . He made his home in Livingston and had a ranch in the Shields River valley. He was married 38 years to Eunice Conway and was survived by their five children. Shaw died Sept. 24, 1913 of heart disease after a year's illness. Prior to his death he traveled to Washington DC where he finally obtained permission to install “permanent camps” in the park, to compete on an equal footing with the Wylie Permanent Camping Company. His sons Arthur and Walter continued on in the camping business after Amos’ death. He and Eunice are buried in the Mountain View Cemetery at Livingston. [25L;92] [83c] [68] [5n] Check my Shaw & Powell Camping Co. page for more info! Shaw, Chester. Leo Chester Shaw, son of Amos Shaw, was born in Burnham, Michigan and moved with his parents to Livingston, Montana in 1890. He served as assistant manager of the Shaw & Powell Company for about 21 years. He took over management of the Shaw Camps in Cooke City following the unfortunate death of his brother Walter in 1925, retiring in 1940. During WW1 he served as a transportation expert with a company working on war-related projects in Alaska. He died in a Portland Oregon hospital in early July, 1944. Chester was survived by his wife Margaret and their two sons William Amos and Richard Chester Shaw. [42e;7/5/1944] Shaw, Walter. Walter Shaw, son of Amos Shaw, assisted in the operation of the Shaw & Powell Camping Co. and became known nationwide as a lecturer and exhibitor of slides and films depicting the Yellowstone region. Walter 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. The Northern Pacific RR employed Walter during the winters as a promoter and he traveled through the East giving lectures on the beauties of the Rocky Mountain region. Walter and Lillian Shaw ran the Shaw Hotel in Gardiner from 1922 to 1925, when on June 19 he drowned while trying to ford the swollen Gardiner River near town. Friends equipped with spotlights patrolled the river at night hoping to spot his body. Three months later his remains were found ¾ mile south of the Emigrant Bridge. Lillian and her children continued to operate the hotel until it was sold in 1944 to Hugh Crossen and J.D. Winters. His brother Chester took over management of the Cooke City operations. [24d] [39-24] [42e;7/5/1944] [42e;6/25/1925] For additional information on the Shaw family, visit my Shaw & Powell Camping Co. web page. Sheridan, Phillip. Gen. Sheridan was an army general who visited the park in 1882 with a force of 150 men. He cut a primitive trail from Jackson’s Hole to West Thumb, and later recommended military protection of the park. [25L;93] Shively, John S. An important personage in the 1877 Nez Perce foray through Yellowstone in 1877, John Shively, described as an "altogether honest and reliable man," helped guide, albeit under force, the Nez Perce through the wilds of Yellowstone. Chased by the army from their homeland in Oregon, the Nez Perce always seemed to keep a few steps ahead of General Howard in their quest for safety in Canada. Shively and members of the Radersburg tourist party were captured by the Nez Perce in August and held captive for over a week while the Indians negotiated their way through Yellowstone. Eventually he escaped his captors and made his way back to Bozeman to tell of the exciting adventures in Wonderland. Born around 1833 in Pennsylvania, Shively headed west in 1852 to follow the gold rush and eventually landed in Montana Territory. He died February 15, 1889 in Phillipsburg, Montana. [Thrapp, Dan, Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography, Vol.III] Simmons, Glen. Glen Simmons was a government employee who in 1942 was the 1st to use a snowplane in to West Yellowstone in 7-3/4 hours. A snowplane was a propeller-driven cab on skis. [25L;93] Simpson, Gov. Governor of Wyoming who proposed in 1955 that the state of Wyoming buy out the YPCo operation and assets and run the concession. The proposal was later defeated. [25L;94] Skinner, Milton Milton Skinner first came to Yellowstone in 1896 as an employee of the Yellowstone Park Association. He later went on to work for the Corps of Engineers overseeing roadwork. He became the 1st Chief Naturalist in 1920. [25L;94] Smith, A.L A.W. Miles purchased a 1/3 interest in the Wylie Camping Co. in 1905 and A.L. Smith bought the other 2/3 interest for silent partner Harry Child. The company was renamed the Wylie Permanent Camping Co. with Miles as president and general manager. [25L;72] Smitzer, “Little Gus”. Gus Smitzer aided in the stagecoach robbery with George Reeb that occurred Aug. 14, 1897 about four miles from Canyon Hotel along the Norris road. Famed poacher Ed Howell was hired to track down the perpetrators of the robbery and later received reward money for his actions. Both men were convicted in District Court in Cheyenne, Wyoming the following May and sentenced to 2-1/2 years in the federal pen. Reeb was indeed addicted to morphine and the jail time cured him of his habit, of which he was grateful. Smitzer was later hired as an irrigator at the Rose Creek Ranch, and served faithfully for a number of years. Smitzer is buried in the Gardiner cemetery and his headstone notes he was born in 1849 and died in 1931. [31] Snyder, Lily. Lily Snyder married Frank J. Haynes in 1878 and began helping with the photography business almost immediately at his studio in Moorhead Minnesota. [25L;94] Sowash, Z.R. ‘Red’. Red Sowash, sometimes spelled Red Siwash, built a saloon in 1884 in the Round Prairie Meadow of Yellowstone, northeast of the present Pebble Creek Campground. He catered to the gold miners enroute to and from the mining fields of Cooke City. He applied for a lease for the ground he occupied in January of 1887 through House Representative J.K. Toole. However, Interior denied the request stating that visitor accommodations were not necessary in that portion of the park and the army removed him in 1887. Red Sowash arrived in Montana around 1875 and engaged in numerous pursuits in Miles City and the area east of Billings, Montana. He made his way to Park County, Montana and Yellowstone where he mined in the mountains of Cooke City, Aldridge, and the Bear Gulch area above Gardiner. "Red" passed away March 5, 1901 at his home in Horr after a short bout of pneumonia. [Anaconda Standard, 3-12-1901] [YNP Army Files Doc.123] [25g] Spence, May. Born circa 1899, May Spence married Charles Hamilton in 1920. Daughter Eleanor "Ellie" May Hamilton was born the following year. Ellie later married Trevor Povah. May Spence Hamilton passed away September 8, 1955. [25L;95] Spiker, John. By 1892 John Spiker was operating a hotel in Gardiner, which included a bar room that was “…well stocked with liquors and cigars.” He completed construction of a water wheel on the Yellowstone River in April 1895 to force water up to the town of Gardiner. Most water was hauled in barrels prior to that time. The following year he began construction of a 75-light Jenny Dynamo at the water wheel. By April of 1897 the electric plant was working and supplied electricity to light up his hotel. [LE:6/4/1892] 4/13/1895; 5/9/1896; 4/24/1897] Stephens, Clarence. Clarence Stephens was one of the assistant superintendents under Supt. Norris from 1879-82 and was briefly superintendent between the administrations of Norris and Conger. Upon Supt. Conger’s arrival, Stephens was replaced by G.L. Henderson as assistant superintendent. On Mar. 2, 1880 Stephens was appointed the 1st postmaster in the park and served at Mammoth, probably in the Norris Blockhouse. He purchased the James Henderson Ranch at Stephens Creek in the early 1880’s, but sold out to George Stephens and Joe Keeney in 1883 and returned east. Stephens Creek was named after him. [25L;96] Stuart, Alex. Alex Stuart was one of the first few residents of the new town of Riverside (now West Yellowstone) located at the west entrance to Yellowstone and built a general store with Sam Eagle. Alex and his wife sold out in 1910 and purchased Charles Arnet’s “The Yellowstone Store.” They incorporated as the Stewart Mercantile Co. in 1915. Stuart also built Stuart’s Garage, selling Texaco gas, oil, tires, and other automotive supplies. He gained the contract to service the buses of YPTCo in 1917. The yellow buses picked up visitors from the Union Pacific rail depot for tours into the park. Mr. Stuart was born Feb. 17, 1880 in Canada and relocated to Montana in 1894, and then in the area that became Riverside in 1901. Alex and his wife Laura (nee Larsen) had a son Walter in 1909, who in 1936, purchased his father's Texaco service station operation. Laura Steward, a native of Norway, died in the fall of 1939. Alex died Feb. 27, 1961 in Ashton, Idaho and was buried next to his wife in the Sunset Hills Cemetery. Stuart, Charles. Born in 1849, Charles Stuart was a member of the US Geological Survey under Arnold Hague for several years in the late 1880’s. He married Helen Henderson, daughter of G.L. Henderson, on Nov. 15, 1887. He had also served as a tourist guide and outfitter for the Cottage Hotel and assisted with construction of the addition to the hotel in 1887. He died in 1929. [LE;11/15/1887;5/28/1887] [1899 YNP Supt’s Report] Thrall, Nelson C. Nelson C. Thrall was a Philadelphia businessman who was one of the founders of the Yellowstone Park Association in 1886 and served as secretary. [25L;97] Thrasher, Augustus F. A.F. Thrasher was a photographer that accompanied the Raymond-Clawson party in 1871 and took a considerable number of pictures in the park around the same time that Henry Jackson did. Unfortunately, the location of his photos or negatives has yet to be located. He operated in Idaho Territory around 1866 and arrived in Montana Territory the following year or so. He operated in both areas over the next few years and visited some of the mining camps in Montana in 1871. After 1872 he reportedly was active in the eastern United States and died sometime in the mid1870's. [25L;97] [Biographies of Western Photographers, Carl Mautz] Toll, Roger W. Roger Toll was Yellowstone Park superintendent from Feb. 1, 1929 to February 1936. He was killed in an unfortunate auto accident near Deming, New Mexico on Feb. 25, 1936. He left a wife and three children. Toll was born October 17, 1883 in Denver, Colorado and earned a degree in civil engineering at Denver and Columbia Universities. He started work in Washington DC in 1908 with the Coast and Geodetic Survey, working the coast of Alaska for a time. He served in the army during WWI, attained the rank of major, and moved to Hawaii after the war. Toll joined the Park Service in 1919 with service as superintendent at Mount Rainier National Park, followed by superintendence at Rocky Mountain NP. From there he moved on to Yellowstone. [25L;97] [National Park Service: The First 75 Years - Biographical Vignettes] Topping, Eugene S. E.S. Topping, operator of the first commercial boat on Yellowstone Lake, was born on Long Island May 15, 1844. He went to sea at age 12 in the ocean merchant service and headed west in 1868 working as prospector, miner, and stock trader. By 1871 he was working the Clark Fork mines and the following year guided Mr. & Mrs. H.H. Stone through the park. Mrs. Stone was reported to be the 1st known woman to visit the geyser basins. Topping and Dwight Woodruff spotted steam from the top of Bunsen Peak in 1872, and upon investigating its source, discovered the Norris Geyser Basin, and in the process, a shorter route to the Lower Geyser Basin. The following year Topping and Nelson Yarnell prospected on the Stinking Water River east of Yellowstone. 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. On Aug. 7, 1874 a Bozeman newspaper 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." In 1875 Topping built a cabin and boat dock at Topping Point, west of the Lake Outlet. He operated on the lake for two years. He spent much of his time between 1876 and 1880 in the Black Hills mining and sheep trading. He moved to Mandan and for two years had a wood contract with the Northern Pacific Railroad. Back in Yellowstone in 1882, Eugene Topping supervised a road crew that was charged by Supt. Conger with building a new road from McCartney's Hotel to Swan Lake Flats. They continued the road work on to Firehole and built a bridge over the Gardiner River enroute. In 1885 he published a very interesting book entitled “The Chronicles of the Yellowstone – An Accurate, Comprehensive History.” The book contains a lot of early park history, along with information about mining and Indian conflicts in the greater Yellowstone region during the late 1800’s. [97p] [113] [1882 Supt's Report, p4-5] [Bozeman Avant-Courier, 8/7/1874] [56m;1171] See also my Boat History page for additional information. Townsley, John. John Townsley was appointed Park Superintendent in 1975. Toy, Sam Sam Toy, also referred to as Sam Toi, started up a hand laundry business in the old McCartney Hotel in 1902. The business lasted until the winter of 1912 when the building burned down. [30] Train, Edgar H. Edgar H. Train (E.H. Train) was a Helena photographer who has become known for his early Yellowstone stereoviews of scenes of the early 1870's. Whether he actually took photos himself, or purchased photos from other photographers is unknown. He apparently bought Joshua Crissman's print of E.S. Topping's boat the Sallie, taken on Yellowstone Lake in 1874. He went into partnership with Helena photographer Oliver C. Bundy in 1876, who later that year bought out Train. He was born in 1831 in Stockholm, NY and died in 1899. [ ] Trischman, Anna. Anna Trischman - See ‘Pryor, Anna’ See also my Pryor Store page. Trischman, Elizabeth "Belle". Elizabeth Trischman was born Dec. 22, 1886 at Fort Custer, Montana Territory. She apparently was the twin sister of Harry Trischman, who worked as a ranger in Yellowstone for about 30 years. They moved with the family to Ft. Yellowstone in 1899. In 1912 she joined her sister Anna Pryor in the curio business at Mammoth, after George Pryor left the concern. The two sisters operated the Pryor & Trischman curio/coffee shop for about 45 years. In 1933 they purchased the general stores of George Whittaker located at Mammoth and Canyon. They retired in 1953, sold the operation to Charles Hamilton and returned to their winter home in Los Angeles. Elizabeth never married and passed away in a Glendale hospital on Nov. 20, 1984 at age 98. See also Pryor Stores page. [25h] Turnbull, Charles Smith. Dr. Charles S. Turnbull was the physician with Hayden's US Geological Survey of Yellowstone and the surrounding areas in 1871-73. Born Nov. 10, 1847 to Dr. & Mrs. Laurence Turnbull, he received his Ph.D in 1869 and studied in Vienna a few years later. He served as a surgeon in the Civil War, the Pennsylvania National Guard, and numerous medical facilities in New York and Pennsylvania. [Who's Who in America, 1902]

  • Gardiner MT |

    Gateways to Wonderland ​ Gardiner, Montana ​ ​ 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. Main street of Gardiner, Montana, 1888. Among the earliest photos of Gardiner. Most of the town burned down the following August. Photo by H.W. Lloyd. This probably Harry W. Lloyd, of the Lloyd & McPherson Saloon. He also served as freighter and notary. He passed in 1957. [Photo courtesy YNP Archives #1397] The Early Days . . . . Gardiner was the 1st gateway community of Yellowstone Park, located at the north entrance of the park at the junction of the Yellowstone and Gardiner rivers. Due to the relatively low elevation (about a mile high) and the presence of the Yellowstone River, easy year-round access was available. All of the other current entrances are snow-bound a good portion of the year. The area was traversed by Native Americans for at least 13,000 years and evidence of their presence has been well-documented along the Yellowstone River and other tributaries. The Yellowstone was also a favorite route of the fur trappers and early expeditions into the park. The Gardiner valley was visited by white men as early as 1829, when Joe Meek and other trappers were attacked by Indians near Cinnabar Mountain. In the 1830s mountain man Johnson Gardner trapped in Yellowstone, particularly around the Indian Creek/Gardner River area, known as Gardner’s Hole. The river and town were named after Gardner and somewhere along the line an “i” slipped into the spelling of the town’s name. In the 1860 prospectors such as George Huston, Jack Baronette, A. Bart Henderson, and Adam Horn Miller traveled along the Yellowstone River into the park searching for the elusive wealth of gold. Discoveries were made along Bear Creek and Jardine and in the northeast portions of the park around the current Cooke City area. Between 1869 and 1871 the expeditions of Folsom –Cook-Peterson, Washburn, Barlow Heap, and F.V. Hayden traversed along the Yellowstone River and through the Gardiner Valley into the depths of the park and began to bring the wonders of Yellowstone into the public eye. Mountain man Joe Meek, the first known Euro-American to explore the area around Gardiner in 1829. James McCartney is believed to be the rider at left, with President Roosevelt (center) and Acting Supt. John Pitcher in April 1903. [Courtesy Yellowstone Gateway Museum ] James McCartney and Harry Horr, homesteaded 160 acres at Mammoth and built the first crude log hotel at Mammoth in 1871. McCartney’s status in the park and his relations with the authorities were unstable at best and he was encouraged to leave the park on an involuntary basis on claims he was trespassing, and his land and buildings taken from him. McCartney eventually settled along the northern park boundary and Gardner River around 1879 in the area that would become the town of Gardiner. He was the town’s first postmaster in 1880, founded the fledgling town, and later became unofficial ‘Mayor’. He was the man who introduced President Roosevelt at the dedication ceremonies of the new Roosevelt Arch in 1903. It has been said that he laid out the town along the park border to get back at the government for kicking him out of Mammoth and negating his claims. The park boundary line still runs right along the sidewalk of most of Park Street. The Town Grows Up (and out) . . . . In 1883 the NPRR extended their tracks from Livingston MT to Cinnabar, about 3 miles north of town. Anticipating that the line would end up in Gardiner, the community quickly grew. By June of 1883 the town boasted of a population close to 200, consisting mostly of tents, log shacks and 21 saloons, 6 restaurants, 5 general stores, 2 hardware stores and several other types of businesses (and no doubt a few brothels). However, a land dispute between the railroad and 'Buckskin Jim' Cutler prevented the rail line from coming all the way into Gardiner, and the town's growth spurt stopped. L.A. VanHome and Harris Doble discovered the marble and travertine cliffs above town in 1887, but they were not fully developed until the early 1930’s by the NW Improvement Co. Visitors in 1883 traveled up the Yellowstone Valley to Gardiner and made these comments about the fledgling town . . . "We soon leave the Yellowstone River and are in the Gardiner River Valley. We stop for a moment at Gardiner City, a town of perhaps 100 log shanties and tents, where most anything can be had. The majority of establishments are, of course, saloons. Curious signs are here used to entice the unsuspecting traveler to stop within. I was lured into a grog shop by the ambiguous announcement In big letters over the door of “Health Office." Another article claimed that Dr. Tippie's Health Office, "is not as might be supposed from the name, entirely devoted to ameliorating the physical ills of mankind, though so far as dispensing invigorating liquors and soothing cigars, [it] may have that effect. In 1885 the town’s first public school was established in a small log cabin and the following year the townsite was formally platted by George H. Robinson. On Aug. 31, 1889, a mere three years later most of the town was destroyed by fire, including 19 businesses and 13 homes. It was a terrible loss and setback for the village, but the hardy and resolute residents, did not let the calamity stop the town’s progress. Only a week after the fire the Livingston Enterprise reported many of the citizens were coming to Livingston to acquire loans and building materials. Two weeks after the fire it was reported of Gardiner, “Times are quite lively here now. Buildings are being erected by R. T. Smith, Tom Foley, Joseph Daily, Chris Nuston, Charley Cowel, and in fact all are getting ready to build. It was a great hardship on all the sufferers by the late fire, but they will live through it and the town will be rebuilt.” The schoolhouse, S.M. Fitzgerald's Hotel, some of J.C. McCartney's buildings and a few other structures survived. [“The Great Gardiner Inferno of 1889,” by R.V. Goss, Montana Pioneer , May 2020] Left: Photo of Gardiner, Aug. 18, 1889. Probably the last photo taken of the town just two weeks before the Great Fire of 1889. [Sibley Watson Digital Archive, Univ. of Rochester, NY } Top: The town of Gardiner in 1890, a year after the fire. The Pratt & Hall Store is front and center. C.B. Scott's Saloon & Billiards and the Gardiner Hotel are to the middle right. Ranger Tavern is far left, with a Restaurant & Bakery to its right. [Photo YNP #33307] The year 1893 saw the first bridge constructed across the Yellowstone River, about a half-mile downriver from the current bridge, creating incentive for development on the north side of the river. L.H. Van Dyck and J.H. Deever were arranging for the opening of a meat market and butcher shop in Gardiner, and John Spiker set up a water wheel near the Yellowstone River that would pipe water up to the town using the pressure from the river. Water had previously been hauled up in barrels. Two years later he installed a 75-lite Jenny Dynamo at his water plant and was able to put in electric lights at his hotel. By 1902 the land dispute with Cutler had been resolved and the rail tracks were extended into Gardiner that year, creating a prosperity boom for the town. That same year the newspaper Wonderland was first printed in town but only lasted until sometime in 1905. It is available online and can provide a wealth of information about those early days. First bridge over the Yellowstone in Gardiner in July 1902. It appears little development had taken place on the other side of the river. It did, however, provide good access to the mines at Jardine and Cooke City. [Photo courtesy George Eastman Museum , Rochester, NY] Swinging suspension bridge over the Yellowstone River in Gardiner. Built in 1914, it was located near where the current bridge was constructed in 1930, replacing the old thilling walk above the raging river. A young woman traveling in 1915 described her trek over the bridge: "The following morning we walk over the village, and one interesting place we visit is an extension bridge over the Gardiner river. It is built for pedestrians and is said to hold up to four people, but wait until you walk out to the center, where the bridge swings up and down with each step, while the rushing, foaming water beneath roars until you do not know whether you are going up or down; then you think it will not hold one." [Above Left: Photo courtesy Jeanie LaCombe Gregorich] Above Right: 1918 Photo courtesy YNP, Everett Judson Collection] Left: Photo of Gardiner in 1896. C.B. Scott's Saloon & Billiards, along with the Gardiner Hotel are plainly visible to the right. [Burton Holmes Travelogues, 1908] Right: The town of Gardiner in 1902. the Gardiner Hotel is center, with Tripp & Melloy's Park Saloon to its right, and C.B. Scott's establishment to its left. [Photo YNP #9130] Excerpt From a Newspaper Account of a Tourist's Travel to Yellowstone in Early 1883 "To a Land of Wonders - A Yellowstone Park Expedition SIx Years Ago" (Brooklyn Daily Eagle , Oct. 27, 1889) "Pushing up against the very boundaries of the reservation there is a veritable Shantyville, Gardiner City, an ideal squatter town, with the rudest houses made of unseasoned boards, with not a few tents mingling with the more pretentious huts, huddled together as though the land was valued by the foot and inch. We took the census of the city and found that of the thirty-two houses which made the settlement, twenty-eight were saloons, the other four being the inevitable bakers' and butchers' shops with a private bar attachment, although not wholly given to the local industry. The town had been built in expectation of being the railway terminus, but there were strange hints that the rails would end at Yankee Jim's, some miles below, and the enterprising squatters were trying to unload their real estate on such guiless tourists as came along. The mining boom was being worked, for a little yellow dust had been found in the prospector's pans; the entire region already was staked out in miners' claims, and in vision the citizens were possessed of millions." The Northern Pacific RR Comes to Town . . . ​ The first train arrived in Gardiner on June 20, 1902. Since there was no turn-around yet, the train had to backup to Cinnabar until the following year. The Missoulian newspaper touted on June 26, 1902 that, “The grading of the Park branch extension was completed to Gardiner Saturday [June 21]. A temporary platform is being erected by the Northern Pacific at Gardiner and the first passenger train reached there Wednesday morning. After this date tourists to and from the Yellowstone park will board the cars at Gardiner instead of Cinnabar and will avoid an uninteresting four-mile stage drive over a bad road. The people of Gardiner will not celebrate the advent of the iron horse to that place until July 4, when they promise to do things up in great style.” Construction of the Gardiner Northern Pacific RR depot during the winter of 1902-03. [YNP #161764] In similar fashion, the Gardiner Wonderland newspaper reported on July 3rd that, “For the first time the regular passenger train on the Park branch ran into Gardiner and unloaded its passengers at the temporary depot and platform erected in the western part of town. Many of our citizens went down to greet the train and witness the fruition of their long deferred hopes. It may be now said that Gardiner in the terminus, although it will be some little time before freight, other than car lots, will be unloaded here. It is understood to be the intention to erect both a passenger and freight depot." Robert Reamer, architect of the Old Faithful Inn, designed the building and the firm of Deeks & Deeks was awarded the $20,000 construction contract on April 27, 1903. Above: View of depot, arch, and W.A. Hall store ca1905. [F.J. Haynes Postcard No. 183.] Above: Interior of the Gardiner Depot ca1905. [From original negative, author's collection. No reproduction without permission! ] Left: Interior of the Gardiner Depot in August of 1911. [Courtesy Utah Historical Soc, SHipler Collection] ​ Right: Interior of the depot, ca1908. [Campbell's Guide, 1909] From the Railroad Gazette, April 29, 1904: "The grounds about, and in the rear of the station are nicely parked, there being within the highway loop a lake, lawns and shrubbery. The arch at the park entrance was designed and built by Major H. M. Chittenden, U. S. Engineers . . . and with its massive lines, rough finish and graceful design, is especially attractive. The corner stone of this arch was laid by President Roosevelt at the time of his trip through the park about a year ago. From each side of the arch there extends a stone wall of the same design and material, the one on the western side continuing around the loop to a point near the platform. The station at Gardiner was designed to harmonize with the other structures [Yellowstone]. It is essentially rustic and is built of native materials. The foundations and lower parts of the walls are rough boulders. The walls above, including the platform shelters are made of unbarked logs. The roof trusses, gables and ceilings are finished with similar material. The interior contains a large waiting room with fireplace, ticket office, express office, baggage room and toilet rooms. The rustic effect is also carried out in the interior, the doors, windows, settees, chandeliers, hardware, etc., all being in keeping with the general design. The projecting ends of logs are smoothed and polished, and where lumber is used for finishing it is of high grade and finely polished. Wrought nails, bearing on their heads the trade-mark of the company, are used wherever they will show. The fireplace at the end of the waiting room is broad and forms a pleasing feature of the interior." Above: Train at the depot preparing to unload freight & passengers, ca1905. [Glass slide, author digital collection] Above: View of depot and stages leaving for Yellowstone Park. Real-Photo postcard. Above: View of depot and carriage, 1909. [Photo from Archibald family collection] President Theodore Roosevelt’s Visit . . . . In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt engaged on a grand western tour, taking him to Chicago, north through Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota. Roosevelt and his companion, famed naturalist writer John Burroughs, arrived at Gardiner, Montana by train on April 8, 1903. The two men were greeted by their host, acting-superintendent Major John Pitcher. The President, Mr. Burroughs, guide “Uncle Billy” Hofer, and an Army escort toured the park for several weeks. Upon their return, Roosevelt dedicated the stone arch that was being built at the entrance of Yellowstone Park. ​ “Livingston. April 24.—Under a clear sky, surrounded by snow-covered mountain points that give grandeur and beauty to the National park and vicinity, tho cornerstone of the magnificent stone arch now being constructed by the government at the gateway to the nation’s pleasure ground was laid amid pomp and splendor this afternoon. It was a national event and one In which the chief executive of the nation participated. The reception tendered the president and the exercises were a complete success from the reception until the last note of the band died away in the recesses of the adjacent mountains. Tlte weather was all that could be asked for and the day throughout was one that would insure success to the undertaking.” [25Apr1903, Helena Independent Record ] Above: Dedication ceremonies for the Roosevelt Arch, 24Jul1903. Arch is to the left with the town of Gardiner in the background. Roosevelt Arch . . . . The Arch was built out of native stone in view of the new NPRy depot. Hiram Chittenden came up with the idea, and Robert Reamer designed the Arch It was dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt on April 24, 1903 and by September visitors were able to drive through the Arch via stagecoach to enter the park. Around 1904 a wire fence was built from the Arch north along the boundary as an attempt to protect antelope from being shot by local hunters. The field between the Arch and the Yellowstone Park Transportation buildings was used as a hayfield for elk feeding for many years. A stone gatehouse was built near the Arch in 1921 and used as a check-in station until it was razed in 1966. The Arch is also known as the North Entrance Arch. Dedication of Roosevelt Arch, from the Independent Record , Helena, April 25, 1903: The upper Yellowstone valley never looked better than on this occasion. The residents assisted largely in making the affair a success. They turned out en masse and gave a hearty welcome to the hundreds of visitors that thronged their doors. Gardiner, the gateway to the park, was bedecked in national colors in honor of the occasion. Flags and bunting were everywhere and with the martial music and soldiers from Fort Yellowstone the place took on a military appearance. It was a gala day. The miner, the prospector, the ranchman, all were there and lent valuable aid In making the event Interesting and appropriate. Hundreds of Montana's people were present to greet the president on his return from his visit into the wilds of the park, and to participate in the exercises incident to the laying of the cornerstone. Left: Headline for the dedication ceremony from the Helena Independent Record , 25Jul1903 Right: Construction of the arch, 1902. [YNP #37257] A bit of culture squeezes in amongst the legion of bawdy bar-rooms Top Left: 1st schoolhouse in Gardiner, built in 1885 of logs. It was lucky to survive the ravages of the 1889 fire. [Courtesy Yellowstone Gateway Museum ] Top Right: The 2nd school built at the east end of Park St. around 1904. constructed of native stone. [Real-Photo postcard] Bottom Right: Around 1915, a 2nd story was added to the 1904 schoolhouse, primarily due to the finances and work of Larry Link and Frank Holem. They postponed payment for their services until the school district could afford it. A new school was built in the area below the Arch in 1951. [Courtesy Yellowstone Gateway Museum ] Left: Gardiner Union Church was built in 1904-05 as a community church for the benefit of all residents. Fundraising and construction of the building was spearheaded by WA Hall, CB Scott, LH Link, F. Holem. A committee was formed to raise funds, using dinners, bazaars, horse races, games of chance, and other activities. Harry Child of the YPTCo donated the land for the church. Most everyone in town either gave money or donated their labor in the effort. Larry Link hauled the rock and supervised construction. Mr. Kurtz was the stonemason. Construction was completed in July of 1905. Maintenance and upkeep of the building was provided by a women’s group called the Gardiner Guild. In 1948 the church became known as the Gardiner Community Church. [Photo courtesy Gardiner Historic Resource Survey] Left: St. Williams Catholic Church was constructed in 1954. The congregation used a Great Northern rail car for services from 1915 until the 1930’s. According to the Great Falls Tribune on Dec. 24, 1954, "Dedication of the new St. William’s Catholic Church at Gardiner will take place after the first of the year. Although the church is not quite completed, the first mass was celebrated in it last Sunday afternoon by Msgr. John E. Regan, pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Livingston, of which Gardiner is one of the missions. He was for many years pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Great Falls." The church was built of travertine from the quarry a few miles above town. [Real-Photo postcard] The Gardiner Opera House aka Eagle's Hall, was constructed in 1910 on the north side of Main St., between 2nd & 3rd Streets. It featured a large hall for staging theatrical performances and moving pictures for the enjoyment of Gardiner residents. It was built from local stone. The Fraternal Order of Eagles was founded in 1898. Gardiner’s chapter, known as an “aerie,” was established six years later in 1904 and dubbed Aerie #669. Meetings were held in the Gardiner opera house. The Gardiner Eagles later took over possession of the facilities until they were disbanded around 1969. The autos were part of the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. fleet. They were awaiting gas from the Gardiner Garage's single gas pump across the street. [Photos courtesy Whithorn Collection, Yellowstone Gateway Museum ] Gardiner Post Office The post office was established in Gardiner on February 19, 1880. James McCartney becomes the first postmaster, serving until Sept. 17, 1883. By the early 1900s, the M.H. Link Post Office Store operated the PO. From 1936-1939, J.J. Moore’s store maintained the PO, and from 1939-1960, it was housed in the W.A. Hall store. In 1960, a new post office was completed on West Main St, the first time it had its own building. By 1998 the post office in the growing town had proved too small and a new facility was built on Hwy 89, near the new North Entrance Shopping Center. [Photo, Great Falls Tribune, 21Feb1960] Yellowstone Park Transportation Co moves in south of town . . . . . ​ With arrival of the Northern Pacific to Gardiner, YP Transportation Co. began creating storage facilities for the stagecoaches and horses, and bunkhouses for the stage drivers and related employees. These were created at the southeast of town along the Gardiner River around 1904-05. They were beautifully crafted stone and wood buildings utilizing designs by Robert Reamer. These included the large stable capable of housing 125 head of horses, and an open-sided carriage storage building featuring stone pillars. A duplex structure provided driver bunkhouse and mess facilities. When the transportation system was motorized in 1917, the former carriage house and stables were used for the White Motor Co. automobile fleet. ​ The Butte Daily Post remarked on May 9, 1906 that, “The Transportation company anticipates a large business. The company is erecting a mammoth barn at Gardiner. There are sixty men now employed on the structure, which will house many of the horses used by the company. The company has a great barn at Mammoth Hot Springs, from where all its passengers make the start throughout the park, but it was found desirable to have stables at Gardiner, where stages meet the trains.” Top: Construction of the new horse barns in Gardiner in 1906. It was located in the area in front lf the current bunkhouse. [Photo author's digital collection] Bottom: Horse Barns in Gardiner in 1915. The building has a remarkable resemblance to the current Xanterra Bunkhouse, located closer to the Gardiner River. This building would have been torn down around 1925 during construction of the new concrete auto storage building. No doubt parts of it were used for the bunkhouse. [Photo courtesy Rawhide Johnson] Top: Stage driver's bunkhouse and mess in the foreground. The Carriage House is to its left. followed by the horse barn. 1917 photo by Jack Haynes. [YNP #199718-60] Bottom: Close-up of driver's bunkhouse and mess in 1915. the building survives as an employee duplex for Xanterra Parks & Resorts. [Photo courtesy Rawhide Johnson] Fire at Mammoth and new modern transportation buildings in Gardiner . . . On March 30, 1925, fire broke out in the YPTCo main bus barn at Mammoth, which had been built in 1903-04 and designed by Robert Reamer. Within an hour, the entire barn was a total loss. Included in the damage were the smoldering ruins of about 93 vehicles, including 22 7-passenger White touring cars, 53 10-passenger White buses, and 18 other vehicles. One of the employees described part of the inferno, “Explosion of the large number of presto-light tanks which are part of the equipment of the busses, provided one of the spectacular features of the fire, Mr. Frazer said. Exploding like giant firecrackers, some of the tanks shot into the air a distance of 100 feet, leaving a trail of fire in their wake.” The opening of the summer season would arrive in a mere 2-1/2 months and the vehicles had to be replaced! Harry Child, head of the hotel and transportation companies, quickly got in touch with Walter White of the White Motor Company. Negotiations were soon finalized for the purchase of ninety model 15/45 buses, along with 9 service trucks. The White company scrambled together all their resources and was able to have the new vehicles arrive in time for the opening of the 1925 season. Photo of the tragic fire that destroyed the artistically-designed barn and garage at Mammoth in 1925. [Photo courtesy Bill Chapman] Coincidently, YPTCo had been constructing larger and more modern garage facilities in Gardiner. Although originally scheduled to open in the fall, this project too was rushed to completion in time for the June opening. This new facility included modern mechanics stalls, body and upholstery shops, carpenter shop, blacksmith shop, tire and battery shop, paint shop, and a coal-fired heating plant. The building is still in use and accommodates Xanterra Parks & Resorts Transportation facilities and Human Resource divisions. Around that time, a 2-story stone house was erected next to the driver’s bunkhouse, for the head of transportation, Fred Kammermeyer and his family, as their home had been destroyed in the fire. Top: The transportation garage and shops completed in time for the 1925 season. 1927 view. [Montana Historical Society #H-26469] Bottom: Concrete storage building for the vast auto fleet, also constructed in 1925. It replaced the artistically -designed barn and carriage shed. 1951 view. [YNP #32072] View of Park St. ca1905, from an original negative in the author's collection. No Publication or reproduction without permission. From Left to Right, there is the Park Hotel, the 2-story to the right is "General Merchandise." 2-story bldg in center is a Saloon, advertising Bozeman Beer, Toward the right is a 2-story false front OK Store - groceries, gen. merch. etc., and to its left is the M.H. Link Store. Eventually the Link family took over both buildings. A Trip to Gardiner in 1915 by a pair of Texas Ladies . . . ​ Two young ladies from Denton, Texas describe the Northern Pacific Railroad Depot and Swinging Bridge in Gardiner when beginning a Yellowstone Park tour with the Shaw & Powell Camping Co . Misses Myrtle Cody, Writer of the Article, and Maida Edwards of Denton, were in the party which spent several days in Yellowstone Park" ​ “Tells of Scenic Beauties” “We arrived in Gardiner, Montana, at 5:30 on June 25 [1915]. Gardiner is a typical Western village. It is all built on one side of the street at the north entrance of the Yellowstone Park. We step from out Pullman and we see a beautiful rustic depot built from unhewn pine logs and rough stones. It is a masterpiece of quaint architecture. “The inside of the depot is just as attractive as the outside. The big fireplace in one end of the waiting room with a split log mantle catches our eye. You glance around the room and see on the mantels and walls only decorations of nature, such as pine burrs, curious-shaped pieces of wood, different kinds of stones from the park, and elk horns. At the other end of the room is the ladies’ rest room with all modern conveniences. We would like to rest here awhile, but a twelve passenger coach awaits us at the door, with six big white, impatient horses, ready to carry us to the Shaw & Powell hotel, where we are to spend the night. “We are warmly greeted at the hotel and enjoy our stay overnight. The following morning we walk over the village, and one interesting place we visit is an extension bridge over the Gardiner river. It is built for pedestrians and is said to hold up to four people, but wait until you walk out to the center, where the bridge swings up and down with each step, while the rushing, foaming water beneath roars until you do not know whether you are going up or down; then you think it will not hold one. The coach leaves the hotel at 11:30 for first camp, which is Willow Park, and everyone is ready. The first and second coaches are full, but there is room in the third coach for our party and four more passengers. Denton Record-Chronicle (Texas) Thursday, August 12, 1915 Park Street in the 1920s & 1930s Top Left: Park St. in 1923. The store to the right in front of the old car, is the M.H. Link Store. Eventually the Link family owned the large bldg on the corner also, operating a grocery until 1966. To its left are two Menefee business, probably a saloon and billiards hall. Wm. Menefee drove stage in earlier days and later was a judge in Gardiner. [YNP #11347-7] Top Right: Park St. in the 1930s. To the right is the Grotto Cafe, with a small Lantern Cafe sign lower down. The M.H Link store is to its left, The 2-story bldg down the street is the Welcome Hotel, with a saloon or beer hall to its right. The Park Hotel is the next 2-story, with the Moore Store a few doors down. The W.A. Hall store is at the end of the street. Original photo has been cropped for clarity. [YNP #11347-7a] Bottom Left: Park St. in the 1930s, view from the east end of the street. The Shaw Hotel & Cafe to the right, The 2-story to its left was once the Gardiner Hotel, with what was C.B Scott's Saloon to its left. The Grotto Cafe and M.H. Link Store cab can be seen near the 3rd power pole. [Real-Photo postcard] ​ Below: Park St . in 1939. J.J. Moore's Store to the left, next to the Arch Cafe, the old Park Hotel to its right. The next 2-story is the Welcome Hotel & Cafe, The Ranger Tavern is 3 doors down, in front of the car. Two doors down is the M.H. Link store and then the Grotto Cafe, next to the State 'Theater?'. The Shaw Hotel & Cafe is toward the end of the street. Photo has been cropped for clarity. [YNP #185327-492] Gardiner continues to grow in the 1920s and on . . . . Hwy 89 was extended into Gardiner on the east side of the Yellowstone River in 1926 and the old original dirt road from Yankee Jim Canyon to Cinnabar and Gardiner that navigated along the west side of the river became a secondary road. A concrete bridge was built over the Yellowstone River at its present site in 1929, tying the two sides of town together, encouraging more growth on the north side of town. Tourist courts began to emerge with motels later following that trend. The face of businesses on Park St. seemed to change regularly over the years. Ownerships changed hands, buildings were remodeled and expanded. And of course, the old nemesis - ‘fire’ - took its toll over the years - the Moore Store on Park St. in 1916, The Wylie Hotel and other buildings on Main St. in 1935, the Shaw Hotel in 1950, and the North Entrance Shopping Center on Park St. in 1971. Moore moved his business next to the Wylie Hotel, fine residences replaced the Wylie Hotel, the shopping center rebuilt and reopened, and the Town Club & Café replacd the old Shaw Hotel. No doubt other buildings added to the carnage along the way. But the town continued to grow and thrive, if even only seasonally. The new bridge over the Yellowstone River built in 1930. A community dance and picnic is held on the bridge to commemorate the opening. [Photo courtesy Ron Nixon Collection , Montana State Univ.] Early Hotels Serving the Needs of Tourist and Locals Alike Gardiner Hotel in center, w/C.B. Scott's Saloon to its left, ca1900. [YNP #37094] Gardiner Hotel This was operated by W.A. Hall in at least 1892. Early Sanborn maps showed a Gardiner Hotel located on Park St., about where the Shaw & Powell hotel was located some years later. In 1892, Hall began a Golden Rule Cash Store in Cinnabar and by 1891 he was proprietor of the Cinnabar Hotel. Hall moved his merchandise operations to Gardiner in 1903. A.L Roseborough was listed as being in charge of the hotel in Nov, 1902. The Gardiner Hotel is a rather ambiguous name, and tracking its history is difficult at best. Gardiner Hotel at right, w/C.B. Scott's Saloon to its left, ca1900. The hay wagon was probably one owned by Scott with delivery to the Army at Mammoth. [Univ. of Montana, Missoula, M81-0432] Park Hotel to the left, and 2-story General Merchandise to its right, part of the bottom of which was the Tripp & Melloy Park Saloon, 1905 [O riginal negative in the author's collection. No Publication or reproduction without permission. Ad for the Park Hotel and saloon, run by Walter Hoppe, son of Hugo Hoppe. [30Apr1903, Gardiner Wonderland] Park St. 1904, Park Hotel left of center, with General merchandise to its right. The other 2-story became the Welcome Hotel. [Stereoview, no markings on front of card.] Fitzgerald - Park Hotel S.M. Fitzgerald, having served as an Ass’t Superintendent in Yellowstone, moved to Gardiner in Jan. 1886. On July 17, 1887, The Livingston Enterprise announced that Fitzgerald, “has nearly completed a large hotel in Gardiner. It apparently was one of the few buildings to survive the great fire of 1889. Known as the Park Hotel, WW Wylie leased it in 1897 for his camping operation. Walter Hoppe purchased it in 1902 and reopened the hotel. The Park Hotel is a rather ambiguous name, and tracking its history is difficult at best, with numerous Park Hotels in Montana, and that it is regularly confused in newspapers with Yellowstone Park hotels. Cottage Hotel, early 1900s. The sign clearly reads Hotel, but the rest is unreadable. [Real-Photo, author's digital collection] Ad for the Dewing Hotel, [18Apr1905, Gardiner Wonderland] Cottage Hotel, early 1900s. The sign clearly reads Hotel, but the rest is unreadable. [Yellowstone Gateway Museum , 2006-044-0168] Dewing Hotel - Cottage Hotel - Gateway Hotel Located on E. Main St, on the north side ( Lot 2, Block 11). Isaac D. McCutcheon, who platted the area, originally owned the property. Augustus T. French purchased the lot on 12/8/1890 from McCutcheon. It was sold to James McCartney the following year. The hotel was in existence by at least 1905 and run by John H. Dewing. At some time the wife of Jim ’One-Eyed’ Parker ran the hotel. John F. Curl and his wife Zona sold their properties in Cooke City and moved to Gardiner around 1915 and ran the Cottage Hotel. John died October 1, 1924. For a time it was operated by Bob & Anne (Sommerville) Jones, and became known as the Gateway Hotel by at least 1950. It is currently used as an apartment complex on Main Street. Welcome Hotel George Welcome established the City Restaurant in Gardiner by 1885, and in early 1886 it was announced he was preparing to open a hotel in conjunction with the restaurant located on Park St. By June 1886 ads for the City Hotel were running in the Livingston Enterprise, with his wife as proprietor and George running the saloon. The hotel burned down in the great fire of 1889. After that, the family seems to have moved to Jardine and conducted businesses in that mining town. He was also at various times a businessman at Horr and Cooke City. At some point a new hotel and restaurant were built and by the mid-1920s, was operated by George Welcome, Jr. until sometime in the 1950s. George passed in 1958. A hotel continued to operate at that location at least into the 1970s. Top Left: View of Park St. in 1939. The Welcome Hotel & Restaurant is the 2-story at the left. Photo cropped for clarity. [YNP #185327-492] Top Right: Park St. in 1960. The Cafe and Hotel sign can be seen mid-left. The Ranger Tavern is at right, with Callison's Walgreen Drugs to its left and Yankee Jim's Souvenir and gift shop next to the Welcome. [YNP #28326-2] Left: 1886 ad for George Welcome's City Hotel & Saloon. [12Jun1886, Livingston Enterprise ] Top : Shaw & Powell Camping Co. Hotel, with guests ready for a 5-6 day tour of Yellowstone. [Yellowstone Gateway Museum #1317] Bottom : Shaw's Hotel & Cafe, 1930s, looking rather rundown. [Author's digital collection] Park St. in Gardiner, late 1940s. Note the Shaw Hotel & Cafe on right. Photo has been cropped for clarity. [YNP #33335] Shaw & Powell Hotel - Shaw Hotel & Cafe The Shaw & Powell Camping Co. initially brought guests into Yellowstone from the north entrance and in 1909 officially opened the Shaw & Powell Hotel in Gardiner to serve their guests before and after their arrival on the Northern Pacific train. 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. The S&P Hotel may have been remodeled by the Shaw family for their hotel. Previously, the corner was occupied by C.B. Scott. In the early 1920s, the hotel name changed to the Shaw Hotel & Cafe, owned and operated by Walter Shaw and his wife from 1922-25, Walter also 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 family 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 and in 1950 the hotel burned down, killing two persons. 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 family still operates the business under the name Town Motel, Lounge, and Café sometime into the 2000s, when other parties took it over. It was torn down around 2019 by new owners.. Wylie Hotel, ca1915. Next door is the Moore's Park Store, selling postcards, tourist curios, etc. [YNP #9555] The tragic fire of Jan. 8, 1935. The Wylie Hotel is at the left, and the former Moore's Store at right. [Photo courtesy Jeanie LaCombe Gregorich] Wylie Hotel, Sept. 7, 1914. Note the changes made in first photo. To the left is the Community Church, completed in 1905. [Tourist photo album, author digital collection]] Wylie Hotel W.W. Wylie and his Wylie permanent Camps Co. originally leased the Park Hotel in 1897 from S.M. Fitzgerald for the use of his guest arriving and departing Gardiner. He apparently used this hotel for about 5-6 years. With the arrival of the railroad to Gardiner, Wylie decided to build a new hotel. Construction began in early May and no doubt opened in time for the new season. The Gardiner Wonderland noted in the spring that, “Wylie is building a barn on Stone St. in Gardiner, facing the RR tracks. Work on his new hotel is progressing rapidly. The Wylies had purchased lots on Main St. north of the WA Hall Store to build the hotel.” The hotel was located on West Main St. behind the A.W. Hall store, which also opened in 1903. In mid-July 1905, the Wonderland announced, “W.W. Wylie has commenced the erection of a large annex to the Wylie hotel which will consist of an office and about forty more sleeping rooms.” After the season of 1905, Wylie sold his camping operation to A.W. Miles, who was secretly backed by Harry Child. Miles named the new company Wylie Permanent Camping Co. The Wylie Hotel continued to operate for another 25 years. In 1917 The Wylie and Shaw & Powell Camping Cos. were merged, and the new Yellowstone Park Camping Co. no doubt assumed ownership of the hotel. At some point the hotel also housed the Lark Lunch Room. Little is known of the details of the hotel in later years. Tragically, the hotel burned down on January 8, 1935. Early Businesses in Gardiner Serving Tourists and Townsfolk Early Saloons Top Left: Larry Link Saloon, ca1890. It catered to locals and soldiers from the Park alike. It later became the Ranger Bar. It is located at the far left on photo top right. [CF Finn photo, YNP Archives] ​ Top Right: Park St. in 1890. The Ranger Tavern is at far left, CB SCott's Saloon & Billiards is at right on the corner. The Gardiner Hotel is to it right and Tripp & Melloy's Park Saloon was located right of the hotel (out of photo) Photo cropped for clarity. [YNP #33307] ​ Left: 1903 ad for Lawrence Link's Saloon and Club Rooms. [9Jul1903, Livingston Enterprise ] ​ Right: Tripp & Melloy Park Saloon, ca1900, run by Dan Tripp and Jerry Melloy. It was later run by Harry Lloyd. George mack took over the business in 1910 and installed a barber chair. A wire screen was installed around the chair to keep drunks from falling into barber patrons. [YNP #37097] Top: Tripp & Melloy Saloon with the Park Hotel at its left. Note the barber pole out front, this would date the photo to post-1910. There is a bath house between, probably in conjunction with the barber shop. The saloon continued to operate in a shared space. ​ Bottom Right: Ad for Park Saloon, Tripp & Melloy. [30Apr1903, Gardiner Wonderland ] Ranger Tavern at Left Top Left: Park St. 1939, showing Ranger Tavern, the 3rd bldg from left. The M.H. Link Store is two doors to its right. In the 1890s, the Ranger was oringinally known as the Link Saloon (See above). The Ranger Tavern re-opened after the repeal of prohibition by Roy ‘Two-Spot’ Brown. He built a house on the old Wylie Hotel site [YNP #185327-493] ​ Bottom Right: Interior of Ranger Tavern, undated. [Photo courtesy Dave Pompper] M.H. Link Post Office Store Top Left: M.H. Link Post Office Store, ca1908. Established by Mike H. Link in the early 1900’s, it was located on Park St., the 3rd store from the intersection with Hwy. 89. Otilla Link was postmaster from 1904 to 1908. By the early 1920’s it was known as the M.H. Link Store. Son Hubert later ran the business and expanded it greatly. He sold out to Gordon Evans in 1966. The Billings Gazette announced in June, “Councilman Gordon Evans [Livingston] has announced his resignation. Evans has purchased Link’s Shopping Center in Gardiner and plans to move to Gardiner about the first of July. He also owns Evans Grocery in Livingston.” Evans operated the Gardiner store under the name of North Entrance Shopping Center. Mr. Evans passed away in Feb. 1971, and a mere two months later, the store, operated by his wife, burned down. The store was rebuilt and operated until 1994 when owners Deb & Larry Demaree, opened a new spacious store on Hwy 89 on the site of the Mountain View Motel. Top Right: Interior of M.H. Link Store, 1900. Mike Link was the brother of businessman Larry Link. [YNP #37098] J.J. Moore Souvenir Store Left: J.J. Moore's Souvenir Store, selling, postcards, Yellowstone views, park souvenirs & novelties. Next door is the Wylie Hotel. View ca1916. [YNP #9555] Right: Moore's Park Souvenir Store, 1939, located on the west end of Park St. The W.A. Hall store would be toward its left. The Wylie Hotel burned in Jan. 1935, and Moore had moved his store sometime before that. Image cropped for clarity. [YNP #185327-493] J.J. Moore seems to have started business in Gardiner around 1903 when he operated a jewelry store out of the new W.A. Hall store. By 1904 he advertised “Do you need anything in jewelry or silverware or a pair of new glasses?” He listed himself as a Jeweler and Optician in the ad. At some point in time he moved into his own store on Park Street that burned in 1916. Sometime after that he opened a souvenir shop in the old Park Hotel on Main Street. It was located east of the Wylie Hotel. During the 1914-16 seasons (at least) he was a stockholder in the Shaw & Powell Camping Co. By 1935 the Moore Store moved to Park St., near the W.A. Hall store and his old store was being used as a telephone office. Around that time the business was advertised as being in the Post Office Bldg. Sale items included: ice cream and soft drinks, candies, cigars, fishing tackle, Kodak supplies, views, guide books, park souvenirs, and groceries. Advertising card from the J.J. Moore Souvenir Store. Likely dated 1903-1916. The Van Dyke & Deever meat market opened in 1895 at the corner of 2nd (Hwy89) and Main St. Van Dyck built the stone house across the street from the market for his residence in 1903. By the early 1900s the meat company was doing considerable business supplying beef and pork to the Army at Yellowstone, and by 1902, they were supplying all the park hotels and camps with meat. In May of 1919, Walter J. Hill, of Hill & McClelland Cattle Co., purchased all of L.H. Van Dyck’s holdings in Gardiner and Park County. Van Dyck & Deever Meat Market K-Bar Cafe & Club From the Billings Gazette, April 1, 1972. At least by the 1940s, the business was a bar and café. Jack Taylor purchased the K-bar in 1972 saying, “he bought a combination bar and restaurant last fall, hoping the legislature would authorize gambling as it had been authorized to do by the new constitution. “I’d be fooling if I said I didn’t speculate when I bought this . . I thought this was an ideal time to buy.” [Mt Standard, 27May1973] The K-Bar was later purchased by Dick & Irene Herriford, who operated the bar and restaurant for 20 years before selling the business and building the Absaroka Lodge. [Real-Photo postcard, author collection] Holem & Pilger - Gardiner Garage Frank Holem & Henry J. Pilger built a stone gas station on the corner of 2nd and Main St. around 1925 (across from the current K-Bar). They later greatly expanded the business. In May 1932, the business incorporated as Gardiner Garage Inc., of Gardiner, in Park county, with capital stock of $50,000. Directors were Frank and Minnie M. Holem and Henry J. and Elizabeth M. Pilger, all of Gardiner. Frank Holem had moved to Gardiner in 1893 as an itinerant blacksmith, gradually learning to repair automobiles as time went on. [Photo cropped from company Christmas card, author's collection] Grotto Cafe Located on Park St., near the intersection of 2nd St. first opened in 1905. According to the Gardiner Wonderland in Aug 1905, "The Grotto Cafe recently opened to the public by C.W. Wardloe [Wardlow?], at the old Elk Restaurant stand, is doing nicely with the trade constantly increasing. Mr. Wardlow certainly runs a first-class house, has nothing but the best of cooks, and his tables are supplied with the best the market affords. He desires your patronage. When in town call on him and get a square meal." The building continued to be viewed in photos next to the M.H. Link Store from the 1930-40s, but by sometime in the 1950s an empty lot began appearing. [Real-Photo postcard, cropped for clarity] O.K. Cash Store Located on the corner of Park St. and 2nd in 1900, it was operated by George (G.E.) and Mamie Settergren. Advertisements were common in the short-lived Gardiner Wonderland. Little else is known about the store. The O.K. Grocery Store was operated in the 1890's by Jos. Dailey, but unknown if same building. Top Left: The OK Store, next to the M.H. Link store, ca1905. [Goss Negative] Top Right: Ad for the O.K. Grocery Store, run by Jos. Dailey. [Livingston Enterprise , 25Jan1890] Right: Ad for G.E. Settergren's O.K. Cash Store. [Gardiner Wonderland, 26May1902] W.A. Hall Store Above: The W.A. Hall Store in the 1930s. Next to it is a gas station operated by the Hall Company, with the Roosevelt Arch to the left. Behind them on Main St., is the Wylie Hotel. [Cropped image from a W.A. Hall Christmas card, author's collection] Bottom Left: Early image of the W.A. Hall Store on West Park St. Their claim to fame was that, "We Sell Everything." [YNP #37081, ca1905] Bottom Right: Undated early photo of the W.A. Hall Store. The window signs indicate a drug store at the right end of building. [Courtesy Yellowstone Gateway Museum ] W.A. Hall Store William A. Hall built this store in Gardiner near the Arch and rail depot in 1903 and provided all of the basic necessities of life for the tourist, hunter, and resident. The large upstairs was home to many community dances in its heyday. The building was originally designed by architect Robert Reamer, but due to cost and time considerations, the building was modified to simplify and speed up construction. Hall originally ran stores in Cinnabar and Aldridge, but with the opening of the railroad to Gardiner, he started a new store here. The Cinnabar store closed right after his move and he left Aldridge after the coal strike of 1904-05. The store was a Golden Rule store, the forerunner of the J.C. Penny franchise. Hall later moved to Bozeman and his sons Earl, Warren, and James operated the store until 1955 and sold the building in 1961 to Cecil Paris. The building still stands and was home to a variety of businesses, including laundromat, bookstore, coffee shop, video store, TV cable service, and gift shop for many years. In 2008 the Yellowstone Association, the nonprofit education foundation that benefits the park is committed $4 million to buy the property and an adjoining lot and refurbish the 12,000-square-foot building to create its new headquarters. The association spent $2.9 million renovating the building and in April 2009 moved its headquarters from Mammoth to the new facility. The building now houses the offices, an educational store, a visitor information desk, two classrooms and a display on the building's history. Undated photo of the interior of the W.A. Hall Store. [Courtesy Yellowstone Association] W.A. Hall Conoco Service Station, ca1920s. [Courtesy Yellowstone Gateway Museum ] W.A. Hall Store after it became Cecil's Fine Foods. The Four Bears Curio shop was located at the left end. The large neon signs on the roof lit up that end of town for many a year. [Real-Photo postcards, 1960s] W.S. & A.F. Berry Photographic Studio Above : Deck of Wildflower Post Cards. Published By W.S. & A.F. Berry. Set of 12 Each Measured 5.5" x 3.5" with divided backs. The set of cards were "Made in Germany" and dated 1905. Flowers Include: Harebell, Gentian, Mentzelia, Wild Rose, Monkshood, Lupine, Bitter-Root, Flax, Larkspur, Iris, Indian Paint Brush, and Columbine Above Left : Typical postcard trademarks. The earlier cards used the Red Emblem, front & back, while later cards simply had the credit line on the reverse. William Sanford Berry was born December 1866 in Indiana and passed away December 1948 in Pomona, Calif. Aurinda "Aurie" Sophronia Ferris Berry was born Jun 1872 in Illinois, and passed on October 1950 in Pomona, Calif. ​ 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. Tourist Camps & Motels Begin to Replace Hotels in the 1920s - 1960s Reifsteck Cabins These were run by Mrs. Viola Reifsteck, perhaps beginning in the late 1920s. According to the Billings Gazette in 1966, "Mrs. Viola Reifsteck, 79, of Gardiner died Tuesday in a Livingston hospital She was born Oct 27, 1886 at e Perry, Iowa. She came to Gardiner in the early 1920's and then operated a tourist court for many years. Her husband, Phillip F., preceded her in death in 1943. Surviving are a son, Lewis, of Gardiner, one grandson and several brothers and sisters." Hy-Grade Cabins - Hy-Grade Auto Court - Hygrade Motel The Hy-Grade Auto Court Co. was founded in May 1931 by Ed Travaskis, D.T. White, and Lawrence McmAhon. Deade White owned and operated the Hy-Grade Motel in Gardener from 1935 until 1964, possibly with Travaskis for a few years. In 1965, the Montana Standard-Post reported the, “HyGrade Motel at Gardiner has been purchased by Levi Haynes of Gardiner and Ray Yardley Jr. of Livingston, from owner Vaughn Kearns. The new owners said the motel will be closed during the winter months. The North Gate Texaco gas station was added in 1948 and operated under a lease to other persons. When Hwy 89 was widened and improved through Gardiner in the early 1970s, the portion of land upon which the gas station was located, was condemned by the state highway dept for the right-of-way. In 1990, the Absaroka Lodge, owned by Dick & Irene Herriford, replaced the old cabin units with new multi-story guest rooms, retaining the unique stone pillars at the entry way to greet motel visitors. Left: Hy Grade Auto Court & Texaco Station. Postcard ca1950s. Center: Matchbook from the Hy-Grade Auto Court Right: Hygrade Motel, early 1970s. Hwy 89 had been widened and Texaco Station removed. Left : Current photo of Absaroka Lodge , with historic stone pillars. Jim Bridger Log Cabins Located at the north end of town on Hwy. 89, George A. Larkin was noted as proprietor of the cabins in March 1940 (The Missoulian ). The same newspaper mentioned David Fraker as owner of the Jim Bridger Motel Court in Dec. 1972. Another paper called it the Jim Bridger Motor Court in 2016. Jim Kemp built the Best Western motel next door and took possession of the Cabins. The central office building was moved in 1991 to make way for the new First Interstate Bank building. In 2019 Delaware North bought out the Best Western Motel, Rusty Rail Restaurant & Saloon, and the Jim Bridger Cabins. The cabins were moved from the premises in 2020 under new owners. Top Left : Jim Bridger Log Cabins, Real-Photo postcard, ca1940s, probably soon after construction. Note the complete lack of vegetation on site. Top Right : Jim Bridger Log Cabins, ca1950s. Real-Photo postcard. Left: Jim Bridger Auto Court, ca1960s postcard. Mountain View Motel In 1940, the Mountain View Cabins were run by Lester J. Spangelo. Morris & Ida Demaree purchased and operated the motel in 1975 until May 1984 when they retired. Many of the units were torn down when the new Gardiner grocery store was built around that time. Larry & Debra Demaree, relatives of the couple, owned and operated the grocery store for many years and it is still in the family. Postcard ca1960s. The Town Motel and Café The Town Cafe sat on the site of the old Shaw & Powell Hotel, dating from the early 1900s. The Shaw family continued to operate the hotel until 1944, when 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 and in 1950 the hotel burned down, killing two persons. Crossen repurchased the property and built the Town Club & Café utilizing the original stone back and side walls. The motel was built a few years later. The property changed hands several times until 1969 when it passed into the hands of Don Laubach. The family still operates the business under the name Town Motel, Lounge, and Café sometime into the 2000s. Sadly, it was torn down around 2019 by new owners, including the historic stone wall remnants. Left: 1960s postcard view of the Town Cafe & Motel. Right: Town Steakhouse and Motel ad, 1Apr1972, Billings Gazette Wilson Motel - Yellowstone River Motel The Wilson Motel began around 1947 by LeRoy & Agnes Wilson on the east end of Park St. They operated it until 1970 when they retired to Bozeman, Mont., and Sun City Ariz. At that time Paul Deweese took over the motel and operated until his death in 1989. His family has continued to run the motel since that time, changing the name to Yellowstone River Motel at some point. Top Left : The Wilson Motel, postcard ca1950s. Right: Wilson Motel postcard, ca1960s Left : Yellowstone River Motel , current photo. Westernaire Motel Located toward the north side of town, on the east side of Hwy 89, it was owned by Dick & Irene Herriford, owners of the Absaroka Lodge. The motel has been torn down in the past 4-5 years and has been replaced by the Yellowstone Big Rock Inn, also under the auspices of the Absaroka Lodge. Postcards ca1960-70s Change is inevitable. Change is constant. Benjamin Disraeli The End of Rail Service to the Gateway of Wonderland . . . . Scheduled passenger rail service to Gardiner ended in 1948, although freight service, along with an occasional special tourist train continued until 1954-55. Three trainloads of Girls Scouts brought in at the end of Aug. 1955 were reportedly the last train passengers to arrive in Gardiner. Political wrangling caused the beautiful NP depot to be demolished in 1954 by the backward-thinking Park authorities at the time, and another beautiful historic building was lost to history. It was replaced with a rather mundane-looking building that currently houses the public library, Sheriff’s Office, and Water Dept. A small public park occupies the former pond are and a beautiful log shelter with picnic tables has recently been added. The former railroad lands were eventually offered up for sale and a new public school was built on a portion of that land in 1951. Much of the school burned down in November of 1985 and was rebuilt in the ensuing years. The Changing Face of Progress . . . . A boom in the late 1980’s and through the early 2000’s saw much new construction along the Hwy89 section of town. The grocery store moved from Park St. to Hwy 89 on the north side of town and a new Post Office was erected nearby in the past decade. New hotels inundated the town for a period of years, including a Best Western, Comfort Inn, and Super 8, Yellowstone Village Inn & Suites, Absaroka Lodge (Hygrade Site), Yellowstone Park Travel Lodge, Yellowstone Gateway Inn, Yellowstone River Inn (Wilson Motel), and others in the late-2010s. Most of the older-style mom & pop motels from the 1940-50’s era were either shut down or forced to upgrade to compete with the big chain hotels. Park St. in the 1950s & 1960s - Postcard Views Real-Photo postcard, ca late-1940s at left. Notice the empty lot between the 2-story and M.H. Link store, where the Grotto Cafe formerly stood. The postcard on the right, ca1950s, the Town Cafe, with the Town Club occupying the old C.B. Scott bldg on the corner. 1950s postcard at left looking toward the East at dusk. The Welcome Cafe is still at the left, with Yankee Jim's to it right, followed by the Ranger Tavern, the Blue Goose and the Link Store. 1960s postcard at right looking toward the West. The old C.B. Scott building has been replaced by a Texaco gas station. To the left, the Link Store has expanded into the formerly empty lot. The 21st Century Come to Town . . . . The recent trend of converting apartments to vacation rentals has stricken seasonal and permanent renters alike in this land-locked town that has never had adequate rental housing. The town continues to thrive, although changes and uncertainly in the snowmobile policies of Yellowstone Park have lessened that business considerably over the years. And despite the concerns of the anti-wolf crowd, the area continues to attract many hunters in the fall and winter due to the thousands of elk that migrate out of the park into the surrounding Forest Service lands. The wolves, hated by some and adored by others have created their own cottage industry of avid wolf-watchers. In recent years the white-water rafting business has burgeoned and supports at least five businesses catering to this adventure crowd. Hopefully this rampant commercialism will not drive away the very people required to maintain this huge service industry due to lack of affordable housing, as had happened in all too many other resort towns throughout the West. The changes wrought in this small town during the past 30 years have been significant, and the face of the town has been transformed. It is not the intention to delve into this ‘modern’ history. The author will leave that to a future history junkie. From Left to Right: Park St. 1999, by Jim Peaco, NPS; 2009; and a 2010s Google Earth Street View.

  • 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.

  • Smaller Camping Cos. |

    Camping in the Yellowstone The Smaller Camping Companies ​ E.V. Blankenship, Alfred Lycan, Marshall Bros., A.W. Chadbourne ​ 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 During the early years of Yellowstone’s status as the first national park the administration was conducted by civilian appointees. From the park’s inception in 1872 until 1886 supervision and governance varied between almost none at all to the fairly effective administration of Philetus Norris. Overall though, performance was ineffective and the US Army was brought into the park in 1886 to set things right. Day-to-day activities were supervised by a Cavalry Acting Superintendent with major decisions being referred to the Dept. of Interior. Camping activities in the park were mostly unregulated until the 1890s. The “Army Files” in the Yellowstone NP Archives show correspondence and a permitting system regulating commercial camping parties beginning at least by 1895. Around that time permits were issued (or denied) for “Personally Conducted” camping expeditions, i.e. the permit-holder had to physically be in charge of the camping party through the park. The Army Files indicate that at least 85 individuals applied for camping permits between 1895-1913. And certainly many more operated without the benefit of being officially sanctioned. Some of these permitted persons only conducted trips for one or two seasons. Others, such as Alfed Lycan of Bozeman, the Marshall Bros. of Livingston MT, E.V. Blankenship, the Scott brothers of Gardiner, the Roseborough brothers, and George Wakefield operated for a multitude of years. The camping outfits discussed in my previous web pages generally fell under a different tracking system. In this chapter I will be summarizing the operations of Alfred Lycan , the Marshall Bros. , E.V. Blankenship , and A.W. Chadbourne . Blankenship & Company ​ Edwin V Blankenship (more commonly E.V. Blankenship) operated a moveable camps company in Yellowstone that was based out of Bozeman MT. Records indicate he was in business for at least the years 1896 to 1912. It was originally known as Blankenship & Morgan, but by 1898 became E.V. Blankenship Co. An undated brochure from the company proclaimed: “A Pleasant Sojourn Through Wonderland – Ten Days Camping in the Greatest and Grandest Pleasure Resort in the World.” The brochure explained that a ten-day trip from Cinnabar cost $30 and two weeks on the road from Bozeman was $35. Three-seated covered spring wagons were used with “careful experienced drivers.” The company claimed to have the best cooks obtainable to “satisfy the great appetite that people acquire after a few days’ travel in the Rocky Mountains.” Food was an important part of the camping experience and advertisements for most of the various camping companies generally played up that aspect of the sojourn. Blankenship & Morgan Camping Co. Among the earliest ads for Blankenship. [May 1896, College Exponent, Bozeman College] The company petitioned to be able to leave equipment and supplies at designated campsites in 1909, with the idea of creating permanent sites, but the request was denied. Later requests to built log cabins at their sites were also denied. The Interior was opposed to expanding the permanent camp system any more than necessary. William W. Wylie had obtained the valuable concession for semi-permanent camps in 1893, which by 1898 had become permanent, but it was a risky year-by-year business with no guaranteed permits for future years. By 1912 though, Shaw & Powell and Tex Holm were able to establish some permanent camps in the park and after that time Blankenship seems to have vanished from the Yellowstone scene. E.V. Blankenship, Yellowstone Park Transportation There were six 10-day camp trips scheduled for the summer of 1898. Click to enlarge. [June 1898, College Exponent, Bozeman College] Excerpts ​ Yellowstone National Park - A Pleasant Sojourn Through Wonderland Ten Days Camping in the Greatest and Grandest Pleasure Resort in the World. “A camping trip, especially through the Park, has something about it that is really enticing; it has been so to those who have ever had an opportunity of experiencing the novelty and pleasure of it. After a few days out camping, tourists, who were formerly strangers, form a friendship that is lasting and true, while tourists who go through otherwise, pass through the same routine that they would in city life, without pleasure and without the novelty of camping. “We kindly invite the people, from far and near, to join one of our camping parties through this wonderland. Those who have gone through with the former Blankenship & Morgan, have all expressed their entire satisfaction with our camping plan and the general hospitality shown them throughout. It was our purpose to please the tourists, and as the successors of the company, we pledge our faith and honor that it shall continue to be so.” Blankenship & Co. National Park Camping Excursions Care of: E.V. Blankenship, Lock Box 809 Bozeman, Mont. The Alfred Lycan Camping Company Alfred Lycan, a resident of Bozeman, Montana, operated his camping company in Yellowstone from at least 1895 to 1913. His personally conducted tours, organized in Bozeman or Gardiner, utilized portable camps that departed from Cinnabar until 1902 and Gardiner from 1903-1914, on a regular basis throughout the summer. Tours were generally 1 to 1-1/2 weeks in length. In 1913 the Butte Miner announced that the Lycan Camping Co. had been sold to H.P. Grant and F.L Dissly, both students of the Bozeman Agricultural College (MSU). They continued to operate through the 1913 and 1914 seasons, but still under the Lycan name. Information for 1915 season has not been located. Several ads in the June 1908 editions of the Anaconda Standard quote some general details: ​ “Yellowstone National Park trip covers one week's tour of park. We will furnish wall tents, carpets, wire sprlngs (keeping bed from ground), full bedding outfit, including mattress. Best available cooks. Camp at prominent points. We show our tourists through park. Address at Bozeman, Mont., (before July 1; after that, Gardiner, Mont.) The Lycan Camping Co.” Alfred Lycan, Bozeman Montana [May 1896, College Exponent, Bozeman College] Click to expand. Alfred Lycan Bio Various federal census records indicate that Lycan was born Jan. 24, 1841 in Edgar County, Illinois. He served in the Civil War as a Union Corporal in the 79th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Co. C, serving from July 19, 1862 to June 12, 1865. One tourist account, if true, places Lycan in Montana by at least 1883. Voter registration records compiled by the Bozeman Pioneer Museum show him as a registered voter by 1889 and he appears in the Bozeman census of 1900 as a single man 59 years of age with an occupation as Teamster (federal census records for 1890 are generally unavailable). In 1920 he materialized as a resident of Colorado Springs, Colorado and two years later US Veterans Admin records described Lycan as an “Army Invalid” and indicated that he passed away on April 1, 1922, at about age 81. He was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs. Numerous articles in the anaconda Standard newspaper from 1895 indicate Lycan was regularly taking camping tours into Yellowstone Park: ​ Wheel era In the Park. Butte, July 18.—A party composed of cyclists will be here on Monday morning next on their bicycles to enjoy a two-weeks’ tour of Yellowstone National park. They will wheel from here to Bozeman where they will join one of Mr. Lycan's camping parties, with whom they will board, but they expect to make the entire distance on the government roads and their wheels will enable them to take many side trips. The Anaconda Standard,19Jul1895, p5 Miss M.P. Rahilly, who is with Miss Brady, the milliner, Mrs. F. E. Marshall. art instructor at the Agricultural college, and Rev. M. L. Streator left for the park on Monday morning, going with A. Lycan. Mr. Lycan had a party of 22, 16 of these being teachers returning from the Denver convention. Anaconda Standard, 20Jul1895 May 1896 ad for the Lycan Co. in the College Exponent, a student newspaper from the Bozeman College. (Click to expand) Trip Account from 1899 In August 5, 1899 the article below appeared in the Logansport Reporter (Indiana) from an apparently satisfied tour customer who gave some excellent details regarding the Lycan Camping experience. If the narrator is correct in saying that Lycan had made trips to the park for 17 years, it would date his tours to beginning in 1883 with the arrival of the Northern Pacific RR to Cinnabar, Mt, a few miles north of Gardiner. “The Park Outfit: Mr. Alfred Lycan, who lives in Bozeman, is the proprietor of a park outfit. He has made trips to the park for the past seventeen years and is considered the most careful man traveling through the park. His outfit consists of five passenger wagons, strongly built and each and each having four seats very comfortable on the long trip, two freight wagons, one carrying tents and bedding and the other carrying camp stools and feed for the horses, and the cooks’ wagon, containing the provisions, tables and stores. He left July 18th on his first trip this season to the park, with a party of sixteen, and were reinforced at Cinnabar [NPRR depot] by thirteen, making a pleasing party. Everything for the comfort of the party was done. Roomy tents were pitched each night and comfortable beds were placed inside, with covering sufficient for the cold nights. Each tent and bed are numbered and belong to the same person throughout the trip. Mr. Lycan has a competent cook in the person of Mr. Adolph Schmalhausen, of Illinois. This young man has spent three summers in the park with Mr. Lycan and has acquired great skill as a cook, setting before the party as dainty and appetizing morsels as could be given in any hotel. The guide, Mr. B.S. Thresher, of Butte, has made the trips for five summers and is thoroughly acquainted with all points of interest in the park. He is a genial gentleman who becomes a favorite to the party in a short time. For a party going through the park wishing to see it thoroughly and enjoy an outing, a trip in this outfit is advisable, as Mr. Lycan gives the longest trip of any of the park companies. After the first trip he meets his parties at Cinnabar, giving a ten days’ trip through the park for a comparatively small sum, and insuring comfort and courtesy to all.” Another account from 1899 noted that 54 tourists accompanied Lycan around Yellowstone and described some of the sights and accommodations. The woman depicted the guests sitting around for meals “at a long table for fifty-four with boards laid on carpenter’s horses. The crowd had appetites – ready to eat beans, bacon, biscuits, cornbread, syrup, cookies, etc. The biscuits were sometimes a little tough. We called them “sinkers,” hoping the cooks were hard of hearing.” ​ ​ Several ads in the June 1908 editions of the Anaconda Standard quote some general details: “ Yellowstone National Park trip covers one week's tour of park. We will furnish wall tents, carpets, wire sprlngs (keeping bed from ground), full bedding outfit, including mattress. Best available cooks. Camp at prominent points. We show our tourists through park. Address at Bozeman, Mont., (before July 1; after that, Gardiner, Mont.) The Lycan Camping Co.” Left: Anaconda Standard ad, 22Aug1900. ​ Right: Ad from the Helena Independent Record , 22Jul1914. F.L Dissly was listed as the contact person for the Lycan Co. This seem to be the last year of their operation in the park Edward Frank Allen's Guide to the National Parks of America, 1915, quoted the following rates of H.P. Grant, Floyd Brogan and Alfred Lycan, although they may have been using information from 1914: ​ "Regular 7-day trip, price for each member of party, including transportation and board and lodging in camp $30.00. Additional per day for stop-overs at points of interest, for each member of party $2.50. Twenty-one day trip from Gardiner and return by coach, including board, lodging, and transportation, price for each member of party $90.00" Marshall Bros. Camping Company ​ Silas “Si” Marshall was born in Iowa in 1860 and came to Montana by wagon train when he was a young man. He and his brother George E. operated a large cattle ranch near Melville before moving to Livingston in 1882. The men purchased a livery stable in Livingston in 1884 and operated transportation and livery services in the area. They sold the livery business in 1900. The Daily Intermountain in Butte, announced that: “Marshall Brothers disposed of their livery stable today to J. C. Bishop of this city, who will turn the business over to his son-in-law, Frank M. Cain. The price paid for livery stable was $2,100. A portion of the livery outfit to the value of $500 was also included in the deal. Frank Cain is well known here. He has considerable experience in the livery business and will no doubt do well. The Marshall Brothers will go to Cinnabar shortly and will take camping parties through the park during the summer.” Marshall's Livery in Livingston, Mt [Livingston Enterprise, 26Dec1891] According to records in the Yellowstone Historic Center, Silas & George Marshall formed the Marshall Brothers Camping Company by at least 1897 and operated through the 1908 season, possibly longer, escorting tourist parties on camping trips through the park. There are a number of newspaper references to folks being with a Marshing camping party, but no indication was made as to location. They conducted tours of 6 or 7 days and a 10 day trip that included travel to Mt. Washburn. Costs ranged between $30 and $45. Guests were transported in covered coaches that would accommodate 5 or 11 passengers. A toilet tent was made available for private functions. Postcard advertising the Marshall's Camping Parties, postmarked 1909. Click Here to view the reverse side of postcard featuring Lone Star Geyser From the Daily Intermountain, Butte Mt., 19May1900: ​ “Marshall Brothers disposed of their livery stable today to J. C. Bishop of this city, who will turn the business over to his son-in-law, Frank M. Cain. The price paid for livery stable was $2,100. A portion of the livery outfit to the value of $500 was also included in the deal. Frank Cain is well known here. He has considerable experience in the livery business and will no doubt do well. The Marshall Brothers will go to Cinnabar shortly and will take camping parties through the park during the summer.” A Marshall Brother's Camp in Yellowstone. [Livingston Enterprise Souvenir, 1Jan1900] Ad card for the Marshall Bros. Camping Transportation Co., post 1903. "Our Wagons are canopy top for five and eleven passengers. Good cooks and dining room tents. Sleeping tents, all sizes, with canvas carpets, to accommodate two or more people. Beds are comforts, cotton and wool blankets: mattresses on canvas or double cots." After retirement from the camping business Si worked numerous different jobs, including that as manager of the commissary at Mammoth. He seems to have remained a bachelor until 1920, when at age 59 he married Katherine I. Rittle, age 46. Silas became a justice of the peace in Livingston in 1941 and served in that position until his death on Jan. 2, 1944 at about age 83. He was interred in the Mountain View Cemetery in Livingston. George Marshall was born Oct. 13, 1868 in Illinois and married Mabel S. Stephens (born Dec. 11, 1874) in 1899. George passed away July 7, 1922 at about age 54 and was interred in Mountain View Cemetery in Livingston. By 1930 Mabel was listed in the census as a “Widow” and was living at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone with the George Whittaker family. Mabel died in January, 1935 at about age 61 and was buried next to her husband. Letterhead from Marshall Camps in Yellowstone. 1910 [Livingston Enterprise Souvenir, 1Jan1900] A.W. Chadbourne Allen Wright Chadbourne, more commonly known as A.W. Chadbourne (sometimes spelled Chadbourn), was born in Ohio in 1843 and later drove cattle on the Chisholm Trail from the Rio Grande to the Midwest, was a buffalo hunter out of Ft. Wallace, Kansas for a time and operated freight outfits along the frontier. He married Dolly Jane Masoner in 1879 and came to Montana around 1880-81. In 1882 they purchased a ranch in the area that would soon become the town of Cinnabar and the end of the Northern Pacific RR spur line from their main line at Livingston. According to “The History of Park County (Whithorn,,” Chadbourne started a company known as the “Yellowstone Park Transportation & Camping Outfit” around that time, and began hauling tourists into the park from the NP railhead at Cinnabar in 1884. He was among the earliest camping concerns to operate out of the northern entrance of Yellowstone. William W. Wylie had preceded him by one year. Chadbourne also ran saddle and pack outfits in the park until 1901. A.W Chadbourne, in his 90s [30Jun1938 Fairfield Times, Mt.] From the Jan 1, 1900 Edition of the Livingston Enterprise Souvenir. Yellowstone National Park Transportation. Just two miles below the entrance to the Park and one-half mile above Cinnabar is located the ranch of A.W. Chadbourn. Owing to its location on the Park pike road, nearness to the terminal depot for Park tourists, and better still to its home supply of fresh meats, vegetables, butter, eggs and milk, it has become a favorite rendezvous for pleasure seeker's in Wonderland. Tourists, seeking an outing by the old “out-of-doors” camping style, here find first-class accommodations with complete camping outfits. Conveyance can be furnished in any kind of vehicle from the finest Concords and Surreys down to the good old farm wagon. Tents, camp chairs, tables, dishes, beds, etc., are always in readiness, and choice vehicles with polite drivers are always in waiting at each incoming train. No embarrassments are ever encountered by stale victuals, as an abundance of freshranch supplies are always at their command. Aside from the above mode of taking pleasure trips there are some hundred head of well broken saddle and pack horses by which hunting or scientific parties find safe and pleasant conveyance. As Mr. and Mrs. Chadbourn have been residents of this country for eighteen years, and have looked to needs of tourists ever since the opening of the Park, there is no doubt but what pleasure seekers will enjoy the many sights in store for them. A homelike air prevails at every camp as well as the desire that all should share equally in the comforts afforded. That the public at large have appreciated the hospitality and accommodations of Mr. and Mrs. Chadbourn is shown by the increasing numbers of their guests, for in past years this, their own original mode of camping in Wonderland, has called forth a patronage from the millionaire down to the laborer, sharing equal pleasures around the camp fire. Top Left: Chadbourne Ranch, near Cinnabar, Mt., along the road to Yellowstone. [1Jan1900 Livingston Enterprise Souvenir] Bottom Left: Chadbourne campsite in Yellowstone. [YNP Archive #18844] With the formation of the Yellowstone National Park Transportation Co. in 1892 by Silas Huntley, Harry Child, Edmund Bach and others, Chadbourne and many of the other small, private transportation operators lost some of their transportation rights the following season. The new transportation company had been granted exclusive rights to transport NPRR passengers through Yellowstone. However, in June of 1893 Secretary of Interior Hoke Smith said that transportation privileges would be granted to Chadbourne and several other concerns. So Chadbourne persevered and the Livingston Enterprise noted on June 24, 1893 that he “just added $2,000 worth of Concord coaches and surreys to his park transportation outfit [and] will begin operation around the first of July.” ​ In 1901 Chadbourne traded his camping and transportation business to Yellowstone transportation businessman George Wakefield for his Shields Valley Ranch. The Chadbournes moved to Shields Valley and spent the remainder of their life at the ranch. The small town of Chadborn, located on current Hwy 89 north of Livingston and along the Shields River was named after the couple. Dolly died in June of 1943 and A.W. followed soon after on September 15. Both are buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Livingston. "WONDERLAND" View and Guide Book to YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK" BY W. F. (William Frederick) HATFIELD, 1899, St. Anthony, ID The A. W. Chadbourne Co. is one of the oldest in the Park transportation business, which fact is sufficient to guarantee its patrons good satisfaction. Arrangements with this company can be made for any kind of transportation or accommodations. The Concord coaches and native stock used by this company cannot be excelled. The cost of a camping trip is $25, including everything. This company also furnishes a five and one-half day trip with hotel accommodations at a rate of $35 from Cinnabar and return. Saddle horses $1 per day. A.W Chadbourne Obit [16Sep1943, Billings Gazette]

  • 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

  • Monida & Beaver Canyon |

    Gateways to Wonderland ​ Monida & Beaver Canyon ​ ​ 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. Geyser Bob Presents: Beaver Canyon and Monida: Early Stage Access Through the Western Entrance of Yellowstone Beaver Canyon, Idaho The discovery of gold on Grasshopper Creek in the mountains of western Montana in 1862 created the need for a transportation avenue to the mines. The Salt Lake Valley presented the best opportunity as a supply center, and a Montana road north to the mines through Beaver Canyon soon developed. Provisions first reached the mines by pack train, but that method eventually proved inadequate and as the region grew a freighting industry evolved. Toll roads and bridges were built to accommodate the heavy wagons. The Utah and Northern Railway reached the area on September 1, 1879. Until the railway reached the Montana border on March 9, 1880, Beaver Canyon acted as the terminus and business flourished. Stages, freighters, and a large crew of railway workers turned the area into a temporary boomtown. Sawmills sprang up in the area to provide lumber for buildings and ties for the rail tracks. An article in the Blackfoot Register in the summer of 1880 described the route: "Leaving Red Rock at 1 p.m., on our return, a ride of two hours brought us to the foot of Beaver Canyon, and to the station of the same name. The scenery down this canyon, a distance of about ten miles, is grand. The tall pine trees, the huge rocks rising on either side, with first on one side and then on the other, a sparkling stream of water, wending its way down over the rocks and falls, make it picturesque and beautiful." The town was originally named Beaver Canon, but was changed to Beaver Canyon in 1884. Click on maps to enlarge Top Map: 1885 map showing the Union Pacific and Utah-Northern routes in Utah, Idaho and Montana Above Map: Modern map showing routes to the west entrance of Yellowstone in the 1880s-90s. the green is the Monida route and red the Beaver Canyon route. Excerpt From Camping Out in the Yellowstone - 1882 By Mary Bradshaw Richards "At noon of the 31st [July 1882] we reached Beaver Canyon, where our camp life commenced. The village consists of a dozen log houses, two saloons and a big water tank. Its citizens are bound to other parts of the world by railroad and a telegraph office. Here are located some half a dozen of the Bassett brothers, fine enterprising fellows of the true pioneer stamp, who undertake to prepare and carry you in and through the National park in good form . . . Our hotel at Beaver Canyon was a little log house, who door opened almost into the village well . . . We slept under the logs one night, leaving at noon August first for the park, whose western boundary is one hundred miles distant from Beaver Canyon." Bassett Brothers ​ The Bassett Brothers operated a saloon and made preparations to start a line of spring wagons to Yellowstone National Park. They began this operation in the spring of 1881 and charged $25.00 for the round trip. Tourist travel to Yellowstone and the good railway connections greatly bolstered the local economy. A Bassett Brothers’ newspaper ad in the Salt Lake Tribune of July 30, 1882 proclaimed the Beaver Canyon route as “The Shortest and Best Route from the Railroad to the Eden of America.” A newspaper article from the Salt Lake Tribune in August of 1881 noted that, “Travelers can take the comfortable cars of the Utah & Northern in Ogden for Beaver Canyon, where connection can be made with Bassett Bros. through line to the Yellowstone. This line is composed of covered light spring wagons with the best of teams, and passes over one of the best roads in the country. This route is 150 miles shorter than by way of Virginia [Virginia City, Mt.] and the fare is $28 less than by that place. Experienced drivers are furnished and passengers are put through in quick time.” Ad for Basset Bros. Beaver Canyon to Yellowstone camping tour. Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 30, 1882 "Beaver Was Once A Lively Center" By William Stibal Pettite Excerpts from The Post-Register , Idaho Falls, March 18, 1970 "Beaver was once dominated in a business sense by the Bassett family. The Bassett Brothers operated a noted stage line, being headquarters for trips to Yellowstone and Fire Hole Basin, plus a branch line to Camas. They had a large hotel and saloon as well. . . . Frank Bassett, agent for the Utah and Northern Railroad, had the post office. Jules Bassett [C.J. Bassett], a polital associate of Senator Dubois, later formed the Idaho Sheep and Land Co. with Martin Patrie at Market Lake [now Roberts]. In the 1880's he served in the legislature from what was then Oneida County and later replaced partner Patrie as Idaho's Secretery of State. Brother C.H. Bassett noted that in 1880 a special - offer could be had from Bassett Brothers Stage. This special was a round trip ticket to Yellowstone for only $25.00 in gold. C.H. later lived in Pocatello and served as the first Bannock County Assessor Due to competition in Yellowstone with the new hotel company, the Bassett Bros. decided to get out of the camping business in 1886 and seeing the hotel crowd as more lucrative, concentrated their efforts on stage transportation of tourists to the various park hotels. In the early 1890’s the company moved the head of their operations from Beaver to Monida and in 1895 began operating as the Union Pacific Stage Lines with C.J. Bassett as proprietor. They were the only transportation company to operate through the west entrance from 1881 until 1898, when they were refused a permit to operate in the park. A new company, the Monida & Yellowstone Stage Company, was granted the sole concession to transport visitors through the west entrance into Yellowstone. Excerpt From: A Ride Through Wonderland By Georgina M. Synge ​ "Beaver Canyon is the funniest little place. As we had to wait there three days to collect our outfit (and scour the country for a side-saddle, an article which we foolishly omitted to bring), we had plenty of time for observations. It stands between two low ridges of hills which form the entrance to the canyon, and consists of several rows of little wooden houses and a few rather larger ones "dumped" here and there on its brown treeless level. Enormous signboards announced that a large percentage of these mansions were "restaurants" and "beer saloons." The hotel is decidedly primitive, [probably Bassett's] and as the air does not seem to suit either cows or hens, the luxuries produced by these useful species come from a distance, and are rather scarce. The railway runs through the middle of town, and, as there is no road (and only one or two trains in the day), forms the fashionable resort of the inhabitants on Sundays and fine evenings. One great drawback to enjoying this, however, is that one's eyes have to be more or less glued to one's footsteps, as the sleepers are raised rather high above the ground, and a glance upwards may land one upon one's nose. . . We got all our outfit together at last, Messrs. Bassett Bros., who run the stages through the Park Reservation, supplying us at about seventeen dollars per day. This included the hire and forage of the horses, a guide, a lad to drive the wagons, a tent, and cooking utensils, etc." [Sampson Low, Marston & Company , 1892] Top: 1891 letterhead for the Beaver Canyon Saloon & Restaurant. Above: Utah & Northern train crossing the High Bridge enroute to Beaver Canyon. Below: Sign at site of Beaver Canyon, 2008 by author. (Click to expand) Clark County town, Once rail and timber center, recalls memories By William Stibal Pettite Excerpts from The Post Register newspaper, Idaho Falls, Feb. 11, 1976 "Only foundation rubble and an old graveyard mark the location of the boomtown of Beaver, once a large lumber and railroad center of 90 years ago. The many lumber firms in that region supplied a vast majority of the wood used for construction in Idaho Falls . . . When the Utah and Northern Railroad came through in the fall of 1879, the small center began to grow. Five large lumber firms were in operation, employing several hundred men. The railroad also used the center as a train center, as Beaver Canyon was a treacherous pass . . . Some of the pioneer Beaver Canyon families included David Stoddard, Peter Lawson, Joe Davidson, Abraham Redford, Sam Lee, Peter Barney, Charles and Jules Bassett, and ranchers Sam Hancock, W.H. Murray, and P.J. Owen . . . At one time the many Davidson graves at the large Beaver cemetery were the only ones cared for. Now even they are forgotten and the grounds are in sagebrush, with the many old fences in decay." Beaver Canyon closes its doors . . . ​ After 1887 the town began to decline. The harsh weather and winters at Beaver Canyon made life untenable and the residents and businessmen felt Spencer would be a more optimal location. The area was somewhat lower in elevation with less snow and was wide enough to allow more land for expansion of the railroad facilities and other businesses. The town was moved in 1897, six miles south to a new town of Spencer, named after Hyrum H. Spencer, a businessman in Beaver. Many of the buildings were moved south on flat cars, including the depot after the railroad eliminated Beaver Canyon as a stop. The Beaver post office closed in 1898. Monida, Montana ​ Monida was the first point in Montana that the Utah and Northern RR, a branch of the Union Pacific RR, reached around 1880. The line, originating at Brigham City, Utah was planned to extend north to Butte and the mines in Montana. Construction began in 1871 and by 1874 had only reached Franklin, Idaho. The "Panic of 1873" caused all rail construction in the United States to halt and progress on the line was not resumed until 1878. The narrow gauge line reached Monida in 1880 and was completed to Butte in December of 1881. The narrow gauge track was converted to standard gauge between 1887 - 1890. A series of mergers resulted in the railroad becoming known as the Oregon Short Line in 1897. Top Right: Logo of "The Monida Line" advertising travel to Yellowstone from Monida. 1902 Oregon Short Line brochure, author collection. Bottom Right: Lantern slide of the Monida Depot, undated. Bottom Left: Monida townsite ca1898. the Summit Hotel is prominent in the center. [F.J. Haynes photo, Montana Historical Society] Monida was reportedly known as Spring Hill in its early stagecoach days, but the name Monida was in use at least by 1881. Mr. B.H. Paul purchased a small general store in the town and in early 1898 opened the Summit Hotel to serve rail and stage travelers. the Butte Miner noted April 1902, that Paul owned the whole town, which consisted of a rail station, section house, general store, saloon and a hotel. In May 1903, it was announced that Paul was constructing a large addition to the hotel and refurbishing the old section. Tragically, a fire in October of 1905 destroyed the Summit hotel and other nearby buildings. The hotel was later rebuilt of logs, opening by January of 1906. Another file destroyed the railroad depot in May of 1906. Right: View of the RR depot, showing the main street of Monida. The hotel is to the right. Undated photo, ca1903 Hotel Opening ---------- The Summit Hotel at Monida Opened Friday Night - A Fine Time The opening of the Summit Hotel at Monida Friday night was a complete success, and the proprietors, Messrs. Burnside & Paul, certainly should feel gratified by the numerous expressions by their guests of the pleasure and satisfaction they experienced. The Summit Hotel is built on n rise of ground east of the railroad track, at Monida station, and is intended principally for the entertainment of tourists, who take the Monida and Yellowstone stage line from that point to the National Park. The hotel is a large two-story frame building containing 22 rooms. It has large and airy office, parlor, dining room and kitchen and store rooms on the first floor, and sleeping rooms on the second floor. All the appointments are first-class and an excellent table is set. Mrs. Burnside looks after the comfort of the guests with close attention, and no one is allowed to leave the place dissatisfied. Over 130 guests assembled at the opening of the new hotel. There were people from Lima, Redrock, Dillon, Beaver Canyon and the surrounding country. By far the larger number were from Lima, 51 tickets being sold at that station. Soon after the arrival of the train the ball opened and dancing was kept up almost continuously until 6 o’clock next morning. Soon after midnight a fine supper was served, all the delicacies of the season being found on the table. After breakfast the hosts took all who cared to go out for a drive in the fine new 12-passenger canopy-top Concord coaches. This was a feature of the occasion that was greatly appreciated by those accepting the invitation. [Dillon Tribune, 29Jan1898] Right Top: The Summit Hotel, probably ca1898. Right Bottom: The Summit Hotel between 1903-1905. Note the addition on the right and to the rear. Disastrous Fire at Monida - Oct 1905 ​ A most disastrous fire occurred last Thursday at Monida when the Summit hotel, the hotel annex and a cottage, all the property of B. H. Paul, were burned to the ground and practically a total loss sustained. The tire must have been burning some time before it was discovered and the upper part of the inside of the hotel proper was all in flames before it was noticed . . . All three of the buildings were razed to the ground and the only things saved were a few of the household goods from the cottage. [4Oct1905 Dillon Examiner] A New Hotel in 1912 “One of the largest business buildings constructed In the county thls year is the mammoth hotel at Monida, built by the genial J. J. Smith, the pioneer hotel man of that city. The hotel is constructed of red brick and, situated on the very summit of the continental divide, it commands a wonderful outlook. The name, "The Summit,’* is most appropriate. Although Monlda cannot boast of electric lights, city water or a central heating plant, this hotel has all of them, and they are superior in many ways to similar systems In most large cities.” [15Dec1912, Anaconda Standard] Monida is located on the crest of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of around 7,000 feet. The town became a large railhead for the shipment of sheep and livestock raised in the vast Centennial Valley. As many as 48,000 head of cattle and 100,000 head of sheep were shipped out annually. The town reached a population of 75-100 people at its prime. The departure of the M-Y stage line traffic in 1908 and the increased use of large truck and trailers for livestock shipping caused the rail traffic to decline, along with the population. A few buildings still exist in the town, including at least one of the original Monida-Yellowstone stage barns. Monida & Yellowstone Stage Company ​ Monida became significant in Yellowstone's history in 1898 when the Monida and Yellowstone Stage Co. was organized by F.J. Haynes and W. W. Humphrey and began stage service through the west entrance of Yellowstone. The route to the park skirted along the edge of the beautiful Centennial Valley, past Red Rock lakes, through Alaska Basin, over the divide to Henrys Lake and over Targhee Pass to the west entrance. Stagecoach travelers would stay at the Grayling Inn, as known as Dwelles, for the first night, prior to entering the park. (See map at top of page) The company conducted tours of the park from Monida until the summer of 1908, when the Oregon Short Line completed a branch line from Idaho Falls to the west entrance of the park. The company moved its operation to Riverside, a location a few miles inside of the west entrance f Yellowstone. A small town soon sprung up at the end of the rail line and west entrance of the park. The town was originally known as Riverside, but changed to Yellowstone in 1909. It did not become West Yellowstone until 1920. ​ For additional information, check out my Monida & Yellowstone web page. Top Left: One of the barns used by the Monida & Yellowstone Stage Co., 1957. YNP #33409 ​ Top Right: Same barn about 50 years later. Photo by author 2008 ​ Left: Logo of the Monida & Yellowstone Stage Co. The name later changed in 1913 to Yellowstone & Western Stage Co.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Bassett Brothers |

    Coaching in Yellowstone - The Bassett Brothers 1881-1898 ​ 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. In The Beginning . . . 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. Travel was on horseback and by pack train. In 1879 mail service was established from Virginia City, Montana to the Lower Geyser Basin of Yellowstone Park. George W. Marshall was the first mail carrier and on September 13, 1880, a mail station was established in conjunction with his primitive hotel near the junction of the Firehole River and Nez Perce Creek (approximate location of today’s Nez Perce Picnic area). It was known as the Firehole Post Office and George’s wife Sarah was postmistress for the first two years. Sometime that fall or winter of 1880, brothers William Henry and Ernest Bassett began working as mail carriers on the Virginia City to Firehole route. Both brothers experienced severe travails that winter while trying to traverse the route during the heavy snows and extreme winter temperatures. In late January of 1881 William attempted to travel the route from Firehole to Henry’s Lake through deep and drifting snows and became frostbitten on his hands and toes after falling through the ice on Henry’s Lake. He narrowly escaped death when the stock tender at the mail station spotted him on the lake and rescued William. An article in the Bucks County Gazette of Bristol, Pennsylvania described his adventures thusly: ​ “On the 22nd of January a stock tender on the shore of Henry’s Lake, near Fire Hole, Mon., saw an arm reaching out of a huge snow drift on the other shore of the lake and waving a handkerchief. The stock man went to the rescue and found W.H. Bassett, a young mail carrier, fast in the snow and utterly exhausted. Bassett had started from Fire Hole three days before. The snow was in no place less than three feet deep, and often there were drifts ten feet high. He was obliged to abandon his horse on the first day. Then for two days and nights he fought his way through the snow. Part of the time it was storming and always intensely cold. He lost his way. He hadn’t a mouthful of food. He says “I ate snow so long that I was unable to eat food when rescued, because my throat was too raw to permit swallowing. I knew my feet were frozen, but I was afraid to take off my boots, lest I couldn’t get them on again. I shall only lose two toes and a few fingers.” Articles about the episode appeared in other newspapers across the country, including the Boston Globe and the New York Times. These articles were apparently the result of a letter William sent to his father in Salt Lake about his adventures. William Henry Bassett (W.H. Bassett) and Charles Julius Bassett (C.J. Bassett) seem to have been the prime movers of the operation. There were six Bassett brothers - William Henry, Charles Julius, 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. By 1845 Mr. Bassett was living in the Mormon community in Navoo, Illinois, where he married Permilia Mindwell Dayton. Driven out of Navoo by angry anti-Mormon mobs, they settled in Iowa before moving to Salt Lake City in 1852. The following year Charles Henry Bassett married Mary Elizabeth Knight. Ernest and William Henry were sons of that marriage, while Charles Henry II, Charles Julius, Frank, and Fred were sons of Permilia. It has been reported that Charles Henry Bassett sired 22-34 children from five wives. By the late 1870s most of the Bassett Brothers had moved to southeastern Idaho, where the Utah & Northern Railroad was slowly making its way north through Idaho to Butte, Montana from Brigham City, Utah. The railroad reached Beaver Canon, Idaho (changed from Beaver Canon to Beaver Canyon in 1884) on September 1, 1879. The town had been established around 1872 along the main stage and freight road from Utah to the mining communities of Montana. Photo from: Our Generations Ancestors Family Association In 1881 the brothers, with William and Chas. Julius (C.J.) in charge, began providing outfitting and transportation services to Yellowstone National Park that included furnishing wagons, horses, tents, tools, food, supplies, and guides. They picked up their passengers from the Utah & Northern Railroad (U&NRR) line at Beaver Canyon, Idaho, near the current town of Spencer, 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. Another newspaper touted that, “Travelers can take the comfortable cars of the Utah & Northern in Ogden for Beaver Canyon, where connection can be made with Bassett Bros. through line to the Yellowstone. This line is composed of covered light spring wagons with the best of teams, and passes over one of the best roads in the country. Ad for Bassett Bros., from July 30, 1882, Salt Lake Daily Tribune . This is one of earliest Bassett ads for Yellowstone. Click to enlarge. The Bassett Bros. operation apparently was a success and in August of 1882 the Ogden Standard Examiner exclaimed that, “The vast increase of travel between Beaver and the National Park has necessitated increased facilities, and Bassett Bros. have just put on the stage line four splendid new coaches for the accommodation of the traveling public.” Beaver Canyon, partly described as containing, "scores of blighted hopes." From Crofutt's Overland Guide , by George A. Crofutt, 1890. Click to enlarge. View of Beaver Canyon in 1885 Beaver Canyon: On June 3rd, 1882 the Ogden Standard newspaper briefly described life in Beaver Canyon: ​ “Up to the past spring we could boast of but one saloon, that of Messrs. Bassett Bros, and the boys that are chopping logs used to put in an occasional spree at this saloon, much to the annoyance of the more peacefully inclined citizens; but the Justice of the Peace, Mr. Julius Bassett [CJ], used to get after them and impose a fine with good effects. Another saloon has been erected by Mr. Raymond & Sabin, but not proving a success the building has been sold to Mr. L. Harris who permitted a few dances to be held in it which we think has not been financially profitable, and the owner is now fitting it up as a hotel and restaurant. The Bassett Bros. are now making extensive preparations to carry passengers from this point to the National Park, this summer, and we have no doubt but their line will be extensively patronized by pleasure-seekers who wish to take the shortest route and best road to see the sights of the Yellowstone.” Mary Bradshaw Richards and her husband Jesse Richards traveled from their home in New York City to Yellowstone Park in 1882, and took advantage of the services of the Bassetts. Travel in the park was still primitive at that time and only the Marshall Hotel on the Firehole River and the crude McCartney Hotel at Mammoth Hot Springs were available. The couple traveled by train to Beaver Canon aboard the U&NRR. They arrived in the community of Beaver Canon that they described as consisting of "a dozen log houses, two saloons and a big water tank." The hotel was not much more than a small log house. The couple contracted with the Bassett Brothers to take them into the park. The following excerpt offers a glimpse of the Bassett operation: "Our outfit (two persons) consisted of a wall tent, blankets, buffalo skins, axe, hatchet, nails, ropes, hammer and wheel grease; flour, sugar, lard, ham, eggs packed in oats, canned meats, fruits and jellies; a long-tailed frying pan, bake kettle, coffee pot, tin plates, cups and spoons, knives and forks; a capital driver, an accomplished cook, two large balky horses and lastly the all important spring wagons, canvas-covered, large, strong, rather stiff in the joints, but possessing a fitness for its purpose which we soon learned to appreciate. This outfit cost us eighteen dollars per day." "The distance from Beaver Canyon to Lower Geyser basin is about one hundred and ten miles. We are to camp three nights on the route . . . Inside our new home [tent] is our furniture, viz.: a bed of blankets folded on a rubber sheet, our hamper for a table, a wagon seat for a sofa, a candle set in a bottle for an electric light, a tin wash basin, soap and towels on a pile of grass for a toilet room - only these and nothing more . . . A campfire, now having finished its blazing, is at work baking bread and boiling coffee and broiling pine-hen and ham. How hungry we are!" ​ [From Camping Out in the Yellowstone - 1882, by Mary Bradshaw Richards, Univ. of Utah Press, 1994] Undated photo of a Bassett coach crossing stream in route. Many of the wagons/coaches used by the Bassett Brothers seem to have been Studebaker Excursion Wagons, designed for the tourist trade. Although the following ad calls them Concord wagons, they were not Concords. Concord coaches were made by the Abbot-Downing Co. in Concord, New Hampshire, and had specially designed through braces underneath to soften the ride. Serviceable Wagons. The Studebakers have manufactured for the Bassett Bros., Beaver Canyon, Idaho, two elegant Concord wagons. The vehicles, which are four-seated and made to order for special service, were set up yesterday and started for Beaver Canyon, where they will be first on the road into Yellowstone national park. [Salt Lake Herald-Republican , June 9, 1883-06-09] Life on the Beaver Canyon Route . . . What they didn't tell you about in the brochures! ​ "Here our mosquito-netting came into use. The pestiferous things rose in clouds from every ford or marshy place we crossed. They made life almost a burden. We fought them with our hands and bathed our necks and wrists in menthol to keep them away, but to no purpose. They were after us and were going to stay with us. In the dining-room at the dinner-station on the Camas Meadows the window panes were black with them and we were compelled to eat with our veils on, but that did not prevent them from getting into our mouths. For two long hours we were at their mercy--hard, unrelenting, unmerciful mercy. They bit us until our necks, faces and hands had the appearance of being stung by a swarm of bees. Outside of the cabin they were even worse, and appeared in clouds whenever the grass was stirred. We had to keep moving, for the instant we stopped they would light upon our clothes so thick that we could not tell the color of the cloth. After one blow upon the shoulder of our Yankee friend, thirty-four dead mosquitoes were found sticking to his coat. We were all thankful when the driver told us to take our places in the stage for our departure." ​ Beaver Canyon Route excerpt from Parkinson's Wonderland; or, Twelve Weeks In and Out of the United States. Top : Yellowstone National Park Stage Line letterhead, 1885. [ YNP Archives] Right: Yellowstone park Stage Line pass, 1892, signed by CJ Bassett. [author] In 1884, the Ogden Standard reported that business for the Bassett Brothers had doubled and that overnight accommodations had been established along the route for travelers. By 1885 the company was using the name Yellowstone National Park Stage Line. In a letter to a prospective client, the Bassetts quoted a rate of $25 per person to take a nine-day trip via the Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, past Sulfur Mountain to the Grand Canyon, over Mary’s Lake, north to Mammoth Hot Springs, and return through the West entrance. Clients saved five dollars if the two-day Mammoth leg was skipped. Around 1886 it appears as though they got out of the camping business and concentrated their efforts on stage transportation to the various hotels, in and out of the park. The route from Beaver Canyon, although lengthy, passed through beautiful country. The road from Beaver followed Miners Creek up Porcupine Pass and ran down West Camas Creek to the broad, wide Camas Valley. Indian Springs, near the small town of Kilgore, was the first overnight stop. The next day travelers journeyed on across the valley, skirting the southern reaches of the Centennial Mountains. The second night was spent at either George Rea’s ranch or the Arangee cabins and Bellevue Hotel of the Arangee Land Co., both located in Shotgun Valley, along the current north shore of Island Park Reservoir. On the third day the stage ventured to the south of Henry’s Lake, over Targhee Pass, stopping for lunch at Dwelle’s (in some accounts this was an overnight stop, and later became known as the Grayling Inn). The route finally passed through the west entrance of the park to the Firehole Hotel in the Lower Geyser Basin. The Firehole Hotel was abandoned in 1891 when the Fountain Hotel opened for business. Modern map showing stage routes from the Utah & Northern Rail line through the west entrance of Yellowstone, and on to the Firehole in the Lower Geyser Basin. The Red shows the route from Beaver Canyon, and the Green the route from Monida, on the border of Idaho & Montana. In 1885, a new road was cut across from the West Entrance, cross-country to Lower Geyser Basin, saving considerable miles to travel. Click to expand. Improvements to the route from Beaver Canyon to the Firehole Hotel, was described in an article in the Salt Lake Tribune , November 14, 1885: ​ “The route to the Yellowstone National Park is to be very much shortened and improved by the time the season opens. The Government is making a direct road from upper Firehole Basin to the west boundary line of the Park at the foot of the mountain. This shortens the distance thirty miles and will give a much easier road in grades. Bassett Brothers are making a new road between Camas Meadow and Riverside Station, on Henry's Fork of Snake River, so as to shorten the distance between Beaver Canon and Riverside ten miles, thus scaling down the distances between Upper Firehole and Beaver Canon forty miles, and bringing it down to seventy miles. Most of the work has been done and the rest will be finished in the early spring. Bassett Brothers are getting a large number of four-horse excursion wagons, made especially for them by Studebaker, to run between Beaver Canon.” Arangee Ranch [From Parkinson's, Wonderland; or, Twelve Weeks In and Out of the United States.] The route from Beaver Canyon, although lengthy, passed through beautiful country. The road from Beaver followed Miners Creek up Porcupine Pass and ran down West Camas Creek to the broad, wide Camas Valley. Indian Springs, near the small town of Kilgore, was the first overnight stop. The next day travelers journeyed on across the valley, skirting the southern reaches of the Centennial Mountains. The second night was spent at either George Rea’s ranch or the Arangee cabins and Bellevue Hotel of the Arangee Land Co., both located in Shotgun Valley, along the current north shore of Island Park Reservoir. On the third day the stage ventured to the south of Henry’s Lake, over Targhee Pass, stopping for lunch at Dwelle’s (in some accounts this was an overnight stop, and later became known as the Grayling Inn). The route finally passed through the west entrance of the park to the Firehole Hotel in the Lower Geyser Basin. The Firehole Hotel was abandoned in 1891 when the Fountain Hotel opened for business. Excerpt from, Parkinson's "Wonderland; or, Twelve Weeks In and Out of the United States ." ​ A variety of stopping points were used along the Beaver Canyon route. A couple of other travel accounts mention Manley's Cabin. It was located somewhere along the Madison River, about half a days' travel between the crossing of Henry's Fork of the Snake River and the Firehole in Yellowstone. Little is known about Manley at this point, but in Edwards Roberts book "Shoshone and Other Western Wonders" published in 1888, he gives an account of Beaver Canyon route and relates the following about Manley's Ranch: "Toward sunset we reached Manley's Cabin. It stands on the left bank of the river and is built of rough-hewn logs, the spaces between which are plastered. On one side the house is flanked by an open corral, where Manley keeps his cattle. On the other extend the open fields across which we had driven, and all around which grow the forests. Tired with our long drive, the simple house seemed a palace of comforts. In the evening we sat around the fire, and Manley told us of his life. It was very uneventful, he said, and in winter was most dreary. The storms were frequent and severe, and he was absolutely cut off from the outside world. In summer the visitors were numerous. Many made the cabin their head-quarters while on hunting trips about the country, and others stopped, as we had, for a night. For a living, Manley supplies the Park hotels with meat, eggs, and milk. In the future he hopes a railroad will reach his land and render it worth a tidy fortune. At present, he told us, life was a struggle, and the income was discouragingly small." Bassett Bros. coach crossing the Snake River enroute to Yellowstone. [From Parkinson's, Wonderland; or, Twelve Weeks In and Out of the United States.] Manley's Cabin, located along the banks of the Snake River in Madison Valley. It has been described as, "Built of logs, rudely plastered together, it is far from an ideal hotel, but seems a very palace of comfort after a long day’s stage-ride." [Photo from Shoshone and Other Western Wonders, by Edwards Roberts. Quote from Harper's Weekly, Vol.32, 1888.] Dwelle's or Grayling Inn ​ Harry F. Dwelle moved from Ohio and settled in an area on the south fork of the Madison River about 5 miles from the West entrance in the early 1880’s. In 1884 he established Dwelle’s Stage Stop to service the Bassett Bros. stages that were running to the park from Beaver, Idaho. In 1898 Dwelle’s Inn (also known as Dwelle’s Madison Fork Ranch and the Grayling Inn) became an overnight stop for the Monida & Yellowstone Stage Co. that transported tourists to the park from Monida. Monida & Yellowstone ceased using Dwelle’s Inn after the 1907 season when the UPRR reached the West entrance of the park. By that time Dwelle was also running a general store and saloon. Acting park superintendent S.B.M. Young complained in 1907 that Dwelle’s “…place has been a resort of park poachers…the principle merchandise he deals in is intoxicants.” Parkinson, in his "Wonderland; or, Twelve Weeks In and Out of the United States," describes his visit at Dwelle's: ​ "It was about three o'clock when the stage pulled up at a very pretentious two story log house, and the driver informed us that this was where we would stop over night. No one coming to the door, we walked in and took possession. The reception room was large and airy; in fact, it took up one half of the house and reached from the first floor to the roof. In one end of it were quite a number of bear skins, and hanging on the walls were skins of the otter, mink and various other animals. The bed-rooms were six in number and opened out upon the reception-room. Three were on the first floor and three above them, arranged like cells in a prison. Those on the second tier were reached by a flight of steps and along a balcony. The rooms were all newly furnished and neatly kept. " "The proprietor, Mr. Dwelle, was a bachelor, and was the only person around the place. When he saw us coming he started off to catch a mess of trout for supper. Our Yankee friend and myself, after procuring some fishing-lines, followed him. In crossing a brook the writer made a misstep and fell into the water, which necessitated his returning to the house to dry his clothes. While sitting in front of the stove he was startled by a crash, and looking out of the window saw the back porch in ruins. The ladies, who had retired to their sleeping apartments for a rest, appeared almost immediately in the wildest state of excitement, anxiously inquiring if a cyclone had struck the house. Their fears being quieted they returned to finish their naps. Upon going into the yard we ascertained that a number of horses in prancing around had run against a rope stretched from one of the out-buildings to one of the supports of the porch, and, pulling the latter from its place, the whole structure came down with a crash. It was not long before our Yankee friend was seen returning. He had met with a similar mishap as the writer, only that he had fallen in much deeper water, and did not have a dry thread on him. He went to a hunter's camp, and having built a large fire, dried his clothing. Supper being announced, we all responded to the call, and partook of one of the best meals we had eaten since leaving Portland. After doing full justice to it we returned to the reception-room, when several trappers came in and a very pleasant evening was spent listening to their stories." In 1886 the Union Pacific RR advertised special Yellowstone trips at a cost of $30 from Ogden to the Firehole and return. An extra $12.50 paid the Bassett Brothers to take the visitor on a complete tour around the park, with overnight stays at the various hotels and tent hotels. The trip could be made in 9 days, but the visitor had up to 30 days to complete the tour if desired. It was a busy year for the Bassetts, as they also worked on establishing a new road from Camas Meadows to the Riverside station just inside the park. The road was a more direct route and shortened the journey to about 70 miles. The Bassett operation continued, apparently successfully through the next decade and by the mid-1890s was known as the Union Pacific Stage Line. Reportedly up to 25 coaches were used in the operation. In 1897 the town of Beaver Canyon was moved a few miles south to what became known as Spencer, named after Hyrum H. Spencer, a businessman in Beaver. The harsh weather and winters at Beaver Canyon made life untenable and the residents and businessmen felt Spencer would be a more optimal location. The area was somewhat lower in elevation with less snow and was wide enough to allow more land for expansion of the railroad facilities and other businesses. Many of the buildings were moved south on flat cars, including the depot after the railroad eliminated Beaver Canyon as a stop. The Beaver post office closed in 1898. Early view of the town of Monida. The 2-story, white Summit Hotel (center) burned in 1905. The depot would have been behind the rail cars shown on the right. The town of Monida in 2008, author's photo. According to newspaper articles and other sources, the Bassett operation seems to have remained at Beaver Canyon, despite some sources that claim he moved north to Monida and began using the road through the Centennial Valley. That route skirted the northern shoulder of the rugged Centennial Mountains, continued on past Lakeview and Red Rocks Lakes, climbed over Red Rock Pass, and wound around the north side of Henry’s Lake where it met up with the other route before ascending Targhee Pass. The Bassett Bros. never received a formal lease for their operation in Yellowstone, but operated on yearly permits. They were the primary transportation company to operate through the west entrance from 1881 until 1898 when the Interior Dept. awarded the privilege to the Monida & Yellowstone Stage Company, essentially putting the Basset's out of the Yellowstone transportation business. According to a letter CJ Bassett wrote to the authorities in Yellowstone in June of 1898, he desired “to conduct a Transportation business, from Beaver Canyon, to and through the Yellowstone Park.” An answer to his inquiry has yet to be located, but it appears the Bassett transportation operation to Yellowstone National Park ended that year, despite their intentions to continue the business. Figures from the annual YNP Superintendent’s Reports indicate that Bassett carried only 59 passengers in 1896 and 22 in 1897. ​ The superintendent noted in his report for 1898 that “The Monida and Yellowstone Stage Company have seemingly absorbed the business previously conducted by Mr. C.J. Bassett, from Beaver Canyon into the park via the western entrance, as I have no reports of any passengers by his line during the past season, nor has he applied for license to conduct this class of business.” Previous to 1898 the majority of Yellowstone visitors came into the park either with the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. coaches or in private conveyances. The Wylie Camping Co. and other personally conducted camping parties accounted for most of the rest of the business. ​ C.J. Bassett was a conspicuous figure in Idaho politics for some 20 years and died in his home at Boise on November 26, 1918, at about 67 years of age. W.H. Bassett, former postmaster in Lago, Idaho, died in a car accident December 29, 1929 at age 71. He was buried in his hometown cemetery in Lago, Idaho. For more information on the Bassett family and the stage operation, visit these wonderful Bassett family history websites! Bassett Bros Stage Line Bassett Family Genealogies Bassett Bros. Stage Line -2 Monida & Yellowstone Stage Co. William W. Humphrey and Frank Jay Haynes formed the Monida & Yellowstone Stage Line (M-Y) in early 1898. Humphrey boasted of fifteen years stagecoach experience, the last five years of which were served with Yellowstone Park Transportation Co, while Haynes, an astute businessman, had operated photo shops at all the major locations in the park, beginning in 1884. Together, with additional financial backing, they obtained a 10-year lease from the government to operate the stage business from Monida to and through the park. Their guests stayed at the park hotels operated by Yellowstone Park Association. The company also obtained a 10-year contract from the Union Pacific RR to handle all of their Yellowstone Park business. ​ Click on M-Y decal to go to my Monida & Yellowstone Stage page. A Ride Through Wonderland By Georgina M. Synge Sampson Low, Marston & Company , 1892 Enjoy excerpts from this fascinating account by Georgina Synge, who wrote of her journey to Wonderland in early September of 1889. She traveled from Salt Lake City to Beaver Canyon, utilized the transportation services of the Bassett Brothers, and journeyed on to the Firehole Hotel in the Lower Geyser Basin of Yellowstone Park. “We got all our outfit together at last, Messrs. Bassett Bros., who run the stages through the Park Reservation, supplying us at about seventeen dollars per day. This included the hire and forage of the horses, a guide, a lad to drive the wagons, a tent, and cooking utensils, etc. A. was for taking no mattress - "roll yourself up in a rug, and there you are," was his idea. But as I ventured to differ as to the delights of this method, we ended by procuring huge bags filled with fresh hay, which were most comfortable. We also took about eight blankets and a mackintosh cover. A small leather portmanteau contained our changes of raiment and toilet necessities, also such useful things as tools, fishing gear, and a few simple ointments and medicines. We each wore a leather belt with pockets, containing collapsible drinking cups, compasses, knives and string, etc., which we found a great comfort. As for our food, we took a good load of tinned beef and tongue, sardines, flour, biscuits, bacon, coffee, cracked wheat, tinned milk and fruit, and a bottle of Worcester sauce (without which no American table is complete); also two bottles of whiskey and a box of Mormon beer, "in case," as A. remarked, "the water might be injurious." . . . We set forth early in the morning, as we had about thirty miles to ride before reaching a good camping ground . . . How delicious that first meal was, free from all the humdrum conventionalities of life, surrounded by wild stretches of country, with not a human habitation or sign of human life visible. Our bread was baked in a small cast-iron Dutch-oven, something like a gipsy's kettle, the edges of the cover being turned up to hold the hot embers; I never tasted bread more excellent. In this oven, too, we could cook our meat or fish. The men [Bassett's drivers] always ate with us, quite at home and at their ease, as we sat together on the wagon seats round our little camp table. For when you come Far West every man is as good as another, and everybody you meet is a "gentleman," whether it is the boy who blacks your boots, or the rich man who owns millions. I must say we found them well-mannered and agreeable (with the exception of Beesley, whom we afterwards changed), and most eager that we should see everything we could. . . . We reached our first camping ground, in the Camas Meadows - brown grass-covered levels surrounded by mountains - by about five o'clock in the afternoon . . . What fun it was pitching our tent for the first time, and gathering wood for a huge camp fire, and picketing the horses, and exploring our surroundings . . . We started soon after breakfast on the second day, leaving the men to pack up and follow with the wagon . . . Every now and then we crossed a little creek, a tributary of the Great Snake River, the magnificent falls of which we had seen a few days before at Shoshone . . . We passed a log cabin near the latter [Shot Gun Creek] where lives a trapper of renown [probably George Rea]. Elk antlers were suspended over the doorway and ornamented the four corners of the roof, while skins of bear and other beasts were stretched on every available piece of wall. It was late in the evening when we caught a glimpse of the Snake River itself [Henry's Fork of the Snake] . . . We splashed through its shallow bed which here was easily forded, and drew up on the other side, near some log cabins built for the accommodation of passing travelers [Arangee Ranch] . . . [the next day] We had crossed the levels by about twelve o'clock and reached Manley's Cabin, as it is called. This is quite a large abode, with an open corral around it for the cattle, and is built of rough-hewn logs, the interstices being filled in with plaster. After many efforts, we at last attracted the attention of a very dignified-looking old lady in a black silk dress, who, we found afterwards, was the mother of the owner, lately settled there. . . . On leaving Manley's Cabin we crossed the Madison [River] and were once more among the forests . . . Some half-way across the valley we came to the military camp, which is established at the western entrance to the Park Riverside Soldier Station]. Here we were accosted by two soldiers in uniform, who asked us if we had any guns to declare, as, if we had, they must be sealed up, to prevent our using them while passing through . . . [continuing on to Firehole] we descended the other side, the forest received us again and closed in on us; a forest so dark and impenetrable, few rays of sunlight could ever find their way within. We were about four hours riding through this, and it was evening when we at last emerged upon the Fire Hole basin. Here stands quite a little settlement, consisting of the "Hotel," [Firehole Hotel, formerly Marshall's Hotel], the stage agent's house, and a few primitive abodes belonging to men employed there during the summer months. We were too tired to do anything but eat a hearty supper, though the peculiar sulphurous smell in the air, showing how near we were to "Wonderland" at last, made us long for morning to come.” ​ “Toward sunset we reached Manley’s Cabin. It stands on the left bank of the river and is built of rough-hewn logs, the spaces between which are plastered. On one side the house is flanked by an open corral, where Manley keeps his cattle. On the other extend the open fields across which we had driven, and all around which grow the forests. Tired with our long drive, the simple house seemed a palace of comforts. In the evening we sat around the fire, and Manley told us of his life. It was very uneventful, he said, and in winter was most dreary.The storms were frequent and severe, and he was absolutely cut off from the outside world. In summer the visitors were numerous. Many made the cabin their head-quarters while on hunting trips about the country, and others stopped, as we had, for a night. For a living, Manley supplies the Park hotels with meat, eggs, and milk. In the future he hopes a railroad will reach his land and render it worth a tidy fortune. At present, he told us, life was a struggle, and the income was discouragingly small.” ​

  • Bears-in-Circles Logo |

    Yellowstone Hotel & Transportation Companies ​ Bear-in-Circle Logo Through the Years 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 Association 1886-1909 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. Harry Child, Edward Bach, and Silas Huntley purchased the company in 1901 with financing from the Northwest Improvement Co. Child acquired full ownership in 1907, and on December 9, 1909, Child had the name of the company changed to the Yellowstone Park Hotel Co . Top Left: This decal is 4" diameter. The photo for these decals was taken by F.J. Haynes in the early 1890's at the Fountain Hotel garbage dump. You can still see the cans in the foreground. In later years the foreground was stylized to represent small trees, logs and ​ Top Center: Paper decal, 1 inch,seen on envelopes, stationary, luggage, etc. ​ Top Right: Paper decal, 1 inch, for use on mailing envelopes. ​ Bottom Left: Paper decals, 1 inch size, perforated like stamps. ​ Yellowstone Park Hotel Co. 1909-1936 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. 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. Left: Paper decal, 1-1/2 in to 4 inch, used on luggage, envelopes, postcards, stationary, etc. Right: Metal pinback, about 1-1/4 inch diameter. Very prolific, even these days. Left: Paper decal, 1-1/2 in to 4 inch, used on luggage, envelopes, postcards, stationary, etc. Right: Brass watch fob from 1912. Stamped on back: Mid-West Delegation Chicago Special Yellowstone Park Company 1969-1979 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. The Child-Nichols family sold the company to Goldfield Enterprises on February 4, 1966 for 6.5 million dollars. Goldfield became a part of General Host, Inc. 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. Very common paper decal, found in sizes 1-1/2 and 4 inch. 12 inch water-transfer decal were used on the side door panels of company vehicles. Soft cloth patch that could be sewn on to employee uniforms. Linen iron-patch used on employee uniforms TW Services, Amfac, and Xanterra Parks & Resorts. In 1979, the government bought out all the Yellowstone Park Co. assets in the Park, and a new short-term lease was granted to TWA Services, with extensions and renewals based on performance. The name was changed to TW Services in 1984 and TW Recreational Services in 1988. Amfac Parks & Resorts, who had purchased the Ferd Harvey Company in 1968, bought out TWR Services in 1995 and was renamed Xanterra Parks & Resorts in 2002. The top three items are all cloth patches for employee uniforms. To the left was a sew-on patch, about 4 inch size, while the other two were iron-on patches, about 3 inches in length.. ​ Bottom left is Amfac logo, using dark green lettering. To the right is a TWR paper decal about 3 inches long. Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. 1898 - 1936 Formed in 1898 by Harry Child, with brother-in-laws Silas Huntley and Edward Bach to take over the operation of the Yellowstone National Park Transportation Co.. They received a 10-year lease on March 31. Huntley died about three years later and his shares reverted to NorthWest Improvement Co. Bach sold his shares to NWIC in 1902, leaving Child in full control. In 1917 the stagecoaches were put out to pasture and White Motor Co. buses took over the roads. William Nichols, who took over the company in 1931 after Child’s death, merged the YPTCo with the YPHC, YP Lodge & Camps Co., and the YP Boat Co. in 1936 to form the Yellowstone Park Co. YPTCo decal, 1-inch and 2-inch are known YPTCo brass badge, or driver's cap emblem. This dates to the 1920s - early 1930s. Yellowstone Park Co brass badge, or driver's cap emblem, about 2-inch in size.. This dates to the post-1936 era. Notice the 'T' missing in the center. Variations on a Theme From the 1890s to 1940s Top Left: Logo of the Lander-Yellowstone Park Transportation Co., who drove tourists from Lander, Wyo. to Moran Jct. near the Tetons. They began business in 1921 when a new highway opened over Togwotee Pass. The image is of Dick Washakie, son of famed Shoshone Chief Washakie. ​ Top Center: Logo for the Summit Hotel in Monida, Mont. It opened in 1898 when the Monida & Yellowstone Stage Co. began hauling tourists from Monida through the west entrance of Yellowstone, ​ Top Right: Logo for the Monida Line & the Monida & Yellowstone Stage Line. The company operated 1898-1913. ​ Middle Left: Logo for the Monida & Yellowstone Stage Co., 1898-1913. ​ Middle Right: Logo for the Milwaukee Road RR, and the Gallatin Gateway route to Yellowstone. Service was provided through the west entrance of the park by the YPTCo. beginning in 1928. ​ Bottom Left: W.A. Hall Store in Gardiner, Mont., at the north entrance to Yellowstone, located next to the Roosevelt Arch. ​ Bottom Right: Logo for the Cody Road to Yellowstone, traveling through Wapiti Valley and over Sylvan Pass into Yellowstone. Cody was home to Buffalo Bill. ​

  • Cody WY |

    Gateways to Wonderland ​ Early History of Cody Wyoming ​ 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. The Early Days . . . Cody, Wyo is located on the Shoshone River in the Bighorn Basin in NW Wyoming, in a basin surrounded by mountain ranges on three sides: the Absarokas to the west; the Owl Creek Mtns to the south; and the Bighorn Mtns to the east. The east entrance to Yellowstone National Park lies 53 miles to the west, up the North Fork of the Shoshone River. John Colter passed through the area in 1807-08 and discovered the odorous springs along the Shoshone that became known as Colter’s Hell. The smell of the springs also gave the Shoshone River its original moniker of Stinking Water River. However, the name was changed in 1901, for obvious public relations purposes. Jim Carter and John Chapman both drove cattle herds from Oregon to the South Fork of the Stinkingwater River and established ranches. The following year Henry Belknap drove a herd south from Billings into that area. 1916 Postcard of Buffalo Bill and Cody entrance to Yellowstone, Denver Public Library In the spring of 1886, Charles DeMaris trailed a herd of cattle from Lemhi, Id. to the hot springs on the Stinkingwater River and took up a homestead near the springs. Suffering from ailments, he hoped the springs would heal him, which they seemed to do. The springs were named after him and the general area became known as DeMaris Springs. Charles and his wife Nellie built a hotel on their site that opened in 1903. On June 26, 1914, Charles DeMaris passed away. His wife Nellie and her family continued to operate the resort until her death in 1935. 8038 De Marris Hot Springs, Cody, Wyo. H.H. Tammen postcard, early 1900s. [Author Collection] Charles Demaris Pioneer is Dead Grazed the First Large Herd Where Billings is Located The Billings Gazette , Mont., 01Jul1914 Charles DeMaris, one of the oldest pioneers in northern Wyoming, died at his home at the DeMaris Springs, near Cody, at the age of 87, after several weeks’ sickness, last Friday night, according to information which reached Billings yesterday. The deceased was a real western pioneer. Bom in Ottawa. Canada, in 1827, he moved to Chicago with his parents when 9 years old. He came to Montana in the later 60s, traveling by steamer to Ft. Benton, from where he went to Leesburg Basin, Idaho, and engaged in gold mining. In 1871 he engaged in the cattle business in Idaho and in 1879 he came to the Yellowstone valley and went into the stock business, driving his herds overland from Idaho. Mr. DeMaris is generally credited with being the first man to turn out a large heard of cattle here, grazing them on the spit where Billings now stands. In 1886 Mr. DeMaris discovered the famous Hot Springs, near Cody, Wyo., which now hears his name and from which water is shipped all over the country. The deceased is survived by a wife and 13 year old son [Bill]. Left: DeMaris Hot Springs, undated. [Wyoming State Archives #14249] ​ Right: De Maris Springs, Cody Wyo. [Buffalo Bill Historic Center , P61643005] Wm. Cody had explored the Big Horn Basin in the 1870s and ’80s as guide and hunter for various military, civilian and governmental expeditions. He saw great potential for the agricultural development of the area. Cody and some cohorts examined the area for the possibility of dams and canals to provide water for the basin. They also surveyed for a road to pass over the Absaroka Mtns and into Yellowstone to establish a basis for tourism. He no doubt had conversations with Chicago, Burlington & Quincy RR (CB&Q) officials to get their opinions for bringing a rail line into the basin. ​ The original town of Cody was located on DeMaris’s land on the flat above the river, and was first called Shoshone, which the Post Office rejected. Richland was also proposed, but rejected by Cody’s cohorts, and naturally the name Cody came to be. In 1895, Buffalo Bill Cody, George T. Beck, Cody’s Wild West show partner Nate Salsbury, Harry Gerrans, Bronson Rumsey, Horace Alger, and George Bleistein founded the Shoshone Land and Irrigation Company. Construction began on the Cody Canal in the fall of 1895, which would carry water from the south fork of the Shoshone River to the town. In spring 1896, the area was surveyed and the present townsite laid out about 2 miles from DeMaris Springs. Early Cody founders: Wm. F. Cody, seated. George T. Beck, left, and Henry J. Fulton, right. [F.J. Hiscock photo, ca1910] According to the Casper Star-Tribune on 19Mar1978, “While on a visit to Sheridan [Wyo], in 1894, he [Cody] purchased the Sheridan Inn, and it was here that he heard about the Cody area and the Big Horn Basin. He had seen the area years before as a guide and when George Beck of Sheridan talked to him about his dream of introducing irrigation to the Big Horn country and starting a new town, Cody became enthusiastic about the project and became a third partner with Beck and Horace Alger in the Shoshone Land and Irrigation Co. He was able to interest four wealthy men from Buffalo, New York, Monte Gerrans, Nate Salsbury, Bronson Rumsey and George Bleistein, in the project and they each put up $5000 towards the building of the canal. By 1897 the canal was completed and the little town that sprang up as a result was named after Cody. Through his friendship with President Theodore Roosevelt he was able to get the tallest dam in the world constructed on the Shoshone River just west of Cody.” William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody Wm. Cody had explored the Big Horn Basin in the 1870s and ’80s as guide and hunter for various military, civilian and governmental expeditions. He saw great potential for the agricultural development of the area. Cody and some cohorts examined the area for the possibility of dams and canals to provide water for the basin. They also surveyed for a road to pass over the Absaroka Mtns and into Yellowstone to establish a basis for tourism. He no doubt had conversations with Chicago, Burlington & Quincy RR (CB&Q) officials to get their opinions for bringing a rail line into the basin. The CB&Q had showed some interest in building a spur to Cody from Toluca, Mont., northeast of Cody in order to exploit the future agricultural and cattle market. The Shoshone Land Company deeded many town lots to the railroad company to ensure that the CB&Q built the line all the way to Cody, thus giving them a vested interest in the success of the town, Left: Advertisement for the Shoshone Irrigation Company touting new homes in the Cody basin. , ca1897. ​ Right: Plat map for the new town of Cody. East-West avenues are named after the founders, North-South streets are numbered. [Buffalo Bill Historic Center , MS-07] Founding a new town in the Shoshone Basin Buffalo Bill helped to found the town of Cody in 1896. In 1897 and 1899 Cody and his associates acquired from the State of Wyoming the right to take water from the Shoshone River to irrigate about 169,000 acres of land in the Big Horn Basin. They began developing a canal system to carry water diverted from the river. A few years later the Feds stepped in to provide aid and funds for the huge project. The town of Cody was incorporated in 1901 and the following year W.F. Cody built the Irma Hotel and also established the town’s 1st newspaper, the Cody Enterprise in August 1899. The Buffalo Bill barn and livery was also operated by “Bill,” probably opening in the late 1890s, and reportedly torn down ca1919. In 1905 he officially opened up Pahaska Tepee Lodge at the east entrance and the Wapiti Inn about midway from Cody, serving both tourists and hunters in the nearby forest areas. He applied to the park to take over the business of the ailing Holm Transportation Co. in 1915. However, their business improved and his request was denied. He died in 1917 on the way to Denver and was buried there, much to the chagrin of the residents of Cody. Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show “Buffalo Bill” Cody opened Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show on May 19, 1883 at Omaha, Nebraska. With Dr. W.F Carver, exhibition shooter, they took the show, subtitled “Rocky Mountain and Prairie Exhibition,” across the country. Over the years, the troupe, which included as many as 1,200 performers, included many authentic personalities such as James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok, Texas Jack Omohundro, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull and Geronimo, as well as working cowboys recruited from the West. When Cody’s show began to suffer financially he sold a one-third interest in his production to Gordon “Pawnee Bill” Lillie in 1908. Soon, Gordon bought the remaining interest in the show but retained Buffalo Bill as a partner. The two traveled together as the “Two Bill’s Show” until 1913 when the venture went bankrupt. Top: Buffalo Bill's Wild West letterhead, dated 1896. [Buffalo Bill Hist Center , #P69118] Bottom Right : Wild West Show in London, England, 1905. [Library of Congress] Bottom Left: Original Buffalo Bill Wild West poster, undated. [Buffalo Bill Historic Center , MS-07] Bottom Center : Ad for the Two Bill's Show, toward the end of Cody's career. [Ottawa Daily Republic , Kansas, 11aug1911] Shoshone Dam Planning and construction began on the Shoshone Dam in 1905 and was completed Jan. 17 1910. It created Shoshone Lake upon its completion, which took several years to fill. The dam was 328’ tall, and was claimed to be the tallest structure of its kind in the world. It was 85’ wide at the bottom and 200’ at the top, and 100’ thick. It was expected to irrigate some 100,000 acres of land. Hundreds of excited Cody citizens gathered on the 17th near the top of the dam to celebrate, and just before noon the final bucket of concrete was poured onto the dam, completing this massive project. ​ The dam created an enormous reservoir, with a surface area of ten square miles and an average depth of seventy feet. Its capacity in gallons was estimated at 148,588,512,000. The purpose of the structure was to control the great floods of the Shoshone river and provide an ample water supply for the irrigation of more than 100,000 acres of exceptionally fertile land in the valley below. "Big Dam Done Saturday" [Powell Tribune Wy, 18Jan1910] Left: "29199 Shoshone Canyon, Dam and Road from South Rim of Shoshone River. Wyo. [Keystone View Company stereoview] Right: Collage of dam scenes from Pictorial Souvenir of Cody, Wyoming, 1911. A.G. Lucier Photographer. In order to reach the dam site itself, it was necessary to carve a road through the inaccessible gorge of the Shoshone River. For several miles the road was blasted out of the sheer face of Rattlesnake Mtn. and carved through several tunnels. The Shoshone Dam name was changed to Buffalo Bill Dam & Reservoir in 1946. President Truman signed the bill in March, honoring the 100th anniversary of Buffalo Bill Cody's birthdate. Chicago, Burlington & Quincy RR The CB&Q extended a rail line to Cody, Wyoming in November of 1901, providing access to the eastern side of the park and the beautiful Wapiti Valley. The Burlington Route to Cody was a branch line off the main route from Lincoln, Nebraska to Billings, Montana. It left the main line southeast of Billings at Toluca and headed southwest for 129 miles to the terminus at Cody. Construction on the line began in the spring of 1900 and was completed Nov. 11, 1901. ​ As the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy RR reached town in 1901, construction began on an automobile road up the North Fork of the Shoshone River. It would meet up with the road that was under construction over Sylvan Pass into Yellowstone by the Army in charge of the park. Two years later the road over Sylvan Pass became passable for wagons but was not officially completed until 1905. This allowed Cody to become the eastern gateway to Yellowstone. By 1903, both Aron “Tex” Holm and the Frost & Richard companies were leading camping trips from Cody over the pass and into Yellowstone. As time went on other local outfits escorted guest into the park by horseback or wagon. Frost & Richard Camping Company ascending Sylvan Pass from Pahaska, with camp wagons, carriages, and horses. Undated. YNP #1935 By 1917, tourist facilities in Cody were proving inadequate to meet growing tourist demands. To help alleviate the problem and satisfy their customers, the CB&Q built the Burlington Cody Café for their rail passengers. It was located just west of the depot and was scheduled to open on June 20, 1917. The railroad was hoping the town would pick up the slack in hotel accommodations, but apparently the local businessmen did little to add rooms. So, in 1922, the CB&Q built a new 2-story hotel to add on to the existing café. It featured 45 basic sleeping rooms upstairs, with a 100-person capacity café and lounge downstairs. It opened on June 19, 1922 and was renamed the Cody Inn. Burlington Cody Inn Dining 1955 [Buffalo Bill Historic Center] Bottom Left: Real-Photo postcard of the Burlington Inn, ca1922. Note the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. (YPTCo) buses at right. Bottom Right: Real-Photo postcard of the Burlington Inn after remodeling, ca1928. YPTCo buses at the entry, along with private autos on road. Tourist demands continued to expand and the CB&Q built a new addition to the Cody Inn in the spring of 1928. It included a basement and 2-stories that would about double the existing restaurant space and bedroom count. Again, it was scheduled to open June 20, 1928. The Inn was closed from 1943 to spring 1946, no doubt due to WWII, and reopened June 19, 1946. During closure it was remodeled and redecorated. In 1948 the Cody Inn was leased to a Billings man and he changed the name to El Rancho. The railroad ended passenger service to Cody in 1956 and a year later the all the furnishings and mechanical & electrical fixtures were sold at auction the end of June. The north wing was saved and moved to the nearby Husky Oil Co. site to be used as office space. The rest of the historic Inn was razed. In 1970 the CB&Q became a part of the Burlington Northern RR. BN merged with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe RR in 1995, creating the BNSF railroad. Buffalo Bill's Hotels Irma Hotel Built by Wm. F. Cody on the main street in Cody, Wyoming and opened on November 1, 1902. He named the hotel after his youngest daughter. It was one of three lodgings that Cody built to help promote business through the east entrance of Yellowstone Park. The others were Pahaska Tepee at the east entrance, and Wapiti Inn, at about the halfway point from town. 8-10 guest rooms occupied the main floor of the Irma, along with a lobby, dining room, billiard and bar room, kitchen, and office. The Irma's famous cherrywood bar, a gift from Queen Victoria, dates to the period of construction. Cody hired brother-in-law Louis Decker to manage the hotel. Cody’s wife Louisa died in 1921, but the hotel stayed in the family until Henry and Pearl Newell bought the hotel in 1925. The northwest addition was constructed in 1929, and The new owners gradually expanded the hotel, building an annex around 1929-‘30 on the west side to accommodate automobile travelers. After her husband's death in 1940, Pearl Newell operated the hotel until her own death in 1965. She left the hotel's extensive collection of Buffalo Bill memorabilia to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, and stipulated that proceeds from the estate be used as an endowment for the museum. The southwest addition was added in 1976-1977. ,Buffalo Bill's Hotels in the Rockies." Brochure cover, authored by Louis E. Cooke, 1905 Top: Irma Hotel, ca1908. [Buffalo Bill Historic Center .] ​ Bottom: "Col. Cody, "Buffalo Bill" in the Office of Irma Hotel." [F.J. Hiscock postcard, Copy. 1910] Top: Irma Hotel photo collage. [Pictorial Souvenir of Cody, Wyoming, 1911. A.G. Lucier Photographer] ​ Bottom: Postcard of Irma Bar, ca1907. Col. Cody 4th from left. Wapiti Inn Wm. F. Cody built this lodge near in 1903-04 at about the halfway point (31 miles) from Cody, Wyoming to the east entrance of the park. It was one of three hotels he built to help promote the town of Cody and the new road over Sylvan Pass at the east entrance of Yellowstone. The other two facilities were the Irma Hotel in Cody and Pahaska Tepee at the east entrance. The Wapiti Inn was a 14-room frame structure built on Forest Reserve land at the mouth of Wapiti (Elk) Creek and could accommodate about twenty people. It also catered to fisherman and hunters. It was sometimes called the Wapiti Wickiup. According to the Park County Enterprise, May 17, 1913, Wapiti Inn was slated to be torn down and removed to Pahaska to expand facilities there. That year the Holm Transportation Co. began transporting tourists from Cody to Pahaska by automobile, and with decreased travel times and improved roads, Wapiti may no longer have been a necessary mid-way stop. A 1908 “Cody Road to Yellowstone” brochure described the Wapiti Inn: “At Wapiti there is the Wickiup (or Inn), a unique structure of rough boards, accommodating forty guests, and other smaller buildings (for one or two persons) with board floors and sides' and canvas coverings. The dining tent is 50 x 20 feet. The Wickiup is on Elk Fork at the junction of the Wapiti, the Elk Fork, the Sweet Water and the North Shoshone rivers. Unexcelled trout fishing is found within a hundred paces of the Wickiup. Elk Fork takes its name from the fact that for years the elk have made this vicinity their home. They may be found there the year through. Rates for meals and for lodging will be $1 per meal or lodging for the first day, and for succeeding days, or parts thereof, a rate of $3 per day.” ​ In 1918 another Wapiti Inn appeared on the scene, but little is known of this operation. It was established by Ed. Reighley and Art V. Cunningham, perhaps on the same or nearby the original “Wapiti Inn site. Cunningham later in the year took over Reighley’s share. Newspaper ads indicate it continued to operate off and on at least into the mid-late 1920s. In later years it may have become the Wapiti Valley Inn. Top : Wapiti Inn ca1909. It was also a respite for local hunters, trappers & traders. Bottom Left: Wapiti Inn, ca1907. From Campbells' Yellowstone Guide, 1908. Bottom Right: News article describing demo of Wapiti Inn and buildings being hauled to Pahaska Tepee. [7May1913, Park County Enterprise , Wyo.] Pahaska Tepee A.A. Anderson designed Pahaska Tepee, built by William F. Cody built at the east entrance of Yellowstone in 1903-05. The lodge first opened in 1904, although construction continued into the following year. The main building was built of logs in a T-shape with two stories, bedrooms for about forty people, a good-size dining room, and a large living room with a grand fireplace. A large porch wrapped around the building on three sides. The upstairs housed Cody’s private suite and six other bedrooms. One and two-room cabins were also available and were equipped with cook stove, cooking and eating utensils, and furniture. A general store was also open for guests. ​ In 1910 Col. Cody received shipment of a White Steamer automobile in late June. The 60hp auto was put into service to provide faster and more comfortable transportation from Cody to Pahaska. The first trip was made on July 5, 1910. Col. Cody had intended to put the vehicle into service for the 1909 season, but the vehicle failed to arrive that year. He added two more White Steamers the following season. Left: Pahaska Tepee, ca1920s. Real-Photo postcard. ​ Right: Col. Cody driving a Pahaska Tepee bus, ca1910. [" Pictorial Souvenir of Cody, Wyoming", 1911. A.G. Lucier Photographer ] Louis E. Decker, Cody’s brother-in-law, managed the lodge in 1910 and the following year a log laundry building, a round canvas-topped dance pavilion, rifle range, tennis and croquet courts were added. Two years later a bunkhouse was constructed using logs from the Wapiti Inn. After 1916 the lodge was also used as a lunch stop for passengers on the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co . (YPTCo) touring buses. In 1924 Sylvan Pass Lodge opened and became the YPTCo lunch stop. ​ Pahaska Tepee lodge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and the land is still leased from the federal government. The Coe family currently owns the lodge. The word Pahaska probably comes from the Lakota word for ‘long hair of the head’, which is what the Lakota called Buffalo Bill. Right : Ad for"Pahaska Tepee, Buffalo Bill's Old Hunting Lodge." [Casper Star Tribune , 18Jul1926] Bottom Left: "1697 Interior of Pahaska Tepee, Col. W.F. Cody's Hotel in the Rockies.' [Tammen Postcard, author collection] Bottom Right: "8069 Pahaska, Buffalo Bill's Hotel, on the Road to Yellowstone Park, Wyo." [Tammen postcard, ca1910] Early Cody Hotels By the early 1900's, Cody had at least three lodging houses, in addition to Buffalo Bill's Irma Hotel: Cody Hotel The Cody Hotel was built ca1896 on the north side of the 1300 block of Sheridan Avenue and run by Maxx & Shurtleff in 1900. By 1903 the hotel and saloon was owned by J.B. "Ben" Primm. By 1912, ads in the Park County Enterprise touted a Cody Hotel and Cody Bar, run by H.H. Patchell. Reportedly, it was owned by the Lonnie Prante family who operated the hotel until the late 1930s. Top : Ad for the Cody Hotel, Marx & Shurtleff, Proprs. [Cody Enterprise, 6Sep1900] ​ Bottom Left: Cody Hotel, undated. A sign advertising "The Grill" hangs above the men on the porch. [Buffalo Bill History Center ] ​ Bottom Right: Ad for the Cody Hotel Saloon, Fred Primm. [Cody Enterprise , 5Nov1903 Hart Mountain Inn The two-story Hart Mountain Inn (Hotel) was constructed by David H. McFall at the corner of Beck and 13rd St. around 1897-’98. May Jordan bought the hotel in 1912 and ran it until 1928. Kate Buckingham purchased the Inn ca1953 and operated it into the 1990s. In 2004 new owners dubbed it the Hart Mountain Suites and operated it until 2008. Right : Hart Mountain Inn, early 1900s. [ Pictorial Souvenir of Cody, Wyoming, 1911. A.G. Lucier Photographer ] Bottom Left: Hart Mountain Inn, undated photo. Bottom Right: Hart Mountain Hotel, ca1950s [Buffalo Bill Historic Center , PN891182151601] Chamberlin Hotel The Chamberlin Hotel was built in 1903 on 12th St, a half block off of Sheridan Ave by Agnes Chamberlin who moved to Cody in 1900 to work for W.F. Cody’s newspaper. It was primarily used as a boarding house, but as additions were built and the hotel improved and expanded over the next 15 years, particularly in 1917. In the 19teens & 1920s, a Chamberlin Dentist Office was advertised in the hotel. The hotel was known as the Hotel Chamberlin and Chamberlin Hotel over the years, providing rooms with or without bath and a dining room. An 8-room addition was built in 1920, in time for the new tourist season. Agnes sold the hotel in 1939 and passed away in January 1949. She was a pillar of the community and upon her death the town’s businesses closed for her funeral service. Around 1941, the Chamberlin was renamed the Pawnee Hotel by new owners Hattie and George Evans. After other changes in ownership, it became the Chamberlin Inn in 2005 and is still in operation. Top Right : Hotel Chamberlin, ca1920s. [Chamberlin Inn website] Bottom Right: Chamberlin Hotel in 1959. It was known as the Pawnee Inn at that time. [Buffalo Bill Historic Center , P8923394501N Bottom Left: Newspaper ad for the Hotel Chamberlin, Official AAA Hotel, ca1930s. Local Businesses Cody Enterprise From the Semi Weekly Billings Gazette, Aug. 8, 1899: “J. H. Peake, an experienced journalist of Washington, D.C., and an old-time friend of Buffalo Bill, arrived in the city today [Billings] en route to Cody, Wyo.. to establish a newspaper, says the Red Lodge Picket. The plant will reach Red Lodge in a day or two, and Mr. Peake expects to get out the first issue about Aug. 20. It will be called The Cody Enterprise and is to be a seven-column, four page paper, with all home print. Independent, with democratic tendencies, will be the new paper's politics.” The Cody Enterprise, undated. [Courtesy Park Co. Archives, Wyo] Peake established the newspaper in conjunction with W.F. Cody, who funded the project. Over the years the name has vacillated with the Park County Enterprise name, sometimes using both. A number of different owners and publishers have run the paper. Novelist Caroline Lockhart purchased the Park County Enterprise in 1920, changing back to Cody Enterprise the following year. She apparently tired of the business and sold the paper in October 1925 to concentrate on writing and other projects. The newspaper has continued to prosper and had been owned by the Sage Publishing Co. of Cody since 1971. Buffalo Bill Museum The Buffalo Bill Museum was built in 1927 on the current site of the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce and the Cody Country Art League. It was dedicated and opened to the public on July 4 with Cody's niece, Mary Jester Allen, as the first curator. In 1935 Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney donated 40-acre site that later became the Buffalo Bill Historic Center.The Whitney Gallery of Western Art was dedicated in a newly constructed modern facility on the donated site in 1959. Ten years later the name was changed to Buffalo Bill Historical Center and the Plains Indian Collection added and the original Buffalo Bill Museum collection was moved to the new facility. In 1979 the Plains Indian Museum was dedicated and the following year the Winchester Collection was installed and the McCracken Research Library dedicated. The Cody Firearms Museum was added and dedicated in 1981. The Draper Museum of Natural History was constructed and opened to the public in 2002. Name changes ruled the day in 2013 as the Buffalo Bill Historical Center was renamed to Buffalo Bill Center of the West, to more accurately describe the width and depth of the museum’s mission, collections, and programs. In addition, the Whitney Gallery of Western Art became the Whitney Western Art Museum, and the Draper Museum of Natural History transformed into the Draper Natural History Museum. "Buffalo Bill Museum at Cody, Wyoming. Founded by Members of the Cody Family and the People of Cody, Wyoming." [Burlington Route postcard, nd] "1191 - Buffalo Bill Museum, Cody, Wyoming." [Real-Photo postcard, ca1930s] Ned Frost Nedward W. Frost was born April 11, 1881 in Minnesota and in 1884 came into the Cody country in a covered wagon with his family and settled near what later became Cody, on South Fork of the Shoshone R., moving to Sage Creek in 1888. He reportedly 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, Ill. 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. See my Frost & Richard Camping Co . web page for additional information. Left: Nedward W, Frost [1915 Frost & Richard Camping Co. brochure] ​ Right: Ned Frost Prince Albert of Monaco on a bear hunt in September 1913. [Buffalo Bill History Center , Jack Richard Collection] Announcement of new Frost Curio store in the Irma Hotel, 1920. [Northern Wyoming Herald , 14Apr1920] Frost Curio Ned Frost began operating a Curio Shop in the lobby of the Irma Hotel in March 1920. The Park County Enterprise reported on March 3 that, “The room at the Irma Hotel, formerly used as a sample room, has been leased to Ned Front for the period of one year from March 1 and will be fitted up as a curio shop, to be conducted by Mr. Frost.” In the spring of 1921, Frost enlarged his shop at the Irma by extending a wall out 12’ toward the sidewalk. The shop was only open during the tourist season, closing for the winters. Comparison of the Irma Hotel before and after the expansion of the Frost Curio Shop in 1923. Note addition at arrow on right. A sign for the Irma Cafe hangs above the old cars at right. [From Real-Photo postcards, author's collection] Ned Frost Curion Store at Irma Hotel closing for season. [Cody Enterprise , 26Sep1923] He constructed his Frost Curio Shop on Main Street across from the Irma Hotel in 1927 in time to be ready to open for the summer season, usually around 19-20h of June. The store was operated in conjunction with the curio shop and specimen room established by his wife Mary in 1916 at the Burlington Cody Inn. In 1946 son Richard Frost retired from the Army and took over management of the business. NED FROST COMPLETING CURIO SHOP AT DEPOT Ned Frost has almost completed the construction of a new curio shop which is to be located to the west of the road and south of the tracks at the Burlington station, and soon will have the new structure In readiness for the summer tourist trade. Mr. Frost plans to operate the place in conjunction with hls curio and souvenir room in the lobby of the Cody Inn and will have on sale soft drinks, sporting goods such as there Is demand for from the rail tourists and other necessities for which there Is a demand at the depot. [ Cody Enterprise, 25May1927] Top : 1932 ad for the Frost Curio Shop. [Casper Star Tribune, 13Mar1932] ​ Left: Frost Curio Shop as it appeared in 1952 [Buffalo Bill Historic Center ] ​ Right: Interior of the Frost Curio Shop, 1950s. [Buffalo Bill Historic Center ] Frost Cave This cave high upon Cedar Mountain (now called Spirit Mountain), was discovered by Ned frost and his pack of hunting dogs while chasing mountain lions in January 1909. The dogs spotted a bobcat and chased it to a small opening in the mountain. Ned thought it just a bobcat lair, but soon after entering, realized it was a cave. In one of his reminisces, he reflected that, “I didn’t smoke in those days and I had only a few matches I kept striking them as I followed the barking dogs but when I got down to three matches, I stopped to get my bearings and I couldn't see the daylight through the entrance any longer and I was in black darkness. I guess I never felt so lonely or lost before or since. But I found an old letter in my vest pocket, tore it into strips and twisted them into quills and back-tracked. I noticed the beauty of the cave in the small light made by my light—it looked like something in a huge block of ice—with frost glistening everywhere. On a later trip I found the “frost" was the stalactites and stalagmites formed by the lime from the old extinct geysers." A few weeks later Ned, along with Will Richards, and 10-12 other men went back in to explore the cave. They carried ropes, lanterns, lamps, candles and other necessities, and spent over 5 hours in the cave and figured they explored several miles worth. Later that year President Taft issued a proclamation on September 21, creating the Shoshone Cavern National Monument, the 2nd national monument in Wyo. Locally, it was mostly referred to as Frost Cave. On May 17, 1954, after years of lobbying by Cody officials, the federal government delisted the monument and turned it over to the City of Cody. The cave was renamed Spirit Mountain Caverns. Top: Caving party in 1909. At center is Buffalo Bill, to his right is Ned Frost, with perhaps his wife. [Wyoming State Archives] Right: Grand opening of Spirit Caverns, September 16, 1957. [Buffalo Bill History Center ] On Sept. 16, 1957, after jurisdiction was turned over to local control, the cave was officially opened as Spirit Cave, with a grand opening ceremony. Claud Brown leased the cave and operated tours for about a decade, but never invested enough money to make it successful. The cave was abandoned in the late ‘60s and another lease was issued in the early ‘70s to develop the area, but little happened. In Sept. 1977, the site was turned back over to the Federal government and is currently under jurisdiction of the BLM. The entrance to cave is locked and permits required for entry. Cody Street Scenes through the Years Top: Aerial view of Cody ca1904. Right: Aerial View of Cody ca191. [Postcard H.H. Tammen #8070] Top: Main Street, Looking West, Cody, Wyoming [H.H. Tammen #11095, undivided back] ​ Bottom: Main Business Street - Cody, Wyo., Ca1930s, F.J. Hiscock Real-Photo postcard Top: 1224 - Main Street and Business District, Cody, Wyo. Buffalo Bill's Old Home Town, Rattlesnake Mountain in the Background, circa late 1940s. [Sanborn PC #1224 Top: Main St., Cody, ca1920s. Real Photo postcard. ​ Bottom: Cody, Wyo., Main street, ca1940s, F.J. Hiscock Real-Photo PC. Top : Main Street, Cody, circa early 1950s [Sanborn PC #65916] Dam Brought Boom . . . [and Pleasure Palaces] ​ Selected Early Saloons and Dens of Iniquity Poker Nell & Blue Chip Kate From the Billings Gazette, May 22, 1938 It was during the "growing period" of the west that the old saloon [Cody Exchange] was built. However, Cody's first hey-day came during the construction of the Shoshone dam in 1907 and it was then that Poker Nell entered the scene. Mrs. Katherine Primm, dubbed "Blue Chip Katie" by the boys who tried to "take" her in faro, founded one of the town's first establishments of pleasure in the old building. She and her husband, Ben, for a time had a virtual monopoly on the local custom in liquor, gambling and license until another woman muscled in with a similar establishment directly across the street. The latter is remembered only as Poker Nell. Through the years, her fame has lived in the minds of the region's old timers for her ability to keep up a vociferous, cross-street argument with her competitor. During the wild boom years at the opening of the century there was plenty of business for both houses. However, when things were dull, Poker Nell and Blue Chip Katie would pass unpleasantrles back and forth across the street to while away the hours. Men who worked on the dam still remember the "acid*’ of their comments and tell of richly increased vocabularies after listening to the women exchange amenities. However, Nell and Katie never finished their debate and it became only a memory when the town continued to grow with the subsequent invasion of a dozen more saloons. Cody Enterprise, 20Jun1901 Poker Nell Poker Nell, who name may have been Nell Chadwick, in her days before Cody, had tramped around the state, plying her proficiency at poker, and perhaps other talents. One time in Casper she attended a party at which she met a young dentist by the name of Will Frackelton, who also enjoyed a good round of cards. The next day, Nell approached him and commented, “You sure put it over high, wide and handsome last night and dealt them a hand from all over the deck.” Smiling, she became more serious, “Now let’s get down to what I want done.” In her extended hand were two perfectly matched diamond rings, perhaps a half-carat each. “She asked eagerly: Will set these in my front teeth? . . . I can afford it. I took the boys to the cleaners these past few nights.” After a bit of ethical pondering, the dentist agreed to the job, noting it would probably invoke a good deal of pain. Shrugging it off, Nell responded, “You know what I want, Doc. Go to it.” It was a tedious process, involving replacing the teeth with porcelain-faced crowns with gold foil backing. But the process was successful and Nell went back to her work sporting a dazzling set of choppers, impressing both the women and men folk. [From, “Sagebrush Dentist,” as told by Wm. Frackelton to author Herman Gastrell Seely] Unfortunately, Poker Nell’s time in Cody was limited, as newspapers in September of 1908 sadly not that had been to the asylum for the hopelessly insane. The praised her qualities, “A a woman naturally possessed of a bright intellect, well educated and vivacious, a charming conversationalist, her path on the border land led to an unhappy ending.” Nell was eventually released and some sources have said she changed her ways and ran a Ladies Emporium in Cody. She was a partner to and eventually married Harry Bruce, and they may have worked the Last Chance Saloon. Her demise is as yet unknown. The Cody Exchange and Saloon Ben Primm and his wife Katherine (1857-1932), or Katie, established this saloon and gambling house sometime in the late 1890s. A 1938 Billings newspaper article dubbed it, “one of town’s first establishments of pleasure.” It seems Ben ran the saloon and pool room, while “Blue Chip Katie” ran the gambling and faro tables. Ben Primm died in December 1904 and Katherine in 1932. The state of Wyoming officially outlawed gambling in 1901, although in the smaller and more remote towns the practice continued for years. In 1906 Mayor Schwoob cracked down on gambling in Cody and 12-15 persons were charged with violations. Katie’s business must have greatly suffered, but the saloon continued to operate until at least 1913. At some point after that, the building was rehabilitated and remodeled under the direction of Mrs. Wm. F. Cody to establish an opera house for the culturally needy. “But the town didn't take to culture. Mrs. Cody’s well-meant plans could overcome the wind but they couldn't overcome the preference of customers who chose to find their entertainment in Cody's 14 saloons,” commented a 1938 news article in the Billings Gazette. A gas station later replaced the opera house and the buildings finally torn down in 1938. Left: Saloon Hold-Up article [Great Falls Tribune , Mt., 23Dec1902] ​ Right: Cody Exchange Saloon, Ben Primm Propr., 1903 ​ Cassie Waters Cassie came to Cody with her father Joe Welsh after they settled in Otto. In 1907 Cassie married an engineer on the dam project. When her husband died, Cassie started a “Ladies of the Night” house on Salsbury Street. She obtained liquor licenses to operate as a saloon, but with “extras” on the side. Her “house” was generally known as Cassie’s Place, and at various times she used several different last names, including, Waters, LaFay, McGhan and Stevens. On Nov. 27, 1911, young Art Spicer, a local cowboy came into Cassie's and claimed to have been drugged by two men and his bankroll of $110 stolen. After his discovery, he blamed the women in the saloon and drew his revolver and started firing at Cassie, missing her head by a mere 4 inches. Another women also had a close escape. An officer arrived around 1:30am and arrested Spicer and took him off to jail. The young man broke loose and ran, but the deputy stopped him with a bullet in the calf. He was later fined $5 and $3 in costs for firing a weapon in a house within city limits, and warned against getting into trouble again. After a fight broke out in her saloon in December of 1916, she was charged with operating a house of ill-fame,” and a number of her ‘girls” were accused of frequenting a house of prostitution. Cassie was soon after acquitted of the charges due to testimony by the local marshal and sheriff. n the early 1930’s, Cassie and another madam, Ida, were asked by the city to close their establishments. Cassie decided to move to the West Strip and in 1933 Cassie’s Supper Club was open. It was a very popular night club with dancing, liquor and later on, food was served. A bourbon and water sold for 50 cents a glass. Cassie did the color scheme in orchid after her daughter “Orchid”. Cassie died in April 1954. In 1955, the Nelsons took over Cassie’s. Cassie was remembered by close friends as a lovely lady who always helped people who needed a helping hand. Cassie's continues to remain in operation to this day. Left: "Fight Ends in Arrest of Soiled Doves." [Northern Wyoming Herald , 7Dev1916] Left: Ad for Cassie's Supper Club [Billings Gazette , 19Mar1997] ​ Right: Undated photo of Cassie's with a Yellowstone White Motor Co. Model 706 bus in front. ​ Etta Feeley Etta Feeley, born Alice Edwards in Black Hawk Co., Iowa, January 31, 1871 (per Find-a-Grave) came to the Cody area around 1902. She had previously plied her female trade in Denver and Billings. She opened her house that became known as the "White House on Bleinstein Ave., between 15th & 16th streets. Reportedly, the Cody Enterprise printed a gracious invitation in 1902 to the men of Cody, "You are respectfully invited to attend the opening of my new residence at Cody, Wyoming, November 1, 1902, Miss Etta Feeley." Not long after, the "Green House" opened next door sporting Cassie Waters as the Madam. The street would become known locally as "Crimson Way." Both houses operated until sometime in the 1930s, although Etta had retired previous to those times and moved to Clark, Wyo. She later took on the nom de guerre of Alice Leach, the name Leach taken from former husband Thomas Leach. She passed away Aug. 13, 1960 at age 90 in the Cody Hospital, and was buried in Cody's Riverside Cemetery. Cody Stampede ​ The beginning of the Cody Stampede tradition is said to have started with Clarence Williams of Cody in 1919. The events occurred June 22-25 and were originally designed as a celebration for the opening of the East entrance of Yellowstone Park and a remembrance of Buffalo Bill Cody and the passing of the Wild West. No doubt it also served as a victory celebration of sorts for the end of WWI and a return to normal life. There were rodeo events, music, dances, games, parades and other such activities to amuse the public. No doubt the esteemed John Barleycorn was also in attendance to help liven things up. Bottom: Old car advertising the Cody Stampede, ca1920s. Right: Advertisement for the 2nd year of operation of the Cody Stampede. [Park County Enterprise , 23Jun1920] The following year the phrase “Stampede Days” was used to describe the celebratory events. Miss Carolyn Lockhart, publisher of the Cody Enterprise , was quoted, "that they will put the "Stamp" in Stampede or bust something." A Wild West show was also promised that was hoped to rival those in the Pendleton Oregon and Cheyenne, Wyo. events. It was planned to coincide with the 4th of July holiday - July 5-7, 1920. Featured events included rodeo events for men and women, parades, and the other traditional activities, including bar-hopping. In 1921 the events were held July 4-6, and the slogan adopted by the stampede committee was, "We'll Put ’Er On Wild." "And In their efforts to live up to this promise they turned the town loose and she was a wild time for all." Top Left: Mrs. Altuff Wins Cowgirl Race, Cody Stampede, ca1925. [Doubleday Real-Photo PC ] Top Right: Roman Standing Race Cody Stampede, ca1925. [Doubleday Real-Photo PC] In 1938 Carly Downing, a Wild West show performer, reportedly started the Cody Nite Rodeo, or "Pup" rodeo, as it was called then. The Nite Rodeo quickly became an important part of the Stampede and the Cody community and has continued on a nightly basis during the tourist season. Over 100 years have passed now, and the events continue to thrive and thrill audiences and participants alike. Right: Cody Stampede Rodeo at Cody Fairgrounds, 1935. Parade celebrating the "Days of '49" [Buffalo Bill Historic Center , PN3161617] It’s winter in Wyoming And the gentle breezes blow Seventy miles an hour At thirty-five below. Oh, how I love Wyoming When the snow’s up to your butt You take a breath of winter And your nose gets frozen shut. Yes, the weather here is wonderful So I guess I’ll hang around I could never leave Wyoming I’m frozen to the ground! anonymous

  • 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.

  • 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.

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