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  • 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.

  • Old Faithful Inn - Shack Hotel |

    Hotels in the Upper Geyser Basin Shack Hotels - Old Faithful Inn ​ 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. Tent Hotel - Hobart Hotel - Shack Hotel 1883-1903 The Tent Hotel The first formal lodging at the Upper Geyser Basin was a tent hotel established in 1883 by the Yellowstone Park Association (YPA). It was located in the same general area as the current Old Faithful Inn. Not a lot is known about that operation. but one visitor from Manchester England in 1883, was not terribly impressed with the way the, “free-born citizens of the Great Republic” ruled the tent hotels in the park. In an article from his local home newspaper, he lamented, "At the 'Upper geyser basin' the 'hotel' luxuries are varied. Sheets and pillow cases are provided, and each tent has a washstand of the kind that they turn out in Michigan furniture mills at the rate of 6s apiece. The mirror and candlestick are still missing, however, and there is even more economy enforced in the use of towels, the average being one towel to four persons every two days. The beer bottle still does duty in holding the candle, and when you get tired of standing you may sit down on the bed, which feels very much as if an elephant had stepped on it . . . if time is of any value to you in the Yellowstone Park it always pays to wait on yourself, especially in the 'dining tent.' One waiter performs the whole service for 70 or 80 clamorous, hungry people, and not a few of the guests find their best plan to pick up plate, cup, and saucer, and go into the kitchen and negotiate directly with the cook for supplies. Sometimes the lady is tractable and you get them; usually, however, the hungry fellow gets thrust out." [Manchester Weekly Times and Examiner, England, 29 Sep 1883] Hobart Hotel, built in 1885 by Caroll Hobart & Robert Carpenter. FJ Haynes view in 1887. [YNP #127883] Hobart Hotel, built in 1885 by Caroll Hobart & Robert Carpenter. FJ Haynes view, probably taken at same time photo to the left in 1887. [YNP #147587] Hobart Hotel - 1885 to 1894 ​ In the next twenty years there were two hotels at Old Faithful that preceded the Old Faithful Inn. Both stood on the same site and have been referred to in latter days as the Shack Hotel, although the first was originally known as the Hobart Hotel. They were more commonly referred to as the Upper Basin Hotel, or Upper Geyser Basin Hotel. The first was built in 1885 by Carroll Hobart and former park Supt. Robert Carpenter. Hobart's brother Charles, was in charge of the construction. However, financial squabbles between the owners caused Carpenter to leave the park the following year and YPA took over the operation around that time. The 2-story hotel was a somewhat crude affair that accommodated 70 guests. The rooms were painted different colors with pigments taken from the Alabastine Basin and 17 rooms were named according to their color. The hotel was situated so that guests sitting upon the veranda would have a grand view of the geyser basin, sometimes viewing several geysers erupting at the same time. The structure burned down on Nov. 17, 1894. According to The Missoulian in Missoula, Montana, ​ " The Association hotel at Upper Geyser basin in the National park, caught fire from a defective flue in the ladies’ parlor last Sunday evening and was burned to the ground. The hotel was a large two-story structure and the loss will be considerable. The amount of insurance could not be learned." [The Missoulian, 24Nov1894] Hobart Hotel, as viewed from Bee Hive geyser, undated. [YNP #114948] Hobart Hotel in 1890. [YNP #122304] A San Francisco newspaper described one patron’s experience in 1886, a year after the hotel was built: ​ “But mine host promised us a siesta, and that we thoroughly enjoyed in smallish rooms, roughly boarded, and having cracks between the boards that reminded one of a chicken-coop. The beds were good and the sleep excellent, in spite of constant interruptions. The house is a kind of whispering gallery; a fellow sneezes at one end of it and wakens a baby at the other. Domestic confabs, certainly never meant to be overheard, are like stage asides, audible to the last Involuntary listener on the premises, and but for the general, character of the conversation, which makes the hotel as noisy as a beehive, a sensitive soul would find the situation quite painful. People were In and out of doors every moment; the halls were full of baggage; ominous rolls of blankets end bolsters were heaped in one comer of the office—no doubt some pilgrim would thank his stars that he had been fortunate enough to secure this much of comfort in the cold night that was coming on.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 2Dec1887] Office & Dining Room of Hotel Camp in Upper Geyser Basin. [Undated photo, courtesy David Monteith] "Shack Hotel" - 1894 to 1903 ​ An equally crude building replaced it the next year that served as dining room, kitchen, and managers quarters. Guests were put up in nearby tents. The tents had 6-8 divisions that only extended about 3/4 the way to the ceiling and created 96 so-called "rooms." Larry Mathews managed the operation in 1902-03. The old hotel was torn down late 1903, as the OF Inn was being constructed for a 1904 opening. ​ In 1901 Carl E. Schmidt, daughter Emma, “Uncle Frank,” and his son Everett made a journey to Yellowstone for a tour on their own dime, stopping at the various hotels and lunch station. He described the Upper Basin Tent Hotel: “We ask for rooms for the night and are shown a long tent ostentatiously marked No. 1. A hallway down the center formed of canvas divides it. At the end of the hall a small wood stove looks pitifully inconspicuous when compared with the size of the tent. The rooms are canvas formed, with a flap, for a door, a deal bed, small table, and a wash-bowl, with a four by six looking glass furnish the accommodations. Scrupulous cleanliness prevails and later on at Yancey's we have occasion to think back to this primitive abode with loving memory. A lunch is served by a squat figured black-eyed "Bossy Brander" of Montana and spoiled by an officious landlord with great whiskers, hollow chest, and hollower cough who takes the first opportunity to tell us that four years ago he was dying of consumption but now thanks to the climate etc. etc." [Sept1901, Carl E. Schmidt, A Western Trip] Old Faithful Tent Hotel, 1903, managed Larry Mathews. [Library of Congress, #90715246] Upper Basin Lunch House [Undated, courtesy Bob Berry, Cody, Wyo] IN A TENTED FIELD. One of the promises of the tour was that we should sleep in tents one night, and at noon on Tuesday we espied in the distance a snowy line of tents adjoining "Larry's" lunch station. Larry is a garrulous Hibernlan noted in the guide-books, whose jokes have delighted tourists for some ten years. Our party took three meals with Larry and found a great similarity between his jokes and his meals; but he is one of the features of the trip. Our tents were almost convenient enough to be ridiculous for tents. They had all the necessities and were actually supplied with stoves. Each tent has six rooms and a hall. In the morning a voice shouted, "All who want hot water put out their small pitchers," and where should this luxury come from but from the "Old Faithful" geyser, a stone's throw away. They have a barrel set on wheels and all they do Is to ladle out the boiling water and bring it to the tents. We are cautioned not to drink it, however. [THE INDIANAPOLIS Journal, SUNDAY. Sept. 7. 1902] Old Faithful Inn 1904 - Present Old Faithful Inn ​ In 1898 architect A.W. Spalding was selected by the Yellowstone Park Association (YPA) to desgn a new hotel at Old Faithful. He came up with a Queen Anne style design that was approved by Interior, but was eventually turned down by the financial backers of the Northern Pacific RR. Harry W. Child (H.W. Child) made the decision in 1901 to select architect Robert Reamer to design the new hotel. Reamer's original drawings of the hotel called it the Old Faithful Tavern. Reau Campbell, who published his "Campbell's Complete Guide to Yellowstone" in 1909 claimed to have been the original designer for the basic plan of the building and alleged he sent the first sketch to Harry Child. Regardless of the author of the original design, construction began June 12, 1903 on what became known as the "Old Faithful Inn." The Old Faithful Inn opened in June 1904, after a year of construction under the direction of architect Robert Reamer. The design reflected the philosophy of the Arts & Crafts movement, which called for simplicity, the use of natural materials, and a blending of the building with the environment. The immense log structure had 140 rooms, accommodating 316 guests. The walls in the guestrooms were rustic with rough pine boards. The lobby featured massive open ceilings three stories high, embellished with twisted and gnarled pine limbs, and encircled with two balconies. The huge stone fireplace graced the lobby with eight separate fireboxes. A massive wrought-iron and brass clock, designed by Reamer, decorates the north side of the fireplace. Rustic wood candelabra enlighten the first three stories of log columns. Climbing up from the second balcony is a staircase leading to the "Crow's Nest" - a separate small landing near the roof where musicians played for the entertainment of guests far below during the inn's early days. Old Faithful Tavern, May 1903 drawing by Robert C. Reamer. [Courtesy Xanterra Engineering Drawing Archives] Upper Left: Old Faithful Tavern 1903. Stereoview depicting Old Faithful Inn under construction. Click to enlarge. [Photo courtesy Bob Berry, Cody, Wyo.] Upper Right: Old Faithful Inn. Sepia postcard by F.J. Haynes. Upper Left: Old Faithful Inn in ca1904, shortly after completion. [Haynes-Photo PC, Undivided Back] Upper Right: Old Faithful Inn with Dining Room addition at rear of building. [Photo courtesy Milwaukee Public Museum #41719] Located just 1/8 mile from Old Faithful Geyser, the inn is nearly 700 feet in length and its massive gable roof rises seven stories. The imposing quality of the building is offset by unique details, such as irregularly spaced dormers with gnarled log framing, braces and brackets made of irregularly curved tree limbs, a widow’s walk with eight flagpoles, casement windows with various multi-light patterns of diamonds, circles, squares, and rectangles. The first floor is load-bearing log construction that rests on a stone foundation. Upper stories are log and timber framed, with the exterior covered in decoratively patterned wood shingles. Old Faithful Inn Sepia Postcard by F.J. Haynes. Man in front is standing next to Bee Hive Geyser. Old Faithful Geyser is to the left, out of view. Miss Bettye Adler of Ottumwa, Iowa, wrote a fascinating account of her visit to the “Inn” in 1905, and spoke quite eloquently of her stay there. The last paragraph is quite amusing. ​ “Old Faithful Inn is truly a rustic poem, perfect in its harmony. Catch your first glimpse of it with me as we drive up to the picturesque Swiss veranda; its quaint gabled windows mellowing the sunlight in their many diamond shaped panes; the massive porches upheld by heavy pillars of piled logs, yet every line exquisite in harmony and symmetry despite its bold and rugged outline. Enter with me the heavy doors with their great iron bolts and mammoth key and stand in the spacious office or reception hall and I am sure you will, as I did, receive another and very strong jostle of wonder. An enormous chimney, that would be a positive joy for a Santa Claus visit, is the central figure here. It is constructed of huge lava blocks and there are eight fireplaces, in one of which a picturesque fire roared and danced us a welcome, This chimney is 14 feet square and at each side is a huge fireplace with a small one at every corner. A massive corn popper hung close by and in the evening corn was popped in this and passed among the guests. Anxious to know something about the man whose genius could design such a unique place as this, I inquired of the clerk at the office. I learned that the hotel was designed; by a man named Reamer, who built the most of it while drunk, so they tell. He is 27 years of age and at present in San Diego, Cal. If this was a drunken dream, I could not but wonder what he might accomplish if: he were sober.” [Ottumwa Tri-Weekly Courier (Iowa), 22Aug1905, p6] Upper Left: Lobby, Old Faithful Inn 1903. F.J Haynes postcard No. 135, ca1910. Upper Right: Great Timbered Interior Of Old Faithful Inn, Most Unique Of Hotels, Yellowstone Park, U.S.A ., H.C, White stereoview 12066, ca1904. Click to enlarge. A powerful “battleship searchlight was installed on the Widow's Walk in 1904 so that Old Faithful Geyser and oter geysers could be lit up at night, along with occasional "rotten loggers" (romantically-inclined couples). However, they were removed in 1948 as being inappropriate in a national park. Around 1927 the number of flagpoles on the Widow’s Walk was reduced from eight to six in number. One visitor from 1904 who seemed greatly entertained by the searchlight commented, “From the tower a searchlight is operated. I saw Old Faithful by searchlight, and the sight was magnificent. One of the features of the trip was to see the searchlight man chase the bears with the powerful beam of light. The bears are afraid of the electric glare, and ran like scared sheep whenever the rays were turned on them. On a dark night the searchlight develops many odd and interesting sights." Upper Left: Searchlight Now Reveals the Geysers, [St. Paul Globe, 1Jun1904] Upper Right: 'Widow's Walk' and searchlight atop the Inn. [Cropped from YNP photo #7687] Several additions were made to the original Inn over the years. The East Wing (towards the current Visitor Center) was built in 1913 with 100 rooms. The West Wing was added in 1927-28 with 150 rooms. All of these rooms featured plaster walls instead of pine boards. During the last renovation, the lobby was enlarged and the Porte-cochere extended out with an open veranda on top. ​ The Yellowstone Park Hotel Co. developed housing and operational facilities between 1913 and 1929 in proximity to the Inn. These included employee dorms, laundry facilities, caretaker and engineers’ quarters, a carpenter and paint shop, pipe shop, tailor shop, boiler house/room and power plant, and hose house. View of OF Inn showing the West Wing (right), added 1927. Haynes postcard # 27361 Old Faithful Inn dining room, 1928 after renovations in 1927. Note the illustrated post & beams, using wildlife and nature illustrations. Robert Reamer used a special sandblasting process to etch the wood. [Haynes PC#28461] OF Inn "Bear Pit," 1936. Black & white version. The panel along the back were the etched wood bear murals, described in detail below. [Haynes PC #36417] The Bear Pit The Bear Pit Lounge was added to the Old Faithful Inn in 1936, and was located between the kitchen and the west wing (current Snack Shop). The walls featured twelve fir-veneer wood panels depicting humanized bears that were busy bartending, drinking, card playing, and playing piano. The scenes were etched into the wood by sandblasting. Walter Oehrle drew the original sketches, and Robert Reamer and his assistant W.H. Fey worked out the details of having the scenes etched on the panels. It has been said the panels were commissioned in 1933 to celebrate the end of prohibition. The Bear Pit was moved to its current location in 1962.The wood panels were put into storage for many years, and some of them are now on display in the Inn. In 1988 Great Panes Glassworks reproduced many of the original scenes onto etched glass panels, which now separate the Bear Pit from the dining room. The Bear Pit images were originally painted in the 1920s and 1930s by artist Walter Oehrle and were published in a small pamphlet by the Yellowstone Park Company. They were rendered into woodcuts, which graced the inside of the Bear Pit Lounge at Old Faithful Inn for many years. A couple of these woodcuts are still on the walls of the Old Faithful Inn Snack Shop. [Click on each set of four to enlarge] THE BEGUILING BEAR PIT COCKTAIL LOUNGE The Idea Behind the Bear Pit Murals It would be difficult to find a more fitting medium for decorating the Bear Pit than to use the materials at hand, and in some pleasing way to introduce the bruin population in the general scheme of decoration. This perplexing problem was happily solved by the genius of the architect, the late Robert C. Reamer, who originally designed the entire building, and by his assistant, Mr. W. H. Fey of Seattle, Washington. Mr. Walter Oehrle was commissioned to execute the original sketches, and under the leadership of Mr. Reamer the work was carried on to a successful conclusion. How the Bear Pit Panels Were Made The panels used are of carefully selected vertical grain Douglas Fir. The entire surface is treated with an acid Stain (ferro chloride, natr.chloride, and alcohol), and when dry, overlaid with a thin film of lacquer glaze for protection and permanency. In order faithfully to preserve every detail of the original drawings as the work goes on, these drawings — approximately 8x16 inches—are by photography reduced in size to about 2x4 inches. In a darkened room the photos are projected on heavy manila paper to the full size desired—in this case 4x8 feet, and a crayon tracing is made directly on the paper. The tracing is then carefully cut by hand into what is termed a reverse Stencil; that is, the background is eliminated, leaving the actual design or picture to be formed by the remaining paper. At this point, and in order to obtain the two-tone effect as indicated on the original, the completed stencil is copied on a second sheet of paper. Here we segregate the parts of the design holding the halftones and cut them out as a direct Stencil this time, which means the actual design is cut away, leaving the background minus the halftones on the paper. The first, or reverse, stencil is now fastened to the wood and subjected to a stream of carborundum dust or sharp sand blown against the entire surface by means of compressed air at a pressure of from 40 to about 70 pounds pressure per square inch. This process first cleans all exposed parts of the wood free from stain and then cuts away and etches in to the soft veins in the wood and so produces the delicate, combed-like background for the design. The panel is then well cleaned and the second, or direct, stencil must be very carefully fitted over the first design on the panel, whereupon the proper shade of stain is applied wherever the half-tones are indicated on the original drawing. Finally, after a thorough washing a soft natural wax is applied over the entire surface and vigorously rubbed into the wood and hand polished. [From a publication published by the Yellowstone Park Co. ca1936, The Beguiling Bear Pit Cocktail Lounge .] Click images to magnify Top: Lobby & Stone Fountain. Detroit Publishing #12539 Bottom: Lobby Fireplace & Stairs Detroit Publishing #12538 Top: Lobby, Fireplace, Great Clock. Haynes PC No. 135 Bottom: Dining Room & Fireplace. Haynes Sepia PC No. 517 Top: Lobby & Stone Fountain Detroit Publishing #12546 Bottom: Inn Bedroom Haynes PC #10165 Two of the bedrooms at the OF Inn, ca1910. Postcards by the American Import Co., Nos. G512 & G513 The earthquake of 1959 damaged the lobby fireplace chimney structure, parts of which had to be rebuilt. The upper balconies and Widow's Walk were also closed to the public due to safety concerns. The Inn and other nearby structures were threatened by the great fires in 1988, but was saved by valiant efforts of firefighters and volunteers. In 2004-2009 and 2012-2013, the building underwent a major restoration including structural stabilization, electrical, plumbing, and fire suppression upgrades, repair and replacement of damaged exterior and interior materials, and restoration of all windows, the widow’s walk, original light fixtures, the main lobby fireplaces, and the exterior log cribbing on the main chimney that had been destroyed in the 1959 earthquake. The Inn was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. Top: Undated photo of some lively times at Old Faithful Inn. [YNP #133433] Bottom: "Yellow buses" lined up at the Inn, ca1919. [Haynes Photo #19025] Top: Dance at OF Inn, note band in right corner, 1951. Real-Photo postcard. Bottom: White Motor Co. 706 bus leaving OFI with tourists. [Haynes 38432-C Real-Photo] Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. Auto-Stage, White Motor Co. TEB model. [Letterhead courtesy YNP Archives]

  • Bassett Brothers |

    Camping 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. Please visit my Basset Brothers page under the Transportation Tab .

  • Chicago & Milwaukee RR |

    Yellowstone's Supporting Railroads ​ Chicago & Milwaukee RR Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Yellowstone's Western Rail Access at Gallatin Gateway The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway The CM & SP was originally known as the Milwaukee & Waukesha RR until the name was changed in 1874. They completed their rail line across Montana to the West Coast in 1909. In 1915 the Milwaukee Road completed its first electrified section of rail line, from Harlowton to Deer Lodge, Montana, a feat that was advertised to passengers since electrification eliminated the soot normally associated with steam-powered rail travel. Extensions in the 1910s and 1920s resulted in 649 miles of electrified main line, in Montana, Idaho and over the Cascades in Washington. The 440 miles of electrified line between Harlowton, Montana and Avery, Idaho was said to be the longest continuous electrified rail line in the world at that time. By 1927, the company operated 11,000 miles of track in twelve Northwestern States and was one of the largest railroad systems in the country. Top: The Olympian open-air cars, ca1915. Because the train was electrified, passengers were not bothered by the coast dust and soot that was normal on other railroads of the time. ​ Right: The modern Olympian Hiawatha, as shown in a 1947 brochure The Olympian and its successor the Olympian Hiawatha were passenger trains operated by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (the "Milwaukee Road") between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest. The Olympian operated from 1911 to 1947 and was, along with its running mate the Columbian, the first all-steel train to operate in the Pacific Northwest. The streamlined Olympian Hiawatha operated from 1947 to 1961 and was one of several Milwaukee Road trains to carry the name "Hiawatha." The Olympian Hiawatha was designed by industrial designer Brooks Stevens and included the distinctive glassed-in "Skytop" observation-sleeping cars. It later featured full-length "Super Dome" cars. The Olympian Hiawatha was never a financial success. On May 22, 1961 the train was discontinued, one of the first of the great name trains to end service. With the discontinuance of the Olympian Hiawatha in 1961, trains No. 15 and 16 continued to operate as an unnamed passenger train between Minneapolis and Deer Lodge, Montana with coaches, a Touralux open-berth sleeper and cafe car. In 1964 it was cut back to a coach-only train to Aberdeen, South Dakota, discontinued in 1969. In 1909, the Gallatin Valley Electric Railway Co., a concern from Bozeman, built an electric railway from Bozeman, south to Salesville. Zachariah Sales built a sawmill in the area in 1865 and founded the town of Salesville in 1883. A post office was established in 1880, but by 1890, it had closed. In 1910 the CM&SP took over the electric railway and linked it to their main line at Three Forks. Top Left: Downtown Salesville ca1912. [Museum of the Rockies #x80.6.453b] Top Right: The original depot at Salesville, ca1920. [Museum of the Rockies, #97.19.77] Rails to Gallatin Gateway . . . To compete with the other railroads accessing Yellowstone. The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad, also known as the Milwaukee Railroad, began promoting the Gallatin Canyon as a “Gateway to Yellowstone” in 1926 The president of the Milwaukee Railroad, Henry Scandrett, knew the canyon, as his family were early guests in the early 1920s at Elkhorn Ranch along the upper West Gallatin. As part of its promotion, in 1927, the railroad constructed an arch over the highway 191 just north of present-day Rockhaven Camp and Retreat Center across the Gallatin River from Sheep Rock Mountain. In August of 1926 a second log arch was built over the road some 12 miles below Karst's Camp at the southern entrance to the canyon. Both were removed sometime in the 1950s when Hwy 191 was widened and improved. The CM&SP began passenger rail service to Gallatin Gateway on August 1, 1926 with a spur from the main line at Three Forks. They replaced the previous electric railway system of 1909, allowing standard rail cars to access the area. Buses of the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. carried visitors from Gallatin through the West entrance and transported them on tours around the park. Top Left: The 2nd arch was built at the north end of Gallatin Canyon. JC Robbins postcard, author collection Top Right: Celebration being held at the 2nd arch in he beginning of August 1927. Right: 1st arch constructed toward the south end of Gallatin Canyon. Milwaukee Road postcard Gallatin Gateway Inn & A New Gateway to Yellowstone ​ The Great Falls Tribune announced on Jan. 6, 1927, that a new Milwaukee rail line would replace the old line from Three Forks beginning on March 1st and extend to Salesville. They also planned to build a depot, hotel and restaurant there. From that point, buses of the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. would take guests to and from Yellowstone National Park. The railroad depot was established inside of the new Inn. The Gallatin Gateway Inn, newest Gateway to Yellowstone, would officially open on June 17. The Anaconda Standard proclaimed on May 29, that, “Elaborate preparations have been made to take care of all guests. Harry Childs of the Yellowstone Hotels company will bring: down an orchestra of 50 pieces from the park to play for the biggest dance ever given in Montana. The huge Yellowstone park busses which already have made the Gallatin Gateway famous, will be on hand to accommodate passengers en route to the park.” Around the same time, Milwaukee officials convinced local folks of Salesville and the area to rename the town Gallatin Gateway. Top Left: Gallatin Gateway Inn postcard ​ Top Right: Gallatin Gateway Inn postcard, ca1930s. Published by the Milwaukee Road. ​ Left: Gallatin Gateway Inn, ca1928. Photo from Montana Historical Society, posted on the Gallatin Gateway Inn website. Sacajawea Inn ​ The Sacajawea Hotel, also known as Sacajawea Inn, was constructed in 1910 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The hotel served passengers on the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, which terminated in Three Forks until 1927, when the line was extended to Gallatin Gateway. The original building was the Madison Hotel, built in 1862 on the Three Forks townsite, and moved on log rollers a mile to its present location. At the time, the Milwaukee Depot was across the street. In 1910, the main lobby and 29 rooms were constructed by railroad agent John Q. Adams, who hired Bozeman architect Fred Willson to create a grand but warm and welcoming design. Top Left: Back side of the Sacajawea Hotel under construction, ca1910. Photo courtesy Sacajawea Inn website. ​ Top Right: Front of the Sacajawea Hotel, ca19-teens. ​ Left: Sacajawea Inn with of downtown Three Forks. Photo courtesy Sacajawea Inn website. OPEN SACAJAWEA HOTEL. Special Dispatch to the Standard. Bozeman, Dec. 15.—The formal opening of the Sacajawea hotel at Three Forks took place last evening, and a large delegation of Bozeman citizens went down on a special train over the Gallatin valley branch of the Milwaukee road. The special was arranged through the influence of the Gallatin Valley club and nearly every branch of business and Bozeman had a representative. In the party were several ladies and some young people. All had a good time and pronounced the new hotel one of the finest in the state. The proprietor, J. N. Kleber, and his wife did everything to make the visitors enjoy themselves. ​ [From the Anaconda Standard, Dec. 16, 1910] Top Left: Three Forks railroad depot in 1911, with the Olympian in front. ​ Top Right: The new depot at Sacajawea Inn, undated postcard.

  • Cooke City |

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

  • Hotels Introduction |

    Yellowstone Hotels Introduction ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author. The earliest hotels in the park were rather crude facilities with only the most basic amenities and services. James McCartney built the first hotel (loosely speaking) at Mammoth, located at the mouth of Clematis Creek. It consisted of two log cabins in 1871, and by 1873 another cabin, stables, and outbuildings were constructed. Visitors used their own bedding and generally slept on the floor. Most of the people visiting at this time were hunters, poachers, miners, curiosity-seekers, or invalids coming to reap the supposed health benefits of the hot springs around Mammoth. Travel to this part of the country was difficult at best, and dangerous at worst, as evidenced by the Nez Perce forays through the Park in 1877. That summer Indians killed Richard Dietrich , one of a party of Helena tourists, while he was standing in the doorway of McCartney`s cabin. Other visitors included "official" exploration parties carried out by various governmental and military agencies for exploration purposes and surveys for potential roads. The railroads also conducted surveys in the park in hopes of laying track to various features, and to the mines in Cooke City. Fortunately these plans never materialized, despite tremendous pressures brought upon the government by the miners, railroad and local citizens hoping to make a profit. The second hotel to be built was by George Marshall near the mouth of Nez Perce Creek in 1880. A crude road had been built from Virginia City through the west entrance to the Lower Geyser Basin in 1873, and a road was cut south from Mammoth by Supt. Norris in 1878. With these primitive accesses, Marshall was able to serve the early tourists to the Upper and Lower Geyser basins. He sold out to G.G. Henderson and Henry Klamer in 1885 and the hotel was renamed the 'Firehole Hotel.` A pair of utilitarian cottages were built next to the hotel to increase capacity. The Yellowstone Park Association assumed control in 1886 and operated it until 1891 when the Fountain Hotel opened up nearby and the old hotel was no longer needed. The year 1883 was a momentous one. The Northern Pacific Railroad had recently completed its transcontinental railway and needed to create a demand for its services. With Yellowstone only 50 miles from their tracks at Livingston, Montana, and the hope for big profits in the tourist trade, the Northern Pacific extended their tracks to Cinnabar , three miles north of Gardiner . The "Park Branch Line" would for this first time, enable wealthy tourists to 'ride the rails` and visit Wonderland. This type of tourist was accustomed to the fancy resorts in the east and Europe and expected the best in accommodations. The existing park hotels were totally inadequate to provide the needs of this newer and more demanding class of tourist. In order to attract these new, affluent visitors, the Yellowstone Park Improvement Co. (YPIC) was formed to provide for a new system of hotels. Carroll T. Hobart , a division superintendent for NPRR, Henry Douglas, and investor Rufus Hatch were the creators of this new company. Their first order of business was construction of a hotel at Mammoth, eight miles from the railroad terminus. Actual construction of the National Hotel started in the fall of 1882, with a partial opening of 141 rooms on August 1, 1883. Visitors were brought from the new railhead at Cinnabar to Mammoth in Wakefield & Hoffman stagecoaches. Completion of the building did not occur until 1886, due in part to a 5-month carpenter`s strike in 1884. Beginning in 1883, YPIC also established tent hotels at Canyon , Old Faithful and Norris to serve the tourist until grander facilities could be built. Financial problems caused YPIC to go bankrupt in 1885, and the Yellowstone Park Association (YPA) was established the following year. Charles Gibson, Nelson Thrall, and John Bullitt formed this new company with financial backing from the Northern Pacific RR. They bought out the National Hotel, and assumed control over the Firehole Hotel and other YPIC properties. Join with me and continue to explore the history of the old hotels and lodges in Yellowstone National Park in these richly illustrated web pages . . . . .

  • 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.

  • Yellow Buses |

    Auto Stages in Yellowstone Yellow Buses & the White Motor 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. Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. ​ Automobiles take over the Roads Before the Auto Stages - The Early Days . . . Prior to the founding of Yellowstone National Park in 1872, travel in the park was limited to small horse parties and mule pack outfits. Up until 1883 these folks were generally on their own in this wilderness, perhaps guided by or having taken the advice of an acquaintance that had traveled there previously. The earliest commercial transportation venture in the Park seems to be the log toll bridge built by Jack Baronett in 1871 just upstream of the confluence of the Yellowstone and Lamar (East Fork of the Yellowstone) rivers, near what is today known as Tower Junction. He had hoped to seize upon traffic to the gold mines near the northeast entrance of the park and the occasional explorers and hunters in Yellowstone. Following along the shores of the Yellowstone River was the easiest route of travel in those early days. Baronett's Bridge in 1871, photo by Wm. Henry Jackson In 1873, John Werks, George Huston , and Frank Grounds embarked on the operation of a primitive pack and saddle business from Mammoth Hot Springs into the depths of the park. A year later stagecoach service to Mammoth from Bozeman, Montana commenced on a weekly basis by Zack Roots Express . Park Supt. Philetus Norris and his crew began construction of a primitive road in 1878 from Mammoth to Lower Geyser Basin. In a couple of years sections of the interior of Yellowstone opened to wagon travel and allowed Marshall & Goff to initiate a stagecoach business in 1880 to the Geyser Basins and Marshall’s Hotel. Continued expansion and improvement of the road system over the years enabled a variety of transportation operations to improve and diversify. Above : Ad for Frank Grounds and George Huston's pack train that trekked into Yellowstone from Mammoth Hot Springs. [Bozeman Avant-Courier , 11Jun1875] ​ Right : Ad for George Marshall's Stage Line for travel between Virginia City, Mont. and the Fire Hole Basin, 1881. [Robert Strahorn, Montana and Yellowstone Park , 1881] During the next 36 years numerous companies operated stagecoach lines, including Wakefield & Hoffman in 1883, Monida & Yellowstone Stage Co . in 1898, Yellowstone & Western in 1913, and Holm Transportation Co . in 1912. In 1886 the Yellowstone Transportation Co. (YTC) became the first of the successive companies that led to the current transportation operation in the park. It was followed by the Yellowstone National Park Transportation Co. (YNPTCo) in 1891, which was taken over in 1898 by the Yellowstone Park Transportation Company (YPTCo) under the ownership of H.W. Child , Silas Huntley and Edward Bach. By 1902 Huntley had passed away and Bach sold out, leaving Harry Child as the sole owner of the company, although heavily backed financially by the Northern Pacific Railroad . A variety of camping companies also operated their own stage and wagon operations for their customers, including the Wylie Camping Co. , Shaw & Powell Camping Co ., Bassett Brothers and many others. (See my Stagecoach & Camping pages for detailed info on these various operations) This plethora of transportation options came to an abrupt termination with the close of the 1916 season. In an effort to streamline and standardize the concession operations in the park, the new National Park Service consolidated the various transportation, hotel, and camping entities. The big winner in the transportation arena was Harry Child, who became sole provider of transportation within the park’s boundaries. And as owner of the Yellowstone Park Hotel Co . he also obtained monopoly status on all hotel ventures. Of even greater significance in this huge upheaval was the requirement to eliminate the stagecoaches and replace them with automobiles. Gone were the mighty steeds of yore, unceremoniously turned out to pasture and replaced with the noisy, smoking, gas-guzzling, although admittedly faster and more efficient auto stages. A new era was launched in Yellowstone. Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Company . . . ​ Prior to this shakeup, private automobiles had been allowed into the park in August of 1915 and they had shared the roads with the stagecoaches. The mixture of the two foreign modes of travel proved incompatible and provoked the eventual transition to automobiles. By the end of the 1915 season the Holm Transportation Company had gone bankrupt, leaving no service provider from Cody and the east entrance into Yellowstone. To alleviate this situation, the Park Service authorized the creation of the Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Co. for the 1916 season. This company became the first commercial motorized transportation concern allowed into the park and it journeyed from the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad depot in Cody to Lake Hotel where passengers were loaded onto YPTCo stagecoaches for travel into the interior of the park. Left: 1916 Letterhead from the Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Co. Courtesy Bruce Austin, it lists the officers involved in the company. ​ Above : Kid Wilson in from of the Irma Hotel in Cody, driving a 1916 White TEB for the Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Co.. This was a cooperative venture with Frank Haynes of the Yellowstone & Western Stage Co . owning 40% of the shares and Harry Child and Billy Nichols of YPTCo controlling 35%. A.W. Miles of the Wylie Permanent Camping Co . and J.D. Powell and Leo C. Shaw of the Shaw & Powell Camping Co . shared 25%. This new company was incorporated April 4, 1916 in West Virginia to avoid higher taxes in Wyoming and a lease was received on June 16 for the period January 1, 1916 to December 31, 1916. Daily service began on July 1, a late start in the season to allow the snow to melt on lofty Sylvan Pass. Seven 3-4 ton White Motor Co. buses with open bodies and five Buicks were brought into service. After the end of the season, the vehicles and assets were sold to YPTCo on January 29, 1917 for $25,000. Click Here to read New York Times article about the passing of the stagecoach, from April 29, 1917. White Motor Company Buses in Yellowstone . . . ​ In 1916 Harry Child began negotiations with Walter C. White of the White Motor Co. in Cleveland OH for the purchase of motorized vehicles to supplant the stagecoaches for the 1917 season. After negotiating a new 20-year contract with the Park Service, Child obtained a mortgage for $427,104.67 from the railroad companies serving Yellowstone and purchased one hundred ¾-ton 10-passenger White TEB open-sided buses and seventeen White 7-passenger touring cars. He also contracted for seven ¾-ton service trucks and one 4-5 ton truck. The TEBs featured acetylene gas headlights powered by a canister mounted on the running board, front and rear kerosene running lights, a canvas top with detachable bows at each seat, along with side curtains and celluloid windows for use during inclement weather. General practice specified the open top when practical. Above : Model TEB bus filled with Yellowstone tourists in 1917. 108 of these models were puchased between 1907 and 1923. The windshields were two piece, top & bottom. [YNP #115013] Above : News article from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 15, 1917. It discussed the White Motor Co. buses and the replacement of stagecoach era that had lasted 30 years. Above : White 7-Passenger Touring Cars at Mammoth Hot Springs, undated photo. [YNP #129342-1] The new vehicles were stored at Mammoth Hot Springs (current Xanterra Aspen dorm site) in an elaborate barn built in 1903-04 that was designed by Old Faithful Inn architect Robert Reamer and originally used for the stagecoaches. For his transportation superintendent, Child hired Fred E. Kammermeyer, a native of Iowa and military transport officer during WWI. Kammermeyer proved to be an excellent choice and remained in that position until his retirement in 1948. Left : "Tires in use two seasons. Average mileage so far 8000. Blowouts to date 6. No wonder they use Goodyears only on Yellowstone Park busses." View of the transportation facilities at Mammoth Hot Springs. [Goodyear Tires post card ca1924] According to the Anaconda Standard on March 9, 1917, the new auto-stage would be: “Leaving the factory at Cleveland May 10, 100 motorcars for use in the transportation of tourists in the Yellowstone park will travel west by special train, and after being- exhibited fn Chicago, Milwaukee, Indianapolis and the Twin cities, will arrive here in time for the opening of the park on June 20, The equipment is being purchased by the Yellowstone Park Transportation company of this city, recently formed through a merger of the principal camping companies which have been operating in the park, and will replace the horses and stage coaches heretofore used.” Between 1918 and 1924, Child purchased forty-seven additional White 7-passenger touring cars, two 8-passenger cars, 104 ten-passenger buses, along with a few Lincoln touring cars. Beginning in 1920 YPTCo began purchasing White Model 15/45 tour buses. These 10-passenger units sported a split windshield right and left, with twin openings top and bottom – a key distinguishing feature from the TEBs, which had a full windshield, split top and bottom. The 15/45s also had a slightly longer wheelbase and improved chassis and motor. Twenty-four units arrived in 1920, twenty each in 1921 and 1922, and sixty in 1924. Right : White model 15/45 buses in front of the Mammoth Hotel ca1920. Note the split windshield top-bottom and right-left White Model 50 bus in front of the Mammoth Hotel ca1923. [YNP Archives] In 1923 the YPTCo purchased two White Model 50 buses that were used to transfer passengers from West Yellowstone to Old Faithful. There were six side doors opening onto seven benches to seat 25 passengers plus the driver. The Bender body had a 198” wheelbase with a 4-cylinder GN motor. The roof was solid and luggage could be stored on the roof rack. They had electric lights and utilized 36” x 6” tires all around, with duals on the rear and 198" wheelbase. Previous modelsutilized acetylene gas lights. Disaster Strikes the Yellow Buses in 1925 . . . All seemed to running smoothly and life was good, when suddenly – an unspeakable disaster occurred: On March 30, 1925, around 2:15 in the afternoon, fire broke out in the Mammoth main bus barn. Apparently an oil furnace exploded sending fiery debris all over the shop. With a swift breeze from the south, the fire spread quickly and furiously - within an hour, the entire Reamer-designed barn was a total loss. Included in the damage were the carpenter and paint shops, the top shop, oil house, new storage shed and the residences of Fred Kammermeyer and J.C. Drew, the master painter. Fortunately another garage containing 215 vehicles was saved. However, inside of the main storage barn lay the smoldering ruins of about 93 vehicles, including 22 7-passenger White touring cars, 53 10-passenger White buses, 6 White trucks, 4 Ford roadsters, and 8 other vehicles, 4 of which belonged to the YP Camps Co. Luckily there were no fatalities or serious injuries. Damages were estimated to be close to a half million dollars. Left : 1925 Fire at Mammoth [Courtesy Bill Chapman] Right : 1925 Fire at Mammoth [Courtesy Bill Chapman] Bottom Left : Aftermath of 1925 fire at Mammoth [YNP #36487] Bottom Right : Aftermath of 1925 fire at Mammoth [YNP #36488] But now – what to do? The opening of the summer season would arrive in a mere 2-1/2 months – the vehicles had to be replaced! Harry Child 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 five 2-1/2-ton trucks and two 4-5 ton trucks. Because of the tremendous business potential involved, the White company scrambled together all their resources and focused their production on Yellowstone Park. They were successful and the new vehicles arrived in time for the opening of the 1925 season. ​ 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 and Human Resource divisions. Above : Magazine ad from 1924 showing a new White Model 15-45 in front of Old Faithful geyser. At right are Harry Child and Walter White. After the fire the following year, Walter White came to the rescue with 90 replacement buses. Above : View of the bus garage in Gardiner with White Motor Co. buses in front, undated. The building is still used by Xanterra Parks & Resorts for the vehicle repair shop & human resources. Above : View of the bus storage barn in Gardiner, located where the former horse & carriage barns stood. This was built around 1926. It is still in use by Xanterra Parks & Resorts. [YNP #32072, 1951 photo] A New Era is launched . . . Visitors entering and leaving Yellowstone via the Cody Road through Wapiti Valley and Sylvan Pass gained significant touring comfort in 1931 when YPTCo introduced eight new White Model 614 buses. These 14-passenger units featured permanent tops, glass side windows, and an opening roof cover so that guests could stand up to enjoy the heights of scenery offered on this scenic thoroughfare. They also provided better protection from the frequent storms and inclement weather. The buses had a more powerful 75hp engine to facilitate climbing the pass and hydraulic brakes provided increased safety. Left : Photo of Harry W. Child, undated Right : Obit for Harry Child [Billings Gazette, 5Feb1931] Left : White Motor Co. Model 614 bus at the Upper Geyser Basin, undated. There were 8 of these models purchased in 1931. [YNP #114503] ​ Right : White Model 614 bus in Yellowstone, undated. [YNP #114504] Yellowstone Bus Draws Attention The Missoulian , Sept. 17, 1930 The new bus Is designed to replace those now in use which are constructed after the pattern of touring cars with seating space for 11 passengers. The more modern design gives the bus the stability and comfort of a sedan while retaining visibility by eliminating the permanent covering customary in the construction of a sedan. The sides of the sedan top are supported by especially designed and upholstered beams made of light and strong metal. With six of these stays across the top join the sides. Another departure from the usual design is the omission of the ceiling. In case of storm the bus can be covered from an automatic roll which is made a part of the baggage section. The covering can be placed in less than three minutes. By the mid-1930s, the Yellowstone buses were aging and it was decided that modernizing the fleet with buses utilizing more powerful engines and greater passenger capacity was necessary. Transportation operations in the other western national parks were facing the same problems and coming to the same conclusion. In response, representatives of those parks got together and began searching for a bus that would meet the needs of the rigors of travel in the mountainous west. Negotiations began with the major auto makers in 1935 and trials were conducted in Yosemite of various models. Participants included Ford, REO, GM, and White. ​ The model that best seemed to meet their current needs was White Motor Company’s Model 706. The proposed 14-passenger bus featured two squared-glass windshields, lantern-style rear running lights, 13A engine, and measured about 26 feet long. A canvas cover on the roof could be pulled back to allow for an open top and unobstructed views. Yellowstone acquired twenty-seven of these models for the 1936 season. Similar models became the norm in other western parks, including Yosemite, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Zion, Mt. Rainier, and Rocky Mountain national parks. Content with the 706’s performance, YPCo purchased forty-one more in 1937 and twenty in 1938 which included improved 318 cubic inch 6-cylinder engines. A final purchase of ten more was made in 1939, bringing the total to ninety-eight Model 706 buses – more than any other national park. This is one of the new busses to be used In Yellowstone park, designed by the White company and park officials especially for use In Yellowstone. The new busses carry 14 passengers and the driver, and have an exceptionally large baggage compartment in the rear. Yellowstone's new busses ride more comfortably than any of those previously used, and a particular feature of them is that they have roll tops which, under ordinary weather conditions, are rolled back Into a compartment In the top of each bus. This gives passengers an unlimited view, and many times during a trip, they may stand up and look out over the top of the bus, particularly when passing through the numerous park canyons. During inclement weather this top Is rolled forward and makes the bus as tight and warm as an ordinary commercial unit. The new park busses perform equally well In all altitudes, officials say. They have to operate In altitudes of 5,300 foot at Gardiner, 10;200 feet over Mount Washburn and 11,000 over the summit of the road between Red Lodge and Cooke City. [Helena Daily Independent, June 17, 1937. Note: the paper was a year late in announcing this, as 27 buses had already been purchased in 1936. White Model 706, No. 386, purchased in 1936. This is a Real-Photo postcard. After guests unloaded from the train at West Yellowstone, a photo was taken of their bus that could be purchased upon their return. There are many thousands of the these type of cards available on internet auction sites. White Model 706 buses parked at Tower Falls in 1939. [YNP #185327-290] White Model 706, No. 457, purchased in 1939. This was the 4th to the last 706 bus purchased in Yellowstone. Park Superintendent Garrison is standing at right of the bus filled with Park Service and concessionaire officials. [YNP Archives] White Model 706 buses parked at the Gorham Chalet in Silver Gate, a few miles from Cooke City, Mont. They would been traveling the route over the Beartooth Pass and Red Lodge, south of Billings Mont. [YNP #185-327490] End of an Era . . . Sales of the older White buses began in earnest in 1936 and by 1940 seventy-eight 10-passenger buses and fourteen 15/45 models were sold. In the spring of 1938, a document from the Yellowstone Park Co. files indicated that the company had 200 White open-top autos that would be available for sale, plus two 25-passenger buses and ten 7-passenger Lincoln touring cars. The company was focusing on using the newer White 706 models. A $20,000 inventory of spare parts would accompany a mass purchase from a buyer. Times were a’changin’ in the world and in the park. WWII and the attendant gas rationing and tire shortages had put a huge dent in travel to the national parks, while the military became a prime user of rail services throughout the country. After the war the American public rapidly became infatuated with the idea of personalized travel in private vehicles, a trend that had been building for a number of years. Rail travel, once the primary source for Yellowstone’s bus tours, was rapidly fading into obscurity. Park bus tours, originally 5-1/2 days in the stagecoach days, had dropped to 4-1/2 days with the advent of auto tours and by 1940 had been reduced to 2-1/2 days. ​ The days of quaint, leisurely tours through the park were becoming a thing of the past. The demise of passenger rail service to the park started around 1948 and ended completely by 1960. Although Amtrak reinstituted some rail service in 1971, it was never became a significant travel factor in Yellowstone. With all these changes the fleet of hundreds of historic vehicles to cart visitors around the park was no longer needed. Changes in travel of a magnitude similar to that of the transition from horse-drawn stagecoaches to autos would assault the park late in the 1950s. Private vehicles became king of the road and the future for guided tours in park buses dimmed rapidly. The prospect of large, modern-looking and seriously unaesthetic buses for the remaining traffic loomed on the horizon. Roads and parking area filled to the brim with automobiles tourists, eventually helping to put the railroad passenger lines mostly out of business. Left to Right: Cars lined up to see Giant Geyser, 1952 YNP #38969; Canyon Village, ca1957 postcard; Bear jam at unknown location, NPS photo. These were difficult times for YPCo and the economic strain of the economy, added to park facility renovations demanded by the Park Service, heavily affected the company’s transportation options. Leasing school buses was apparently seen as the most cost effective plan to upgrade the fleet. The quaint ambiance and serenity of group travel in small buses would be no more. The beginning of a new era occurred in 1958, when YPCo signed a 5-year contract to lease six 41-passenger school buses from the Charter Bus Transportation System in Los Angeles. School buses for the L.A. City School System would spend their formerly idle summers now idling and smoking along the mountain roads of Yellowstone. These were Crown model A-779-11S with a 232” wheelbase and powered with a Hall-Scott 779 cubic inch engine. Fifteen more units were leased in 1959 while more of the classic old White buses unceremoniously hit the auction blocks. Crown Model A-779-11, bus No.506, ca1959. It had returned from the LA School District and the "school bus" lettering was being covered over for summer use in Yellowstone. [Photo Motor Coach Today, Apr-Jun 2000] Motor Coach Industries bus Model MC-5B, ca1990. It is parked in front of the Gardiner Service Center. This trend toward larger and modern vehicles persisted with GM Model 5302 buses hitting the roads in 1965 and Crown diesel Model AD-743-11’s entering the scene soon after. In 1975 YPCo settled on fifteen MC-5B buses from Motor Coach Industries (MCI) with 8V-71 diesel engines. Eight of these carried forty-one passengers and featured a restroom. The remaining buses could hold about forty-five passengers. The following year ten more buses were acquired. A mere ten years or so later, TW Recreational Services (TWRS) ended the somewhat profitable out-of-park charter runs under pressure from the park service, thus reducing the need for much of the MC-5B bus fleet. Sales of the buses commenced and by 1999 only nine of the original twenty-five remained, and in 2019 more of the buses were sold off.. According to transportation manager Kelly McAdams, in 2020 only one MC-5B was left in the fleet. But three newer MCI buses were purchased around 2017, made by MCI, Model No. D4005, 47-passenger Engine: Cummins X12 w/engine brake, 410hp, 1,450 lb-ft torque Transmission: Allison B500 Gen V Front Axle: Meritor® 16,000 lb (7,257 kg) with conventional bearings Drive Axle: Meritor® 22,500 lb (10,206 kg) with pre-set wheel bearings Tag Axle: D4505: Meritor® 14,000 lb (6,350 kg) with conventional bearings D4005: Meritor® 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) with conventional bearings Seating w/lav: D4505: 55-passengers D4005: 47-passengers Wheels: Hub-mounted steel, 22.5 x 9.0 Tires: Firestone FS400 315/80 R22.5 9.00" L-rated ​ Photo courtesy, 7/2017 Above L-R : Nickel plated drivers badge, ca1930s; YPTCo luggage Tag, unk date; YPCo uniform patch, ca1970s. Below - Metal Pinbacks, L-R : Pin with twp bears, probably YPTCo; YPTCo pin; YPCo pin, Transportation Division; YPCo pin, could be hotel, transportation or both, ca1960-70s Return of the Yellows Buses - 2007 While all of these changes were going on, Steve & Gayla Hites, of the Skagway Street Car Company in Alaska, had managed to acquire eight of Yellowstone’s 1936-38 Model 706 White buses from various collectors across the country. He put them back to work as tour buses in the quaint panhandle town of Skagway, located about 90 miles northwest of Juneau. In 2001 Hite decided to modernize his fleet and offered his old Yellowstone buses for sale. He contacted Xanterra Parks & Resorts (latest in the lineage of names changes from YPTCo to YPCo to TWRS to Amfac) and current operator of the hotels and transportation system in Yellowstone. The original bus numbers with the current Xanterra bus numbers, and their Skagway names are: 1936 Models: 372 (516) Cripple Creek 377 (510) Yellowstone 1937 Models: 404 (514) Little Rocky 408 (511) Hollywood 413 (512) Great Falls 419 (517) Monty (Full Monty when loaded) 434 (513) Big Rocky 1938 Model: 450 (515) Mason City Some of the Skagway Street Car Co.White buses upon their return to Gardiner Spring 2007. They were awaiting renovations. [Photo by the author] Looking to capitalize on an opportunity to restore the yellow buses to Yellowstone and score a historical, political and hopefully economic coup, Xanterra decided to purchase the eight buses. Sometime after their arrival in late September 2001, the buses were contracted to Transglobal Design and Manufacturing (TDM) in Livonia, Michigan for complete renovations. Each bus was carefully removed from their original chassis and placed on a Ford E-450 chassis with a Ford 5.4 liter gas engine. TDM refurbished the interior seats and oak trim throughout the vehicle. They replaced the old canvas tops with more modern materials and installed a public address system for guides to narrate the tour. Other upgrades included heaters under the seats and boxes with warm lap blankets, so that even on brisk Yellowstone days, passengers could comfortably see the beauty of the park through the open top. Rotten wood in the body was replaced and wood floors were replaced with aluminum for better insulation. Years worth of paint were stripped to reveal the original yellow paint and find its match using modern paint-mixing techniques. The eight buses cost a total of $1.9 million to purchase and refurbish. Return of the Yellow buses. A parade was held June 2, 2007, that passed through Gardiner, the Arch, and on to Mammoth Hot Springs. they ply the roads every summer now, thrilling crowds of excited tourists yearning for the old days. [Photos by the author] ​ Below: Refurbished 706 bus at Castle geyser, ca2000s. Courtesy Xanterra Parks & Resorts For more detailed information on Yellowstone's White busses, refer to: "Buses in Yellowstone National Park", Motor Coach Today , Apr-Jun 2000, by Bruce Austin, Robert Goss, & Jerry Pesman. Reprints available from the Motor Coach Society website. ​ ​ Also, please visit these other fine Yellowstone Yellow Bus organizations: Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust Jammer Trust

  • Firehole - Marshall's |

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

  • Camps |

    Camping the Yellowstone ​ Click on Link above to begin your tour. Yellowstone Camps 101 ​ The formal hotel system in Yellowstone Park that began in 1883 was designed primarily for the ‘traveler of means' brought in by the railroad companies. The common visitor, or ‘Sagebrushers’, as they were known, were pretty much on their own in regards to lodging and meals, mostly camping along various roadsides. In 1883, William Wylie started the Wylie Camping Company in order to serve this crowd. His rates were considerably less than the hotel's and he offered a more personalized camp experience. Starting with portable camps, he eventually received permission to establish permanent tent camps in 1896 and gradually began building camps at various park locations. Wylie also built lunch stations at Gibbon River, West Thumb, and Riverside. Shaw & Powell entered the business in 1898, utilizing portable tent camps. In 1913 they received permission to establish permanent tent camps at Indian Creek, Old Faithful, Lake, Canyon, Nez Perce Creek, and Yellowstone Lake, just east of West Thumb. Both of these companies also operated stage lines in order to bring visitors directly to their own facilities. In the ensuing years other camping companies entered the scene to compete with Wylie and Shaw & Powell. The main contenders included Tex Holm , Frost & Richard , Marshall Brothers , Old Faithful Camping Co., Bryant Camping Company, Bassett Brothers (probably the earliest camping outfit), Lycan Camping Co., David Curry (later of Curry Camps in Yosemite), and numerous other smaller operations. Mandated changes by the Department of Interior in 1917 brought about the consolidation of the Wylie and Shaw & Powell companies, while the other permanent camp companies were dissolved. With the advent of auto travel and the decreased travel times, many tent camps and lunch stations were closed down after 1916. This new camps company was known as the Yellowstone Park Camping Company (YPCC). YPCC's efforts were concentrated at the major locations in the park - Old Faithful, Canyon, Mammoth, Roosevelt, and Lake. As part of the major changes brought about in 1916-17, their transportation privileges were revoked, and taken over by the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co., headed by H.W. Child . The Yellowstone Parks Camps Company was formed when the Y.P. Camping Co. sold out to Howard Hayes and Roe Emery in 1919. These camp companies were responsible for building lodges with cabins at Mammoth (1917), Roosevelt (1920), Lake , Old Faithful , and Canyon in the early 1920’s. Los Angeles hotelier Vernon Goodwin , with backing by Harry Child, bought the operation in 1924 and renamed it the Vernon Goodwin Co. They established housekeeping cabins and cafeterias at the various auto campgrounds. In 1928 H.W. Child took over complete control of the company and it became the Yellowstone Park Lodge & Camps Company. Improvement continued to be made at the lodges and camps cabins. In 1936 Child merged the camps company together with his hotel and transportation companies into the Yellowstone Park Co. Mammoth Lodge was closed down in 1940 and Canyon Lodge was shut down in 1956 with opening of the new Mission 66 era Canyon Lodge at its current location. Lake Lodge, Roosevelt Lodge, and Old Faithful continue to operate under the auspices of the current park lodging and transportation concessionaire, Xanterra Parks & Resorts.

  • 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.

  • Biographies |

    Yellowstone Biographies ​ Introduction ​ ​ 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 Biographies: Who's Who in Wonderland's Past Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author. The following pages contain a multitude of mini-bios of the Greater Yellowstone area's early pioneers, explorers, exploiters, businessmen, businesswomen, and other folks of interest in Yellowstone' history. Please note that many entries have bracketed numbers at the end, ie: [24:25] These are footnote references. The first number is the reference work, the second number is the page in the reference. These references can be found at the end of the Bios pages, entitled Bios - Bibliographies. ​ References denoted "LE" indicate the Livingston Enterprise (Montana) newspaper. A few common abbreviations: NPRR Northern Pacific Railroad UPRR Union Pacific Railroad YPA Yellowstone Park Association YPHCo Yellowstone Park Hotel Company YNPTCo Yellowstone National Park Transportation Company YPTCo Yellowstone Park Transportation Company YPCo Yellowstone Park Company YPCC Yellowstone Park camping Company or YP Camps Company YPLC Yellowstone Park Lodges & Camps company ​ ​ ​ ​ Comments or Questions? Email me at

  • Wylie Camps at Zion & Grand Canyon |

    Wylie Way Camps Zion NP & North Rim, Grand Canyon ​ 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 Wylie Camping Co. in Zion and Grand Canyon National Parks 1917 - 1928 Introduction Zion National Park is the third most visited national park in the US with almost 4.5 million visits in 2019. The canyon can be reached via an easy half-hour drive from I-15. A hundred years ago the area was remotely located and required a slow and difficult route to traverse. Even in 1919 when autos made the journey, a 7-8 hour trip was required for the 100-mile route from the rail depot at Lund , northwest of Cedar City, Utah to Zion Canyon . In the beginning . . . Zion Canyon proper was set aside as a national monument on July 31, 1909 by President Taft and called Mukuntuweap . Explorer John Wesley Powell named the canyon in 1872 using a Paiute word variously defined as "straight arrow," "straight canyon," "straight river," or "land of the springs." Local Mormon pioneers generally referred to it as Little Zion, or Zion Canyon. On March 18, 1918, President Wilson enlarged the monument and changed the name to Zion National Monument. A little over 1-1/2 years later the monument was again enlarged and it attained status of a national park. Painting of the entrance to Zion Canyon by Frederick S. Dellenbaugh in 1903. Interest in the area as a tourist destination had been percolating for a number of years. Late in the fall of 1913 a party of visitors to Zion included Utah Governor Wm. Spry, A.W. Miles, president of the Wylie Permanent Camping Co . in Yellowstone, Howard Hays and Ed Moorman of the Wylie company, Douglas White, of the Salt Lake & Los Angeles rail line (LA&SL), and other Utah promoters who investigated the area for potential tourist development. In August of 1916 another visit was arranged which consisted of the Utah Governor, officials of the Salt Lake rail line and the Oregon Short Line (both companies later came under the corporate umbrella of the Union Pacific RR ), Howard Hays , representatives of the White Motor Co. (who were negotiating to provide buses for Yellowstone National Park), along with other promoters to investigate both Zion and the North Rim of Grand Canyon. Crawford Ranch, Mormon homestead ca1860s. The nearby village of Springdale was established Mormons in 1862. The Wylie Way Camp The end result of these trips was an offer by railroad officials to bankroll William W. Wylie in establishing tent camps in Zion and Grand Canyon for the 1917 season at a tune of $13,000. The National Park Transportation and Camping Company was formed with W.W. Wylie as president, son Clinton as secretary, and Gronway and Chauncey Parry as vice-president and treasurer respectively. The Parry brothers provided transportation services and the Wylie family set up the camp operation. W.W. Wylie had founded the Wylie camps in Yellowstone in 1883, but had sold out in 1905 after creating a viable and camping business enjoyed by thousands of visitors. Wylie would assign the task of setting up a camp at Bright Angel Point on the North Rim of Grand Canyon to his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Thomas H. McKee. Left: Gronway Parry driving tourists through Zion in a wagon, ca1917. [Courtesy Cedar CIty Homestead Museum] ​ Right: A dapper-looking William W. Wylie in front of the Office Tent, ca1920. Visitation was limited that first year but gradually increased as the roads were improved and word of the wondrous sights to be appreciated spread across the land. In 1918 the Parry brothers were off to war and upon their return in 1920 discovered that they had been somewhat unceremoniously ousted from the company by Wylie. Chauncey successfully filed suit to regain their status and ultimately created an independent transportation company, the Utah-Arizona Parks Transportation Co., that served not only Zion and Grand Canyon parks, but also Bryce, Cedar Breaks and Pipe Springs national monuments. Left: The two National Highway Cars purchased by the National Park Transportation and Camping Co. in 1917. The Parrys ran the cars while Wylie ran the camp. [Salt Lake Tribune, 10Jun1917] Right: One of buses traveling the unique early road to Zion Park. [Southern Utah Univ., #18B01I0988] The Wylie camp during these years consisted of a simple tent camp which lay against the cliffs in a shady grove of trees just south of today's Zion Lodge, On the East Wall behind the Wylie Camp is the large alcove listed on current maps as “Wylie Retreat.” The camp featured a central assembly hall, dining room, and 10 wood-floored tent-cabins with partial board walls. Each tent-cabin had two double beds separated by a canvas wall down the center, and a separate dressing area. The tents were kept clean, were watertight, had screen doors and were lighted with gas lanterns. Meals were served in the dining room tent on oilcloth-covered tables with linen napkins. Mrs. Wylie and two girls waited on the tables, serving traditional old-fashioned meals. Entertainment included an evening campfire, horse rentals and daily excursions up the canyon. Margaret McCartney, who worked for Wylie in Yellowstone, joined the staff at Zion as the Camp Matron and Hostess. In 1917 patrons could plunk down $26.50 for the 8-hour auto ride to and from Lund via the Parry brothers auto stages. The plan included two meals along the route at Cedar City, with two nights lodging and five meals. Visitors arriving on their own terms or those who continued on beyond the two-night plan paid $3.50/day or $21.00/week. Horses were available for $3.00/day, guides for $4.00/day, and auto tours ran 75 cents/hour. Left: View of the Wylie Camp showing the distinctive Wylie Retreat Alcove in the East Wall. [1919 US Railroad Administration brochure ] Right: Close-up view of Wylie tent cabins [Courtesy Southern Utah Univ. #27649252] Below: Advertisement for the Wylie Way Camp in Utah's Wonderland. The camp first opened around June 20th. [Washington County News , Ut., 28Jun1917] Left: Professor Wylie greeting guests to his camp in Zion Canyon. [South Utah Univ. Special Collections] Right: Postcard view of the Wylie tent cabins in Zion. [Real-Photo PC by Putnam Studlok of Los Angeles] The "Polly-Ann" travel articles were written by Marion A. Byrne, who wrote about other historic and scenic areas in the Southwest. She was accompanied Douglas White, agent for the Salt Lake RR (later Union Pacific), a photographer and moving picture operator. The Zion article was part of a 4-part series, also published in the Arrowhead Magazine in 1917. It was written as if a letter to an old travel friend. Polly-Ann Motors by the Wylie Way Over one more little meadow and we roll up in front of the Wylie Camp. Our arrival is the real day’s event, and everybody is out to meet us. Oh, how I wish you could have been there. It would have done you good to have seen the great big hearted Miss McCartney with her bright smile that tells of constant effort to make her guests comfortable and happy. I well remember how you told of her many thoughtful attentions when you visited the Yellowstone by the “Wylie Way." You always said she was an ideal hostess, and really I believe she has improved by being transplanted to Zion Canyon. Then there was Mr. Wylie himself, chock full of the kindly welcome, with the two Wylie boys and dear Mrs. McKee, all out on the Plaza of the camp waiting to do something to start our visit right. The camp is just a beauty spot snuggled into a little hollow among the rocky cliffs with the crystal creek running in front, and the sweetest crystal spring water trickling down from the rocks at the back. There are the same cunning little tent houses that you remember in the other Wylie camps, a great big social hall and a cheerful dining room, all set under the shade of the great big trees. In the center is the regulation camp fire space, where, after nightfall, the bright red blaze lights up the tent circle and sends fantastic shadows playing hide and seek upon the rocky walls. [Iron County Record , Cedar City, Aug.17, 1917] The Utah Parks Company Takes Over The Zion camp was never a financial success and was consistently losing money. In 1921 Wylie, now 73 years old, asked the railroad to foreclose on his chattel mortgage and take over the camp. The LA&SL agreed and paid Wylie and his wife $2,000 annually to operate the camps for the 1921-22 seasons. Wylie sold out completely after that and retired. He transferred ownership of the operation at North Rim, Grand Canyon to daughter Elizabeth. In 1921 the railroad became part of the Union Pacific System and in 1923 formed the Utah Parks Company as a subsidiary to operate the Zion camp with plans to build lodges in Zion, the North Rim, Bryce Canyon and Cedar Breaks. The UPCo operated the Zion camp during the 1923-24 seasons while building a new lodge just north of the camp. They negotiated continued services with the Parry brothers who operated under the name of Utah-Grand Canyon Transportation Company. But in the spring of 1925, the UPCo received permission from the Utah Public Utilities Commission to operate forty 10-passenger touring cars in Zion. They were garaged in Cedar City near the new rail spur that had been built from Lund. The Parrys however continued operations at the other parks. Right Top: Two Wylie Camp buses, operated by the Parry Brothers on Main St. in Cedar City, ca1918 [Courtesy Frontier Homestead State Park Museum , Cedar CIty] Right Bottom: Utah Park Co. buses at the Cedar City Union Pacific Depot, ca1930. The new Zion lodge was designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood , who had also designed the Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone and the new lodges being constructed in Cedar Breaks and Bryce Canyon. The 2-story lodge opened on May 15, 1925 and included 46 guest cabins (15 more were built the following spring). Huge opening day ceremonies were held on May 18 and were attended by the Utah governor and a variety of local, state, federal and corporate officials. The day celebrated not only the new lodge, but also the improvements made in the road system and the railroad spur to Cedar City, which brought rail visitors closer to the park. 16,817 tourists visited the park that year – twice the previous year Top: New Zion Lodge with Angel's Landing in background, ca1928. [Keystone View Co. Stereoview #29031] Right: Zion Lodge Lobby, 1927. [Keystone Mast Collection, Stereoview Segment] Left: Map of Zion Canyon and surrounds, from a 1919 Railroad Administration booklet. ​ Right: Map of Zion and the surrounding national parks and monuments and the routes used by the Parry Bros. bus operation. From a 1924 Utah Parks Transportation Co. brochure. ​ (Click on images to expand) Wylie Camp at North Rim of Grand Canyon ​ Facilities similar to the Wylie Camp in Zion were arranged at the North Rim of Grand Canyon, which attained national park status in 1919. Access to the area was primitive at best, as only two automobile parties are known to have reached the general area of Bright Angel Point prior to the establishment of the camp. Gordon Wooley is believed the first in 1909, which required passengers to build much of the road along the way; and a trip made by Joseph and Anna Brown about 1916. The camp was organized by W.W. Wylie’s daughter Elizabeth and her husband Thomas McKee. Son Robert was in charge of hauling water up a steep trail from a spring some 200’ below the rim. An elderly burro named Brighty did most of that work. Once, some of waitresses and maids mischievously put up a sign on a tree: "Wylie Water Works. Power Plant, Brighty; General Manager, Bob." A girl one day asked: "Bob, which is the boss of this shebang, you or Brighty?" Reply: "Neither. We are pardners." Occasionally Bob and his “Pardner” would give burro rides to some of the younger children of the camp guests, which of course, thrilled them to no end. Right Top: Overview of the Wylie Camp on the North Rim, Grand Canyon, taken from a nearby forest ranger fire tower. [Photo courtesy Southern Utah Univ. Special Collections] Right Bottom: Family and employee photo. Thomas Mckee at left, Elizabeth & Robert McKee at right. Camp employees surround the famed burro Brighty. [Courtesy Eliz. McKee Scrapbook] The camp became a part of the “Circle Tour” driven by the Parry brothers buses. The route began at the Union Pacific depot in Lund, Utah and traversed to Zion Canyon. Then travelers were escorted to Cedar Breaks , Bryce Canyon , Pipe Springs on the Arizona Strip, and on to the North Rim . Visitors returned to Lund, later Cedar City to catch the UP Train. Although the camp operation was limited in the first years, by 1920 the Wylie camp consisted of a central dining tent and sleeping tents to accommodate 25 guests. Rates were $6/day and included meals. 1 and 2-day horseback trips were available at $3/day plus $2.50/day for bedding and provisions. Left: Newspaper ad touting Utah and North Rim as tourist destinations. [Salt Lake Tribune, 17June1917] Right: View of the Wylie tent cabins in the meadow amidst the forest. [Courtesy Margaret Kruger & Eliz. McKee Scrapbook] W.W. Wylie sold his Zion operation to the Utah Parks Co. in 1923, and the next year transferred his rights to the North Rim camp to daughter Elizabeth. By 1926 the McKees could lodge, feed, and entertain as many as 120 people, and had built a new central services building, installed electric lights, increased their product line for the tourists, and expanded the number of guided tours, conducted almost daily to Points Sublime and Imperial, Cliff Spring, and Cape Royal. From the National Register, North Rim Entrance Road Corridor Historic District (ca2012): ​ “Beginning in 1917, Thomas and Elizabeth McKee offered wagon trips and by 1924, automobile trips, from their camp at Bright Angel Point to Point Sublime and Cape Royal. In the latter year, they drove their few customers to these scenic points in a Dodge and two seven-passenger Buicks. Also by 1924, the Parry Brothers of Cedar City, Utah, began to offer automotive bus trips to these points in cooperation with the Union Pacific Railroad and Utah Parks Company. At this same time, motorists in their private vehicles began to visit North Rim. The number of automobiles entering the park from the north increased approximately 1,000 per year through the middle and late 1920s. To handle the increased traffic, the NPS determined to build two new roads at North Rim: a new scenic highway from Bright Angel Point to Cape Royal, and a new entrance highway from the park boundary at Little Park to intersect with the Cape Royal road within Thompson Canyon. After grading Cape Royal Road in 1927-29, they immediately made plans for North Entrance Road.” Left: View of the Wylie Camp on the North Rim. [Courtesy Margaret Kruger & Eliz. McKee Scrapbook] ​ Right: The new camp lobby building, built in 1926. [Courtesy Margaret Kruger & Eliz. McKee Scrapbook] The Grand Canyon Wylie Camp continued operations through the 1927 season. That year the NPS solicited bids for a North Rim concessioner that would construct a large lodge facility. The operation had never been very successful financially, and the McKees were unable to compete with the corporate giant Union Pacific. The UPCo obtained the contract and began construction of the lodge, under the direction of architect G.S. Underwood. UPCo bought the Wylie Camp for a disappointing $25,000 and negotiated with Elizabeth and Thomas to operate the camp for the 1927 season. The UPCo also bought out the Parry transportation interests so they could expand their own transportation operation. The New Lodge at North Rim ​ The new Grand Canyon Lodge opened in 1928 with great fanfare, although the official dedication was not held until September 14. More than a million dollars was spent on the facilities and water and power development. The rustic 56,000-square-foot structure was built of native sandstone and rough-hewn ponderosa pine, and designed to blend in with the rugged and rustic location atop the rim of the Grand Canyon. Sleeping accommodations were provided by 100 2-room log lodges and 60 rooms in 20 deluxe lodges, with private bath, fireplace and porches. The operation could sleep 264 guests and offered electric lights, recreation room, lounge, barber shop, 200-person dining room, showers, and other modern luxuries. ​ A mere four years later the interior of the magnificent structure was destroyed by fire, but only two of the cabins were destroyed. The North Rim Inn had been constructed at the nearby campground in the late 1920s, and visitors could stay there and in the remaining guest cabins and partake of meals at the camp cafeteria. The lodge was rebuilt beginning in 1936. Left: Newspaper article about plans for the new North Rim Lodge, with an artist conception sketch. [Salt Lake Tribune , 20Feb1927] ​ Right: Photo of the new Grand Canyon Lodge, ca1929. In Conclusion . . . ​ The Wylie Way system of camping and touring successfully operated in three of our great national parks. Begun in 1883 in Yellowstone, the Wylie name and tradition of a simple yet fastidious and enjoyable camping experience continued on for 33 years in Yellowstone and 11 years in Zion and Grand Canyon. Today the camps are merely a memory. The astute explorer may find a few vestiges of some of the camps in Yellowstone, but one will find few, if any signboards or plaques commemorating this early history. Nor will you find much of any discussion of this early history in the various park's museums, save for the lobby of the Grand Canyon Lodge where photographs delineate the story of Brighty the mule, who once played a small part in the North Rim Wylie camp. In general, the history and memory of the Wylie camps (and the many other camping companies in Yellowstone) have been unceremoniously erased within the boundaries of the national parks. The success of the Wylie Way was probably matched only by the Curry Company in Yosemite, founded in 1899 by David Curry. He and his wife Jennie also got their start in Yellowstone, and they no doubt looked upon the Wylie Camps as an inspiration and blueprint for their somewhat similar and very successful camp operations. But that is yet another story . . . .

  • Corwin Hot Springs |

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

  • 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]

  • Mammoth - McCartneys & Cottage |

    Hotels in the Yellowstone McCartneys Hotel - Cottage Hotel ​ 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. McCartney's Hotel Mammoth Hot Springs McCartney & Horr Hotel at mouth of Clematis Gulch, near the edge of the Mammoth Terraces. [YNP #10594] ​ James C. McCartney was born ca1835 in New York and first came to the Montana Territory in 1866; no doubt to join others in the quest for gold. It is thought he first passed through Yellowstone in 1869 and joined the Cooke City gold rush the following year. The 1870 Federal Census for Gallatin County listed him as 34 years of age and his occupation as carpenter. ​ He became a co-owner with Harry Horr of the first lodgings available in the park. In 1871 they claimed a homestead of 160 acres at the mouth of Clematis Gulch in Mammoth on July 5 and built two cabins that year. ​ Harry R. Horr , also known as Henry Horr, he was born Sept. 20, 1842 in New York. By 1870 he was employed at Fort Ellis as a civilian employee of the post trader’s store. When Truman Everts was lost in the fall of 1870, Horr and two soldiers accompanied George Pritchett back to Yellowstone to help transport Everts to Bozeman. The cabin used as a hotel was a 1-story log building, 25 by 35 feet with an earth-covered slab roof. Guests were required to provide their own blankets and slept on the floor. 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.” A third cabin and outbuildings were erected the following year. A crude bathhouse was also built on the nearby Hymen Terrace and five plank shacks were eventually built containing wooden bathtubs. In 1873 McCartney received a 10-year lease from Interior and Horr released or sold his claim to McCartney. Horr later went on to found the Horr Coal Co. and town of Horr a few miles north of Gardiner. McCartney’s cabins were the only lodging available in the park until George Marshall built his hotel in 1880 in the Lower Geyser Basin. According to the Helena Weekly Herald on July 22, 1875, a Post Office was established at Mammoth with J.C. McCartney as Postmaster Ad for G.W.A. Frazier's stage service to Mammoth in 1873. They advertised to carry Invalids to soak in the reported healthful hot spring water.The following year Zack Root took over the route. [Bozeman Avant Courier, 13Jun1873] Below: View of McCartney's Hotel taken by Ole A. Anderson, who sold coated specimens nearby. Probably taken mid-to-late 1880s. {Anderson Family Collection] Right: McCartney's Hotel in Yellowstone Park , stereoview photo taken by FJ Haynes, no date. Around 1874, John Engesser, who ran a restaurant and boarding house in Bozeman, came to Mammoth to take over management of the McCartney Hotel. Jim McCartney was probably managing the bath-house and saloon. Zack Root’s Express stage line made weekly runs from Bozeman to Mammoth Hot Springs to carry passengers, mail, and freight. Old timer George Huston and Frank Grounds operated a pack train service from Mammoth into the heart of Geyserland. A Bozeman newspaper in 1874 described the hotel operation: “"The hotel, in connection with the springs, run by Mr. John Engesser, an experienced landlord, assisted by his good wife, presents as good fare as can be had at any hotel in the Territory. The bath rooms are fitted up in excellent style, and are sufficient to accommodate almost any number of visitors. A handsome club house has been put up this season, with a bar attached, which is stocked with choice liquors, cigars, etc. A billiard hall will be added next season . . . as a place of public resort for health and pleasure; the Mammoth Hot Springs have a more promising future than any other place in the country.” [Bozeman Avant-Courier, 18Sep1874] T.W. Ingersoll stereoview of the bath-houses at Mammoth Hot Springs. The sign atop to building read "HOT SULFUR BATHS." Click to enlarge. The phenomenon of “taking the cure” became widespread throughout the eastern United States in the 1800s. Claims were made about these “curative waters” that touted an array of medicinal values that would purportedly benefit a wide variety of ailments, including those of the kidney, bladder, liver, stomach, skin, and nervous diseases. By 1850 resorts such as Saratoga Springs, New York, White Sulfur Springs and Hot Springs in Virginia, and Hot Springs, Arkansas had become celebrated social and cultural “hot spots” for the affluent crowd. The waters of Mammoth Hot Springs were advertised to have these same types of benefits. McCartney and Horr capitalized on this phenomenon with building and advertising bath-houses. Newspapers often spoke of “Invalids” going to the park to help restore their ills. Note the advertisement above. Left: Description of McCartney's Hotel on May 8, 1873 in the Helena Weekly Herald. Click to enlarge. ​ Right: Lantern slide taken of the hotel with building additions and an elk antler fence, undated. McCartney’s status in the park and his relations with the administration were unstable at best and he was encouraged to leave the park on an involuntary basis on claims he was trespassing. 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 and later became unofficial ‘Mayor’. He was the man who introduced President Roosevelt at the dedication ceremonies of the new Roosevelt Arch in 1903. After McCartney’s official eviction from the park around 1881, the government used his cabins and burned some of the outbuildings. McCartney claimed to own the buildings until 1883, when Supt Conger officially took possession of them in April. George Henderson and his family moved into one of the cabins in 1882, and operated the post office and store for a few years in another. McCartney finally received $3,000 in 1901 in compensation for his park holdings that were taken away from him. In a legal claim to Interior in 1891, McCartney described his buildings: 1-story log dwelling with 4 rooms, 25’ x 35’; 1-story log dwelling house 30’ x 20; log barn, with squared logs, 30’ x 15’; 1-story hewn-log building 30’ x 25’; squared-log building 20’ x 16’. A 50’ x 16’ stable was also on the property. A Chinese man named Sam Toy, set up a laundry in the hotel in 1902. He was well-liked in the community and operated successfully until the building burned down on December 4, 1912. ​ Cottage Hotel Mammoth Hot Springs George Henderson , or G.L. Henderson, was born in Oct. 8, 1827 in Old Deer Scotland and immigrated to the US with his family in 1846. He was hired as an assistant superintendent to Supt. Conger in June of 1882 and moved to Yellowstone with his children. He arrived with his son Walter J., aged 20, and daughters Helen L., aged 28, Jennie A., aged 18, Barbara G., age 21, and Mary R., age 12. They moved into the Norris Blockhouse and the following year lived in one of McCartney’s old hotel buildings. ​ G.L Henderson and his family built this large log hotel in 1885, located near the present service station at Mammoth. The original building measured 36’ x 40 in size. The 10-year lease was in the name of Helen and Walter Henderson and they opened the hotel on Christmas Day 1885. Two years later they added a 2-1/2-story addition with 75 rooms and a capacity of 150 guests. The addition was built by Wm. Doughty, David Stratton, Wm. North, and Charles Stuart. Henderson's Log Hotel in Early Days, Y.N.P. Stereoview by the Ingersoll View Co., ca1903. Photo was probably taken ca1890 Advertising cards later describe the hotel as having 55 rooms, hot sulfur baths, trained guides, and elegant Quincy carriages for touring. GL is listed as the Manager and the hotel is described as a summer and winter resort for health and pleasure seekers. “Science and experience prove that the mountain air, mineral water and sulfur baths are great remedial agents for all pulmonary, gastric and kidney disorders.” “Carriages, Saddle Horses, Camping Outfits and Competent Guides furnished to all points of interest in the park.” Rates are $2.50/day, or $10.00 per week. [YNP, Ash Collection, Cottage Hotel Advertising cards] In January 30 of 1886, the Livingston Enterprise, published an article written by G.L. Henderson describing the new hotel and its assets: ​ "There are two hotels, the National is an immense four story structure and will, when finished, accommodate 500 tourists. This hotel having been closed several times on account of financial difficulties the Department of the Interior granted another lease to Helen L. and Walter J. Henderson on which they have erected the Cottage Hotel, containing now 20 rooms finished and in good order, all warm and cosy and somewhat in the style of the Swiss Chalet. This novel structure will, when finished, contain 75 rooms, single and double, suitable for families and individuals. It is intended for a health and pleasure, summer and winter, resort and will accommodate, when completed, one hundred and fifty guests. This hotel is sheltered by the foot hills of Temple Mountain from the north and west winds." On June 13, 1885, the Livingston Enterprise reported that, Advertisement for Coated Specimens at the Cottage Hotel Museum at Mammoth. [Yellowstone Guide and Manual, published by GL Henderson, 1885] "Henderson Town consists of seven houses and will soon have an eighth. The Misses Henderson expects to furnish cottages and board to that portion of the traveling public who intend to remain a few days or weeks in Wonderland during the hot season. They aim to make their hotel cottages and Cottage Hotel home-like and attractive both as to comfort and economy." ​ The advertisement to the right for the Cottage Hotel Museum was published in 1885, prior to the completion of the hotel. It is probable the museum was temporarily located in one of the "hotel cottages" mentioned above. Cottage Hotel tour of the terraces next to the Liberty Cap formation. Perhaps GL Henderson leading the tour. The side of the carriage reads "Cottage Hotel." Several family members assisted GL in the new touring business, conducted out of the hotel. Helen Henderson, also known as Nellie, became the first female guide and carriage driver in the park, while other guides included her husband Charles Stuart as well as Henry Klamer, who later married Mary Henderson. [YNP #693] Yellowstone Park Association carriages preparing to head into Wonderland. The photo is dated 1898 - the YPA bought out the Cottage Hotel Association in late Spring of 1889. George henderson continued to work for the new company on a promotional basis. Unable to compete with the pressure applied by YPA, the Hendersons sold the hotel operation to the Yellowstone Park Asssociation in 1889, but George continued to manage it for a short time afterwards. Part of the sale agreement stipulated that GL Henderson and his wife, or any one of the Cottage Hotel Asso members would be able to ride any train of the NPRR for free for the rest of his life. GL also agreed not to re-enter the hotel or transportation business in the park for a period of time. He was to receive a $150/month stipend for his work in promoting the park and the hotel association. These clauses were made in order for YPA to buy the hotel at a reduced price; from $40,000 to $30,000.The hotel closed down in 1910 and was remodeled in 1921 for use as an employee dorm for Yellowstone Park Hotel Co. It was torn down in May 1964. Cottage Hotel in 1930. It was 45 years old at this point and beginning to show its age. [YNP #31100] Sketch of Cottage Hotel made by an unknown employee, who obviously was not impressed with the building's condition. Epilog: ​ In 1896 Jennie Henderson Ash, married to transportation company man George Ash, established the first general store in Yellowstone. The current Delaware North store at Mammoth is the descendent of the store after numerous changes and ownership. Jennie retired in 1908 and her brother Walter and brother-in-law Alex Lyall took over the operation until 1913 when George Whittaker purchased the business. ​ Mary Henderson married Henry Klamer, who had assisted with the Cottage Hotel operation and in 1897 they opened a general store at Old Faithful, which is still in business by the Delaware North Co. Mary sold the store in 1915 to Chas, Hamilton after henry died in 1914. ​ George Henderson died in 1905 in Chula Vista, Calif - his retirement home.

  • Lake Hotel & Lodges |

    Hotels in the Yellowstone Lake Hotel & Lodge ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. Lake Yellowstone Hotel Original Lake Hotel ​ The year 1889 was a big year for the Yellowstone Park Association as they undertook the construction of two high-class hotels in Yellowstone National Park. The large hotel at Mammoth Hot Springs was completed in 1885, and there were somewhat crude hotels at Canyon and Old Faithful. An impressive hotel at Norris burned down in 1887 barely after it had opened. The Yellowstone Park Improvement Company, predecessor to YPA, opened a tent hotel nearby in 1887. Now the Association looked forward to a set of new hotels to draw in the moneyed class of traveler - Lake Hotel and Fountain Hotel. ​ Construction began on this Lake Hotel along the shores of Yellowstone Lake, just west of the outlet for the Yellowstone River in 1889. This plain-looking building opened in 1891 with 80 rooms. Around this same time the road to Lake from Old Faithful over Craig Pass opened up, creating the Lower Loop Road. Previously guests had to reach the Lake via the Mary Mountain Road from Fountain Flats and had to backtrack when heading to the Grand Canyon. Prior to construction of the hotel, guests stayed at a small tent camp that opened in 1887. Top Left: The original Lake Hotel, soon after construction. Note the Widow's Walk on the top. [Photo 1890s, YNP Archives] Top Right: Lake Hotel from other direction, ca1901, [Photo from Annual Report to the Interior, 1901] Lake Colonial Hotel ​ The original hotel had alway proved inadequate in size to meet the tourist demand. It was planned to be larger, but problems with transporting massive amounts of construction material resulted in changes to the plan. It ended up having a smaller capacity than envisioned. This was somewhat rectified by renovations in 1903-04, under the direction of architect Robert Reamer. Lake Hotel took on a new look when a third gable was added, and the front gables extended, creating large porches. 50' ionic columns were added to the front of the hotel, creating a "Colonial" look. An additional wing ell was added to the structure increasing the number of rooms to 210. Decorative dormer windows, false balconies, fanlight windows, and oval windows added to the picturesque appearance. The exterior was painted a soft yellow and the hotel became known as the Colonial Hotel. Above Left: Lake Hotel, ca1915. [Haynes Postcard No. 180] Above Right: Lake Hotel, ca1914. [ Haynes 500-Series Sepia Postcard, No. 518] Renovations again changed the shape of the hotel again in when the Portico was added to the front entrance of the hotel in 1920. The East Wing, with 113 additional rooms was added in 1922-23. Robert Reamer directed the renovations, which also included expansion of the dining room that doubled seating. Employee dorms were built in 1924 that freed up additional rooms in the hotel that had been used for employee quarters. In 1920 the porte-cochere was enclosed and a new porte-coche re was added. The lounge and solarium were also added in 1928 and the lobby again remodeled. Top: Lake Hotel Porte-Cochere changes, 1920. [Haynes PC #20090] Bottom: The Solarium at left, 1953 view [YNP #30126 Top: Lake Hotel Lobby, 1909. [Photo from Stimson Collection #CT3004, Wyo. State Archives] Bottom: Lake Hotel Lobby, 1923. [Haynes #23449] [] Above Left: Lake Hotel Dining Room in 1919. [Haynes #19025] Above Right: Lake Hotel Dining Room in 1925. [ Haynes PC #25007] Employee dorms were built in 1924 that freed up additional rooms in the hotel that had been used for employee quarters. [Photo from 1930, YNP #193429-93] One hundred and ten cabins were built near the hotel in the 1920’s, and the North Wing was removed in 1940. Additional cabins were constructed to replace the lost rooms and to appeal to the automobile crowd, although building progress slowed because of the war. [Photo from 1952, YNP #30125] Brass key tag (fob) from the Yellowstone Park Association, used ca1886-1909. ​ Brass tag above from the Yellowstone Park Hotel Co., in use ca1909-1940s. ​ Plastic-type key tag from the Yellowstone Park Co., used ca 1950-70s Lake Camp & Lake Lodge Yellowstone Lake Camp Prior to 1919, The Lake Camp was beautiful. At that time, the canvas-topped lodge tents were arranged around a central campfire. When the moon shone across the Lake and practically into the camp, it was a wonderful sight. In 1917, the Wylie and Shaw & Powell Camps were consolidated into the Yellowstone Park Camping Co. (1917-1919). The Shaw & Powell camp west of the hotel was eliminated and the Wylie Camp to the east of the hotel became the new Lake Camp. The central of the old camp was dismantled and construction of a new log lodge building began in 1918. WWI delayed construction efforts and the lodge, designed by Robert Reamer, opened in 1920. By that time, the Yellowstone Park Camps Co. under Howard Hays had taken over the “YP Camping Co. Top Left: Kitchen buildings from the Wylie Camp in 1917. [Haynes 12M-26] Top Right: The new Lake Camp lodge building, 1920. [Shipler Photo #20571] Bottom Left: News article regarding the opening of the new Lake Camp (Click to enlarge) [Jun 9, 1920, Butte Miner] Bottom Right: Postcard from the Yellowstone Park Camps Co. The camp lobby featured a large stone fireplace and rustic log tables. Tents from the Mammoth Camp were moved in during this time and were located near the end of the lodge. The kitchen was enlarged in 1924 and two wings were added in 1926 that included the cafeteria and recreation hall. Dances and shows were held on the stage of the recreation hall. Along with physical improvements to the structure came the construction of accessory service buildings, including employee dorms, restroom and shower cabins, storage, housekeeping, and utility buildings. Sewer and water supply lines were brought in during the early 1920's. Above: Lake Camp lodge building in 1922. [Haynes PC #22732 Below: Canvas-top tent cabins, 1920. [Shipler Photo #20568] Above: Dining Room in the Lake Camp lodge bldg., 1920. [Shipler Photo #20574] Below: Lake Camp ca1923. YP Transportation Co. bus right foreground. [1923 Haynes Guide] Harry W. Child, owner of the hotel and transportation operations in Yellowstone, bought the controlling interest of the Camps Company in 1928. the new company was called Yellowstone Park Lodge & Camps Co. It was around that time that the “camps” operations became “Lodges.” A porte cochere was added in 1929 to accommodate the ever increasing car traffic coming to the lodge. Robert Reamer designed the exterior of the additions to match his plans for the original central building, with exposed logs, stained shakes, and a cedar shingle roof.” Above Left: Main lodge building in 1926. [Haynes PC #26011] Above Right: Main Lodge building with new portico (porte cochere) and buses unloading passengers. [Haynes PC #29374] Left: Interior of Lake lodge bldg. in 1926. [Haynes Photo #J67697] In the years 1923 to 1930, the following guest facilities were added: 1923 50 new tent units 1924 27 two-room & 25 one-room cabins 1925 30 tent cabins converted to pole/frame cabins 1927 40 new cabins erected (25ea 12’x14’; 12ea 12’x12’) 1929 51 new cabins built 1930 10 log/frame cabins built The lodge was closed in the years 1942-1944 due to WWII. But following the end of the war, visitation surged. More modern cabins began to replace the tent-tops and older cabins in the 1950's. By 1953 the site for the cabins was altered to include a 90-car parking lot immediately north of the lodge. The cabin area was moved to the hillside west of the lodge. A new girls' dormitory was constructed in the early 1950s immediately west of the lodge which featured a flat roof and contemporary building materials. After 1963 most of the cabins were removed from the south side of the lodge. This allowed the lodge to be seen from the southern approach of the main road from the hotel for the first time without visual encumbrance. The Western units were added between the years 1960-1965, replacing tent cabins. The Porte-cochere was removed in the 1960's and in the 1970’s new multiplex lodging facilities are erected at the northwest end of the Lodge complex. Cafeteria-style dining replaced the dining room in the 1980's. Above Left: Main lodge building in 1951. [Haynes PC #51K032] Above Right: Lake Lodge, ca1970s. [Yellowstone Park Co. PC] Top: Architect Fred Willson drawing of Lake Lodge complex in 1930. Right: Modern Lake Lodge cabin map from Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Notice that all the guest units to the left and immediate right of the lodge building were either removed or moved farther back up the hill behind the Lodge.

  • Old Faithful Lodge, Snow Lodge, Camp |

    Lodges in the Upper Geyser Basin Old Faithful Lodge - Camper Cabins Snow Lodge ​ Copyright 2020 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from th e author. Old Faithful Camp The current Old Faithful Lodge is a descendent of the Shaw & Powell Camping Company that operated in the park from 1898 to 1916. Starting out with a "moveable camps" operation, they received permission in 1913 to build permanent camps in Yellowstone Park, following after the pattern of the Wylie Permanent Camping Company. Within two years Shaw & Powell had erected permanent facilities at most of the main park locations, including, of course, Old Faithful, where they had a ring-side seat near Old Faithful Geyser and the Old Faithful Inn. View of Old Faithful Camp taken from the Crow's Nest atop Old Faithful Inn, ca1916. Notice the tents to the left of the main pavilion. [YNP #02784] In 1917 organization changes in the park mandated by the Department of Interior combined all the permanent camp operations into one company that became known as the Yellowstone Park Camping Co. It was jointly run by both the Wylie and the Shaw & Powell companies. The Wylie Camp near Daisy Geyser was abandoned and the Shaw & Powell Camp became the primary camps facility with tent cabins and eventually camper’s cabins. 1917 was also the year motor cars ruled the roads and the stage era fell by the wayside. Although private vehicles were allowed in the park beginning Aug 1915. Undated photo of the Old Faithful camp pavilion. Note a type of auto garage/shed has replaced that section of tens shown in above photo. [Real-Photo postcard] In 1919 Howard Hays, who had been instrumental in the promotional efforts of the Wylie Camping Co., bought out the company with partner Roe Emery and renamed the operation Yellowstone Park Camps Company. In 1920-21 a recreation pavilion was constructed that was used for dances by the tourists and other purposes. There was a charge for the dances, netting the company some additional income. The Caldwell Tribune (Id), reported on May 26, 1921 reported, “At Old Faithful, the permanent camp has been further improved by the erection of a large amusement hall, where a fine orchestra will be employed to entertain guests and campers from a nearby automobile camp.” Fifty new cabins were constructed in 1921-22 that increased the capacity by 20%. The Supt.’s Annual report noted that a “delicatessen tent, 20x40 feet was constructed in the public automobile camp adjacent to Old Faithful Camp. This delicatessen served prepared cooked foods such as soups, roasts, hot biscuits, muffins, pies and cakes, also fresh milk.” Top: Photo of Old Faithful Camp from a 1918 YP Camping Co. brochure. It is surrounded by military-type rows of tent cabins. Bottom: The original lodge building stands right center. The new recreation pavilion is barely shown at right. [YNP # 36502] Top: Original lodge on left with new recreation pavilion on right, ca1922-24. [YNP #185327-420] Bottom: Alternate view of lodge (L.) and recreation hall (R.) [YNP #185327-417] Fifty new cabins were constructed in 1921-22 that increased the capacity by 20%. The Supt.’s Annual report noted that a “delicatessen tent, 20x40 feet was constructed in the public automobile camp adjacent to Old Faithful Camp. This delicatessen served prepared cooked foods such as soups, roasts, hot biscuits, muffins, pies and cakes, also fresh milk.” Operating the company until 1924, the YP Camps Company made many improvements to the lodge at Old Faithful, and to their lodges at Mammoth, Canyon, Lake, and Roosevelt. The 1922 Superintendent's Report revealed that ". . . 50 new cabins are in process of construction which will increase the capacity of that camp [OF] more than 20 per cent. The new recreation pavilion was operated during the season and proved a successful addition to the entertainment features at the camp. A delicatessen tent, 20 x 40 feet, was constructed in the public automobile camp adjacent to Old Faithful Camp." Ed Moorman, Gen. Mngr. of the Camps Company claimed the deli opened in 1920. A section of a new dining room was built in 1923 that became part of the present lodge building. Left: Color postcard view of the Rec Hall (center) and the original lodge to the far left, 1924. [Haynes PC #24076] Right: Old Faithful Camp Dining Room, constructed 1923. It became a part of the new OF Lodge structure in 1927-28. [Haynes PC #24080] In 1924 Vernon Goodwin, who had been manager of the Alexandria and Ambassador hotels in Los Angeles, purchased the Camps operations, with financial backing by Harry Child, for $660,000. Child, who probably was the majority owner, and, as he had done in past ventures, kept his involvement anonymous. Although the name technically became the Vernon Goodwin Company, in practice the Yellowstone Park Camps Company name endured. Around 1927-28, Goodwin renamed the company Yellowstone Park Lodge & Camps Co. Up until that time, the Old Faithful operation was simply known as the "Old Faithful Camp," or the “Old Faithful Permanent Camp,” and by 1927 was called Old Faithful Lodge. One tourist in 1926 remarked, “Near Old Faithful Geyser stands the hotel called Old Faithful Inn and the cabins and bungalows which constitute Old Faithful permanent camp. These cabins, electric lighted and heated by wood-burning stoves, are ideal for complete relaxation, rest and sleep. The social assembly and dining halls are in separate buildings from the sleeping rooms, and provided with fireplaces.” [2Mar1927, Pittsburgh Daily Post] 1926 Yellowstone Park Camps Co. brochure. Camping out Deluxe The Yellowstone Park Camps make a friend of every guest. For more than a generation they have been serving Yellowstone visiters and serving them well. The lodges and camps have personality. They have the vacation spirit. The unique bungalows, the great rustic central buildings, lobbies and amusement halls, the campfire festivals, the hospitable dining rooms, the community singing, the dancing parties, the free guide service, the college boys and girls who serve you with right good will, the restful, cordial informality and active friendliness—the real "Out-West Americanism" of the camps—these make up the fabric of an outing adventure which will share interest with the wonder and grandeur of Yellowstone itself. If you are taking a vacation for a "change," and to see different sorts of things and to enjoy new kinds of experiences; to leave routine, humdrum and ruts behind, go through Yellowstone Park "The Camps Way." You will have a real vacation. Originally, lodging facilities for the guests consisted of canvas tents. They were gradually reconstructed to include wood floors and partial wood sidewalls. Eventually the cabins became constructed entirely of wood with log posts and rafters. Many new cabins were added over the years, 200 of them between 1924 and 1929. Top Left: Rows of wooden cabins near the Lodge ca1928, Haynes PC #28188. Top Right: Cabins view ca1964 - they are not so regimented as the original layout. [Haynes PC #64k013} Camping Out Deluxe "The Camps are located at the main centers of scenic interest. In each lodge, guests come first to great central buildings, which house lobbies, dining halls, social assembly rooms, business headquarters, curio shops and many of the usual facilities of hotels and clubs. Surrounding the main buildings are the small lodges—of one-room, two-room and four-room capacity. They are of three types—(1) log, (2.) rustic clapboard, (3) bungalow-tents—all substantially built, comfortable and well furnished. Each lodge is heated by a rustic wood-burning stove (for nights and mornings are cool in the mountains), the beds are full size and of high quality, the furniture plain but adequate. The dining rooms serve wholesome, well-cooked food." [ 1926 Yellowstone Park Camps Co. brochure] Old Faithful Lodge Around 1926-27 construction began on a complex that would include a lobby, offices, curio shop, soda fountain, picture shop, barber shop, and new recreation hall. The new building was designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood, who was responsible for the design of the Dining Lodge in West Yellowstone and numerous other buildings in carious national parks. The construction incorporated elements of some of older buildings with some other older structures being demolished. The lodge featured massive log construction and stone pillars with ample windows facing directly toward Old Faithful Geyser Orchestras entertained guests during the evenings on a regular basis. Nightly entertainment was held in an outdoor theater located along the banks of the Firehole River. Around that time Vernon Goodwin changed the name of the company to Yellowstone Park Lodges & Camps Company, retaining that name until 1936 when it was incorporated into the Yellowstone Park Co. with the hotel and transportation operations. Top: Old Faithful Lodge, newly constructed, 1928. [Haynes PC #28029] Bottom: Front end of OF Lodge Rec Hall, facing toward the current parking lot, with rustic cabins. [Haynes Photo] Top: Old Faithful Lodge Lounge, with rustic wood work, 1928. [Haynes PC #28182] Bottom: OF Lodge Recreation Hall on right of lodge building, 1984 [HABS Photo] In 1939-40, single, duplex, and triplex cabins were constructed, making a total room count at that time of 638. Up until that time, the cabins were laid out in a linear, organized fashion, but the NPS required them to be rerganized in a more natural manner, following topographic features, with curved, narrow roads. Running water was added to the cabins in the 1940's. In the ensuing years many older cabins were moved to other locations or razed. During the mid-1960s, the Lodge became known as the Old Faithful Motor Lodge, following in the steps of the “motel” phenomenon. When the Yellowstone Park Company operation was sold to the Goldfield Corporation in 1979, the official building inventory listed "162 cabins & other bldgs," not including the dorms and residences. In 1997 there were 133 guest cabin units available. In 1982 the complex was added to the national Register of Historic Places. Left: Undated photo of one of the employee orchestras that played in the Lodge recreation hall [NPS #133444] Right: Guests dancing to a band or orchestra ca1939 in the recreation hall. [1939 NPRR Brochure] Old Faithful Camper Cabins With its beginnings in the early 1920s, the Old Faithful Camper Cabins seemed to have been an offshoot of the nearby public auto camp that had opened in 1920 by the National Park Service, along with the Old Faithful Camp/Lodge. Hundreds of housekeeping-type cabins were built to house the hordes of visitors to Yellowstone. Most of these cabins probably provided a bare minimum of services and facilities and guests generally had to provide, or perhaps rent blankets, sheets, and towels. The cabins allowed visitors to prepare their own meals, furnish their own bedding if desired, and have their automobile adjacent to the cabin. These facilities were for those who did not wish to sleep on the ground or cook over an open fire, giving them the convenience and economy of camping without the burden of packing a tent. The operation was run by the YP Camps Company until around 1927 when the name was changed to YP Lodges & Camps Co. To help relieve congestion and provide additional visitor services, the NPS began constructing a “Promenade” in the early 1920s. It was a 2-lane boulevard, separated by a center divider with rocks and trees. It ran from the Ranger Station what would become the Hamilton Upper general store in 1929. It was close to public campground and OF Lodge, and concessioner buildings began to line the Promenade. Facing Old Faithful geyser, Jack Haynes established his store on the right-hand corner closest to the geyser basin in 1927, and the same year the YP Lodge & Camps company built a log cafeteria across the boulevard from Haynes. Left: Log cafeteria built by the Yellowstone Park Lodge & Camps Co. in 1927. It was located on the Promenade across from the Haynes Photo Shop. The Billings Gazette claimed on Dec 4, 1926, that the building was being constructed and would accommodate 500 guests. [Courtesy Wyoming State Archives, P2012313] Right: View of the cafeteria in 1951. It would be razed sometime after the 1980 season. [YNP #51-389] In 1929 a main office building that included visitor services, laundry, shower baths, housekeeping facilities and other conveniences was erected on that left side of the Promenade, on the corner closest to the new Hamilton Store. In between to two buildings were some 40 cabins, a comfort station, and employee laundry. Across the boulevard were located a woodshed, a repair garage for the transportation company, and bath facilities. By the 1930s there were 400 cabins associated with the operation, mostly located directly behind the Upper Store in a large area now occupied by the new Snow Lodge. In later years some of those cabins were removed to allow for employee dorms. The Camper Cabins main office and Housekeeping office in 1929, soon after construction. A girl's dorm occupied the upper level. [YNP #31195] Left: The Camper Cabins main office and Housekeeping office in 1951. Note the Promenade next to the Office that ran toward the edge of the Geyser Basin. [YNP #51-389] Right: View of the cafeteria in 1951. It would be razed in Dec. 1980, at which time it was said to seat 160 people. [YNP #51-389] Yellowstone Park Co. Plat map of the Camper Cabins area . The Cafeteria is on the Promenade, far right center, to its left is the Cabin's Office and Girl's Dorm. Across from the Cafeteria is the Haynes Photo Shop. Lower Center is the Hamilton's Upper Store. In 1957 a new Cabins Office & Dorm (Snow Lodge) was built in the cabin area above the Ham's Store. The Haynes Photo Shop was moved next to the old Snow Lodge in 1974. Eventually all the buildings were removed from the Promenade and the area returned to a more natural state. [Map courtesy Xanterra Engineering Archives] Click on left map to enlarge, and Click on right map to bring up magnifier. Headlines from the Wednesday, June 26, 1955 edition of the Idaho Falls Post Register newspaper described the fire carnage that destroyed the Old Faithful Camper Cabins Office in 1955: "A spectacular early Wednesday morning fire razed the Old Faithful girls domitory and office, sending 35 pajama-clad girls scampering for safety in the cold night air . . . Shortly after the fire was discovered at 3 a.m. some 35 girls living in the dormitory were hurried out of the burning building. They escaped in ony their nightclothes and huddled near by watching the flames consume all their belongings. Origin of the fire was not immediately determined but it is presumed it started in the laundry in the girls dormitory." Luckily no one was hurt and many of the "homeless girls" were taken by cars to West Yellowstone for housing. The article said that the office also housed an automatic laundry, showers for the guests, and stored blankets and other equipment for the cabin units. With the 4th of July weekend right around the corner, it definitely put a crimp in the ability of the Camper Cabins operation to adequately serve their guests.” The 1956 Superintendent’s Report noted, “The Yellowstone Park Company proposes to spend some $325,000 for new construction and new equipment in 1956 which will include $160,000 for a new office building providing laundromat, private showers and girl’s dormitory in connection with the Old Faithful tourist cabins to replace the building destroyed by fire last June.” Losing those important visitor services, guests were directed to the nearby OF Lodge until the lodge could be opened. Some cabins and other buildings were razed in 1957 to make room for the new lodge, which contained a lobby, registration desk, dining room, and rooms for employees upstairs (this facility was torn down in 1998). The lodge was completed by the end of the year and opened for business in 1957. That same year, an A-frame shaped building was erected across the road from the new lodge, and served as tourist laundry facilities and public showers. It would later (also in 1973) become known as the Four Seasons Snack Shop. Upper Left: Headline from the Idaho Falls Post-Register , June 29, 1955 Bottom Left: Photo of the aftermath of the fire that destroyed the dorm and office building. [YNP #34546-3] “The fire which occurred on June 29, 1955 and completely destroyed the new laundromat and shower baths in connection with the Old Faithful tourist cabins, robbed visitors of a much needed service in this area. However, the new shower baths which became available late in the 1955 season in connection with Old Faithful Lodge proved very popular throughout the summer as did the laundry service and shower baths which became available this summer at West Thumb. A new building was constructed this summer to replace the burned-down building in the Old Faithful Tourist Camp area so that laundry service and shower baths will again be available there next summer.” Jackson's Hole Courier, 24 Jan 1957, p3 The new Cabins Office facility, containing cabin registration area, lobby, public laundry, and shower baths. An employee dorm occupied the second floor. [YNP Photos, (L.) 193429-130, (R.) 193429-129] 1956 aerial night-time view of the Old Faithful area. It has been enhanced to better illustrate the mass of cabins and buildings. It was taken after the fire and before the new lodge was built. The new Cabin & Office/Dorm was built across the street from the old site, and next to the Hamilton Store. The OF Lodge is to the left of Old Faithful, out of the photo. Click to enlarge. [YNP #10737] Old Faithful Snow Lodge In the winter of 1971-72, the Yellowstone Park Company opened the Camper Cabins/Dorm building for use during the winter for snowmobilers and other winter guests. Bombardier slowcoaches that could carry 10-12 guests operated from park entrances at Mammoth, West Yellowstone, and Flagg Ranch near the southern entrance. Guests stayed in the 30 upstairs dorm rooms, with a capacity of about 90 persons. Cross-country ski tours were available along with day trips to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Advertising covered newspapers across the country and the name Old Faithful Snow Lodge came into being. The operation was a success and by the winter of 1973-74 twenty-four nearby cabin units with private baths were winterized and put into service for winter guests. Buffet-style dining was available in the "Snowshoe Room" and guests could warm themselves in the lobby around the free-standing fireplace or have a cocktail in the lounge. Photo of the Old Faithful Snow Lodge in late Spring, undated. The Billings Gazette announced on Oct. 24, 1971, that, “Plans announced by Yellowstone Park Co. for winter visitor facilities at Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park marks what could be the beginning of more extensive use of the nation's oldest and largest national park It may also be a boon to Jackson. West Yellowstone and Gardiner, communities near the three park entrances which will get winter use. Richard H. Ludewig, director of marketing and sales for Yellowstone Park Co., said the Old Faithful plans mark a long-term and extensive investment by the company to "develop another season in Yellowstone. ’ but added the firm is only "guardedly optimistic' about future expansion. YP Co. will have 36 units available at Snow Lodge at Old Faithful, each to serve two or three persons at a cost of $18 a night for one, $26 for two or $35 for three including dinner and breakfast. The company will provide snow coach transportation from the North. West or South entrances and has special package plans for stays of three days and two nights, the latter two including some time at park entrances. The National Park Service will maintain roads and a new visitor center at Old Faithful will be open.” The old Camper Cabins Laundry & Shower A-frame, built in 1957, converted to the Four Season Snack Shop for the winter of 1973. It was used summer and winter seasons until 1998, when torn down during the construction of the new Snow Lodge. Left: Photo ca1974, YNP #03268 - Right: Undated/uncredited photo during summer season A 1990 NPS Winter Use Plan Environmental Assessment noted, “The Old Faithful Snow Lodge was originally designed as an employee dorm. It offers 29 rooms without baths in the lodge, 34 rooms with baths in detached cabins, and 37 units with baths at the Snowshoe employee dorm. Food service facilities include a dining room (99 seats), a fast food outlet (40 seats), and a bar (25 seats). Concession employees dined in a temporary modular unit attached to the rear of the lodge .” Old Faithful Snow Lodge dining room, winter 1978. [YNP #09949] Fourteen guest cabins and some employee cabins (one of which the author summered at in 1975) burned in the ‘Fires of 1988.’ New ‘Western’ cabin units were built the following year to replace those and other cabins that had been removed. As time went on, the old Snow Lodge became unable to meet the needs of the increasing number of winter guests. In the words of a 1990 NPS Winter Use Plan Environmental Assessment: ​ “The Snow Lodge is poorly designed for winter use, functionally obsolete for visitor lodging, and aesthetically incompatible with the rustic character of the historic Old Faithful buildings.” ​ It was torn down April 20, 1998 in preparation for a new lodge to be built on the same site, and many tourist cabins were also removed to make space for the new operation. The New Snow Lodge A new "Snow Lodge," designed by A&E Architect of Billings, Montana, arose from the rubble of the old lodge and was built in two phases, the first segment opening for the winter season of 1998-99. There were initially 52 guest rooms, restaurant and lounge, 2-story lobby fireplace, hardwood floors, heavy recycled timber construction in the lobby, and exterior log columns. The second phase of the lodge opened for use about a year later with 48 additional guest rooms. This "new" Snow Lodge remains in operation from about early May-October and mid-December to early March and is operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Note: When the new Snow Lodge becomes "history" after 50 years or so, more information will be added - but certainly not by me - LOL

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