GLIMMERS OF HISTORY
An archive of weekly social media posts that highlights photographs and stories from Yellowstone Gateway Museum collections, we are grateful to the photographers and donors of these images, capturing and preserving our lively history. Visit this page often as we will keep adding to these history moments. Or follow us on Instagram or Facebook.
The second Canyon Hotel (1890-1910) in Yellowstone National Park, nestled in drifts of snow that reach up to the second of its four stories. This hotel was incorporated into the Robert Reamer designed hotel built in 1911. Ski tracks are visible in the foreground and a pair of skis are visible in the background to the left. Skiing at Canyon is delightful. Do you have any stories to share?
Prints available @Park Photo, ask for 2006.044.6665.
In 1925 the Glengary Mining Co. of Cooke City used this vehicle, a FordSon Snow Machine, to navigate the road between Mammoth Hot Springs, WY, Yellowstone National Park and Cooke City, MT beyond the park’s northeast entrance. It wasn’t a rotary type of motorized plow but is more like a snowmachine. The National Park Service now maintains this road, the only one in the park which is kept free of snow year ’round.
People who commented on this post revealed that this actual vehicle is at the Mining Museum in Butte, with a tag that it was found in Cooke City! Click here for a video of the vehicle in Butte and click here for another video link to see a Fordson in action. We love history when it comes together via photo, video, and actual object!
Prints available @Park Photo, ask for 2006.044.1285.
With the weather we’re having (or not having), perhaps taking a ride with family members and neighbors would be just the ticket to a lovely afternoon. Sometimes we can’t identify the people in a photo, so this is a gentle reminder to label your photos while you still remember the details! But this is a nice photo of seemingly nice people bundled and dressed up for a destination unknown. Who are they? Where are they off to? The trees are bare so perhaps this is either late fall or maybe they’re experiencing a mild winter like we are so far in 2021. Any clues as to what year this photo was taken?
Prints available @Park Photo, downtown Livingston, 406-223-5546, 2006.044.7604.
One hundred years ago on January 26, 1918, Livingston had snow! Two young children are posing no doubt to highlight the beauty of the trees on the snowy, wide boulevard of the 100 block of North Yellowstone Street. The Northern Pacific Railway water tower across Park Street, is visible in the background.
Prints available @Park Photo, ask for 2006.044.8965.
A group of young ice skaters pose on the ice of Aldridge Lake near Aldridge, Montana, a short-lived mining town northwest of Gardiner. Miners established the town in 1896 and though it closed in 1910, a few families continued living in that area. Though ice skating was (and still is) a popular pasttime, there were risks. In 1909, an ice skating accident on this lake took the life of young John Brockman. Identified are Fannie Cheplak, Annie Planishek, Joe Cheplak. Ed Planishek, Rudy Planishek, Pete Cheplak, Alfred McDonald, Joe Planishek, Matt Cheplak.
Prints available at Park Photo, 406.223.5546, ask for 2006.044.0196.
This unusual contraption is a diesel or gas-powered propeller-driven enclosed cab mounted on skis that is designed to skid across snowy, open spaces—a snowplane. A February 1949 Yellowstone National Park monthly superintendent report first mentions the use of private snowplanes in Yellowstone National Park but six years earlier District Park Ranger Hugh Ebert borrowed a “cockpit on skis” and drove it into the park via the South Gate to deliver rations to Old Faithful and other isolated interior locations. A typical snowplane sports an airplane-type motor is 65-horsepower motor, and three 10-inch wide skis that are more than seven feet long. We’re not sure who is in the photograph but he’s wearing a US NPS ball cap. The photo appears to be taken on Swan Lake flats, south of Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone.
Prints available at Park Photo, 406.223.5546, ask for 2006.044.6303.
Ten people, all but perhaps two, are preparing to ski in Jardine, Montana, a mining town north of Gardiner, Montana. The man on skis at far right is wearing what looks like an US Army hat; soldiers began protecting Yellowstone National Park in 1886. Thirteen years later, Harry Bush and his wife Ada arrived in Bear Gulch, Jardine’s early moniker. Local historian Doris Whithorn wrote that “in one year there were 130 new buildings, including two hotels, three general stores, a school, guest house, and a company office that still stands. By 1900, the town was named Jardine [after A. C. Jardine, secretary-treasurer for the Bear Gulch Mining Co.] and also boasted telephone service and a water system.” It wasn’t long before Harry was in financial trouble as he had made all these improvements with other peoples’ money. It appears that this photo was taken after Harry Bush revitalized the mining town.
Prints available at Park Photo, 223-5546, ask for 2006.044.9516.
Uncle John F. Yancey stands in front of his pioneer hotel in the Tower Fall area of Yellowstone National Park, in this 1894 F. J. Haynes photograph. Four guests and three dogs stand behind Yancey, with five pair of skis rest against the saloon building. Yancey erected his first building at this location in 1882. His hospitality and his hotel and saloon, shown here, were important shelters for early travelers in the park. Sometimes critically so, as members of the Schwatka (Haynes) Expedition in 1887 discovered after a few days in a tent with little or no food during a blizzard.
F. J.’s son Jack became Yellowstone National Park’s photographer when his father retired in 1916. Jack and his wife Isabel sent Christmas cards of this photo to special friends in the 1930s.
Prints available at Park Photo, 223-5546, ask for 2006.044.0793.
This is quite a cooperative scene, perhaps captured by photographer Harold McGee in 1954. What are these men doing? They are putting up holiday decorations in downtown Livingston. Apparently, this group of men assembled and routinely added holiday joy to the city streets in the 1940s and 1950s. Here, they pose on the corner of Second and Callender Streets, with the post office on the left, and the Murray Hotel and the Depot in the background. Love the vehicles!
Identified in the photo, on the ground, left to right: James Cortese, city engineer; Dick Davenport, MT Power Company superintendent; Pat Fleming, Fleming Grocery; Walter Anderson, Hardware Store; Kendall Steeves; Gilbert Easton; Walter Hall; Arvid Bredburg; and Arnold Pavey. On the CP Electric truck: Dick Hammes, Hammes Painting; unknown; George Putzker; unknown; unknown; Leo Gilchrist, mayor. On the ladder: Bill Cissel, CP Electric; and Don Latsch, Progress Clothing. (Please let us know if you have any additional information or corrections.)
Prints available @Park Photo, 223-5546; ask for 1994.018.0001.
Wouldn’t you like to go back in time to this 1915 Thanksgiving: ride a special Northern Pacific Railway train to Chadborn for the biggest dance of the year, enjoy a five-course turkey and goose meal served by five bachelors (!), and dance the night away to the sounds of an orchestra? All of this happened at a small rural community in the Shields Valley northeast of Livingston, Montana.
“The highlight of each week was a dance at Chadbourn. The whole family went — children and all. At midnight a supper of sandwiches and cake was served. This was a beautiful time of life. —Viola Bliler Raitt
Elsie Frederick Logan remembered, “The Chadbourne dances were the most outstanding times of my life.” Her mother took her to dances beginning when she was in early grade school, “I always felt real lucky, I used to get to stay for all of dances, because the older kids wanted to stay, and Mamma wouldn’t leave them there alone.”
Excerpts from Park County History 1984, this publication is available at the museum or Park Photo, downtown Livingston. Call 222-4184 or send an email to email@example.com for more information.
Love the Blakeslee Bros Grocery slogans: “Cream goods at buttermilk prices” and “We keep our eye open for business. Prices tell and quality sells.”
Glenn Blakeslee was in the grocery store business in Livingston for twenty-five years. He gained experience in three stores and then joined his brother Harry and opened their business at 132 South Main St. in Livingston (perhaps where the Office Liquor Store is located today; readers, weigh in if you know). Glenn wrote in “Park County History 1984,” “[We] had a good business. We shipped carloads of oats and spuds to the East and parts of Montana. We bought apples from Hamilton, Montana and many cars of peaches and pears from Yakima, Washington. Also Red Wing Stoneware from Red Wing, Minnesota (50,000 lb. car each year).” They also operated stores at Chadbourne, northeast of Livingston, and in Wilsall, farther north. Grover Fleming bought the Livingston store in 1930.
Glenn, far right, is shown with (l to r) Henry (Heiny) Smeltz, Will Shorthill, Lee Goughnour, Jack Moore, and Hugo Wise.
Prints available at Park Photo, 223-5546, ask for 2006.044.2652.
Two men perched in the Blakeslee Brothers Grocery delivery wagon, pulled by two white horses and serving the people of Livingston, Montana. This is one step beyond curbside grocery pick-up that some stores offer today during the pandemic.
After Glenn sold the store in 1930 (his brother Harry had gone onto other adventures), he bought a secondhand store, The Ark, operating it until 1968. Glenn traveled each year until his 93rd birthday by train, by himself, to St. Paul, Minnesota to visit his son Bob and family. On Christmas day, 1974, he ate breakfast at the Murray Hotel. He left the hotel and slipped on some ice and was buffeted by the wind into the street. Glenn sustained a broken hip and internal injuries, dying five days later.
Prints available at Park Photo, 223-5546, ask for 2006.044.2729.
A Livingston Fire Department employee (or volunteer) from long ago is interacting with a young black bear, the department’s mascot, at 124 E. Callender Street, the site of today’s Firehall Fitness Center. It’s a sad predicament for the captive young bear but citizens likely enjoyed watching the bear while strolling about town. Fortunately, there is a fence that kept people out of the enclosure.
Prints available from Park Photo, 115 S. Main St., Livingston. 223-5546. Ask for 1977.041.0043.
The aftermath of a successful day trout fishing, about 1944. Frank Little, Griff Davis, an unidentified man, and Grover Fleming are posing with more than thirty cleaned trout strung on a line secured to their canoe—a canoe named Mable. The canoe is sitting on a trailer attached to a car with Montana “49” or Park County plates. The Absaroka Mountain Range is in the background, beyond a bridge spanning the Yellowstone River. Isn’t that a Texaco star on the sign?
From the Bess and Clyde Erskine Collection, donated by Mike Fleming. Prints available from Park Photo, 406-223-5546, ask for 1995.033.0154.
Shaw & Powell Camp at Delacy Creek, Third Night.” Shaw & Powell Camping Company was based out of Livingston, Montana, offering tourists a trip of a lifetime, experiencing the wonders of Yellowstone National Park. Early camp accommodations were tents, as shown here. This camp was along Delacy Creek north of Shoshone Lake; today’s park visitors can hike along this creek to the lake.
In a 1915 brochure, tourists slept in tents with four-foot board walls and canvas above. That year Shaw & Powell offered four to six-day trips ($30-$35) and side trips, aiming to “maintain the primitive and romantic effect so appropriate in touring Yellowstone, and still give the tourist sanitary kitchens, rustic, homelike dining-rooms, comfortable offices (bedrooms)…devoid of all formality, yet appealing to the most genteel traveler.” They hired women to cater to female tourists who traveled alone. In 1916 the Wylie Permanent Camping Co. and Shaw & Powell Camping Company were consolidated into one camping company.
Prints available from Park Photo, 115 S. Main, Livingston. 223-5546. Ask for 2006.045.1984.
This circa 1926 photo shows a party of campers who found a nice spot to camp and apparently just pulled over and made camp. (Does this scene share any similarities to summer 2020 campers?) There are likely three couples as the photo includes two men and three women sitting down to enjoy a meal alongside their 1926 car. One woman is about to pour a beverage from a kettle, perhaps offering it to the person behind the camera. They’ve brought a dog along, too. Is this in Yellowstone National Park or some other location?
Prints available Park Photo, 406-223-4456, ask for 2006.045.5068.
Bathers enjoying the Eagles Nest Ranch Plunge, Corwin Springs, north of Gardiner, Montana, 1934. This was a promotional photo postcard for the dude ranch, which was built by Walter J. Hill in the 1920s. In the 1930s Welch “Sonny” Brogan managed and then bought the property. After his marriage in 1940 to Wanda Webb, they also established a sand and gravel business, game farm, cabins, and a trailer camp. Sonny also led big band entertainment in the main lodge after he retired from the dance band circuit in the 30s. In 1982 he sold the property to members of Church Universal and Triumphant; the Royal Teton Ranch (the church’s international headquarters) owns and operates Yellowstone Hot Springs at that site.
But the history goes back even farther. In 1899, French-Canadian immigrant Julius LaDuke opened the LaDuke Hot Springs Resort, a series of riverbank hot tubs, on land he had staked with a mining claim. Ten years later, Dr. Frank Corwin constructed the Corwin Springs Hotel, including a 50-by-80-foot enclosed swimming pool with hot water from the LaDuke hot springs. Corwin designed it to attract “medical tourists.” The hotel burned down in 1916.
From an album full of snapshots taken by and of Ann Petrich Tracy Eggar who was born on Trail Creek in 1910 and passed away in Livingston in 2012. Prints available from Park Photo, ask for 2015.033.0001.13.
A familiar scene in Yellowstone National Park during the days when people routinely fed black bears from the roadside. Did you know that it was illegal to feed bears though commonly practiced? Seeing a bear and interacting with wildlife in the early days–this photo may have been taken in the 1920s–was acceptable, unlike today. The last dump that black and grizzly bears alike frequented to feast on human foods was closed in 1970. Now, people can still see bears alongside roads but the bears are eating natural foods, eating grass and other plants. Of course, people cannot approach bears or feed them as this photograph from our collection shows. Habituated bears–bears accustomed to human foods–are usually dead bears.
We don’t know the names of park visitors in this photo but it is from the Russell Miller Collection. Prints available at Park Photo, 115 S. Main St., 223-5546. Ask for 1982.312.0080.
The new Muir Tunnel’s opening day was July 28, 1945. The 1884 tunnel is on the left and the 1945 tunnel is on the right, both allowed single-track passage of Northern Pacific Railway trains under the highway that goes over Bozeman Pass. In the first photo, crews are, in photographer Warren McGee’s words, “throwing track over to put new Bozeman Tunnel into service.” It cost $1,250 for the 3015-foot-long tunnel that was 18′ x 26′.
Prints available Park Photo, 406-223-5546. Ask for 2006.048.0015
A 1914 photo of four children standing behind a sign that implores quiet. This may have been taken at the bear feeding grounds at the Fountain Hotel (1891-1916) in Yellowstone National Park, which sported a beer feeding ground that year and others. There was also a bear feeding ground at Otter Creek, south of Canyon. All told there were five or six dumps inside the park that bears, both black bears and grizzlies, dined at, sometimes with a ranger on horseback stationed nearby. Outside the park, there was a dump north of West Yellowstone, north of Gardiner before Stephens Creek, and at the east edge of Cooke City, the northeast entrance to the park. The dumps were closed in 1970.
Prints available Park Photo, 223-5546. Ask for 2006.037.0001.
Early on the morning of Jan. 8, 1935, fire visited Main St. in Gardiner and burned the Wylie Hotel’s Lark Lunch Room, apartments, and sleeping rooms. The old Park Hotel building in the foreground of this photo was a telephone office at that time and previously Moore’s souvenir shop. This post’s newspaper clipping shares the story of the burning of the Park Hotel in 1950.
To the left of the burning hotel stands the 1905 Community Church built while pastor Rev. John F. Pritchard was the church’s pastor. (An addition was later added.)
An earlier August. 31, 1889 fire nearly destroyed the town. The fire started in a saloon at 12:30 p.m. and, within an hour, Gardiner residents were left with a smoldering ruin of 13 homes and 19 business buildings. In 1898 fire took the jail and a Chinese laundry; Moore’s souvenir shop building on Park St. burned in 1916. And much later, in 1985, the Gardiner School burned.
Prints available @Park Photo. Ask for 2006.044.2563
A group of people planting fish in the three lakes at the head of Cottonwood Creek in the Shields Valley in 1934. Mr. Scofield, Big Timber Hatchery; E.G. Phillips, State Supt. of Hatcheries; Bus Quigley; Ed Nowells, editor of the Park County News; Mrs. Ben Strickland; Les Gilbert; and Lloyd Nelson, sporting goods store owner in Shelby assisted with the effort.
Many years previous to this, horseback riders carried five-gallon cans full of fingerlings to mountain lakes, stopping at creeks along the way to change the water.
Prints available @Park Photo, 406-223-5546. Ask for 2006.044.2126.
During the evening of July 8, 1942, fifty men moved rocks on the north side hill to outline a mammoth fish looking over Livingston, MT. Chief of Police Frank Olson directed the operation seventy-eight years ago. Painted white, it was an outstanding advertisement for the 1942 $1,000 Trout Derby on the Yellowstone River. The final Trout Derby was held in 1977. But you can still see the fish on Livingston’s north side hill today thanks to volunteers who keep the fish of history alive.
Prints available Park Photo, 406-223-5546. Ask for 2006.045.0695.
Bicyclists assembling for the Fourth of July Parade Livingston, Mont., circa 1890s. They are at Miles Park on McLeod Island.
The Yellowstone Gateway Museum contributed dozens of historic photos to this year’s virtual parade. We hope that you will check out the parade—go to the Chamber’s Facebook page and enjoy!
This photo is from our Sax and Fryer Collection. (Other images are on the Montana Memory Project web site.) Image is available for reprint from Park Photo. Ask for 2011.010.0421
Mark Fox operated a bicycle and motorcycle repair shop on lower Main Street, Livingston when he wasn’t working as a Northern Pacific Railway machinist. During the 1920’s highway patrol officers rode motorcycles instead of patrol cars. Their cycles were stored and repaired in Mark Fox’s shop.
We have a display about Mark Fox in the museum’s Transportation Room, including the high-wheel bicycle that he rode in Livingston parades. Other Fox materials are preserved in our archives.
Prints available Park Photo, 406.223.5546, ask for 2006.044.2660.
On this day in 1918, the Harvat Bridge east of Livingston (near today’s golf course) washed out. Folks living in the Mission Creek country were isolated from Livingston as a washout on the road between Springdale and the Springdale Bridge was six or eight feet deep of water.
The second photo shows a swinging pedestrian bridge that was constructed after the Harvat Bridge was no more. (Apparently, a man who had been drinking in town apparently led a horse across it rather than use the Shields crossing that had decking.) Yikes.
Prints available at Park Photo, ask for 2007.008.0009. We have several images of this 1918 flood.
A pleasant day on Harvat bridge for a photograph. This bridge spanned the river at the end of H Street, near the fairgrounds, and was the main road into Livingston from the east. Next week, images that document the destruction of the bridge.
Prints available at Park Photo. Ask for 2006.045.0701.
An early-day tourist pauses to enjoy the scenery of Golden Gate, south of Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park. While we can’t identify the man, he probably was touring the park in the horse-drawn conveyance shown here. Thanks to Lee Whittlesey who gave this photo a circa date of 1901. That year only 10,769 people visited the park.
Hiram Chittenden, an officer with the Army Corps of Engineers, built a new road from Mammoth Hot Springs to Golden Gate in 1899, retaining the famous “Pillar of Hercules,” the stone between the road bed and precipitous drop-off in the photograph’s background. Chittenden built many miles of road as well as structures in the park between 1899 and 1906; he also published books about the history of Yellowstone.
Images available for reprint from Park Photo. Ask for 2006.044.1264
Railway workers, hunters, and business men pose in 1911 at the Northern Pacific Railway freight dock on Spring Street in Gardiner, MT. After elk moved into areas open to hunting north of Yellowstone National Park, successful hunters brought elk carcasses to be transported north through Paradise Valley to Livingston and sometimes, to points beyond by rail. Conductor J.J. Clark worked on the Park Branch route for many years and is on the right.
Images available for reprint from Park Photo. Ask for 2006.044.1967.
Warren McGee, a career railroad man from Livingston, one of Montana’s top historians, and a co-founder of the Yellowstone Gateway Museum, took this photo of the future museum on May 20, 1976. It was one day after the Northside School was purchased for $10,001.00.
True to Warren’s desire to document everything, he has added details to the margin of the photo. The museum was boarded up in this photo after the school was vacant for about five years from 1971-1976. There have been a lot of changes to the museum since Warren took this photo.
This year volunteer archivist Ellen Zazzarino is organizing and archivally storing Warren McGee’s railroad and MT research collection–a vast collection–thanks to a Montana History Foundation grant. Many Warren McGee photos are available for reprint. Contact Park Photo, 406-223-5546, for options.
Two boys make their own fun with only sunshine and an old rubber tire. The boys are playing on the lawn with the second Mammoth Hot Springs hotel, the National Hotel, in the background. The boys are wearing sailor suits, popular with boys and girls from the late 1880s into the 1900s. (See below for the photo’s date range.) Refreshing that they did not need any fancy equipment or screened technology to have fun…though that tire certainly is a rollicking form of technology.
The boys’ clothing and the hotel give us clues about the date of the photograph. The hotel was built in 1883, in 1911 architect Robert C. Reamer added a wing addition, and two years later he renovated the hotel, removing the top floor and pitched roof (as seen here). The hotel was razed in 1936 except for the 1911 wing addition. So, the photo was taken between 1913 and 1936.
Prints available Park Photo. Ask for 2006.044.2981.
Branding on the Dorsey Pierce Ranch near Pray, south of Livingston. Doris Whithorn’s research says that Members of the First Legislative Assembly in Montana began work on Dec. 12, 1864 and soon passed a law providing for the registration of brands. The “84” brand was the first legal brand in Montana, granted to Thomas D. Pitt. Defacing or duplication carried a severe penalty and the best brands were brands that couldn’t easily be altered.
Prints available Park Photo. Ask for 2006.055.1443.
From a July 16, 1903 diary entry: “After passing thru densely timbered country we came to Apollinaris Spring. We all got out and tasted of the water, which is very clear and sparkling but has a peculiar taste. Ed and Charlie liked it, but the rest prefer other water. Lawrence had been teasing for a drink at every ditch or spring, but after taking a big swallow and getting his mouth full again, he had a great time spitting and sputtering, and won’t touch any more water till noon, and was pretty careful the rest of the day. I don’t know what the water is, but they say it is a great physic. I do know it tastes awful.”–from “Trip Through Yellowstone Park.” by Grace E. Hecox, Belgrade, MT.
Apollinaris Spring was named by a visitor to Yellowstone in 1890. Tourists could quench their thirst here before the early 1980s; after that time, park service personnel built a spring box to protect the waters but sealed the pipes rather than comply with water standards that required chlorination.
Prints available from Park Photo, ask for 2006.044.0675
Snapshots can often tell a story even if we can’t identify the people. Here, a woman pauses during her stroll pushing a baby carriage down what appears to be Callender Street in Livingston. The streets aren’t paved, the sidewalks look freshly paved. It looks like she’s standing in front of where the post office is today. History sleuths: what year do you think this photo was taken?
From the collection of Ida Harrington.
Prints available at Park Photo, ask for 1986.525.0201
It doesn’t look like spring on this April 17, 1903 day! President Theodore Roosevelt turns back toward the camera while riding a sleigh bound for Norris Basin on April 17, 1903. Joe DeBar is sitting next to the president. John Burroughs is sitting in the middle seat and Harry Child, president of the Yellowstone Park Transportation Company is sitting in the back seat. What a grand adventure they must have had! Major John Pitcher commented in his diary that at Modern Gate (now known as Golden Gate), which is above Mammoth Hot Springs, that the men exchanged their horses for the sleigh. They made the trip to Norris without any problems despite the four to five feet of snow. They stayed at the Norris Hotel, a somewhat chilly accommodation.
Prints available at Park Photo, ask for 2006.044.0656
We enjoy the playful smile the woman is wearing while she appears to be getting ready to take off the man’s hat while they are enjoying a picnic in sublime Paradise Valley, Montana in perhaps early spring. Part of the Sax and Fryer Collection, John Fryer donated many photos that were never picked up by clients. Sax and Fryer developed film for many years.
Prints available Park Photo. Ask for 2008.018.0035.
We don’t know specifics about this family and the milking operation. But here’s a fun story written by Don Chapman, born in 1913, and published in “Park Co. History 1984”: Our milk was delivered to us by Pelligreens in a horse and buggy. There was a “town herd” of milk cows moved back and forth to the northside hill to graze. They crossed the tracks down by the old stockyards.” Who knew there was once a town herd of milk cows in Livingston?
You can order prints from Park Photo. Ask for 2006.044.2988.
This photo belonged to Dorothy Winans Waterman; her daughter donated it. Dorothy is second from the left in this parade of ca. 1930 bathers. The Yellowstone River is in the background; the wooden structure looks like the support of a bridge. The Winans name is familiar because Dorothy’s father was B.A. Winans, superintendent of District #4 Schools for 31 years, and for whom the Winans School was named. Winans school was built on the west side of town in 1949 between 10th and 11th Streets.
Images available for reprint from Park Photo. Ask for 2011.021.0062.