Greetings from Seattle, Washington, USA

Friday, April 15, 2011

Coaching YNP 1903 - Part II

In my last post we talked about a stagecoach full of tourists visiting Yellowstone in the early 1900s. Our historical perspective comes from a little booklet called Coaching Through Yellowstone. It's now in my collection of Yellowstone memorabilia but, from July 28th to August 3rd, 1903, it was used by a visitor to the Park as their guidebook and became a souvenir of their journey.

Click on pictures for larger view.

We previously covered some of the reasons that Yellowstone is called "Wonderland" --- the geysers, hot springs, and beautiful mountain scenery.

We saw how the tourists entered the Park in 1903 through the entrance known as the Roosevelt Arch. The first photo above shows a "stereograph" published by H C White in 1904 of a stage passing under the arch. Called "stereos" at the time, few people today know about them. When used with a special viewer they provide a 3D effect.

Continuing our tour:  We might have seen the passengers on the stage refer to the little fold-out map in the back for an overview of where they were in this large park. YNP covers an area of 3,468 square miles (8,980 km2).

The Falls. There are many beautiful water falls in the Park including the majestic Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River, as noted in the booklet, height 308 feet.  My photo shows the falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The area is much the same today as it was in 1903.

The Wildflowers. To quote from the booklet, "The Flora of the Park is luxurious."

The Fishing ... The Yellowstone and Madison Rivers are world famous for their fishing opportunities. It seems reasonable to assume there was time on the tour to do some fishing, especially since a page in the booklet is devoted to it, and the tour lasted for seven days.

The Animals. "Yellowstone Park, as well as being a pleasure ground for the people, is a preserve for wild animals."

Just before the section on animals, the booklet had one last page on which the owner could write. Interestingly, we find penned there the words of Lord Byron's "Remembrance" - 1806:

’Tis done!—I saw it in my dreams;
No more with Hope the future beams;
My days of happiness are few:
Chill’d by misfortune’s wintry blast,
My dawn of life is overcast;
Love Hope, and Joy, alike adieu!
Would I could add Remembrance too!

Seems somewhat melancholy but the last two lines lead me to believe he/she loved the visit to Wonderland and hoped the memories would last for a long time.

As always, thanks for visiting John's Island. I sure appreciate all the encouraging comments!


  1. surely, i hope it was a good memory for that visitor!

    i remember those viewers with the cards that you placed into it one at a time! i didn't know they were called stereos. my uncle had one and we viewed a lot of old photos thru them! :)

  2. More pure goodness, John . . . I LOVE this series! You have such a way with words, highlighting each bit of memorabilia with a lovely story . . . fascinating & terrific. Great post!

  3. Wonderful! Love the shot of the bison!!

  4. Another excellent post, John! It's filled with interesting information and stunning images. Thank you for sharing a wonderful part of your collection with us. It's fun to look back, isn't it? The scenic photographs are especially beautiful. Love the Bison, too!

  5. Loved that poem at the end..very cool seeing these old guide books!

  6. What a wonderful old guidebook. Just makes me want to go to Yellowstone even more.

  7. I love history! Thanks for sharing your photos and interesting info :-)

  8. Thanks for thinking of me, John, with the wildfires. So much of Texas is being affected by them with the drought, high winds and already high temps too. Luckily they're to the west of Fort Worth, but already the winds have brought over thick, dreadful, choking smoke a couple of days. You could see it in the air, smell it, taste it. My sinuses and eyes were not happy. I cannot imagine how bad it must be closer in to them. I hope the firefighters can get them under control, but as of yesterday it sounded more dire than before. We've not had much rain here this spring in our area either, and I know that may mean a very dangerous summer...

  9. What an interesting post – and I mean it. I enjoyed looking at the old travel guide and the photos – you should be a PR for the park – you make everyone want to visit it.