Monday, June 11, 2012


Imagine the year is 1908. You're planning your summer vacation and want to see America's first National Park, Yellowstone, in the US Rocky Mountains. This is before planes and cars so you will need to take the train. You've written to the Oregon Short Line Railroad and they have sent you a brochure describing what many are calling "Geyserland." They have just finished building a rail line right to the western entrance of Park. What you see below is the brochure you would have received showing all the information for the 1908 season, which opened on June 11, one hundred four years ago today. Be sure to click on a picture which will provide the larger view ... hopefully large enough for you to read if you wish.

Yellowstone is still one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. And just imagine that in 1908 a COMPLETE Tour of the Park, five-day trip, hotel accommodations, and thirteen meals were included in the ticket price of $55.

Here at John's Island we collect Yellowstone memorabilia and have just added this brochure to our collection. The OSL (Oregon Short Line) and the NP (Northern Pacific) were the only two railroads to build tracks to the edges of Yellowstone, although other railroads provided service to relatively nearby cities. The OSL reached the western entrance while the NP tracks ended at the northern gateway of Gardiner, Montana. The OSL was eventually purchased by the Union Pacific. Early memorabilia from the Oregon Short Line is rare.

As always, thanks for stopping by John's Island. 

Postscript:  The page titled Geyser Time Table is a little darker than the others. I tried to do some digital processing to make the text more readable. The gold-colored print on the faded paper makes it difficult to get the text dark enough to be easily readable. After trying several possibilities, the one above seemed to be the best option.


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