Saturday, March 3, 2018

Yellowstone's Gateway Arch and More

Welcome to John's Island

[Long post! Feel free to skip anything or everything. :-) ]

When I put together my love for Yellowstone National Park and my hobby of collecting vintage postcards I became fascinated with the number and variety of postcards featuring the Roosevelt Entrance Arch. This may seem peculiar since Yellowstone is all about natural wonders and the Arch is a human construction. However, the Arch has become the symbol of the Park and that spurred my interest. Yellowstone Park was created by an Act of Congress in 1872, but the Arch was not constructed until 1903. On April 24, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt dedicated the arch as its cornerstone was laid. My collection of arch cards totals over 100, each with some difference. That's too many cards to post so I've selected the following to give you the idea. I will try to give you some notes in the captions. And, in recent months, I've been linking up with Postcards for the Weekend, which allows postcard collectors to share some of their cards matching a weekly theme. This week's theme is "Anything you wish" and so here are some of my favorites. Thanks to Maria for hosting the link up!

Gateway to Yellowstone on Postcards

Very early card showing one way to tour the Park ...
horsedrawn carriage.
[Click on images for enlarged view!]

The stagecoach was probably the most common way
to tour in the early days.

Most tourists arrived via train. The depot was just outside the
lava rock entrance. The Northern Pacific Railroad served this station.

This card shows a train stopped at the station.
The cards are about evenly split on showing a train or not.
As a "railfan" I appreciate the ones WITH trains more!

Different and unusual style for an early postcard.

This station was famous for its western theme.
Especially the logs holding up the roof covering the platform.

In some years there was a pond between the depot and the arch.

The pond looks well manicured in this view.

Photographers tried to get creative shooting right above the pond.

Reflection of the arch in the pond.

Good early view of the front.
Words above the archway: "For the benefit and enjoyment of the people."

Good early view of the other side.
Sender of the card dated it June 24, 1905
About one year after dedication.

Love horses? Yes, we do too, and other critters as well, so we're linking up with Saturday's Critters.  Thanks to Eileen for hosting the link up.

"Wylie" Coaches entering the Park
Wylie Camping Co would take you for the full tour
including overnights in their camps.

Back of the above card.
Note: Knights of Columbus from San Francisco probably used
this card to enlist members to attend the "Pilgrimage"
to Yellowstone July 6 to 20, 1912 

The first automobile entered the Park in 1915.
This card does not reveal a publication date.

Maybe one of you can tell me ...
Which car is earlier, this one, or the one on the card above?

This card is called a "real photo" card because it is an individual
photograph with printing on the back for postal delivery.
Note the old car.
To read the entire story of the Arch, by Lee H. Whittlesey (Park Historian) and Paul Schullery, look here.
A rare photo showing a fence inside the gate.

Colorful but artistically modified.
Note Mother's comments.
The "other end" may be the South entrance
which connects to Teton National Park.

Unusual card showing guard house just inside the gate.
The guard house is no longer there and it existed only for
a short time.

A more modern postcard view.

A more modern "real photo" card.
(That is, if we can call 2nd half of last century "modern".)

Probably the "most recent" published card among all those
in this post.

Artistry at work.
Gustav Krollmann artist for this card and
the one below. He titled this card,
Gardiner Gateway to Yellowstone Park
(There are 6 Gateways)

Lots of "artistic license" in this view.

The rare aerial view. Yes, the arch is in there ...
near right edge about 1/3rd way up from bottom.

President Theodore Roosevelt standing on the partially
constructed arch for the dedication ceremony and laying of
the cornerstone on April 24, 1903.
(Not a postcard, but a stereoview. I haven't found a
postcard showing this scene, but it may exist.)

My photo of the arch from a trip several years ago.

Another of my photos -- a different trip.
This view is from inside the Arch looking toward
Shooting Star Mountain.

My photo of the Cornerstone

Sky Watch

The expected photos of our Seattle skies during the past couple of weeks. All photos taken from home looking out over Puget Sound to the west.

After overnight snow the Olympic peaks are covered in white.
February 22nd  7:20 AM

Sunset and a contrail.
February 19th  5:36 PM

Wide-ranging sunset.

Sunbeams in a stormy sky.
February 20th  4:51 PM

Glow in the distance.
February 22nd  5:37 PM
Those mountains are the southern portion of the Olympics.

February 25th  5:21 PM

A peak at the Full Sap Moon
March 1st  6:06 AM
Known as the "sap moon" because it marks the time when maple sap
begins to flow and the annual tapping of maple trees begins.

Sun setting into the clouds
March 1st  5:38 PM
The length of day has increased over an hour
since Winter Solstice.
Sailboats, other boats and a ship ... today is an active day!
March 3rd  12:29 PM
Elliott Bay Marina in the lower part of the picture.
(Could have put this in Ship Watch below. The ship is
Matson's MANOA.)

May have saved the best sky for last.
Tonight's sunset was amazing.
Looking to the west ... Sun setting behind the Olympic Mountains
foothills in between and Eagle Harbor on the water.
March 3rd  6:01 PM
Lots more sky photos for your enjoyment at Skywatch Friday. Thanks to Yogi for hosting.

Ship Watch

The expected photos of ships coming and going here at the Port of Seattle. We like to watch and snap photos of some interesting sights. Photos are taken from home unless otherwise noted.

Note the neat stacks of containers.
February 21st  2:32 PM
COSCO Container Ship arriving.
West Seattle "Alki Beach" in the near background.
Vashon Island in the far distance.

Just putting things in perspective.
One container is pretty big all by itself!
Taken from my "dashcam" northbound on I-5

Departing Puget Sound on a bright morning.
Waterfront homes on Bainbridge Island reflect the morning sun.
March 1st  8:03 AM

March 2nd  11:35 AM
Golden Jake, Bulk Carrier
Per info on the web, the vessel is enroute to
Pyeongtaek, South Korea and ETA is March 18 8:00 PM LT
See next pic for 16 day voyage ...
Screen Capture from
Voyage of Golden Jake Bulk Carrier
US SEA to KR PTK - 16 Days across the Pacific

Canadian military vessel arriving.
HMCS Calgary is a Halifax-class frigate.
March 2nd  5:45 PM
She visited us last year as well.
March 3rd ... Docked at Pier 90

The snow on the Olympics is maxed!
March 3rd  7:01 AM
The peaks in center - The Brothers alt. 6,842' (2085.4m)

A RoRo enroute to Tacoma.
March 3rd  9:38 AM
(RoRo = Roll on, Roll off. Vehicle transport.)

Calendar (Cont'd through March 24)

Now, if you sense there has been an error because the calendar below is for 1917 ... yes, we know that. Old calendars fascinate us, however, and especially so when the days from way back line up with the current ones. Enjoy the thoughts ... we've repeated them under each page in the caption. (We started sharing the Circling Year Calendar 1917 in our Monday, January 15, post.)

The Daily Duty

I have never had a policy.
I have simply tried to do what seemed best
each day as each day came. 

Crossing The Bar

Sunset and evening star,
         And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning
    of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving
       seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew
from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
    And after that the dark!
And may there be no sad-
    ness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our
    bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island!


  1. postcards are cool...but your skywatch always rocks.


  2. Long but well worth it, John. :-)

  3. I find the variety of ships interesting to watch. I could watch ships come and go all day. Lots of color in your sky photos.

  4. Those arch postcards are amazing John!!

  5. John--What wonderful postcards of the Yellowstone arch. Thanks for sharing these with your readers. And too, your photos of the incomparably beautiful Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains.

  6. Phew! Fascinating and diverse posting [and long], but worth the viewing. We were in Yellowstone in 1979, but I don't remember the bad...

  7. The arch is amazing. What a wonderful collection of post cards you have of it.

  8. Now I get to search through all my picture files looking for several of me and the missus standing in front of the arch...:)

  9. John you are an amazing man. I enjoy your posts so much. So, this time I went to your profile to see what you did before retiring and nothing was there. I picture you as a professor of American history.
    Your postcard collection is outstanding. I do hope you have plans to leave it to either someone in your family who will love it as you do, or to a museum. You have truly put a lot of hard work and love into it.
    I have never been to Yellowstone, but who knows, we just bought a 5th wheel.
    Have a wonderful week.
    Connie :)

  10. I enjoyed your Yellowstone photos/cards. I (we!) hope to visit there in the next few years. Crossing the Bar is such a meaningful poem. My friend used it as part of her Mom's eulogy.

  11. What a full post! The arch photos are very interesting.I have been to Yellowstone,but don't recall seeing that arch.Of course I love the scenes with the mountains and the sunset.You share some very fascinating photos.Thanks a lot.Thanks also for your kind words left on my blog.

  12. Hello John, sorry I am late commenting. Our internet and power have been out for days due to a wind storm. I love the Yellowstone postcards. I hope to visit the park again some day. Your sky shots are beautiful. Thanks for linking up your post. I hope you have a happy week ahead.

  13. Seeing Yellowstone by stagecoach... how cool would that be!! Love your skywatch shots too. Beautiful photos.

  14. Looking at those old photos make me wonder what the next generations would feel if they look at our photos today of the places and landmarks. I feel nostalgic already.

    Great shots as usual. I'm still working on living in a house near the sea. :)

  15. Cool cards and beautiful skies.

  16. An amazing collection of the Yellowstone Gateway postcards. Thank you so much for sharing, John! I was impressed with the gateway at the Niagara Falls. I'm pretty sure this gateway is impressive in person as well. I hope I can go there one day!

  17. The arch is magnificent, though unexpected there. I wonder why they went with it?

    "The first automobile entered the Park in 1915."

    Isn't it amazing how much has changed in 100 years?

  18. I absolutely cannot wait to visit Yellowstone someday!!

  19. Your collection is really amazing. I bet you have spend a lot of time looking at this postcards and searching for little differences... You could also make a postcard of that picture of the corner, it's very nice.

  20. Very interesting John! The arch seems to have held up very well over the years. Your photos of it, and your others are very good. Even better when enlarged!


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