Saturday, April 6, 2024

Gateway - 1903

Gateway to Yellowstone

 Story of the Arch

(Mostly told with Postcards)

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

The stagecoach was 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 - front of the arch.
Words above the archway:
"For the benefit and enjoyment of the people."

In this view a carriage has just 
passed under the arch heading
into the Park.
Sender of the card dated it June 24, 1905
About 2 years after dedication.

Color applied to black and white photo.
Love horses? Yes, we do too, 
and other critters as well, 
so we're linking up with

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

Back of the Wylie 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
1 cent domestic
2 cents foreign 

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

Pretty nice car and I have to wonder
if it was artistically added to the image?
 (Same for 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.

A rare photo showing
a fence inside the arch.

(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 was the 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 Cornerstone

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

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

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. ...John thanks for the illustrations and info on the Roosevelt Entrance Arch. I hadn't been aware of this, shows how much I know about things.

  2. Fascinating post on the history of the Roosevelt Arch! Love the vintage postcards - especially the ones showing the horse-drawn carriages and early cars. What an amazing collection!

  3. Hello John :=)
    Your collection of postcards had me looking for the nuances in each photo. It's fascinating that each photo has a slight difference and in a hundred photos it's exceptional. I found a few but failed to find all of them. The arched entrance is impressive, and your picture of the 1903 corner stone laid by T. Roosevelt is a historic act and is rightly known as The Roosevelt Arch. I also like the rustic logs holding up the roof of the platform. I will never get to see Yellow Stone Park, but enjoy seeing it through your photos and postcards. Thank you John.
    All the best

  4. Hello John,
    You do have a wonderful collection of Yellowstone postcards. The Arch is a lovely gateway to the park. One of my favorite parks. I can imagine what it was like going under the Arch in a carriage pulled by the horses. Yes, I love the horses. They are beautiful critters. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, enjoy your day and happy weekend. PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

  5. I am trying to imagine what it would be like to try birding from a stagecoach. You’d never hold binoculars steady! Must be the same from the back of an elephant in India. Sometimes Shank’s Pony is the best locomotion of all!

  6. Each postcard is beautiful in its own unique way. I looked back to see what photos I have of the Roosevelt Arch from my June 2012 visit there and my favourite photo that I took is similar to your last photo. Thank You for sharing this collection with us!

  7. Begs the question why build an arch like that, it's the sort of thing you would see here in Europe when entering an old town. Nice collection of old photos John

  8. I am in awe of your collection of Roosevelt Arch photos! And thanks so much for sharing some of them here. Yellowstone reminds us that there are some forces of nature that boggle the mind when we see them.

  9. What a great collection! I have never been to Yellowstone - but would love to go. Where do you find your vintage postcards?

  10. Interesting that the Arch has been hyped so that it becomes of more interest than natural areas.

  11. I love the information and old postcards. I've never been there but I know I would love it. I learn so much about the history of parks from you my friend! Enjoy your weekend!

  12. What a wonderful collection!
    Have a great weekend!

  13. I didn’t realize Yellowstone and Teton were close together. I will have to check this out.

    Oh to be back in the days of the stagecoach…even the train. Both Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island lost the rail service years ago. The history of train engineers in my father’s family makes me think that if it wasn’t for the railway my family wouldn’t exist.

    My grandfather’s five siblings died of TB and he and two brothers obtained jobs on the railway thanks to an older brother who helped them get jobs before he died of TB. Then WW1 happened and Newfoundland, being a loyal British colony joined the war effort.

    Young men left the villages and coves when King and country called. They left fishing boats and trained for war, went overseas and many died. My grandfather and his brothers had their jobs on the railway and didn’t volunteer for war. My family is one of the results.

    My grandfather had been through enough. He and the other two brothers had lost both parents when they were young children and then the other siblings.

    The three brothers had lost enough. A generation of young men in Newfoundland was decimated.

  14. I really had to Google because this was so unfamiliar to me. Thank you for this blog and all those beautiful pictures. I feel like I've really learned something, John, a piece of history and culture. Thank you.

  15. I have been to Yellowstone and even spent some winter nights in a tent. I love the area and am so glad to have a friend who teaches me stuff in every single post. Thank you!!

  16. Wow, how very interesting to see all those photos through time.

  17. I've never been to Yellowstone, so this is very interesting to me. A really nice collection of postcards that show many different modes of transportation in the olden days to the park. I do love the aerial view. The arch makes it seem bigger than life, which is probably the feeling people had at the end of a day of touring the park. How wonderful that you have visited the park on several occasions.

  18. wow some breathtakingly beautiful images of Gateway arch dear John !
    thanks you for making us part of your love for the arch ,i bet you have some really awesome trips and memories created during your stay in this park which shine through these magnificent photos . I never been in such HUGE and Wonderful park though both of us (hubby and me) watch YouTube videos of such amazing national parks fondly . I think such vast places that offer natural serenity and awe are essential for human soul who feels at home only in the lap of mother nature . Our cities have parks too but not as extended and well attended .Yet they bring pleasure in people's life thankfully .
    i found your personal shots very powerful and beautiful !
    sending regards and heartfelt best wishes for you and loved ones!

  19. Your vintage postcard collection featuring the Roosevelt Arch is so cool!
    Each card tells a piece of Yellowstone's story, from carriages to cars. It's awesome how the arch symbolizes the park's spirit.
    Thanks for sharing these historic gems, John!

  20. hope your eclipse day adventure goes amazing dear John

  21. You certainly have a great collection and it's so nice to see them on your blog.

    I hope you enjoyed solar eclipse day :)

    All the best Jan


Questions, Compliments, and/or Suggestions: If you ask a question, please check back here, on the blog, for an answer within, usually, a day or two. Thank you in advance for compliments. I’ll try to keep an open mind about suggestions. All comments are moderated. Please note: Comments with active links will not be published. Comments with an inactive link are probably okay.

Taking Off

  Summer is "taking off" today just like this Great Blue Heron I recently spotted on one of my waterfront walks. As I'm prepar...