I’ll return to the lobby of Old Faithful Inn on Saturday and Sunday (August 20 and 21) to sign copies of my book Adventures in Yellowstone: Early Travelers Tell Their Tales. It’s a great venue and I always have fun there.
The Inn probably is the most impressive man-made feature in Yellowtone Park and has been a favorite of visitors since it was finished in 1904, even those who were staying in other accommodations. Below is a description of the Inn by a man who was touring “The Wylie Way,” that is, spending his nights in tents put up for the season. Wylie Way tents weren’t as plush as the park hotels, but they had wooden floors and wood stoves to keep them warm.
Employees of the park concessioners called both hotel guests and Wylie Way tourists “Dudes.” That distinguished them from “Sagebrushers,” people who had their own transportation and horses. Here the story of a baseball game between hotel and Wylie Way Dudes.
We can’t sit and watch Old Faithful forever, so we step over to Old Faithful Inn and inspect that property. This is indeed a wonderful building, rustic throughout, with a chimney that must be at least fifteen feet square at the base. It runs up through the building and out the roof and has an enormous old-fashioned fireplace on each of the four sides. When we see the log fire sending out its cheerful warmth and glow, and the mammoth pans of hot popcorn passing around, and which we sample generously, it suddenly occurs to us that this is a “pretty happy world” after all.
Right here I am reminded of the ball game that occurred directly in front of Old Faithful Inn the next afternoon. One team was made up from the “dudes” stopping at the Inn and the other from the “dudes” that were going the “Wylie Way.” Both teams played good ball in spite of the stiff wind that was blowing, but the Inn “dudes” were a little better than their opponents, the score being somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 to 5. The feature of the game proved to be the first-class, all round rooting of the Wylie drivers who, forty strong, were massed back of third base and cheered every good play made by their men, and kicked at every decision that went against them.
— Excerpt from Fred W. Ellsworth, “Though Yellowstone Park with the American Institute of Banking.” Moody’s Magazine: The National Investors Monthly, November 1912, 14(5)369-375.
— Photo, Coppermine Photo Gallery.