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Yellowstone Hotels & Lodges - Fountain

Copyright 2009 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced
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Click Here for Map of Fountain Area - 1912 Haynes Guide

Click Here for Map of Fountain Area - 1909 Campbell's Guide

   The Fountain Hotel was opened by the Yellowstone Park Association (YPA) in 1891, the same summer they opened a new hotel on the shores of Lake Yellowstone. The park hotel association now had three 1st class hotels in the park to serve park visitors - the National Hotel at Mammoth and Lake Hotel. Construction began in 1889 on a small rise in Fountain Flats, close to the Fountain Paint Pots. The structure cost $100,000 and featured electric lights, steam heat, and piped in hot water from a nearby hot spring. Capacity was 350 guests and the interior walls were calcimined with material from the paint pots.
Acmegraph Post Card # 6514
 The first "bear shows" originated at this hotel at the garbage dump in the woods behind the hotel. Prior to the opening of the Old Faithful Inn in 1904, guests stayed two nights at the Fountain with a day trip to Old Faithful in between. After the Inn opened, the stay was only for one night. With the advent of the motorized bus fleet in 1917, travel times were shortened considerably and the trip from Mammoth or West Yellowstone to Old Faithful could be made in a single day, eliminating the need for facilities at Fountain. The hotel closed after 1916 and was torn down in 1927.
Haynes Post Card No. 115 - "The Fountain Hotel"


The Helena Independent, July 28, 1928


The Davenport Iowa Democrat and Leader, June 13, 1928

    Although the corner stone of the Fountain hotel in Yellowstone National park, which was recently opened when the building was dismantled, could offer to humanity no horned toads that had lived to a great age without food, water or air, still there were found many interesting relics of almost 40 years of ago, which are to ge given to the Yellowstone park museum for exhibit and preservation.
    In the stone were placed the usual few coins, which are placed in a receptacle of this nature . . . Three newspapers, a Chicago Tribune, a Minneapolis Tribune and a St. Paul Pioneer-Press, all bearing the date of September 18, 1890, seem to have weathered 40 years in a cigar box rather well . . . In addition to the above mentioned discoveries two rolls or scrolls of paper, one bearing the names of all the workmen who took part in the building of the Fountain hotel and another dedicating the structure for housing and entertainment of tourist guests, were also found.
   These rolls have not stood the weathering process of time very well and are very brittle, some portions of the writing have been obliterated by the weather. They are to be mounted on card board for preservation.


    Yellowstone Park, Wyo - (AP) At six o'clock of every cold, raw, winter evening a bell in room 203 of the Fountain Hotel would ring.  Every night at six o'clock a frightened, but conscientious caretaker made his cautious way to room 203, only to find it empty. Finally even the caretaker's earnestness could not stand the spectral twilight calls, and he fled the hotel in the company of a park photographer.
    The old hotel was remodeled the next spring, and the workers found that a mouse had made its nest in the wall of room 203 over the wire leading to the bell. It had nibbled off the insulationa s that every time it toucched it the bell rang. The regularity of the ghostly rings testify to the excellent character of the rodent.
    Even this explanation has not entirely put down the evil reputation of the hotel, and native, park rangers and general park employees have held for 20 years to their belief in the "haunt." Demolition of the building this spring, however, is expected to lay the ghost forever.

Fountain Hotel and Leather Pool Haynes Post Card - Double Oval Series

Rear View of Fountain Hotel.
YNP Archives Yell2012982

1899 View of Fountain Hotel with Stage Passengers.
YNP Archives, Yell20165777


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