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Yellowstone Hotels & Lodges - Lake

Copyright 2009 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced
or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an

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Click Here for Map of Lake Area - 1930 Haynes Guide

Lake Hotel

 Original Lake Hotel
Construction began on this hotel along the shores of Yellowstone Lake in 1889 by the
Yellowstone Park Association. This plain-looking building opened in 1891 with 80 rooms. Around this same time the road to Lake from Old Faithful over Craig Pass opened up, creating the Lower Loop Road. Previously guests had to reach the Lake via the Mary Mountain Road from Fountain Flats and had to backtrack when heading to the Grand Canyon. Prior to construction of the hotel, guests stayed at a small tent camp that opened in 1887.
Photo courtesy of John L. Stoddard's Lectures, Vol. X., Copy. 1898
 Lake Colonial Hotel, ca1904
This Lake Hotel took on a new look in 1903-04 when the front gables were extended and 50' ionic columns added to the front of the hotel. An additional wing was added to the left of the structure increasing the number of rooms to 210. The exterior was painted a soft yellow. The Widow's Walk was also added to the building. The hotel became known as the Colonial Hotel.

HAYNES-PHOTO Postcard No. 180, "Lake Hotel - Yellowstone Park"
 Lake Hotel ca1920
Renovations again changed the shape of the hotel when the Portico was added to the front entrance of the hotel. The East Wing, with 113 additional rooms was added in 1922-23.
Robert Reamer directed the renovations, which also included expansion of the dining room that doubled seating. Employee dorms were built in 1924 that freed up additional rooms in the hotel.
J.E. Haynes Postcard #20090 "Lake Hotel - Yellowstone Park"
 Lake Hotel ca1929
Changes continued in 1926 when the Lounge and Solarium were added and the lobby was remodeled. During the 1920's 110 cabins were built in the area behind the hotel. The North Wing was removed in 1940 and additional cabins were built to satisfy the needs of the auto traveler. The Grand Loop Road was rerouted away from the hotel in 1972, requiring most visitors to approach the hotel from the rear. The hotel is currently operated by Xanterra Parks & Lodges.

Haynes Picture Shops, Inc. #29303 - "Lake Hotel - Yellowstone National Park"

Click on photo for a 1905 view of Lobby & Front Desk Area, from YPA Brochure
 Interior view of Lake Hotel Dining Room. Linen tablecloths and spectacular view of Yellowstone Lake enhanced the visitor's dining experience.

Lake Hotel Lobby circa1923, prior to the remodeling in 1926 and construction of the lounge and solarium.

Haynes Post Card #23449 

 Undated photograph from Burton Holmes Travelogues. The hotel is in the background, while in the foreground is the old boat dock and rental facitlies. Directly behind is the old E.C. Waters building, that served as residence and boat store. Chas. Hamilton later used it for his first Lake general store.  View of Lake Hotel from Yellowstone Lake ca1938. The hotel was closed 1918-19 due to WWI, from 1933-37 because of the Great Depression, and from 1940-46, a result of WWII. The hotel is currently operated by Xanterra Park & Resorts.
Haynes Real-Photo Post Card #38430U

Lake Lodge

Lake Lodge, ca1922
This rustic log lodge was built in 1919-20 in the woods on the former Wylie Camping Co. site near the Yellowstone Lake Outlet. The lodge was designed by Robert Reamer and opened in 1920. The lobby featured a large stone fireplace and rustic log tables. Tents from the Mammoth Camp were moved in during this time and can be seen towards the end of the lodge. The kitchen was enlarged in 1924 and two wings were added in 1926 that included the cafeteria and recreation hall. Dances and shows were held on the stage of the rec hall.
Haynes, St. Paul, Postcard, #22732 "Lake Camp, Yellowstone Park"
 Lake Lodge Lobby ca1926.
The lobby later featured rustic furniture and dining tables, and a large stone fireplace.  Dances and shows were presented in the nearby recreation hall to entertain the guests.

Haynes Picture Shops, Inc. Postcard, #26010 - "Lake Lodge Entrance"

Lake Lodge, ca1929
The lodge was again remodeled in 1929 when the log portico was added to the entrance of the building. That year a laundry was added behind the lodge that serviced the Lake area, Fishing Bridge,
West Thumb, and Sylvan Lodge. By 1930, 233 rustic wood cabins had been erected to replace the tents.  More modern cabins began to replace the tent-tops and older cabins in the 1950's. The Porte-cochere was removed in the 1960's and cafeteria-style dining replaced the dining room in the 1980's. Xanterra Parks & Lodges currently operates the lodge facilties.
Haynes Picture Shops, Inc. Postcard, #29374 - "Lake Lodge Entrance"

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