Old Faithful Inn History
page 3
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    In the early days of the Old Faithful Inn, a camp of soldiers was located behind the building. Also behind the Inn were stables for the teams, a powerhouse, and the sawmill used to cut lumber during the Inn's construction (later used to cut firewood for the great stone fireplace). About a quarter mile back through a grove of pines was a garbage dump. Toward evening, crowds of tourists gathered there to watch bears feed on garbage, a practice first started at the Fountain Hotel.
     Then--as now--the lobby was the perfect place for travel-weary visitors to unwind in front of the fire or along one of the two upper-level balconies. They could visit with their companions or  write "souvenir postals," also known as postcards (gaining much popularity at that time) or entries in their journals and diaries.
     As guests retired to their rooms, they could enjoy the luxury of electric light provided by the candlestick-style fixtures Robert Reamer had designed. They would find a washstand with towels, a water pitcher and washbasin, as well as a chamber pot on the lower shelf of the washstand. Another stand might hold a vase of fresh flowers. They could sit in wicker chairs to read or write.
     The guest rooms were slightly different in size and shape, each with its own individual touches. Some might have a window seat. Others might be open and sprawling--some narrow and confining. Some had several sets of windows. Others had just one set.
Interior Old Faithful Inn (Haynes Photo). This view of the recently completed Old Faithful Inn looks toward the open front door. The brief message on front reads "Brownie--We reach this point at noon tomorrow Aug 14- 06-- Janette"
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    All of the rooms had unpainted wooden walls. Those on the first floor were lined with horizontal log facings. Those on the second and third floors had rough, unplaned vertical planking. Though some of the rooms were a bit dark, they all succeeded in conveying a rustic old-west atmosphere.
This early Detroit Publishing card shows the area of the lobby that is now the entrance to  the ice cream shop. The large stone water fountain shown at the left did not escape the notice of one 1904 visitor:  "The water spigot in the main hall was formed of two crooked roots fitting perfectly into one another and the waste water fell into a hollowed natural lava block as large as a good sized foot-bath."
    Guests would have no problem staying warm with a properly operated radiator. On warmer nights, or when a temperamental radiator did its job a bit too well, a crack of the windows for a little cool mountain air was all that was needed to stay comfortable.
"Phostint Card"   Detroit Publishing
LATER RENOVATIONS TO THE INN
In 1913 an east wing (left side as you look at the Inn from the front) was added under the architectural guidance of Robert Reamer. By that time, restrictions prevented use of local materials, so the new addition did not attempt to be a continuation of the rustic theme introduced in the original section of the Inn. The 100 rooms of the east wing featured instead a popular convention of the day--plastered walls.
     In 1922, a rear portion was added to the dining room, and is still in use. This area has many large windows, creating a brighter, more open atmosphere than the older section. To reflect the Inn's natural surroundings, Reamer had silhouettes of  birds and other animals etched and colored on wooden panels that line the four-sided columns in the new addition. (The panels remain today, but uncolored.)
(Above and below) Early views of first floor bedrooms at the Old Faithful Inn
Haynes Postcard
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(left)  Rear dining room added in 1922. Animals are etched in wooden panels to reflect the natural surroundings of the Inn.         (Haynes postcard)
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