YELLOWSTONE PLACE NAMES, by Lee H. Whittlesey [Montana Historical Society Press, Helena, Montana, 1988; second (revised)
edition, Wonderland Press, 2006]
The era in America that gave us such mundane street names as Maple, Market, and Main Streets showed us her creative side when
she reached Yellowstone. Names such as Hellroaring Creek, Palpitator Spring, Astringent Creek, and Excelsior Geyser are as
colorful as the country they describe. Yellowstone Place Names is an essential book for anyone serious about learning more about
Yellowstone's colorful past. It also offers much for the general reader, and is worth taking along in the car when traveling to
Yellowstone. Historian Lee H. Whittlesey (author of Death in Yellowstone and several other books about the park) has identified
hundreds of Yellowstone place names, including natural attractions ranging from geysers, water falls, streams, and lakes, to
mountains, rock formations, valleys, and more. If you wonder where Mae West curve is and how it got its name (yes, you guessed it),
you'll find it in Yellowstone Place Names. You'll learn that thermal features are not traditionally named after people, but there have
been four exceptions, one being Phillips Cauldron in Norris Geyser Basin, named after a promising young naturalist who died a
painful death in the winter of 1926-1927after eating wild water hemlock, thought to be wild parsnip. Entries often give the person or
party that first thought up the name, when the name was given, why, alternate names, and interesting stories about the feature's
historical past. The names are arranged in alphabetical order, encyclopedia style, and frequently accompanied by relevant photos.
Each entry refers the reader to one of four reference maps located near the front of the book showing the location of the site.
This book was out of print from 1999 until 2006, at which time the second, revised, edition of Yellowstone Place Names appeared. It
has added updates or revisions to many of the existing entries. Since the first edition, several new historic Yellowstone place names
such as Tinker's Hill and Pyramid Mountain have surfaced along with some truly new names such as The Firehose and Frolic
Geyser. Some of the more important of these have been added during this revision. (Neither edition, however, was meant to list all of
Yellowstone's many place names, and this book is intended to be a collection of some of the more noteworthy or colorful of them.) All
of the black and white historic photographs have been completely changed from the original edition. Those who still have the first
edition might want to hold onto it for its own collection of photos. Sadly, the print quality of the photographs in the revised edition,
including the hardback version, has diminished considerably. The photos in the second edition resemble poor-quality black and
white newspaper photos, with details often faint or lost. Perhaps this is partly due to the poorer quality paper used in printing the
second edition. One hopes future printings will correct this. Of course, the greatest value of this book is its historical information and
for that the second edition is a welcome and valuable resource. Yellowstone's rich history has continued uninterrupted in the 18 years
since the 1988 first edition, and this revision gives us a better understnding of Yellowstone's past.
The Yellowstone Place Names original length of 177 pages was expanded to 290 pages in the second, revised, edition. Both
editions have several black-and-white historical photographs throughout. The first edition includes concise descriptions of The
Yellowstone Place Names Committee as well as the Washburn Expedition, Folsom-Cook-Peterson Expedition, Hayden Surveys, and
Hague Surveys. This material was not included in the second edition.
A YELLOWSTONE SAVAGE by Joyce B. Lohse (J. D. Charles Publishing, Colorado Springs, CO, 1988).
If you are looking for a book about Yellowstone that is somewhat light reading, not too long, and filled with informative and
conversational anecdotes, this might be the book for you. First off, the term "savage" in its Yellowstone context is a word applied to
all of the park's concessions employees. This book tells of the author's experiences as a savage at Yellowstone's Mammoth Hot
Springs during the summer of 1973. It begins with the uncertainty of leaving home and coming to the park to interview for
employment, followed by adjustments to new living conditions and developing relationships with co-workers. Throughout the rest
of the book there are plenty of stories told by an employee who made a determined effort to explore the park as much as possible
during her off hours. We are given an inside view of what it's like to work at Yellowstone--its exhilarations as well as sometimes
less than perfect realities. This author includes the social side of the story--from occasional nights with friends at the bars in
Gardiner to employee dorm life above the Mammoth Hot Springs dining room.
For those of us who remember the 1970s this book will bring back memories of what it was like to be young then and what it
might have been like had we decided to work at Yellowstone. Readers of all ages can enjoy vicariously the excitement of
discovering a new trail or any of the countless other wonders of Yellowstone, as well as the reward of making new friends and the
sweet sadness of spending a late-summer "Christmas" with them only to part at the end of the season.
A Yellowstone Savage is 130 pages long and is illustrated with dozens of black and white photographs and line drawings. More
information about the book is available on the author's home page.
YELLOWSTONE TREASURES: The Traveler's Companion to the National Park by Janet Chapple (Granite Peak Publications,
Providence, Rhode Island, 2005 [second edition]).
Yellowstone Treasures was written primarily as a park tour guide, but goes beyond to make interesting reading whether or not an
upcoming visit is being planned. The author, Janet Chapple, has had a lifelong familiarity with and love for Yellowstone since her
childhood summers there when her father worked at the Old Faithful Inn. This ambitious project is the result of five years of research
and preparation with input from, among many park experts, Yellowstone archivist Lee H. Whittlesey and former interpretive rangers
Ann Deutch and Tom Hougham. Professor Bruno Giletti, Chapple's geologist husband, contributed easy-to-understand details on
the park's geology. In the tradition of the Haynes Guides, this book follows Yellowstone's road system, exploring each section of
Yellowstone in depth, and providing a combination of instruction, description of points of interest, history, geology, advice, recent
events and changes, and just plain interesting facts both basic and not so commonly known. Throughout are supportive maps,
photos, and insets which explore various topics from history to geology in more detail. Those planning first visits will find the book
useful in getting the most out of their visit, while Yellowstone veterans will find it has much to offer them as well. This reviewer was
interested to learn where to find traces of Yellowstone legend Henry Yount's cabin along with some day hikes to add to the next
Yellowstone visit. At the end of the book is a chronological time line, geological history of the park, illustrated section on Yellowstone
plants and animals, overview of the fires of 1988, travel tips (including tips for older and disabled visitors), and more useful
information. This book has earned a permanent place on the Yellowstone bookshelf as a useful reference work and one of the most
comprehensive tour guides of Yellowstone yet published. Yellowstone Treasures is 384 pages long; illustrated throughout with color
and black and white photos. Copies may be obtained through the publisher as well as bookstores everywhere.
The second edition of Yellowstone Treasures was released in May 2005. All information about geysers, hot springs, and wolves
has been updated, and a new campground chart as well as many new photos added. The maps have been fine-tuned and each
road log section now has a distinct color to guide you to its pages.
Yellowstone Notebook Booklist
(Scroll down for other titles.)
YELLOWSTONE NIGHTS by Herbert Quick (Grosset & Dunlap, New York, 1911).
This fictional work is a little like a mixture of A Thousand and One Arabian Nights, Canterbury Tales, and "Gilligan's Island." The
premise is that a group of seven tourists meet somewhat by chance near Yellowstone's old north entrance train depot, just outside
of the Roosevelt Arch. They decide to travel together in the same stage throughout the park, which means they will be sharing the
same camp each evening. One of them suggests that for evening entertainment they should each tell a story around the campfire.
The tourists come from diverse backgrounds including a young newlywed couple, a professor, his companion the Colonel, a poet,
his friend the artist, and the stage driver--a sometimes cowboy. Their tales are just as varied. Although the stories are a little stiff by
today's standards, and are not related to the park, some readers might find the glimpses of turn-of-the-century Yellowstone travel
that appear between stories to be interesting. From them the reader can get an idea of how far stages traveled each day, where
they stopped, and some of the sights they saw along the way. I would not put Yellowstone Nights at the top of the reading list, but
for the reader who is looking for something a little out of the ordinary to read, this could be the right book.
Yellowstone Nights is 345 pages long and has no illustrations.
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Imagine mighty green fields splattered with lime beds: all the flowers of the summer growing up to the
very edge of the lime. That was the first glimpse of the geyser basins. The buggy had pulled up close to a
rough, broken, blistered cone of stuff between ten and twenty feet high. There was trouble in that place—
moaning, splashing, gurgling, and the clank of machinery. A spurt of boiling water jumped into the air and
a wash of water followed. I removed swiftly. The old lady from Chicago shrieked. ‘What a wicked waste!’
said her husband. I think they call it the Riverside Geyser.
Rudyard Kipling: From Sea to Shining Sea
I cannot too often repeat that the essential features of the present management of the Yellowstone Park,
as in all similar places in its essential democracy, is the preservation of the scenery, of the forests, of
the wilderness life and the wilderness game for the people as a whole, instead of leaving the enjoyment
thereof to be confined to the very rich who can control private reserves.
Theodore Roosevelt: Dedicatory address for Yellowstone's stone arch
April 24, 1903