Beautiful unissued scarce certificate from the famous Yellowstone Park Hotel Company
printed at turn of the century. This historic document has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of a bear. This item is over 100 years old.
Since the establishment of Yellowstone National Park there have been concession interests in the park. As early as 1871, a private "hotel" was operated in the park, and a boat concession was operated 1874-1876. While the different administrations have been responsible for the management of the park, individual concessionaires have been responsible for providing the visitor a diversity of resource related to their visit. These have included transportation through the park, lodging and camping opportunities, and a host of other such services. In the initial years following the establishment of the park concessionaires began establishing facilities and services however it was under the military administration that these services became formalized in agreement with the Department of Interior.
The Yellowstone Park Transportation Company had an exclusive agreement with the Northern Pacific Railway to transport arriving railroad passengers into the park. The railroad owned a majority interest in the Yellowstone Park Association, which ran the majority of the in-park Yellowstone hotel concessions. After the railroad's minority partners and managers in the YPA left the company, Child, Huntley and Bach bought the YPA in 1898 with financing from the railroad. Child became president of the company. Huntley died and Bach suffered political scandal. Bach and Huntley's stock reverted to the Northern Pacific, but Child bought enough of the stock to own half the business by 1905, and in 1907 bought the remainder from the Northern Pacific, which sought to divest itself of the company after the Northern Securities scandal. Again, the Northern Pacific provided financing of the purchase. In 1909 Child reorganized the company, dissolving the YPA and creating the Yellowstone Park Hotel Company
, with himself as president, his son Huntley as treasurer and his son-in-law William Nichols as secretary.
Child aggressively expanded the hotel concession. At the turn of the century, the Upper Geyser Basin, the largest concentration of geysers in the world and home of Old Faithful, was a half-day's ride from the nearest hotel. Child obtained permission to build a hotel at the Upper Geyser Basin. He had met Robert Reamer, a young architect from San Diego, while both wintered in La Jolla, California. Child set Reamer to design and construct the Old Faithful Inn in 1903, which became an iconic example of rustic log construction. At about the same time Child and Reamer expanded the Lake Hotel and another hotel at the Yellowstone Canyon. The same year, Child accompanied Theodore Roosevelt on his grand tour of Yellowstone. Child would also accompany Warren Harding in 1923, Calvin Coolidge in 1927, and future president Herbert Hoover in 1928. Child also conducted the King of Sweden through the park, receiving a knighthood in return.
In 1905, the Interstate Commerce Commission ruled against Child and the Northern Pacific in an unfair trade practices dispute with William Wylie, operator of several tent camps in Yellowstone. Thwarted in his attempt to drive Wylie out of business, Child recruited investors to buy out Wylie, while Child remained in the background. The newly acquired company kept the Wylie name and was incorporated as the Wylie Permanent Camping Company. With improvements to services mandated by Child, the camping business expanded rapidly.
Reamer, by now a close family friend, accompanied Harry and Adelaide Child on a European tour in 1909. The next year he designed a new Canyon Hotel for Child, built on a scale far greater than any previous park building. The Canyon Hotel quickly became the premier hotel in the park. In 1911 Child added the Yellowstone Park Boat Company to his portfolio, offering excursions on Yellowstone Lake. However, Child gave up a portion of his share of the Wylie Permanent Campiing Company to friend and competitor F. Jay Haynes, who operated photography concessions in the park, and who held the Union Pacific Railroad's hotel concession in the park. Until this time the Union Pacific concession was largely theoretical, but with the extension of rail service to West Yellowstone, Montana, the UP and Haynes became a threat to Child's core business. The sale effectively bought Haynes' cooperation as a competitor.
History from Encyberpedia and
stock certificate research service)