Henry Klamer and the Old Faithful General Store - 1897 to 1915
Information from "Serving the Faithful in Yellowstone - Henry Klamer and the General Store in the Lower Geyser Basin"
Tour Guiding and Supplying Beef to the Hotels...
    
Sometime after Klamer left the Firehole Hotel, he went to work for George L. (G.L.) Henderson and the Cottage Hotel Asso. as a Tour Guide and Driver.  The Cottage Hotel opened at Mammoth in Dec. 1885 by the Henderson family and Klamer joined G.L.'s four daughters and one son in the operation of the touring and hotel business.  Although the business seemed to be successful, the Henderson's were forced to sell out to YPA in 1889, who had been fighting to gain a monopoly on the park's hotel business.  Klamer went to work for John Harvat in 1890, who had the contract to supply beef to the park hotels.  The following year Klamer received the beef contract and managed that business for about 10 years.  In 1892 Henry Klamer married Mary Henderson, daughter of GL Henderson.
Map of Old Faithful area showing Klamer's Store, OF Inn, and Haynes Photo Studio
ca1909. 
Photo fromCampbell's New Revised Complete Guide of Yellowstone Park.
Copy 1909, Published by H.E. Klamer.
Opening of the Second general Store in Yellowstone...
Klamer received a lease from Interior for 2 acres of land near Old Faithful Geyser in 1896 and began construction of his new general store in the spring of 1897.  The building was 20' x 30' in size, with two stories.  The outside sported knotted and gnarled pine posts resulting in very nice, rustic effect.  The store opened in late June and began serving tourists to the area.  He later received a contract to operate the Post Office at his store.  The store sold general tourist supplies, curios, groceries, peridicals, books, tobaccos, agate goods, precious stones and later on a wide variety of Indian goods and crafts.  The business did well and in 1904 the Old Faithful Inn opened up nearby, no doubt greatly increasing his business.  A 25' x 40' addition was erected in 1902-03 and a 16' extension was added in 1913-14.
Click to go these History Pages:
Ole Anderson
Jennie H. Ash & Lyall Henderson

George Whittaker
Pryor & Trischman
Hamilton Stores
Haynes Photo Shops
Klamer's General Store at Old Faithful, ca1909.
The store was located just west of the Old Faithful Inn.  This store, still existing and now enlarged, became the Hamilton Store in 1915 and was operated by them until 2002.
Photo from Campbells New Revised Complete Guide of Yellowstone Park.   Copy 1909, Published by H.E. Klamer.
(Mouse over picture for view of original store ca1900)
Klamer's Early Days and the Firehole Hotel...
Henry Klamer became the 2nd general store owner in Yellowstone when he began operation of a general store at Old Faithful in 1897.  This was just a year after his sister-in-law Jennie Henderson Ash opened her new store at Mammoth.   By the time Henry opened his store he was already a seasoned Yellowstone veteran, having worked in and around the park for at least 16 years.  He is known to have been a member of the government road crew as early as 1881, under Supt. Philetus Norris.  In 1885 he entered into a partnership with G.G. Henderson to operate the Firehole Hotel at Fountain Flats.  The hotel was built by George Marshall in 1884 and replaced a structure built in 1880 known simply as Marshall's Hotel.  In 1886 Henderson gave up his interest in the hotel and in a complicated set of transactions, the hotel became part owned by The Cottage Hotel Asso, and eventually passed into the hands of the Yellowstone Park Association.
Firehole Hotel at Lower Geyser Basin
Circa 1886
Originally known as Marshall's Hotel

TW Ingersol Stereoview "Firehole Hotel and Stages"
Photo courtesy of Paul Rube's Yellowstone Stereoview Page
New Book!
"Serving the Faithful in Yellowstone - Henry Klamer and the Gneral Store in the Upper Geyser Basin"
All information presented here
Copyright 2003 Robert V. Goss.
Ad for Klamers Store in the "Wonderland"
Gardiner Montana newspaper, dated
July 17, 1902.  The newspaper was only in existence for 4-5 years.
Copied from microfilm files at the Livingston, Mt. Public Library.  Image is digitally enhanced.
Bad Times and the Transition to Charles Hamilton...
Midway through the season of 1914, Henery Klamer died, leaving his wife Mary to take care of the business.  Overwhelved by Henry's death and the vast responsibilities of running the business, she called for her brother Walter Henderson to help out.  Walter had operated the Mammoth general store for five years with Alexander Lyall and took over as the Manager of the Old Faithful store.  With her husband gone and the rest of her family living in Southern California, Mary decided it was time to leave the business and return to family.  The following year negotiations began with
Charles Hamilton to buy the store.  Hamilton was a clerk for the Yellowstone Park Hotel Co., headed by Harry Child.  With financial backing from Child, Hamilton made a $5,000 down payment to Mary and carried a note for about $15,000 for the store.  Interior approved the deal and 10-year lease was issued to Hamilton on June 15, 1915.  Charles Hamilton later expanded the building and his family operated this store until 2002, along with general stores at other locations. On January 1, 2003, Delaware North Co., through the competive bidding process, obtained the general store contract in Yellowstone and operates all the stores in the park.   The business is known as 'Yellowstone General Stores'.  The legacy of Henry Klamer though, still lives on at Old Faithful. 
Next - Pryor & Trischman
Gardiner Mt. NPRR Depot, ca1904-06
Photo Copy. 2003 Robert V. Goss
Copyright 2004 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 information storage and retrieval system without
permission in writing from the author.
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