Geyser Bob's Yellowstone Transportation History
The Larger Stagecoach Companies Take Over
Yellowstone National Park Transportation Co.
YPA`s transportation privileges were revoked Nov. 1, 1891 after Silas Huntley received the 10-year transportation franchise on March 29, 1891.  He had 14 months to begin operations.  He brought in his brother-in-law Harry W. Child and Edmund Bach, who together formed the Yellowstone National Park Transportation Co. that was incorporated May 20, 1892.  A man named Aaron and L.H. Hersfield were also partners.  The YNPTC actually started operations in March 1891 when Wakefield lost his YPA contract.  YPA then leased all of their transportation equipment and facilities to YNPTC, who appointed Wakefield President.  They bought out the YTC and Wakefield & Hoffman operations for $70,000 in 1892 and were granted exclusive transport of NPRR passengers.  The following February they received leases for six parcels of land to erect barns and other facilities.  The company was taken over by the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. in 1898, under Child, Huntley, and Bach.
Letterhead from the YPTCO, dated 1920, even though the stages ceased operation afther the 1916 season.
From the author's collection
Yellowstone Park Transportation Co.
Formed in 1898 by
Harry Child, with brother-in-law Silas Huntley and Edmund Bach to take over the operation of the YNPTC.  They received a 10-year lease on March 31.  Huntley died three years later and his shares reverted to NWIC.  Bach sold his shares to NWIC in 1902.  The next year the company began construction of a barn and offices at Mammoth that were designed by Robert Reamer (current Aspen Lodge site).  In 1905 they built a barn, coach shed, mess and bunk houses in Gardiner.  Their lease was extended for 20 years in 1907 and they contracted with Abbott Downing to supply larger stagecoaches.  Automobiles were officially allowed into the park on August 1, 1915, but Child resisted converting over his fleet of 'weed-burners` until 1917.  Due to the government mandate in the fall of 1916, all of the transportation operations were to be consolidated into one company operating under a monopoly lease.  These companies, which included Haynes` Yellowstone & Western Stage Co., Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Co., and the camping company coaches, came under the control of YPTCo and Harry Child.
Yellowstone National Park Transportation Co.
Stock Certificate

This is a blank $25 share circa the early 1890's.  The company was based out of Helena, Montana.  The center image shows Old Faithful geyser in eruption, surrounded by tourists and a YNPTCo stagecoach.
(Click on each for larger version)
Monida & Yellowstone Stage Line
Formed in 1898 by Frank J. Haynes and Wm. H. Humphrey, they received a 10-year lease from Interior.  They provided stage service from the UPRR depot at Monida to the park, using red Concord stages, and became known as the 'Red Line`.  The route from Monida passed through Centennial Valley, past Henry`s Lake, over Targhee Pass, with an overnight stop at Dwelle`s Inn.  This was a part of Harry Dwelle`s Madison Fork Ranch that was located about 5 miles west of the park border.  Fountain Hotel was reached around noon the following day.  Stables, barns, and driver`s quarters were located at eight different park locations.  A brochure from the year 1900 boasts of a 6-day tour using two, four, and six-horse Concord coaches.  Relay stations were placed every 15-20 miles along the Monida route.  Hotel stops included two nights at Fountain and one night each at Lake, Canyon, and Mammoth hotels before exiting via Cinnabar.  In 1907 the arrival of the Union Pacific rail line to the west entrance ended the long stagecoach haul from Monida.  The company began picking up passengers at the new depot in Riverside (West Yellowstone) and built new headquarters along the Madison River 1-1/4 miles inside the park line.  A 1908 map shows coach sheds, blacksmith and paint shops, corral, a barn and hay shed, office, lodging house, mess house, and granary.  Haynes built a stage station and lunch station in 1912 near Tower Falls that was converted to a photo shop in 1917. The name of the company was changed to 'Yellowstone & Western Stage Co. in 1913 when Humphrey left the company.
Above: Letterhead from the Monida &; Yellowstone Stage Line, F.J Haynes and W. W. Humphrey, Owners
1899 Letterhead courtesy the Yellowstone Archives

Left: Pinback from the Moniday & Yellowstone Stage Co.
Yellowstone-Western Stage Co.
Reorganized by owner
F.J. Haynes after the 1913 season when he bought out his partner Humphrey.  Haynes continued transporting visitors into the park from the UPRR at Yellowstone (West).  The company was previously known as the Monida & Yellowstone Stage Co. and had provided service from the UP rail line at Monida since 1898 and Yellowstone since 1908.  The company already had facilities located at eight locations in the park.  During the peak year of operation in 1915, the 'Red Line` (known for its red-colored Concord coaches), hauled 20,151 tourists (40% of the yearly total) into the park.  Records also show, however that only 4116 passengers were carried in 1914 and 3659 in 1916.  The fleet consisted of 45 eleven-passenger 4-horse coaches, 11 eight-passenger coaches, 13 three-passenger 2-horse surreys, and 61 five-passenger surreys.  After the 1916 season all of the transportation companies were consolidated into the YPTCo under the ownership of Harry Child.  Haynes was forced to sell out his transportation holdings in Yellowstone & Western and the Cody-Sylvan Pass Motor Co.
1914 Brochure from the Yellowstone & Western Stage Co.   By this time the company was owned by Frank Haynes and operated from the west entrance.  The town at that time was known as 'Yellowstone'.  It did not become 'West Yellowstone' until 1920.
From the author's collection
Letterhead from the Holm Transportation Co., 1915.  It advertised tours, hotel trips, horseback trips and pack outfit trains.   Holm noted that the "Cody-Sylvan Pass Road is Unique, Distinctive and Out of the Ordinary."
Courtesy Yellowstone Park Archives
Click here for Holm Camping Co. Page
Holm Transportation Co.
Formed by President and Manager
Aron 'Tex` Holm in 1903 and permitted to operate stagecoaches through the newly opened east entrance road over Sylvan Pass from Cody.  Visitors arrived to Cody by train on the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy RR. and Holm secured an agreement with the railroad to handle their Yellowstone visitors in 1904.  In 1906 Holm and F.H. Welch were permitted to conduct camping parties through the park using wagons and saddle horses.   The company received a 1-year lease in March of 1912 and established camps at various park locations.  Each location included cabins for dining rooms, kitchens, stables, and storerooms.  Camps were located at Sylvan Lake, West Thumb, Norris Geyser Basin (NE of Gibbon R. Bridge), Upper Geyser Basin (1800` SE of the OFI dining room), and Canyon (near the Whittaker Store).  In 1914 the Holm Co. lease was extended for three years.  By 1914 Holm was having some financial difficulties and William F. Cody applied to the park to take over the concession the following year.  However, Holm apparently revived and continued the operation.  His business in the park was ended after the 1916 season when the camping concession was awarded to YP Camping Co. and transportation companies were consolidated into the YPTCo.
NEXT - The Horseless Carriage Rules the Roads
                      Transportation History Pages

Page 1:   
Page 2:   
Early Stagecoach Companies
Page 2a:  
Bassett Brothers
Page 3:   
The Larger Stage Companies Take Over
Page 4:   
The Horseless Carriage Rules the Road
Copyright 2006 Robert V. Goss
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