Treasure made of timber: Photos of Glacier Park Lodge from the National Park Service Archives

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National Park Services; Glacier National Park Archives/Photo by Marble, R.E. Interior view of open fire in lobby of Glacier Park Hotel at East Glacier, circa 1920. The several guests and Indian Chief were posed for the photo.

A little more about the lodge:

v The immense timbers that support Glacier Park Lodge were 500 to 800 years old when they were cut and all of them retain their bark. There are 60 of them, 36 to 42 inches in diameter and 40 feet long. The timbers in the lobby are Douglas fir and the verandas are supported by cedars from Washington.

v Hundreds of Blackfeet Indians erected their tepees on the hotel grounds for the grand opening of the lodge in June 1913. About 600 invited guests attended the celebration. The Blackfeet named the new lodge “Omahkoyis,” or “Big Tree Lodge.”

v Great Northern Railway President Louis W. Hill patterned the design of Glacier Park Lodge after the Forestry Building constructed for the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland. Hill also drew ideas from Swiss architecture as he shored up his design for St. Paul, Minn., architect Samuel H. Bartlett.

v As a finale for the hotel’s first season in 1913, Hill and the Railway Veterans Association held a 75th birthday party for Hill’s father, Great Northern Railway founder J.J. Hill, in the hotel lobby, accommodating some 600 guests. Huge quantities of flowers were shipped in from Washington for the occasion.

v The original 50-bedroom hotel and 11-bedroom annex cost Great Northern Railway $768,226 to build.

v In the mid-1930s a group of waitresses voiced their complaints over being forced to give up their comfortable “slippers” and wear stiff, binding black oxfords. The hotel manager not only rejected the waitresses’ pleas, he raised the deposit on their Swiss-style uniforms from $10 to $11.50 because the oxfords were more expensive.

v During World War II, travel restrictions forced the hotel to close in 1943. It remained closed until the summer of 1946.

Sources: Glacier Park Inc.; “View with a Room” by Ray Djuff and Chris Morrison

National Park Services; Glacier National Park Archives/Photo by Marble, R.E. Downstairs lounge in Glacier Park Lodge, circa 1914.

 

National Park Services; Glacier National Park Archives/Photo by Marble, R.E. Gate at East Glacier Park depot and Glacier Park Lodge, circa 1914.

 

National Park Services; Glacier National Park Archives/Photo by Marble, R.E. View of the front (east side) of the Glacier Park Lodge with landscaped ground in foreground and four Blackfoot Indians tipis set up on lawn. Located in East Glacier, circa 1920.

 

National Park Service; Glacier National Park Archives/Unknown Photographer Glacier Park Lodge under construction, shows huge logs used for construction of hotel, with wagons and part of frame structure of building in 1911.

 

National Park Service; Glacier National Park Archives/Unknown Photographer Panorama of Glacier Park Lodge, 1914.

 

National Park Service; Glacier National Park Archives/Unknown Photographer Glacier Park Lodge dining room, circa 1914.

 

National Park Service; Glacier National Park Archives/Photo by Hileman, T.J. Tour buses parked in front of Glacier Park Lodge (Hotel), 1940. Four Blackfeet and other visitors stand out front.

 

National Park Service; Glacier National Park Archives/Photo by Hileman, T.J. Glacier Park Lodge lobby in 1940. From desk on the left with fern in the foreground.

 

National Park Service; Glacier National Park Archives/Dick Greenshields collection Glacier Park Lodge under construction, 1911-1912. View looks west, shows main portion of lodge (without later additions) fairly complete.

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